Emma Farnell-Watson

When did you study at LCDS? Why did you decide to study contemporary dance?

I studied at LCDS from 2013- 2016. There is a crazy story about how I got accepted  into the school, which I’ll save for another time, but I got told a week before we started!! I chose contemporary dance because it pulled at my heart and made things move inside of me. It inspired me as an audience member like I felt no other art form could. I wanted to be able to create the same emotional impact for audiences with work I hoped to create and perform in after graduating.  

Tells us a little bit about what happened since! What are the key moments in your career?

I was incredibly lucky to leave my third year of school early and begin working with Jasmin Vardimon Company. It was a blessing to go straight into creating and touring a production, and gain such valuable experience. I developed tools I went on to use throughout my whole career. 

Since then I joined Hofesh Shechter Company which has been instrumental in initiating an evolution, growth and expansion for me not just as an artist but also as a human. I have a lot of love for the people, the work and the environment. 

What did you take away from your creative education? What lessons did you carry with you through your career?

For me it was to never to be scared to try something new. To maintain that hunger to learn, take risks, fail and continue expanding. This helped me to always stay inspired.  

I’ve been lucky enough to have a nice balance between freelance and company work. Freelancing teaches you to be okay with uncertainty. There’s an excitement in not knowing what the next opportunity will be and it keeps you versatile and open! 

How has dance shaped your life? What were the challenges you had to overcome to keep dancing or to remain in the dance industry?

For me it was about finding balance and purpose. My happiness rode too much on my success and I realised regardless of what I achieved it wouldn’t make me ultimately content. Once I achieved the goal I still didn’t feel satisfied. I had to change my internal drives and processes and found happiness in the journey and the simplicity. Once I could do this, space opened up for balance in my life and I had time to be a human not just a dancer! Successes and unexpected opportunities then also flowed even more organically into my life! 

What are your hopes for the dance community? What will it look like to be a dance artist in the future?

For me the dance community is such a strong and powerful force. Often people feel isolated and alone, especially as freelance dancers. My love has always been to connect, support, share work and opportunities. Together we can do far more than we can alone. I think this stands even truer in these times. It’s remembering the power we have together. I think the future will be challenging but will only inspire more honest and authentic work and a tightening of our community to bring strength and focus.