What have you been up to since graduating LCDS?
After completing his training at LCDS in 2009 Sam has gone on to work with some of the leading dance and theatre companies including Jasmin Vardimon Company, Clod Ensemble and spent 5 years as a senior member of Hofesh Shechter company. Other projects include working with Antony Gormley & Hofesh Shechter on the project survivor (Barbican, 2012) and critically acclaimed opera Orpheus Et Eurydice (Royal Opera House, 2015 & La Scala 2018) amongst others. He has also appeared in numerous projects on screen as an actor as well as a dancer. Including leading in the multi-award winning short Curing Albrecht, feature film The Beasts in the Jungle, performed in visuals for the Chemical Brothers and lead in Ubers first ever ad campaign. Choreographically Sam has created numerous pieces while a member of HSC as well as being commissioned to create work for CobasMika (Spain), Ecole De Danse Montreal and most recently was movement director on Jon Hopkins music video Singularity. Sam Continues to teach, perform and choreograph globally while recently setting up the workshop ‘Interdisciplinary practice for dancers’; aiming to deliver easy access to performance methodologies dancers may otherwise not have access to.
How would you say your training has helped you to get to where you are today?
I wasn’t a very self motivated or disciplined teenager, but getting into class for 8.45am every morning definitely changed that! The training is heavy and you most certainly will not get a ‘normal’ student experience. But most importantly for me I gained an incredibly close group of friends, I learnt how to work hard (which comes in very useful professionally!) and ultimately; 3 years is a long time, plenty of time to make mistakes and learn from them.
Do you have any advice for young dancers?
It’s a difficult question to generalise because everyone needs different advice. I would say however I think it’s very important for students to take responsibility for their own education. As pedagogues we can guide, advise and support but it’s the responsibility of the student not to sit back and expect someday ‘it’ will happen, or one day they will ‘make it’, these are abstract ideas that don’t really mean anything. Students have to ask themselves why? Why are they doing it? What do they want to achieve? Where do they want to go? These questions don’t necessarily need literal answers but to have them at the back of your mind is extremely useful throughout your whole career, I still ask myself these things regularly and the answers are constantly changing. I would also briefly say it’s ok not to know, that’s a good place to be, many possibilities.
What did you find most inspiring or unexpectedly useful whilst at LCDS?
At LCDS/The Place the most overlooked positive for students is its base for professional artists. The building has a huge turnover of professional choreographers, dancers and teachers coming through, whether they be performing at the theatre or leading professional class/workshops. There is literally a never ending supply professional networking opportunities, friends to be made, questions to be asked. The school doesn’t feel isolated during training, it feels as if you are already an integral part of the dance world.