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Dance helps me on the pitch!

Welcome back to another exciting edition of 'Empowering Journeys with T2P'. This week, we pirouette our way into the energetic world of 10-year-old Lily Sheen, a multi talented dancer who's been with us since she was just a baby and speaks about football, Fred Astaire, and family.

A girl in a kilt and black leotard in a highland pose
Lily Higland Dancing

Lily, let's start with something fun. You've mastered quite a few dance styles here at T2P, haven't you?

Yes! I take part in Hip Hop, Tap, Ballet, and Highland. But my favourite is definitely Tap. It's fun, fast, and Miss Carrie makes it super exciting!

Would you say it’s important to have a really good teacher?

Definitely! You want to learn the style but your teacher is the one that makes it fun and Miss Carrie makes such a difference.

You're right Lily, it’s important that we ensure that our teachers aren’t just knowledgeable but fun

loving too! Dancing means different things to everyone, could you talk a bit about what dance means to you? When did you start your dancing journey?

A girl hugging Twinkle Bear, Teddy Bear, Flutterstar Fairy and Chuck the Cowboy at a babyballet show
Lily in her babyballet show

Dancing makes me feel so happy. The only way I could explain it is, like hanging out with my mum and my dog - it just brings me happiness! I started when I was 18 months old at babyballet and moved up to T2P when I graduated at 5 years.

I love that dance makes you feel as happy as hanging out with your family and that’s one thing we try to create and foster at T2P, a dance family. Do you feel this at Tap 2 Pointe? Also, as a fellow animal lover, what breed of dogs do you have?

I have a Lhasa Apso and a Cocker Springer Spaniel! 

Dance family is important to me because everyone is kind and supportive. I also get to dance with my cousin, which I love. If I get stuck, I can just ask her for help!

Lily, you have been dancing for almost 10 years now and built up a lot of friendships. One of our annual awards is the ‘Dancers Dancer Award,’ which you have won. How did you feel about that and how do you feel about awards in dance?

To win the ‘Dancers Dancer Award’, I felt totally honoured. The award is chosen by other dancers and I felt so happy to have received this. There have been years where I haven’t won awards and I don’t feel sad, I feel happy for my friends.

A girl holding a dance award
Lily winning Dancers Dance Award

We are entering into the final show season and this year's performance preparation is fully underway. Do you have any advice for anyone taking part in performances, maybe for their first time this year?

It's always nerve wracking, personally I worry that I will forget a step or even the full dance. But I find two things that help me. The first is that I am quite good at reassuring myself. A quick “you’ll be fine,” is often all that is needed,  but once I walk on stage and start dancing, I become more confident. Plus, having my family and friends cheering gives me such a boost!

Definitely! We always say, our audience don’t know the routine so if you forget, make it part of the dance! Talking about routines, what are some of your favourite routines that you've performed?

My favourite routines would have to be, your Fred Astaire Tap Number in 'Dancing Through the Decades' and also Miss Carrie's 'Eye of the Tiger' in 'Lets Go To The Movies'.

I have known you for some time now but even just sitting here, your positivity is incredible! Do you feel that there are often challenges in dancing and how do you overcome them?

Thanks, I do try to be as positive as I can be. Moving up an age group was quite challenging for me as I would be worried that I wouldn’t know the steps or be confident in class, however, practising at home and the support from the T2P family definitely helps.

Practising is definitely key to growing in confidence. So, tell us your favourite moment at T2P? 

My first performance with Tap 2 Pointe, T2P Goes to Disney. I think what made it even more memorable was that I wasn't unable to take part in what should have been my first performance, Around The World! I had prepared and was ready and unfortunately on the day I was too ill to take part. I felt so angry that I wasn’t able to perform but that just made my first time on the T2P stage even better!

Lily, the world is dying to know! What do you want to be when you grow up?

"A professional footballer and dancer!"

I honestly love this! Football is becoming ever more popular amongst the female gender but we often find that although big players have taken part in ballet schools, there is still a lot of stigma around this. Rio Ferdinand said in his autobiography that he believed the skills he learnt in ballet helped his football career and in particular with balance and flexibility. Can you add anything to this? 

Yes! I definitely think dance helps me on the pitch! Balance and flexibility but also team work! As well as on the pitch, in dance, you have to work together, especially when performing, to ensure that everyone knows what they are doing and where they have to be. You can’t let your team down! 

A girl smiling and posing in her dancewear

Honestly, this is incredible and I hope that people can be empowered to try new things and to not let social bias intervene. I find that dance is also important for both physical and mental wellbeing. What’s your thoughts and do you notice a difference in yourself? 

Yes, I feel dance has contributed to both my physical and mental wellbeing. I can express myself through dance by performing on stage and after all the praise from teachers, family and friends, it definitely makes you feel happy. I can also relate this to school, where some of my friends feel too nervous to take part in drama activities but I go for it! 

Lily, you are an incredibly positive and inspiring person and I wish you all the best in this year's performance but before we finish up, can you tell us what your future goals as a dancer are? 

I really want to go en pointe one day! Seeing my friends Molly & Molly May inspire me so much.

A girl in a pirate costume for dance show
Lily in Peter Pan

A massive thank you to Lily for this awe inspiring interview and I hope you feel as empowered as I did taking part in this interview.

We are on the lookout for more of our students to chat with and to take part in this series, therefore, if your dancer would love to get involved, make sure to hit contact us.

If you would love to join us at Tap 2 Pointe Dance Company, book your 3 week trial here.

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