Dance dance wherever you may be

Posted on 10th June 2011 | in Community

And he did, and it was in Westminster Cathedral. Eliot Smith – a parishioner of Sacred Heart and St. Cuthbert, Amble, is passionate about two things – his religion and contemporary dancing. Put these two together and you have a powerfully emotive performance.

Eliot is 20 years old, the youngest of four children. He attended St. Teresa’s primary school and served on the altar of the parish church in Heaton. His sister joined the Dance City CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) and wanting some company bribed a reluctant Eliot to come with her. Once there he was hooked !

In 2004 his parents moved to Warkworth. Eliot joined the Youth Dance Company where contemporary dancing was in a process of evolution. At the same time he was having to pursue his secondary education.  He left school at 16 to take up his dance career under the tuition of Peter Huggins who introduced contemporary dancing in the North East.. In 2005 Eliot started his own company at the Dame Allan Studio in Fenham.

In 2010 he moved to London to take up a one-year foundation course in dancing at Lewisham college and his North East company closed down. He is currently in his second year at the London Contemporary Dance School. Thus it was that he found himself sitting in Westminster Cathedral reading a leaflet appealing for funds to restore the Cathedral roof. The idea came to him of performing a ‘dance Mass’ to the accompaniment of the Cathedral choir. ‘Missa’ was born, directed and choreographed by Eliot Smith and performed by a group of his fellow students from the London Contemporary Dance School.

We welcome Eliot back into our parish whenever he is home on vacation. He has twice given the parish private performances and we welcomed him back this Easter when he told me about ‘Missa’

Lucienne Pickering

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