Becoming Doodle Dance Catherine…. new artist, new blog!

One of the things I love about Doodle Dance is it reflects back to me continually on how different people have different expressive languages. Our new Doodle Dancer Catherine has turned a whisper into an orchestra of sound...

1st June 2023

One of the things I love about Doodle Dance is it reflects back to me continually on how different people have different expressive languages. I have been reminded of this over the last number of months as Catherine has joined the team as part of the ‘Leading to a curious world’ Arts Council England funded project. Its over 3 years ago we started the project, researching and developing Doodle Dance to train up other local dance artists enabling the work to grow and myself as Artistic Director to explore other worlds where Doodle could make its mark. The recently designed training which Catherine took part in with the support of local Bosham Primary School enabled her to understand the values, approaches and research Doodle Dance is based on as she developed her own artistic response.

Catherine’s differences to myself has been a gift to my own development and has brought a freshness to our collective practice. My expressive languages (and you would know if you have met me) is dance, movement, play, art and CHAT!! I like a natter. Catherine’s is dance, writing and a little chat. There was something that intrigued me about Catherine’s quiet nature. I knew that I wanted our training to be lead by Catherine. Instead of my voice ringing the loudest I wanted to get to know her, and find out what intrigued Catherine when watching and experiencing Doodle. I wanted the quieting of my voice to make more room for hers.

The training like much of our work started with curiosity. After visiting Bosham each Thursday morning where she observed, assisted and team taught I asked her to reflect, and then ask questions. Her quietness got louder with discovery and interest.

Catherine’s natter maybe quieter than mine but her dance is cellos and drums. Her dancing is performance loud in the space showing the children a whole vocabulary of words to shout. At times it was also a whisper that softly spoke out to the children, building a connection.

After our training sessions Catherine shared her reflective diary of the whole experience and this was when her language wrapped around me and pulled me in, listening intently!! This was a loud that moved me. It expressed to me that she had ‘seen’ Doodle. She had understood it. Like a conversation she had listened to each thing that was ‘said’ in the session. The children’s dance, stories, movements, natters and turned it into a poetic piece of insight.

Catherine is on journey of becoming Doodle Dance Catherine. She has made contact with schools in her local area of Horsham and has her first taster sessions of On Your Marks this summer with the hope of welcoming contracts and other work as this develops.

Its important that voices are shared in Doodle Dance so it feels the right time to launch our blog! For our first instalment I have invited Catherine to share her process and I am excited to hear the orchestra of her process and look forward to continuing this song and dance!




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