Rachel spoke with us to discuss how her engagement with Brewery Arts has varied over the years, and how important she feels the venue is to the growth of young people in the community.
How have you engaged with Brewery Arts?
I have previously taught dance at Brewery Arts, I even taught Emily (Davies, Dance Engagement Officer) GCSE dance, and mentored her a bit, it’s been great to see her evolve.
My daughter Livi who is 13, now goes to Emily’s class and has been coming here since she was 18 months old.
Outside of dance, I have lots of happy memories of being here with my children and family. I have had great pizza, gone to the cinema, and drank with my friends on a Friday night. If you say the word Brewery it is just associated with a happy place.
What makes Brewery Arts special to you?
I think Brewery Arts is unique. I have worked across the county, and nationally as well, and I think we are so lucky in this area to have it. I used to teach GCSE dance at Queen Katherine School and I had to remind the kids that they had such a great resource on their doorsteps.
The tuition here is fantastic because Emily gets the children to work together and have responsibility for their pieces and the sessions are tailored to what they need which is amazing. The tutors work with the children and have a creative task but the dance is formed by what the tutor sees which is really unique and you don’t often get that elsewhere. Usually, you have a syllabus or a class and there will be a tutor that will dictate what you will be doing.
It has really nurtured Livi because she struggled a little bit socially in primary school and Emily just knew her and nurtured her. She knows her character and how to draw out the best in her. Livi still says it is the highlight of her week and I will always encourage her to come to this class over another because it is just so brilliant.
It is not a huge venue but it offers things in a different way. It is multilayered which I think is integral because some of the kids who come to the classes feel comfortable with the venue because they have come to do something else, like the cinema, here before.
What do you feel is the impact of these creative classes on young people?
It is so important to have creativity taught to young people. It really builds self-esteem, confidence, social skills, and physical skills as well. All these elements are really going to impact a young person’s well-being going forward into the future. So they are essential in my eyes.
What do you enjoy about having Brewery Arts in the area?
Amazing shows have come to Kendal and you are blown away that they come here. It was great to see Vincent Dance Company come back recently, that was amazing. It was hopefully a catalyst for even more to happen.
Because I have been so heavily involved in the annual Dance Platform I still get such a buzz from doing that and that breathtaking feeling from seeing young people transform in that time.
It feels like an exciting new era for Brewery Arts for sure, and it feels like it is going in the right direction.
As a registered charity, Brewery Arts relies on the generosity of our patrons. Please donate here to help us continue supporting our local community and developing our artistic programme, bringing the world to Kendal!