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Ex-Student Katie Smith shares Brenda Key memories

Happy memories from dance classes!


One of our incredible ex-students, Katie Smith, kindly wrote down some of her fondest Brenda Key memories, funny stories, and told us about how dancing has played a part in her life.


Katie danced with us for practically her whole childhood and we remember her always bringing her cheerful, upbeat energy into class. She experienced the teachings of Miss Key herself, and was part of the fabric here at BKSOD!


We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did. Over to Katie:


"I started dancing at Brenda Key when I was 3 years old - I remember going to Rodwins (which sadly is no more) to get my first ballet shoes, white dotted skirt and pink cardigan, and being so excited to start going to ballet classes. I ended up not leaving until I was 18! Thinking about it now, apart from normal education, dancing has been the thing that has been most constant thing in my life. I loved the fact that no matter how good or stressful a week had been, I always [had] ballet to come to - it was a safe space where you knew you’d feel good after!


"There are lots of memories that stand out of course, but one of the highlights was doing pointe for the first time as a class. We were all teenagers at the time and of course were in fits of laughter watching each other try and look graceful while in (let’s be honest) excruciating pain. Another fond memory is after grade 8, Miss Jayne brought some tutus in and we learnt the Signet Sequence from Swan Lake.


"I have carried on with dancing since leaving Brenda Key. At university I was always at dance, where I met some of my best friends (Birmingham university has one of the best societies in the country). I’m now 25 and working in TV which I absolutely love. The nature of my work means that I am all over the place all time, meaning it has been hard to keep up dance as regularly as I would like. When I do have the time, I love going to Pineapple, Base and Central for classes.


"Apart from great posture and how to hold in a food baby successfully, dancing has definitely given me a lot of confidence and discipline I wouldn’t have otherwise had - when you snap a tendon in a ballet exam (true story) and have to keep smiling like nothings happened, not much phases you after that! I do have to say though, the smell of hairspray will never not make my stomach turn - it transports me straight back to that deep nervous pre exam feeling!"



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