Graduated in 2009 with a First Class Honours in BA Hons Theatre Dance
My name is Ben Warbis, and I graduated from London Studio Centre in 2009. In my third year I trained with Intoto, before leaving a few months early in order to start a full-time contract with Michael Clark Company. The curriculum at LSC was the reason I auditioned in the first place. It offers a great range of disciplines, and the teaching staff are fantastic at allowing you to achieve a balance across all of your studies. The day always begins with ballet, which is a brilliant way of maintaining strength in the classical technique, as well as nurturing an appreciation for getting warm in the morning and establishing a level of stamina. The building on York Way is vast and energising; a great place to spend the long days!
The timetable you are provided with is always varied and (nearly) always evenly distributed throughout the week. This is what makes the training at LSC so exciting and fulfilling. Ballet is typically followed by jazz, contemporary, singing, and a lecture - all in one day! It's tiring and demanding, but it certainly sorts the men from the boys. The teaching staff work very hard to make your training in their subject the best it can be, whilst still allowing you to commit just as highly in all the other dance and theatre subjects.
Since graduating (with a First Class BA Hons!) I have performed with Michael Clark Company almost full time. Besides London, our tour dates have included Venice Bienalle, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, New York, Melbourne International Arts Festival, and Edinburgh International Festival, to name just a few. Such a demanding rehearsal and performance schedule is, at times, very difficult to rise to, but I can safely say that my ability to achieve these goals is almost entirely thanks to my wonderful training at London Studio Centre. I have also worked as a model, and I am represented by Premier Model Management. I am extremely proud of the cover shoot I did for Arena Homme+ magazine; shot by Nick Knight and styled by Nicola Formichetti.
At LSC, I particularly enjoyed the contemporary and jazz training. It is diverse, interesting, and often very unforgiving!! It's great. On the whole, the studio facilities are spacious and clean. I should give a mention to the wonderful musicians too; the pianists and percussionists who accompany the ballet and contemporary classes are absolutely top class. I believe that they provide a unique and vital energy to the class, and they strike up great working partnerships with the teachers. As you progress through the course, and you have more opportunity to select some aspects of your timetable, the classes and choreography (thanks to the students whom you are alongside) become increasingly enjoyable and fulfilling. Like I said, the course at LSC makes you or breaks you, and it really allows you to prioritise and achieve things that you want to achieve. This is one of the reasons why I chose to train here, and if you choose it too, I can guarantee that you will meet some diverse, intriguing, and dedicated performers (young AND old)!! Just make sure you always work hard.
Graduated 2009 with a First Class Honours in BA Hons Theatre Dance
At 18 I knew I wanted to perform, but in what I wasn’t sure. I was interested in musicals, contemporary dance, theatre… The choice of potential schools and courses was overwhelming, and my main reason for choosing London Studio Centre was that it would allow me to keep training in a wide variety of styles and genres. It was a decision I have never regretted. Not only did the diversity of the course keep me interested and challenged (I feel sure I would have floundered in a more subject-specific course), it has left me with a very wide base of skills which have been invaluable to me since graduating – opening up the types of work available to me, and giving me a huge range of styles and influences to draw on. I now consider this versatility my greatest strength as a performer, and it is evident in the diverse work I have done since graduating – ranging from abstract contemporary dance, to jazz dance theatre, character roles in opera, and movement direction for theatre productions.
The course at LSC is not only physically demanding, but intellectually challenging too. The academic side of the course really helped me develop a critical eye for performance, and made me hone the way I perceive and critique dance work. I think this has given me a deeper appreciation of the work that I do and the processes behind it, and has also given me the tools to become a confident teacher – something that came as quite a surprise to me! I hope to take a postgraduate course in the future and feel that LSC’s BA has given me a solid basis to start from.
Having acquired a very wide skills base in the 1st and 2nd year and tried out a variety of different styles, I was able to confidently make the choice to specialise in contemporary dance in my final year. My time in Intoto Dance Company was so beneficial to me – refining and developing some of the skills and techniques we had begun in the previous years. I left the company feeling less like a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ but a professional contemporary dancer with a gamut of contributory skills and experiences. Leaving college for the ‘real world’ could have been a very daunting concept, but the experience of having worked in a company environment had given me a good understanding of what to expect and prepared me very well for the professional arena. Working with professional choreographers for the Intoto tour had also allowed me to establish some important contacts in the dance world, which proved absolutely invaluable to me at the start of my career – my first job was with one of our guest choreographers!
I think very fondly of my time at London Studio Centre – I really feel that individual personalities are encouraged and nurtured, which makes it a very vibrant place to be! I met people at LSC who I’m sure will be friends for life, and am really glad to have kept in touch with some of my teachers, whose help and guidance still comes in useful! Overall, it was the ideal place for an ‘all-rounder’ like myself, which allowed me to follow my interests, nurtured me as a person, and left me with the tools and training of a standard I needed to forge a very exciting and varied career as a professional dancer.
Graduated in 2007 with a 2.1 in BA Hons Theatre Dance
I still remember my audition day at studios…at the time I had auditioned for eight of the other leading dance colleges and studios was my last. I knew as soon as I walked in the door this was where i wanted to be, the current students were friendly and smiley and the staff were happy to help.
My time at studios was inspirational. We had some of the best teachers in the business not only on a day to day basis but the guest teachers who were currently working gave us a taste of what we could be doing when we left. The course itself gave me a vast knowledge of the industry…what would be expected of me and what I was to expect.
My third year is the one I look back upon with the fondest of memories. I took the Jazz route with our mentor Petra Siniawski. Her ideas and teachings were motivating and artistic. She brought in choreographers who we auditioned for and together we created a graduate show.
I have the upmost respect and admiration for all who taught me at studios, I was enriched and developed as a performer and it widened my knowledge of the industry allowing me to have a successful career as a performer.
Since leaving i have been lucky enough to work vastly in all areas of the industry. I have worked with artists such as Enrique Englesias, Will.I.Am, Kanye West, Take That, Madonna, Will Young, Snoop Dogg, Pixie Lott, Paul McCartney, Taio Cruz…and any more…I have done six tours to date with not only pop artists but also Operatic stars too. I have been in commercials, films and extensive live TV, and have also with my height been able to branch into fashion.
In my opinion I believe London Studio Centre is the best Dance College, and I am proud to say I trained here.
Graduated in 2004 with a 2.1 in BA Hons Theatre Dance
London Studio Centre gave me the knowledge and technique to succeed and survive in the industry. The wide variety of classes, lectures and teachers allow you to understand and appreciate all aspects of Dance as an art form.
I graduated feeling capable of performing in any part of the industry. I have worked in Musical Theatre, Television, Corporate events, Pantomimes, Choreographed, and taught all over the UK. The versatility in the college leaves you no restrictions to branch out and fulfil your dream.
The great thing about LSC is that because the building has many studios and students, it gives you the reality of the competitiveness of the industry and like all things in life; you have to push and believe yourself. This is the only way to succeed in the industry.
I enjoyed the freshness of teachers from the current industry who would keep you up to date on everything happening in the outside world. Another highlight is after a while you are able to customize your own timetable choosing classes to major in. You can either pick your strength to thrive in or a weakness to improve in.
I chose LSC because it has a university feel. You get treated like an adult giving you a grounding that would last long into your career.