Swindon's Revolution Performing Arts (RPA) has taken on a young local dancer to create and run more street dance classes.
Beth Cooper, 24, lives in Rodbourne with boyfriend Jamie and their little dog Rou.
Her new role with RPA is a dream job.
“Dance and performing arts are such amazing ways to express yourself,” said Beth. “I have found true joy in dancing and would absolutely love other people to do the same.”
Beth was four years old when she joined a ballet class and then, at the age of six, found her niche in Irish dancing.
Belonging to a large Irish family, she went to classes with her cousin, loved them and became a South West champion.
When she won a performing arts scholarship in Wiltshire, she learned many different styles of dance including contemporary, hip hop, jazz and tap as well as having drama and singing lessons.
She easily picked up how to tap dance thanks to her Irish dancing lessons, but then she had her first street dance class and knew she had found her calling.
Beth said: “I was 13 years old at the time and I haven’t stopped with the street-style of dance since. I knew then that this was what I wanted to do. I just simply knew!”
The feelings she had at that young age were validated more recently when she won first place in a street dance competition. She said it made her so proud of herself, as it was her first and only time competing.
Last year Beth was lucky enough to have a job throughout all the lockdowns and even moved house twice, but admit she struggled with not being able to see her family, with whom she is very close.
“My family mean absolutely everything to me,” Beth confessed. “Dancing really saved my sanity throughout the pandemic.
"It can be enjoyed anywhere – in your own home or garden and is a healthy distraction from the Covid restrictions.”
At Revolution Performing Arts, Beth will be working with people aged from six to adult. She is a firm believer dance should be uplifting and she wants her classes to be a place of complete freedom for students to have fun and learn a few cool steps.
She also stresses that dance styles should be taught correctly with a historical background, as the origins of each dance style are so interesting.
Beth is a strong advocate of people being judged solely for their effort, hard work and talent and not on the way they look, their hair or skin colour or their weight.
She said: “I have noticed that things are already changing in the dance industry and I am very excited for the future and thrilled to be joining Swindon’s Revolution Performing Arts.”
Revolution Performing Arts was founded in 2007 by Fi Da Silva Adams and specialises in empowering young people to celebrate their individuality through the power of performing arts.
RPA is based in Swindon, but operates in North Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire and has recently received a £25,000 grant from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
Fi said: “I knew I had to diversify during the pandemic, so I am launching a programme of new sessions including more performing arts open classes, circus theatre arts, musical theatre, ballet for fun and, of course, street dance.
"Beth will be creating and running the street dance classes in accordance with Government safety guidelines as soon as we acquire a suitable venue.
"I am absolutely delighted to be welcoming her to our talented team of RPA leaders.”
More information about RPA can be found at https://revolutionpa.co.uk and the organisation can be contacted at email@example.com