November 23rd, 2016
Today was the day of Marie’s tap class. Great to be in the Studio Theatre with dancers Lewis Normand, Lucy Clements who works at the Festival Theatre, Ellie Griffiths a theatre maker and to have Martin filming. Everyone was pretty much an absolute beginner but by the end of it with Marie’s teaching, managed to pull off a time step and a break and to do it all at the same time! It was great seeing Marie in her element and completely taking charge and instructing us all to stand in a certain position or do it again but facing her so she could see and hear. What patience she has! And of course, there were a few classic Marie one liners during the class. Katie was slowly going through the step with Lewis as he was a bit behind and Marie quipped “are there two classes going on here?” Ha! We also all had a good laugh hearing about how Marie and Audrey came up with the name ‘The Raymond Sisters’. Beautiful morning.
Doreen joined us in the afternoon and we had a good chat about the life of a dancer and the transition between the dance world and the real world. Really interesting to chat about that and discuss how confusing it can be and how it can make you quite vulnerable. We also spoke a bit more about Doreen working with Equity to make sure her chorus were getting paid fairly. She and the rest of the girls, with the help of Equity, held the producer Claude Worth to ransom and refused to go on stage unless he paid them fairly. They got the extra money but as Doreen was head girl and instigated the whole thing he made sure she never worked for him again. What a woman! In Katie’s words “I felt really touched thinking about Doreen, and I’m sure lots of other dancers up and down the country in similar situations, and how that’s the reason that dancers now can expect a fair wage.” – Janice Parker