Over the next few months I will be dipping into the Hammond archives and alumni database and featuring the story of a past student every week. This week our student of week is Robin Gladwin who attended The Hammond as a Dance Student from 1994-1998.

What is your favourite memory from The Hammond?

My favourite memory would have to be the end of year shows we performed at Theatre Clwyd! Doing all those classes on cold wet Monday morning in a porta cabin made it all worth it! There was always such an exciting buzz going around the school when we would start rehearsals for the end of term show. Being one of only a handful of boys I got to be in a lot of pieces which my 14 year old self thought was ‘really cool!’ One day whilst we were sitting outside the studio waiting to rehearse a piece I was walking behind Brenda Last and as I was a quite the joker I started to walk all goofy and pull funny faces behind her back. Little did I know that my 2nd year teacher Miss Naunton walking behind me who promptly gave me a stern telling off!!

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Robin at The Hammond

What did you go on to do?

After Hammond I went to continue my training at Central School of Ballet for three years. This is where my eyes were opened to the world of contemporary dance! Whilst at Central I was chosen to do a masterclass at Rambert Dance Company led by the dancers themselves. From this Christopher Bruce asked me back to join in class and learn rep and from this gave me a contract. I joined Rambert Dance Company and stayed there for 12 years.

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copyright Rambert
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copyright Rambert

What do you do now?

Since leaving Rambert I’ve toured with Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and have been in operas at Glyndebourne and Royal Opera House. I am also a founding member of New Movement Collective where I am a choreographer/dancer.

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Robin is second from the left, copyright New Adventures

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I have to say a massive thanks to all my teachers and a special massive thank-you to Brenda Last and my parents. My 4 years at Hammond would never have been possible were it not for Brenda Last, her determination for me to train there and my parents! I wasn’t awarded a grant when I was eleven so I couldn’t go for the 1st year (year 7) and it looked like the same thing was going to happen the following year, but on the very first day of my 2nd year at my local comprehensive school my father got a phone call off Miss Last and said ‘Where’s Robin and why isn’t he here?’ They were told to bring me and she would figure something out about the fees. That night my parents drove me up to the boarding house  and I woke up the next day a pupil at The Hammond School!

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Thank-you so much for your memories Robin!

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