Our student of the week this week is Rachael Lynette Day who attended The Hammond from 1996 -1998 as dance student.
What is your favourite memory from The Hammond?
Where to begin; I absolutely loved all of the preparations for the end of year shows. With being a dance day student I loved being able to stay at the boarding house for the 2 weeks during rehearsals and performances, we had so much fun during this period due to the buzz of performing on stage. One memory in particular stands out for me; when choreographer Geoffrey Cauley chose Yedra, Sheryl and myself for a one of piece created solely for us. It was an honour to be asked, and to perform.
Getting changed in the ice cold portakabins is a memory I will never forget, along with the yearly Carol Service held in the local Church with our musty school capes. I have such a long list of memories shared that it is impossible to put into words.
What did you go on to do?
I started dancing at the age of two, competing in local dance festivals across the Northwest and Wales; where I won the title of Welsh National Ballet champion. I joined The Royal Ballet Lower School in London at the age of 11 and attended The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet’s summer and Easter courses, it was only in the third school year I began at The Hammond.
After The Hammond I continued my dance training at the The Royal Ballet’s Upper School at the age of 16. During this time I performed with The Royal Ballet at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Holland Park, and The Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Repertoire included The Nutcracker, Giselle, and many galas. I also secured a contract with The English National Ballet for a production of Sleeping Beauty at The a Royal Albert Hall London.
I unfortunately retired from Professional Ballet due to long term leg injuries and took a well deserved rest; however without dancing I didn’t feel complete, and so my new career began when I attended my first Cuban Salsa class.
I began Salsa 10 years ago! I have taught at several Chester venues over the last 10 years before joining, my LATINMania! partner, Lee Baker four years ago to run our very popular regular Wednesday night at Telfords Warehouse Chester. My passion for dance continues to grow, as I develop my style and technique with leading UK and International artists in mainly Cuban Salsa, Bachata, Son and Afro-Cuban, and each summer I take a group of my students to the Croatian Salsa Festival. As well as Telfords, I also teach at another regular venue in Chester presently, at Theatre Clwyd and at Salsa Congresses and events across the UK. Since January 2016 I, as LATINMania!, have hosted the popular monthly Saturday Latin Party in Connah’s Quay, North Wales. My passion for dance, discipline and energy shines through in my teaching and its this love of dance that I want to continue to share.
Anything else you would like to add?
My love of dance began at an early age, however The Hammond will always be a huge part of the reason I am still dancing and teaching today. I wish to thank all of my teachers, Brenda Last and my amazing parents from the bottom of my heart for all of the opportunities given to me, it was a privilege.
What a brilliant career – thankyou so much for your memories Rachael.