In an emotionally charged dance series, Fx Goby explores themes of belonging and acceptance through movement. The films capture moments of vulnerability and power from each of the dancers as they share their unique experiences through intimate interviews and moving performances. Fx was inspired by the educational work Scottish Ballet is doing in schools, using dance as a medium to talk about homophobia, racism, ableism, sexism and bigotry: “I wanted to create a series of films that would show a diverse group of people who all used dance to overcome hurdles in their lives. I wanted them to shine in the way they chose.” Get to know each of the dancers below.
Taking centre stage in the oldest music hall in the world, Nikita Gold, a drag queen with Down’s Syndrome performs a playful and captivating routine.
“Two years ago I found drag and joined as a full time member of Drag Syndrome and a whole new wonderful, sparkly world of surprises opened up to me!” Nikita went on to say “I love performing, it means the world to me to express my true self in dance. I love my career and it’s been so exciting working with the film crew to create such an amazing and inspirational new project.”
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After a heroic fight back from complete physical shut down, Madeline who is a First Artist with Scottish Ballet and trained at English National Ballet School talked about the fluctuating nature of her disability.
“Working with Fx was an amazing experience. Because of his genuine nature I felt I could trust him to share my narrative. As with most artists at this time we haven’t had a live audience in so long. When we did the first take I finished and I heard everyone clapping, cheering, but brilliantly I heard Fx screaming! At first I was taken back and then I realised they’re clapping my performance! It was an amazing feeling and moment that I had missed!”
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Saul Nash is a dancer and fashion designer who made peace with the tensions between two parts of his identity, his homosexuality and his life as a hip hop dancer. This moment of awakening was captured at dawn in Kew Gardens.
“As an artist it is important for me to be able to share my stories in the hope of inspiring others. This project spreads an extremely positive message in encouraging people to feel comfortable in their own skin. This really resonates with me.”
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For Annie Edwards, Fx created cocoon specially created to give her a safe space to be herself while suffering from the pain dance brings to her body. Annie started dancing when she was young in a mix of styles including line dancing.
“Dance, to me, means agency, embodiment and power. It’s a place where all your desires can be followed and imagined. To be an artist in this film has been a wonderful opportunity to explore my own experience in collaboration with others; to be seen, and sharing this through dance and film feels like a powerful exploration.”
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Hayaat zahra shah
For Hayaat zahra shah, a trans woman and classical Indian dancer born in Pakistan, dancing was instrumental in embracing her femininity and cultural heritage.
“When I started dancing, I felt the most permanent side of me just came out. If I didn’t find dance, I wouldn’t have been the woman I am today. Dance to me is telling my story through dance. It’s a piece of Art.” For this layered story, Fx created an unveiling moment where Zahra’s elegant movements are revealed to the camera. Of the shoot itself Zahra said, “working with Fx was a honour, with such a talented, beautiful and trusting spirit. I felt so lucky! I’m glad I trusted him with this!”
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In Fx’s captivating portrait of professional dancer Mukeni Nel, positivity and self-acceptance shines through. When recalling the experience, Mukeni said:
“This project Means a lot to me, especially after the year we’ve had. To be able to share what I love to do with so many people and with other amazing artists, I feel extremely lucky. To be an artist in these times has been hard but it’s made me stop and think why I started dancing, and in a way ignited the flame and passion in which I started dancing.”
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