At RJC Dance, we have some real talent among our alumni, and are fortunate to remain in touch with many of them, often collaborating on projects and events. Learn more about some of our alumni below.
Nillanthie started at RJC Dance Youth Provision in 2002 at the age of 13. Before attending RJC Dance Youth Provision Nillanthie’s passions were basketball and football. However, his sister and cousins were members of the RJC Dance Youth Provision, and having attended a few other school clubs, he decided to give the Youth Provision a go.
After attending RJC Dance Youth Provision, Nillanthie went on to study at Northern school of Contemporary Dance, where he initially completed a one year Foundation course before going on to do a 3 year BPA Honours degree course, graduating with a smile and a pirouette in summer 2011. Nillanthie returned to his old stomping ground at RJC Dance, this time as a dance tutor. His job involves teaching the RJC Dance Youth Provision various dance styles which are showcased at numerous events throughout the year including the Yorkshire Youth Dance and the NSCD Community Dance Platforms in Spring and the very popular annual RJC Dance Youth Provision Christmas Show in December.
Omari joined RJC Dance Youth Provision at the age of 13 and was with us for five years. During that time he took part in the International Youth Exchange in Sweden, and performed his first ever poem “The Question” at the RJC Dance Youth Provision Christmas Show. This poem went on and became the start of my play “Northern Noir”.
After taking part in an RJC Dance Youth Provision project with the writing groups Dance Met Verse, there was an opportunity for Omari to attend a creative writing camp with the poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage. Omari is now a writer/director and English teacher in a high school. He directed and produced his first show, “Norther Noir” in 2019 that premiered at Seven Arts, Leeds for two nights. He has also worked with young people at Leeds Playhouse and a number of theatres up and down the country.
Before attending RJC Dance Youth Provision, Dominique was taking part in performing arts at her high school, Carr Manor. She was dancing and performing at events in school, at talent shows and competitions. She was also training as an athlete at Carnegie for Sky Rack running club (100m). Dominique joined RJC Dance Youth Provision in 2010 aged 15 years old.
Dominique travelled to Denmark with RJC Dance Youth Provision, and other memorable activities include going to Herd Farm, travelling to London and performing on the big stage every December in the Christmas showcase. After RJC DANCE Youth Provision, Dominique completed her undergraduate degree in Business Management/Dance and a Masters in Arts Management Policy and Practice in December 2017 at Manchester University.
Currently Dominique is modelling for JD Sports - you can learn more about her journey here.
Oliver joined RJC Dance Youth Provision in 2007 when he was just 15 years old. His time with us gave him the opportunity to take part in Leeds West Indian Carnival, and even an audition for Britain's Got Talent. Since leaving RJC Dance, Oliver went on to study at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. At the same time, he developed an interest in photography, which he now uses in his day-to-day role as a professional photographer. RJC Dance continues to work with Oliver, inviting him to come and shoot various events and dance camps.
Discover Oliver's story in this blog.
When Chanté joined RJC Dance Youth Provision in 2009, she was just 9 years old. For over 10 years, RJC Dance was like a second home to Chanté, and she had the opportunity to take part in some amazing activities, such as the Youth Exchange in Sweden. Since then, Chanté has carved a professional career as a Project Manager for business relocation firm.
Learn more about Chanté's journey in this interview.
Holly joined RJC Dance Youth Provision in 1999 at the age of 12, when RJC Dance were the guest resident dance company based at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance under the church. Taught by Villmore James, Holly found RJC Dance Youth Provision helped her to overcome her shyness and develop her confidence. Since then, Holly has been working for Barnado’s, supporting children who have been exploited through sex trafficking. She is also currently studying Existential Psychotherapy and hopes to qualify as a psychotherapist so she can further support the refugee children around the world.
Learn more about Holly in this interview.
Melli Matthews was with RJC Dance Youth Provision from 2003 - 2013, and experience which gave him a taste for musical theatre and jazz. During his time with us he went on two Youth Exchanges, to Sweden and France, and performed with the group at Harewood House. These days, Melli auditions in Jazz and musical theatre but also acts in TV commercials, music videos and does some modelling on the side.
Learn more about Melli in this blog.
Nicola Francis was with RJC Dance Youth Provision from 1995, which inspired her to fall in love with dance. During her time with us, she was able to perform at huge venues like Her Majesty’s theatre, The Albany theatre, The 02, The Peacock Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall. These days, Nicola no longer dances in a professional capacity but her enthusiasm for joy and self-expression helps her in her current role as a Wellbeing Advisor at a London University.
Learn more about Nicole in our blog.