My First Student
I sit at my desk writing this story with a heart full of mixed emotions seeing our beautiful Emma Buchanan move on from DN Dance to embark on her next great adventure, to become a professional dancer!
Emma was my very first student when I launched Dynam-nic Dance back in 2010. I remember little Emma so fondly, with her gorgeous red hair and super flexy left leg, walking up the stairs at the MGA academy on the very first day of DN classes.
On one hand there is a sense of joy seeing Emma pursue a career in dance, training at Hamilton Theatre Arts. On the other, there is sadness that she has come to the end of her incredible journey with DN. But there is also tremendous pride in having watched and supported Emma to develop from a small and shy little girl into the confident, talented, and beautifully technical dancer that she is today.
It has been one of my great pleasures to watch her grow over the past 12 years, becoming the first student to complete the full DN journey from preschool right through to professional college.
Emma’s mum (Julie) told us about her favourite early memories of Emma’s dancing, she said: “This is difficult, there so many memories. From little Emma coming home and practicing her ballet and tap exercises “hot sand”, “pick up the flowers”, and “over the mountains”. To watching her perform pantomime in the St Serfs church, Emma loved doing the pantos. Then all the dance shows, wow! Emma just loved them and never wanted them to end. Then there’s her journey being a member of the DN Dance competition team (DN Company) and all the experiences Emma has had competing. Most recently, having the opportunity to dance for her country at Dance World Cup 2022 in San Sebastian, which is something very special and I’m so grateful that she was given the chance. DN Dance to us is just one extended family, which I hope we will always be part of it.”
Emma told us “I’ve loved every minute at DN, there’s so many memories to choose from and I wouldn’t change any part of it. I think my favourite memories are doing the DN shows. I loved learning all the dances, the atmosphere at the theatre, and watching the younger dancers doing their dances was always cute. She told us “I’ll miss going to DN and seeing everyone but it’ll always be home. I can’t wait to see what happens at DN and watch how it grows even more. I’ve loved meeting all the teachers throughout the years and interacting with other classes. It’s always felt like a family environment, everyone helps and takes care of each other.”
Emma has featured in every one of our biennial DN Dance Shows between 2012 and 2022. Our first ever show back in 2012 was called The Toybox. Little Emma played the part of a ballerina who climbed out of the Toybox and made all the other toys come alive. Ten years later, in what would be Emma’s last DN show, we performed the Toybox show again. This time Emma emerged from the Toybox as a fully grown 17 year old ballerina to bring the toys to life again. It was such a beautiful moment for everyone involved with the school.
Emma showed huge potential from a young age. She was always in a class above her age, continuously being pushed. Emma has always been a great technical dancer and has shone in her dance exams. She told us “I’ll never forget the feeling of the first distinction I got in ISTD Primary Ballet, then Grade 4 Modern, and my most recent distinctions in ISTD Grade 6 Ballet and Intermediate Modern“. We were always so proud of her for her work ethic and commitment at exam time.
Emma was one of the original members of our dance competition team (DN Company), which we started in 2017. There are so many wonderful memories, but the ones that Emma remembers most fondly are “the first team competition going through to a final in Blackpool, performing ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ and taking part in my first workshop, as it was the first of many times travelling with the team“. Then more latterly, Emma competed for Scotland at the World Cup in San Sebastian. She told us: “one competition experience I’ll never forget is having the chance to compete at Dance World Cup, which I would never had been able to experience without DN“.
Messages from her teachers
We are super lucky at DN Dance to have a core group of teachers in Chanelle, Jane and Beverley who have grown with us and who are now part of the fabric of DN. Of course, the team wanted to add a few of their own words and wishes for Emma.
“I am so proud of Emma’s achievements and excited for this next chapter in her dance journey. It has been a pleasure watching Emma grow into such a gorgeous dancer and even more gorgeous soul. She has been an inspiration for our younger students in her later years at DN, and will remain one of the DN Family forever”
“I feel very privileged to have been able to be a part of Emma’s dance journey at DN. Emma was one of our first ever competition team members way back in 2016 and I feel very lucky to have watched your progression from your first performance at a charity competition to shining bright at the dance World Cup – Wowzers what a journey!”
“I have loved watching you grow and develop from a young girl with so much passion and raw talent into a young woman with exceptional technique, explosive talent and drive to take her dreams onto professional training and future career. You have been a true inspiration to your peers who have put you on a very deserving pedestal and your beautiful soul and caring nature has helped our youngest of team members feel safe and confident as they have began their own competitive journey.”
“We are so excited to see what your future holds and look forward to cheering for you from the audience. Always and forever team DN xxx”
It’s always been a pleasure teaching Emma throughout the years and seeing her develop into the dancer she is today. Emma has shown great resilience and determination to improve and master her skills as a performer. I’m so delighted and proud that she is continuing to pursue a path in dance and I can’t wait to go and support her in her first college show next year.
Emma, you’ve been a dream to teach and a great example to the other students. We’ll miss seeing your beautiful face each day at class, but you will always be one of the family at DN Dance. Now go and fly with all our love and admiration!
Miss Nicky xxx