Last week I interviewed the Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey on stage, at the Youth Dance England conference, in front of more than 300 people from across the world.
If you had told me that I would be doing that a year ago I would never have believed you!
I was thrilled when I was asked to do it (with Demi Cooper, another Ambassador), but equally nervous about getting it right.
In the interview I asked the Minister some pre-prepared questions about the future of dance for young people and what he thinks should be done to support it. This is a subject that’s personally very important to me as I’m training in dance and hope to become a professional performer. Once the interview started I soon found that I had other questions to ask that I hadn’t prepared for, but as the conversation went on in a very relaxed and fun way, I felt comfortable to pursue my train of thought.
The role of an Ambassador
I’ve only been an Ambassador since July this year, but relish the role and the opportunities it brings, such as being part of Youth Dance England’s conference and taking part in the interview with Ed Vaizey. The National Young Dance Ambassadors were set up in February 2010 and we are a small group (eight currently) of young people who are all interested in dance, not just performing dance but choreographing and the ‘behind-the-scenes’ roles that all make dance happen.
I wasn’t always interested in dance, in fact ten years ago I was an avid rugby player. I was introduced to dance by teachers and realised how much I loved it. I have been performing for a few years now and taken part in the National Youth Dance Festival in 2006 and 2008, but since becoming an Ambassador I have been surprised by how much I have learnt about all the jobs, opportunities, skills and even debates about dance that exist.
All the Ambassadors applied for this role and took on responsibilitieswith it to represent young people, which is why I jumped at the chance to be involved at interviewing Ed Vaizey.
One of the most important questions I asked the Minister was what support he felt was needed to help young people get jobs in the creative industries, as I and hundreds – if not thousands – of other students will be looking for jobs in the next few years in a very competitive marketplace.
Youth Dance England conference news story
YDE Youtube video: Are you a young creative?
Chris Scott is a National Young Dance Ambassador, aged 20 from Berkshire and currently Studying at London Contemporary Dance School based at The Place.