From the age of 16 through until around 18, every Saturday and Sunday morning I’d make my way up to Sheffield to prepare for the new season with Concord Drum & Bugle Corp. I was always filled with excitement, but I also had quite a lot of nervous energy that ran through my body. Marching for Concord was a big deal, especially as previously I’d only ever marched on the BYBA circuit.

Before I knew it, we were straight into rehearsals. Learning the trumpet was always extremely difficult for me, I had lots of insecurities trying to learn the music quickly, and to do so with the best of my ability. The staff and team however were really supportive and made me feel very welcome. In no time I’d learnt a whole musical score, ready to put the music onto the field. We would rehearse in freezing cold temperatures with blustering winds one minute, and then in the sweltering heat the next. It was difficult trying to shift your body around the field in variable weather forecasts. That being said, I had a massive competitive streak in me, so I was game for anything.

During my time at Concord, I learnt a lot about discipline and how to work effectively as part of a team. The energy and the creative elements were definitely some of the highlights for me as well as being part of an ensemble, all working together for the same goal, it was just the most incredible feeling.

I can’t express how I felt when we all collectively worked hard, trying to perfect a demanding fast paced show, achieving something that was unique and very special. The repetitiveness, the determination and drive you needed in order to get through the show really helped me as I progressed in my professional career as a Resident Director and Dancer. The discipline and resilience I’d experienced at Concord prepared me, giving me the tools and determination, I needed in order to grow and transform into an Artist. There was a pool of talented dancers around the country, I had to find my own unique way of how I could stand out from the rest, my experience from marching definitely helped with that.

Joining the colour guard made me realise I had true ability to dance. My first guard show with Concord was ‘Romeo and Juliet’ I had no idea I was capable of moving like that. It was a big difference going from playing the trumpet to spinning flags on an arena, it was so mind boggling for me. I still very much have to pinch myself as I really wasn’t expecting dance to play an integral part of my career.

I believe everything I learnt during my time with concord, really prepared me for the industry, I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity.

Concord has always been an inclusive, diverse organisation. A safe place to learn and nourish new talent. My marching days are over but if I got given the chance to go back and march I would!