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Alumni carving their way through the commercial industry

The Commercial industry is a notoriously difficult environment to navigate. Here at LSC we are very proud of our alumni and how they tackle the challenging nature of the industry, taking it all in their stride. 

Entering the industry well prepared makes a big impact in kick starting the careers of our graduates and here at LSC we pride ourselves in producing versatile performers educated and fit for the profession. We spoke with George Hodson alumni of London Studio Centre and graduate from the Jazz Dance specialist pathway to give us an idea of the variety of work he has been involved in after completing his training on tour with LSC's Jazz Dance Company.   

LSC: What type of work have you been involved in since graduating from London Studio Centre in 2013?

George: Since graduating I have danced for artists such as Taylor Swift, Kiesza, Years & Years and performed at events such as The Brit Awards, X Factor, VMAs, Glastonbury and many more. Most recently I've been involved in a hip hop, contemporary, spoken word, theatre production working with Avant Garde Dance Company, which out of all the high profile gigs I've done has to be the most challenging and also rewarding I've been a part of.

As well as having a passion for dance I've always been very entrepreneurial and interested in fashion, therefore creating a clothing line was a no brainer and although dance will be my main focus (for now at least) I'm loving owning my own company and getting to create things I love in material form.

George Hodson1

George (back) dancing alongside Kiesza, 2014. 

LSC: What are you enjoying the most about being part of the Avant Garde Dance Company production of Fagin's Twist?

George: This is my favourite job because it has been the most challenging, inspiring, frustrating and rewarding thing I've ever been a part of, and all these elements are shown through the production. it is made up of only 8 dancers the show is the highest possible quality and each dancer brings a fresh energy. As a collective we have all come from very different walks of life and also dance backgrounds and because of this a beautiful vibe is formed.

George Hodson

Above: George (centre back) with Avant Garde Dance Company's 'Fagan's Twist', 2016

LSC: What skills did you have from your training at LSC that has helped you when auditioning and working in the industry?

George: The main thing I can thank London Studio Centre for is my diversity in dance which I pride myself on. Due to the high standard of the faculty at the college everyone has the opportunity to be trained in many styles to a very high standard which is a great asset in this industry and is one that a lot of other dancers don't get the access to.

LSC: What advice do you have for performing arts students following in your footsteps?

George: Never stop learning, don't just leave college and think you're at the peak of your profession. Keep training, learn from inspiring people on your journey and never be scared to fail. I've talked to too many people who are too intimidated to walk into a professional class outside of college which is ridiculous because 99% of the time every class I've been in has a really positive attitude and everyone there wants to see growth, and if it doesn't then you need to remove that negative energy from your life. 

Polly Clothing 2Polly Clothing is Georges new project; a street style clothing line.

You can find out more information on social media at @pollyclothing and the website


Click here for more information about our newly revalidated BA Hons course which provides students with versatile skills, while training and supporting them through a specialist pathway into the industry.

LSC's new and enhanced Theatre Dance programme

Pathway Carousel ImageWe are thrilled to announce the successful re-validation of London Studio Centre's enhanced BA (Hons) Theatre Dance degree programme. 

From September 2017, students will be able to choose a focused pathway allowing them to specialise in Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Jazz Dance or Music Theatre, whilst at the same time experiencing the broad range of dance training London Studio Centre is renowned for. 

The new course structure will continue to let students develop through a broad and diverse programme of training, with modules allowing them to explore and enhance additional skills to enhance their versatility as performers. The course now also provides enhanced pathways for students to delve deeper into their chosen specialism throughout the breadth of the 3 year course, enriching their overall progress. 

Throughout the programme, there is a strong emphasis on performance professionalism and employability skills, ensuring students are fully equipped to thrive in the performing arts industry and beyond. 

Applications for entry in September 2017 are open until January 31st 2017. Apply now.  

Alumni demonstrate their versatility performing to 45 years of musical history

Thriller Live is now in its 8th year after opening in the Lyric Theatre in 2009 to rave reviews. To celebrate its 7th birthday in the West End, Thriller Live embarked on a world tour and a sell-out UK arena tour, played over 5000 shows globally to over 4 million fans, visited over 30 counties and entered the West End record books by becoming the longest running show in the Lyric Theatres 125 year history. This year the show has also been given a re-vamp, with new music, video elements and special effects being added to help reflect the magic and flare influenced by the latest technology that Michael Jackson always added to his stage performances. 

Thriller Live1

The stage show also emulates the groundbreaking dancing and overall spectacle imagined and created by Michael and his creative team. LSC currently have 3 alumni members working in the Thriller Live cast, Aisling Duffy (Swing & Resident Director) as well as Victoria Lamm and Helen Parsons who are both dancers in the cast.  They perform a series of high intensive show stopping routines in a wide variety of styles as the show takes the audience on a journey through Michael’s 45 year musical history, with hits inspired by pop to rock, soul to disco

Thriller Live Cast

From left: Aisling Duffy, Victoria Lamm and Helen Parsons.

Upon graduating London Studio Centre Helen Parsons received the award for Most Outstanding Performance, before joining BirdGang Dance Company, furthering her experience in Hip Hop, House and Funk styles. Helen’s other credits include amongst others, the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony, Formula 1 Grand Prix, and The National Television Awards. She has danced for numerous advertising campaigns including Adidas, New Balance, Reebok, Sports Stylist and 3 Mobile. She has also appeared in music videos, TV commercials and presented for dance DVDs including Just Dance as well as performing for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 world tour as dance captain, dancer and acrobat.

We caught up with Helen to find out more about her experience in her current show:

What are you enjoying the most about being part of the Thriller Live cast?

Helen: Being part of such a supportive and inspirational team is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job. The energy, chemistry and fun we have on stage is really unique and keeps every show fresh and fun. They are some of the most talented and enthusiastic artists I've ever met and being able to work with them and share a job we have all worked so hard on is a great feeling. We are a little family and really rely on each other to consistently perform such an intense, high energy show.

We saw you recently travelled to China to perform with the cast? What was that experience like?

Helen: Travelling to China was a great experience to share with the cast. It is one of the great things about the show - Micheal Jackson's music is still recognised and loved internationally. It was a great opportunity to perform in Macau and visit Hong Kong whilst working and we all felt very lucky that our job allows us to travel.

What skills did you have from your training at LSC that has helped you with your role in the show?

Helen: For an ensemble member of Thriller Live, your track is extremely heavily danced based from the first number of the show. The female members of the cast are in 11 numbers in the first half and 10 in the second half. Performing all these numbers at the energy levels required, is very reliant on your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems so our fitness levels must constantly be kept at an optimum level. Having such a full timetable at college which demanded our fitness levels to increase and being part of our final end of year tour in the Jazz Dance Company really made me realise how tough a professional show would be on our bodies. We gained knowledge as to where our fitness levels needed to be, how to prepare and strengthen ourselves physically and what we needed to eat and drink to be able to meet the demands of many West End shows. In terms of dance styles, Thriller contains many different types of dance including commercial, hip hop, jazz and dancing in heels. The variety of styles given to us in our training at LSC helped us become versatile enough to have experience and knowledge of many styles and be able perform them all. 

What new skills did you need to learn and develop whilst in Thriller Live?

Helen: Learning how to look after my body in terms of avoiding an injury, or if an injury does unfortunately happen, how to manage it, is the main thing I have learnt during my contract. Doing 8 shows a week, even when making sure we are warming up and stretching properly, the physical exertion can sometimes lead to physical problems no matter how careful you are. I have learnt to listen to my body and muscles and take proper care of it. This includes not dancing on an injury, extra strengthening of weak areas, visits to the physio and a lot of ice packs and hot baths.

What advice do you have for performing arts students following in your footsteps?

Helen: My advice would be never let someone else's journey make you question your own. The industry will sometimes make you think you should be at a certain point in your career at a certain time, or you should want to do certain jobs because that is what other people are doing. Being true to what you want to do, regardless of what others are doing is so important. Trust yourself and make sure you are doing everything you can to get to where you want to be. That way you can never look back and feel like you could have done more. A certain Buddy Watkins (faculty member at LSC) once said 'if your dream job came up tomorrow, would you be ready?' and this has always stuck with me. You never know what auditions will come up so as long as you are working hard and being patient - you are on the right track. Let the space between where you are and where you want to be inspire you, not scare you and always remember why you started in the first place. 

FFS: F or F *males S ake

New Hip Hop Dance Theatre presented by LSC's Jazz Dance Company.

FFS: F or F *males S ake is a fantastic new piece of Hip Hop Dance Theatre which will be premiered at the Pentland Theatre in artsdepot on Wednesday 9th November and featuring London Studio Centre's Jazz Dance Company along side some special guests. 

F or F males S ake edited for website

In a world where everything seems to be judged by what you put online, do you find yourself following the crowd? Liking, tweeting, snapchatting, taking a #selfie at every chance you get? Have you ever thought about the eyes watching you from afar? FFS creatively explores the many angles of how females are seen and how they choose to be seen through social media and life itself in a brand new piece of Hip Hop Theatre.

Carrie AnnThis new work has been created and directed by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. Carrie-Anne was one of the choreographers of Some Like it Hip Hop and is integral part of the ZooNation’s creative team, acting as Choreographer, Resident Director, Dance Captain as well as being an Ensemble member. Other credits include: Dance Star Party; Sony- Dance Game PS3 (Choreographer), Blaze: The Street Dance Sensation; UK & European Tour (Resident Director, Ensemble), Streetdance 3D (Performer & Assistant Choreographer to Kate Prince)/ Into The Hoods, a Hip Hop Fairytale – Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Novello Theatre West End, Southbank Centre & Royal Festival Hall (Resident Director, Dance Captain, Ensemble and Swing).

Having trained in all genres of dance from ballet and contemporary to tap and Hip Hop, Carrie's own individual style has a great way of blending all the different elements together to create true Hip Hop Theatre fusion.

The Jazz Dance Company are very excited to be working on this new and exciting project with Carrie-Anne. Don't miss their premier performance next week, book tickets today by visiting!

Introducing Ben Duke, Course Consultant at LSC

We are delighted to welcome Ben Duke to the London Studio Centre as Course Consultant for the Contemporary Dance Professional Option and INTOTO Dance Company, providing a critical partnership for Course and Artistic Director Sue Booker. We are looking forward to having the support and encouragement from such an exciting industry professional helping expand and nourish the creative knowledge and practice of our contemporary dance students.

BenDuke Photo Alicia Clark

 Photographer: Alicia Clark

Ben is Artistic Director and co-founder of Lost Dog Dance Company. The Company describes itself as a company “formed with the aim of creating work that is both theatre and dance…to create work in which dance is framed by stories and characters”. Their mission statement follows; “We began with an idea and we continue to wrestle with it, to say what needs to be said and dance the rest”.  Ben won the 2016 National Dance Award for Best Male Performer for his role in the production Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) and the work was nominated for a Total Theatre award and a Sky Arts South Bank Award alongside Northern Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

As well as his work for Lost Dog, Ben has directed and choreographed works for other companies, including LSC's INTOTO Dance. In April 2016 he created Kin with the circus company Barely Methodical Troupe which premiered at the Roundhouse. He has made work for Scottish Dance Theatre (The Life and Times of Girl A), Dance Umbrella (The Difference Engine), Phoenix Dance Theatre (Pave up Paradise) and for several third year and post-graduate performing companies including EDge, Verve and INTOTO Dance, who he has created 3 works for. In 2017 Ben will be creating a new work for Rambert Dance Company. As a performer he has worked with Probe, Hofesh Shechter Company, The Gate Theatre, The National Theatre of Scotland, Glyndebourne Opera and Punchdrunk. Ben is currently a Work Place artist in association with The Place.

“I am delighted to be the course consultant for INTOTO. I have created 3 pieces for the company and with each group I have been struck by their versatility and creative openness. I look forward to contributing to INTOTO in this role and in supporting Sue and her assistant Leesa in their brilliant direction of the company.” – Ben Duke