Hey! I’m Danielle and I’m Creative Arts Assistant for G-Expressions. My role means I support both the dance and drama elements of G-Expressions. Despite only being in the role for a couple of months, my journey with G-Expressions began way before then.

So let me take you way back to the beginning….. 

My story starts here, on this stage, where I was performing with my organisation ‘Portishead Youth Centre’ back in October 2018. I produced the showcase as part of my BAhons degree, and as a result had invited members and partners of the University South Wales along to watch. We sold out, filling a room with 250 audience members…… within these, were the G-Expressions team. This is where I first came to know exactly who these people were, and what they strived for, and I think it’s fair to say I was inspired from day one.

Fast forward a couple more months, and the link between my organisation and G-Expressions grew stronger, as my dance crew were invited to perform as part of the opening of ‘Hard Knock Life’ a recent production by G-Expressions. Watching the show, and also seeing an incline of the back stage action only rose this organisation even higher in my admiration, as a dancer and youth worker myself, the show I saw in front of me was basically everything I was striving for in my own development. I wanted my own work to be of this standard, with this response…. having this impact! I remember one of my colleagues dropping into conversation on the way home, ‘Dan this could be you one day’. And I quote my exact words were…..

What a dream they’d be to work with”. 

Fast forward eight months…. and I can in fact confirm that they are a dream!

After deciding to move over the bridge to Newport in September 2019 in order to complete my third and final year at Uni without the pressures of 6am trains and long winter commutes…. I found myself on placement, with the organisation who for the last year had inspired and shaped the professional I had striven to become. I felt like I had hit the ultimate jackpot, after pursuing a passion in dance for the last 4 years, how lucky was I that in the mayhem of the move, this was the one thing I didn’t need to leave behind. But with this came some nerves… Did I have what it took? I may have been a confident spark on stage, but that spark dimmed when it came to my own self-belief. But here I was among a team of professionals who were trusting me…. trusting me to make a lasting impact on their organisation… trusting me to deliver, represent and promote what they had been building for the last 10 years…..Me? ….Really?

Well if that’s not a confidence boost in itself I don’t know what is!

Moving away from home was never on my agenda, Not yet anyway. I never saw myself as the person who would fly the nest at 21, and if I’m honest I don’t think part of me even thought I’d be the person who would be graduating with a BA hons degree, but yet here we are…. 2 months into my time living in Newport, 6 months away from Graduation day…. and a massive part of that is down to the team who inspired me. The team I now get to be a part of. 
Looking over the past 9 weeks, I every now and then in moments of quiet amount the busyness,I still question how I really ended up here…. getting to pursue my two passions… Youth work and performing arts… and more than that, getting to support young people in bringing their own passions to life. But the development doesn’t end in the studio. G-Expressions has grown my confidence and skills, in many aspects of my life, my academics, my professionalism… but most importantly in myself., and the person I have the potential to become.

So now it’s my turn to do the same!

The support I have recieved from the organisation, and the spark they have put back in me, is what now drives me in my new role, to promote and find that same confidence in the young people we work with. I’d like to believe that I can create the same opportunities for them as I had created for me and support them in their own journey of self-discovery and following their own dreams.   
G-Expressions has opened so many doors for me, doors I didn’t even know existed… Doors I definitely didn’t beileve I had the potential to open and if I can give even a percentage of that back for future generations… then I’ll call my career a success! 
I am so grateful to G-Expressions, for the example they set me from early on, which inspired development in my career in the first place…. but more so, for the support, opportunities and experiences I now am living and working everyday. From supporting dance leaders courses, writing funding applications, leading classes, planning events, organising fundraising events, creating and running my own sessions… Most students can only dream of that in a 9 month period! Which only gets me thinking…..If this is month 2…… where will we be on month 9???

If you had asked me three months ago my plan for life after graduation, I don’t think I could answer, and part of me, still hasn’t quite worked it out yet… but one thing I do know, is that my journey with G-Expressions, is a journey I hope is only just beginning.