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Face 61.

My name is Titilayo Adebayo. I see myself as an honest raw freeform dancer and a developing dance artist and my goal is to create a dance company/collective. I want to be a practitioner and innovator of dance and my intention is to travel and train. My ultimate goal is to create my own artistic form and also to collaborate with artists from other art forms.

My first ever inspiration was Alvin Ailey. I love how he paved the way for African American dance on a global scale and as a Nigerian by origin who has spent her life and dance journey always feeling unfulfilled with the global representation of African dance, I want African dance and dance techniques to be recognised, practised and respected globally.

Thus far, my training has been predominantly Western/European dance techniques. I first started training when I chose to do dance during my A level’s in Luton, in my home town. But the following year at seventeen, I moved out and lived on my own while studying musical theatre at Birmingham Ormiston academy for two years. Then I moved to London where I studied dance at University of Roehampton. This is where I began my training in Modern and Postmodern styles including; Graham, Limon, Release, Cunningham, improvisation and contact. My love and passion for dance developed and grew into wanting to be a dance artist/practitioner.

I studied abroad in New York for most of my second year of University and I gained some training in tap, commercial hip-hop, ballet, choreographic and somatic techniques. For my final year, I returned to the UK, Roehampton, where I picked modules which, focused on artistic development.

A select handful of students including myself were chosen to assist Khan in creating the choreography for, 'Big Dance 2016'. It was amazing to be part of his choreographic progress and to be a core dancer to perform the dance pledge in Trafalgar Square, London.

My most recent and significant point of development is recognising what I want to do with my dance company and the type of dance artist I would like to be. African styles are still not seen globally as influential and I believe they should be. I believe we should have far more technical and artistic development. There should be more technique classes, dance works and sub-genres.

I love the idea of Afrofuturism. The idea of a developed, forward thinking and innovative Africa, with the world of social media and technology. We as a people are much more diverse and complex as we have ever been. Through being unapologetically, I want to inspire and encourage others like myself. Those who have been the underdog, who have felt out of place, who are happy with their uniqueness but want to share it to encourage others to find theirs. People who are not afraid to dance in the studio and in front of people the way they dance behind closed doors in their room.


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