Mia Bradley Evans on movement, dedication and seeking opportunity.
Well, I best introduce myself first off.
I find that’s always a good place to start.
My name is Mia Bradley-Evans, I’m 18 years old and I’m in my second year of training to become a professional dancer or choreographer (or both, I’m not sure what I’m really doing.) But yeah I’m a dancer of sorts so far. Currently I’m studying Contemporary Dance and Performance in The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance at the Space in a little city called Dundee. I decided from an early age that I was a creative soul. I had always done something creative in my spare time. I did lots of arts and crafts, and did super well at art in school. But I suppose it just wasn’t the right creative for me. I even tried creative writing, but I struggled with that too (I wasn’t the best speller).
Then I discovered dance.
Dance was where my soul was at. I couldn’t find the words to express myself and movement was the next best thing and that’s how I found my passion. I knew it was something I was always going to do. Professional or not. I was very lucky in how I was introduced to dance in Galway. I was taught by the amazing Genevieve Ryan who showed me that dance was not all about making shapes or concentrating merely on technique but that there was a more wholesome, creative side to dance. And it’s stuck by me in a way where I can understand dance in its purest form and it’s pushed me to be a better dancer. It built my passion and I’m grateful for it.
There are opportunities in Ireland for dance but not on the same level as Scotland. With it’s ties to the UK, Scotland has more opportunities to not only perform but to see dance performances live.
Dance isn’t where it should be in Galway. Galway is great for the arts, don’t get me wrong but there’s no other way of describing it as just simply inadequate. And that’s why I had to move, to pursue my dream and to study, I had to do so abroad and it’s just unfortunate that I had to leave my country due to the lack of opportunities in my field. But at the same time, it’s opened up my world so I can’t complain.
The professional world is quite brutal, but at the same time it’s just so amazing. People are so incredible in what they do and how they overcome so much in such a competitive field. And that’s it, we all know it’s incredibly difficult to make it as a dancer or choreographer and the uncertainty of getting what you want is always there. Training completely takes over your life, it’s a constant battle of one day feeling like the best dancer in the room to knowing there’s someone out there 10 times better than you. It’s so easy to want to quit. You’re training 9-5 most days and to be honest there’s no social life either. But you have to remember why you’re doing it. It’s so hard being a student, and so many days I want to quit but you just have to stay on top of yourself. Attitude is key. I get by and that’s all that matters. It’s the pure joy you feel when performing or showing your own choreographed piece that gets you through the grueling training, and not everyone can stick it. It's very rewarding training as a dancer. I feel whole when I dance and the people I’ve met through dance have been incredibly kind to me. You grow so much in this industry spiritually, mentally and physically.
Martha Graham said, “Nothing is more revealing than movement,” and she’s dead right. You’re a whole new person when you do something you love.
You’re so exposed and truly yourself.