Tess D’Souza is a dancer who has a close connection with the Copperdollar Studios. She is one of the skelly-girls in the Copperdollar Immersive Performance Company and has spent many a rehearsal for their shows in the studios. She has recently trained as a Zumba teacher and is putting on regular classes in Brighton. We caught up with her to find out a little more about how she came to be involved in the world of Copperdollar.
Hi Tess, you are a dancer in the Copperdollar Immersive Performance Company, how did you first come to hear about them?
I had danced with the Brighton school of Samba and performed at a Voodoo Vauderville and really enjoyed the buzz so when I received an email from Rosaria Dawson, forwarded from Kt Simpson, asking for people to audition for an immersive performance company (who must have performed at least once) I jumped at the chance! Around 8 of us turned up (nervously) and Kt took us all on for our first show called White Nights in 2010, it was spectacular. Kt then called myself and 2 other performers back to offer us to work with her at Glastonbury which knocked me off my feet. All these years later, I’m now on the other side of the auditions and have recently helped Kt run a workshop to audition new performers.
You often rehearse at the Copperdollar Studios, what do you like most about the space and why would you say it is different from other studios?
It’s very rustic, light and airy. I’d also say it is artistic in an understated way. You can feel the character and soul of the building when you’re working there.
You have recently trained as Zumba Instructor and still use the studios to practise for your classes. How are you finding teaching?
I love it, it’s been quite an easy transition as we do a lot of public interaction dancing/leading and follow/ensemble dances in Copperdollar. The numbers are gathering quite nicely now in my classes and everyone comes away having really enjoyed themselves and smiling- me more than anyone! It’s really got me fit and I’ve had to work hard but I feel truly privileged to be doing something I love.
What would you say to people who have always been interested in going to a Zumba class but aren’t sure what to expect?
It doesn’t matter if you are a great dancer or have never danced, you’ll just follow my lead with fairly simple moves, get lots of exercise (in disguise!), jump about a lot and really enjoy yourself! You’ll leave feeling like a sexy, sweaty, well worked out heap! I sneak in lots of songs you’d recognise which adds to the buzz! A good mix of Latin, Bangra, dancehall, ragga, commercial and 80’s and 90’s!
That does sound like a lot of fun, when and where are your classes?
Mondays 7.30-8.20pm Brighton Steiner school (Zumba)
Tuesdays 7.30-8.20pm All Saints Church Hove (Zumba)
Wednesdays 7-8pm Alive Fitness (80’s and 90’s dance fitness)
Check out Tess’s Facebook page for more information: www.facebook.com/douzdance
Copperdollar Studios is the perfect space for rehearsing, check out our website to see our availability or get in touch to find out more. We’d love to meet you and show you around.