In the Spotlight: Maria Cassar, RADiate Dance Artist

An interview with Maria Cassar, RADiate Dance Artist at Spa School in Camberwell.

What is your dance training and background?

I started ballet at the age of 3 years in my home country of Malta. Here my passion for dance grew and I continued to dance and perform in shows of ballet and jazz until I decided to pursue this professionally. I moved to London to study at Trinity Laban where I received my BA(Hons) Dance Theatre. Upon graduating I joined Tees Valley Dance in North East UK, a company creating inclusive shows for children and youth audiences. Here my interest grew in working within dance and the community. I co-founded RedTape Dance company and for 6 years we created inclusive contemporary dance work mainly for young audiences between Malta and UK. Since then I continue to explore and expand my knowledge in inclusive dance practice which is why I love working on the RADiate programme.

Which RADiate setting/s do you teach at?

I currently teach two lovely primary school classes at the Spa School in Camberwell.

What is the best thing about the RADiate project?

I love that the RADiate project is an inclusive project and that we make dance and movement accessible to young participants. I love that we facilitate a way for young people to express themselves creatively and feel confident in their bodies. The RADiate team is small but very supportive for us freelance practitioners. One of the great benefits of working on this project is that throughout the year we have several training sessions that allow us to share and discuss our current practices and also provides the opportunity for us to broaden our horizons as dance artists.

What new hobby did you start during lockdown?

Our flat is already full of plants, so nature definitely became a huge focus throughout lockdown. We really appreciated watching the seasons change and the number of bird species that visit our little bird feeder. However, I did need a creative output during this past year and I became really interested in Macrame – the art of knotting. I taught myself how to design plant hangers, coasters, and even made a bedside rug!

What is your favourite food or thing to do to relax?

I love hiking out in nature or discovering new parts of London. My favourite food is Sushi.