Meet dancing queen Lynnette who has choreographed a new show inspired by Ed Sheeran
PUBLISHED: 16:14 08 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:29 08 February 2020
Born in Ipswich, Lynnette’s love of dance led her to join Splinters Youth Dance Company, Suffolk Dance (now DanceEast) and The Janet Kinson School of Ballet during the 80s.
At 17 she moved to London to pursue her dance training at The Laban Centre, now Trinity Laban. Since meeting her husband and having children she has returned to Suffolk. More recently she returned to Goldsmiths College, London to study for a Masters and is now a Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist working with young people with a learning disability, some of whom are now artists in dance. Here she talks to Gina Long.
What is your connection to East Anglia?
I was born in Ipswich, where my career in dance began. Although I moved to London to pursue my dance training, I returned with my husband to bring up our two boys up in beautiful Suffolk, where we've spent so many happy days with family and friends.
What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?
The beautiful light, sea and space.
What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?
A lack of good, safe cycle paths.
What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?
The Walnut Tree, Thwaite. The best vegan and vegetarian restaurant for roasted mushroom wellington.
What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?
A long walk on the beach with our dog Basil.
What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?
The Scallop, Maggie Hambling that sits at the north end of Aldeburgh beach. Hambling describes The Scallop as, 'a conversation with the sea' which I love.
What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
First Light Festival, Lowestoft. 2019 was the first 'First Light' and it was brilliant! I was one of 24 dancers who each performed a solo on the hour every hour over a 24 hour period on the beach in Circadian, a dance work by choreographer Rosemary Lee. My slot was at 1am as the moon turned red - it was a wonderful dream-like experience. I do hope the festival will take place every year!
What your specialist Mastermind subject?
What is always in your fridge?
Oat milk for the best cup of tea.
What's your simple philosophy of life?
Just move your body as much as you can, preferably to music!
What's your favourite film?
After much deliberation I've narrowed it down to the top three! It very much depends on my mood but one of the most important films that I'd tell anyone to watch is, 'I, Daniel Blake'.
I love the moving magic of Pan's 'Labyrinth' and the last one is 'Up'. My son then aged 10 went to the cinema to see this with his lovely Auntie the day my Mum passed away. It felt as though this film was made for this moment to help him get through the painful days ahead.
What was your first job?
Age 12, washing up at the Belstead Brook Hotel as it was formerly known, which helped pay for my ballet lessons at St Mary's Stoke Church which rather poignantly was where my grandparents were later buried who were both dance teachers.
What is your most treasured possession?
Any photos of our lovely Mum.
Who do you admire most?
Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, and Scilla Dyke MBE, for her services to dance.
What is your biggest indulgence?
My camera and the best honey.
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What do you like about yourself most?
I'm a vegetarian, I try to reuse or recycle where I can and I mostly wear second hand clothing.
What's your worst character trait?
My work space is chaotic but apparently people with messy desks are more prone to creativity, risk taking and messiness can inspire!
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
New York for a crazy few days or any of the vast beaches of North Norfolk where Basil, our dog can run for miles.
Best day of your life?
Can I have more than one..?! The days my sons were born and my wedding day/holiday in Mauritius. Going to see Erykah Badu/Jay-Z with my eldest son and Ed Sheeran last year with my youngest. Any day that our favourite people meet up at the beach hut and dip in and out of the sea with us.
What's your favourite breakfast?
What's your favourite tipple?
Pedro Ximénez sherry.
What's your hidden talent?
I know all the words to Rappers Delight by the Sugarhill Gang and performed it once at my best friend's wedding!
When were you most embarrassed?
When I was asked for my sheet music at an audition for a very good musical theatre school - I hadn't prepared this so I just plumped for Raindrops on Roses from Sound of Music - acapella.
It was a disaster.
What's your earliest memory?
Age three or four, my mum washing my dirty feet with soapy water in a bright red washing up bowl.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Kate Bush's 'And Dream of Sleep'
Tell us something people don't know about you?
I once had a chance meeting with Joanna Lumley at her nephew's confirmation and spoke about the many ghosts in her house. I remember hoping that this very brief but clearly deeply profound exchange would automatically make me her new best friend but I've not heard from her since…!
What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
Over the years, anything that starts with 'You're not bad at…' and ends with, '…..for a girl'.
Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.
I love that we can be in London in under an hour, countryside and seaside in less than 20 minutes. I have also been very fortunate in working at DanceEast, one of the best dance facilities in the U.K which is right on my doorstep in Ipswich. Suffolk Dance as it was formerly known, was where my career began over 25 years ago working with young people with a learning disability, some of whom are now artists in a dance company called Spin Off which I've been artistic director of for the past 25years. It's been a wonderful journey and one that continues to grow and inspire me. I look forward to what the next decade brings!
What do you want to tell our readers about most?
On February 15, Spin Off Dance Company are performing in the Ed Sheeran exhibition space at Christchurch Mansion. The Love Letter is a piece choreographed by me and the company, inspired by all things Ed Sheeran and what it is to love…each other, ourselves and this beautiful planet we get to live and love on. There are two performances - 11am and 2pm. Tickets are free but booking essential! https://www.danceeast.co.uk/performances/spin-off-made-in-suffolk-performance/
For enquiries about Movement Therapy please visit - lynnetteking.com
To see my work as an independent dance artist, alongside collaborator Mary Davies please visit maxandwaynedancetheatre.com
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