Meet our new Graduate Dance Placement, Sophie Lorimer Hi, I’m Sophie and I am two months into my Graduate Dance Placement with Rubicon which is funded through the Kickstart Scheme and am loving every second of it. During my placement I am work shadowing three of Rubicon's highly skilled and experienced dance leaders in their sessions ranging from work in primary schools to live streams into hospitals for people with dementia and everything in between, alongside having weekly and thorough mentoring sessions with Tracey. I started my placement on 6th of December, the last week of sessions before Christmas! It seemed like a strange way to start, coming in at the end of a term, but the amusing Christmas jumpers and the sharing of Christmas spirit ended up being a great way to break the ice with the participants and leaders that I would be working with for the next couple of months. After a couple of weeks of inductions to the organisation and individually meeting everyone who works for Rubicon via zoom, it was all systems go and my shadowing programme started. My programme so far has been a mix of online and in person classes, a combination that I have thoroughly enjoyed. It has been incredibly interesting to see how the Rubicon Dance leaders have adapted and have been able to create and sustain dance sessions that are still accessible throughout the pandemic. It is a testament to how adaptable and versatile the leaders are. Alongside adaptability, the leaders have a remarkable number of skills that I hope to one day have myself. I am trying to be as sponge-like as possible, soaking up all that I can from all of them and the different things they bring to the table. I come away from every single session writing pages and pages of notes – I think I may go through a few notebooks during these six months! The thing I am loving the most so far though is the participants – they are all so enjoyable to work with and so loyal to Rubicon and it’s a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of. I feel honoured to meet and work with each and every one of them and I leave every session smiling from ear to ear because of the joy they bring me. The kids in the contemporary and street classes are so hardworking, confident in their abilities and creative, the participants in the open session for disabled dancers are so friendly, funny and engaged in the sessions, and the participants in the stroke rehab sessions are so resilient, inspiring and banterous. I can’t believe at the time of writing this I am only five weeks into my shadowing programme. I feel like I have been part of Rubicon for years. The way the leaders have welcomed and supported me in their sessions, the participants have accepted me and been so kind to me since day one and Tracey has been there whenever I needed her has led to me feeling like I belong, I am welcome, and I will thrive here.