Come fly with me, let’s fly AND DANCE away!

Dance Ambassador Johanna Hadley tells us all about her recent photo-shoot at Manchester Airport.

Recently, the Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors have been filling Twitter with pictures of themselves dancing anywhere – before we knew it, a #danceanywhere phenomenon was created. #danceanywhere was then opened out to the public in the form of a competition – with the prize of five photos being chosen to appear in the ‘Dance on Film’ exhibition in The Lowry Galleries from 8th March-27th July 2014.

Manchester Airport Group have just announced that they are to sponsor dance at The Lowry in 2014-2015, and to celebrate this sponsorship, I was asked to participate in a #danceanywhere photoshoot at Manchester Airport. The Lowry felt that, because Manchester Airport are bringing dance to The Lowry, that The Lowry would bring dance to Manchester Airport!

I thought that I would tell you the story behind some of the photos:

Johanna Plane

The Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport is the home of the Concorde, Nimrod and Trident to name but a few. We decided that the Concorde would be our focus as it is so famous. My height is only 5’5”, and I was quite astounded by how low the ceiling was in the aisle of the plane; I tried poses where I lifted my leg up… but it wouldn’t fit. I tried lifting my arm above my head… and it hit the ceiling! So, the only pose I could really execute in the restricted space was a ‘penchée’ (in ballet terms, this is where you are tilted forwards), as seen in this picture. We did try some photos in the cockpit of the Concorde too but the ceiling was so low, I couldn’t even stand up straight! It was fascinating seeing all the buttons and switches in the cockpit – one can only imagine how difficult it must have been to fly a Concorde!

Johanna and Jonathan

The Runway Visitor Park had been closed to the public on the day of our photoshoot – however, the story was very different on the Skylink for this photo! We were on the main link to Terminal 3 – we had quite a few strange looks from people, while some absolutely loved seeing us dance in the airport. I dread to think what anyone who passed us, perhaps visiting the country for the first time, must have thought of what goes on in UK airports! People, seeing us dancing around, were quickly whipping out their mobile phones to take pictures of us. Then… the police. Seeing the use of cameras in the airport, they came to check that we had gained permission for the photographs, of which Paul (the Manchester Airport representative, who escorted us around on-site) was able to give them all the information they needed, and we were able to continue with the photoshoot. It was very reassuring to see how vigilant they were, checking the validity of our photoshoot – Paul said that whenever anyone does a photoshoot in the airport, the use of cameras always attracts the attention of the police. In this photo also is Jonathan Poole, who, after training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and dancing around the world, now works as the training manager for the Centre of Advanced Training at The Lowry.

#danceanywhere going international at Manchester Airport

Our next photo opportunity came at check-in, where a very kind worker from Aer Lingus agreed to have his picture taken with me. If you ever look at this picture and wonder what the conversation was at the time, it went something like this:
“Wait one minute, this isn’t your passport!”
“I know!”
“It isn’t even in date!”
“I know!”

I had borrowed the photographer’s assistant’s passport for the picture!

I really would like to thank this Aer Lingus worker (we never managed to find out his name) for being such a great sport at the photoshoot!

Johanna Kick

For our final location, we headed to Departures, where crowds began to gather watching us dance. People in the airport were stood around, trying to imitate our poses and testing out their ballerina skills. This picture was repeated many times, as the photographer wanted to take the picture from a few different angles – but I would say that this picture is one of my favourites!
We all enjoyed a great time at the airport, but were very tired afterwards as it was such a long day. Actually, the day of this photoshoot was on my birthday – it certainly won’t be a birthday that I will forget!


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