SunDance Guest Instructor: Antonio Borriello

CCDT is thrilled to welcome Antonio Borriello as a SunDance "Surprise Wednesday" Guest Instructor, joining us online to teach modern technique classes from Leeds (UK) on July 8. Antonio was born in Italy where he started dancing at the early age of 8. He trained in The Netherlands at Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy, graduating with a Bachelor Honours Degree in Dance. He danced with Phoenix Dance Theatre (England), Scapino Ballet Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Florence Dance Company (Italy). He is now working as a freelance dance artist and instructor and is the Youth Coordinator for the Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds and York, and York Dance Scholars Head of Faculty. In 2014 Antonio also became a fully qualified CYQ Level 3 Personal Trainer, expanding his bodywork knowledge.

Read below to learn more about Antonio's career, challenges he has overcome, and his sage advice for young, emerging dancers.

Why do you think you gravitated towards ballet/modern/the style of dance you are currently most engaged with?

Rock’n’ roll and boogie-woogie include a strong element of creativity, interpretation and improvisation. As my first dance training experience was with these two styles when I then approached contemporary dance I recognized the same elements of interpretation and individuality: I was immediately drawn to it. Through contemporary dance I felt I could dance as myself, without necessarily having to interpret a character, a prescribed feeling, or trying to match an aesthetic. I enjoyed and still enjoy the rigour of contemporary training and the freedom that comes with using dance technique to manifest and express yourself.

What has been a career highlight for you?

There are many memorable moments in my dance journey so far: my first dance class, my audition and journey at CODARTS, my first audition as a professional dancer.

One of the most emotional experiences in my professional career was watching the Phoenix Youth Academy students perform my choreography at Royal Albert Hall in London for BBC Proms Ten Pieces, in July 2018.

Royal Albert Hall is a magical place. It seats over 5,000 people. The music for the performance was played live by an amazing orchestra and the entire show was beautifully produced. Being part of this production was a wonderful opportunity for myself and my students and a moment I will cherish and remember for a long time. What is a challenge that you have faced in your dance career and how did you overcome it?

In 2013 I had to deal with a challenging injury. Until then I had experienced only minor aches which did not require more than a few days rest. On this occasion it took me a few months to figure out how to deal with the injury. It was a learning process: the experience made me realise no matter what I was not prepared to give up dancing or let the injury stop me from working in the dance sector. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on my practice, motivated me to study fitness & personal training and it has informed my teaching practice ever since. I was very fortunate to receive great support at work and from friends and family. Their support kept me positive throughout the rehabilitation process. Do you have any advice for young, aspiring dancers?

Enjoy every step of the way and treasure every moment of your dance training.

The journey to become a professional dancer and the life of a professional dancer might not always be straight forward. From time to time is good to reflect on the feeling you had when you first started dancing, when you dreamt of leaping in a dance studio or when you danced in your bedroom imagining you were on stage. Keep trusting yourself, your talent and your ability to achieve your goals in life, and work hard, hard work pays off.

Images by Jack Thomson Photography

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Follow Antonio on Instagram for more information, dance images, and video clips: @antonio.borriello.dance

WATCH: Antonio teaches class from home during the pandemic

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