Saturday, 5 December 2020

Outside the Spotlight: Seven Dials with Christina Shand | Captured by Liz

Outside the Spotlight is brought to you by Captured by Liz in partnership with Pocket Size Theatre, this series of articles is sponsored by Pointe & Flex, a stylish and motivational stationery brand created for dancers, dance teachers and everything in between! From diaries to notebooks, pens to pencils, planners to action lists, Pointe & Flex are here to make sure you stay on top of everything so you can thrive in your industry. Click here to find out more.

It’s almost like meeting her in her backyard, as Christina knows every corner of Seven Dials in central London. Christina has spent many an hour in the area over the last couple of years. She was in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and for the past three years has worked as an instructor at Digme Covent Garden (former Another Space). By the time we meet on a sunny Monday, she’s already taught two cycle classes in the studio, and has another one later on. “It helps me to switch off.”

As we wander around the narrow streets and flashy windows of Covent Garden, we stop every now and then, still surprised by how quiet it is in the usually busy area. “It’s so beautiful here, and there’s so much around”. Does she have a favourite shop in the area? “Not really. I love a coffee, and there are so many to choose from. But things around here can also change so quickly.” 

Christina has been part of lots of different kinds of shows, in town, on tour, and even in other countries. “It can be exhausting, and hard on you in many different ways. But I love what I do, and it’s given me so many great experiences, and the most incredible group of people.” Christina spent two years as a swing in 42nd Street, which included an amazing performance at the Oliviers at the Royal Albert Hall, on ITV this morning and the show being professionally filmed and screened in cinemas across the country and the world. “I had so much fun on that show. It was really special”. 

Christina enjoys being back in the centre regularly for classes, and normality coming back slowly. Last year, she toured the UK with Club Tropicana, which led her across the country to different venues week after week. Her boyfriend has been working basically throughout lockdown, and she’s tried to stay as active as possible. Having been in physically demanding shows like Starlight Express in Germany, or 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Christina knows how to take care of her body and her health. “I’ve found a great outlet in fitness and exercise, and especially these past months it has helped me a lot to stay mentally and physically fit”.

Christina likes staying active and exploring whenever she can. “I love seeing new places, and there are so many things to see in the world. But being away also always reminds me of the special places at home.” If this period has done one thing, they remind us of what we really love in life, and the things we appreciate most. You often don’t realise how much you love something until you’re no longer able to do it. 

“Last year on tour, and especially these last couple of months, have reminded me of how much I love this part of the city, and also being in the studio. It’s important to take care of yourself. Not just physically but mentally. Find something that helps you do that.” Just looking at the number of classes she teaches, you can tell she loves what she does. 

This article has been written by and photographed by Captured by Liz, published through Pocket Size Theatre. The article has been sponsored by Pointe & Flex Stationery

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