Ribble Valley Arts
Welcome to the monthly Ribble Valley Arts Q & A feature, each month we invite a Ribble Valley based creative to answer our questions, giving us an insight into their creative journey.
Introducing Aimee Lily Williamson, Dance
Aimee Lily Williamson: ‘What inspires you to be creative? Music. No matter what kind if day you are having, putting on some good music, no matter the genre, can transform how you feel.’
Dance artist Aimee Lily Williamson trained with The Royal Ballet School and gained a 1st Class Honours at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Since then she has performed with acclaimed dance companies & music theatres, toured nationally and internationally with Ballet Cymru. She has collaborated with admired multi talented singer /songwriter Cerys Matthews, as well as various works in television, music videos, festivals and film. Aimee Lily Williamson also teaches locally across all ages and abilities, from classical ballet to contemporary dance, plus movement coaching to singers, actors and performers.
See more about Aimee Lily Williamson, Dance
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A ballerina. I was told many times that I was not the right body shape to do it professionally, but loved how it felt to dance, and so kept going. I remember thinking I will just keep at it, whether as a job or not. Dance was a way of escaping into a beautiful world.
What career path did you take?
My career has taken many twists and turns. I started as a ballet dancer after graduating and then moved into contemporary dance. I’ve worked in film and television, outdoor theatre and festivals, music videos, circus companies as well as dance projects with numerous independent dance companies. I have always taught alongside and in between whatever project I’m working on, and I like putting all these different influences into my teaching. It has often been the way that once you find a person or a company that you work well with, that then sets you off on a path to more work and new opportunities. I never would have expected how far reaching and how much variety dance could bring, and I’m grateful for how my career has surprised me so far.
What is the last thing you created?
A collaboration for a short dance film called Apollo. After working in a very solitary way over lockdown, to bounce ideas off other people and work under direction was refreshing. We were all from different areas- filmmaking, SFX design, sound, and the director had a different dance background to myself. It was great having different people with hugely different talents all working on the same goal together.
What is the last book you read?
Dancing with Trees by Allison Galbraith and Alette J Willis, a book about natures role in folklore and storytelling. Now I am slowly making my way through The Kings General by Daphne du Maurier.
What is your favourite film?
Difficult to say, each film you watch reaches you in a different way. Films by Wes Anderson are always ones I want to watch again and again. At the moment I am into watching old Hollywood films, drinking in all the wit and magic of the old icons like Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall… there are so many!
What inspires you to be creative?
Music. No matter what kind if day you are having, putting on some good music, no matter the genre, can transform how you feel. I am always trying to translate music into a physical, visual thing when I dance.
What advice would you give to a teenage you?
Trust your instincts and what you are passionate about – you are right in how you feel and not to listen to those you try to draw you away from this. Hold dear and nurture the things you love, be that people, styles and interests. All these things help us to be well rounded people and stronger artists with more to give.
If you could learn a new creative skill what would it be?
Perhaps costume design, and I’d love to be a wizz on a sewing machine. Growing up, I was quite often doodling different costume and dress designs and I got such a buzz from seeing the wardrobe department at theatres, it felt like the place that held the magic poised in between performances.
What is the best & worst thing somebody has said about your work?
I remember a teacher at Rambert saying about some work I had created – ‘well, it was just a bit of nothing, wasn’t it’. Ouch! I don’t think much thought was put into the comment, but as an eager-to-please teenage dance student, I felt floored. You always want your audience to feel something, I would have rather she said she hated it than felt nothing. I’ve gradually come to not let things people say, positive or negative, sway me too much, as it can be distracting to cracking on with what you need to do. A friend once said to me ‘you write poetry with your body’ which is an idea I hold dear. Whatever our form of art, whether it is poetry, sculpture, dance, painting, it will always come back to it’s essence, and that’s emotion and expressing ourselves through the things we love.