16-year-old Maud was nominated for TrinityTalent 2020 for her achievements in theatre and choreography for her Gold Arts Award. She completed her Arts Award with Warwick School and took on the role of choreographer for three school productions within eight months.
Maud was nominated by Mike Perry, her arts tutor. Mike said: "Maud took on the role of choreographer for three main school productions in a period of only 8 months. She created and taught the choreography on a lower school production of 'Bugsy Malone', followed quickly by a senior production 'Little Shop of Horrors' and then 'Mary Poppins', our Middle School project. In each, she grew in confidence and ability and by the third project, she approached the process and demands with accomplished skill. Always supportive, always challenging, her enthusiasm helped the students and ensured the highest standards of movement were achieved."
The Trinity judges said: "We are impressed at the sheer amount that Maud has achieved, including choreographing three performances in such a short amount of time. We were pleased to see that this positively impacted lots of people in her surrounding community.''
How has your Trinity qualification influenced your creative flair?
Gold Arts Award provided me with the opportunity to choreograph dances for the musical Bugsy Malone. This allowed me to draw on my experience as a performer and experiment creatively with various dance styles, whilst teaching me numerous leadership skills. From there, I was asked to choreograph two more musicals, Little Shop of Horrors and Mary Poppins Junior. I started Bugsy with only a handful of girls and ended up choreographing huge numbers for around 20 pupils. These further opportunities allowed me to apply and develop my leadership skills and presented me with new experiences. Overall, it has been an extremely educational adventure, both creatively and in terms of leadership, and I hope that I was able to inspire young performers to continue their arts journey.
Has taking part in a Trinity qualification helped you to develop wider skills?
My participation has greatly improved my leadership skills. Each musical taught me more than the last. I was exposed to various situations and I had to continually grow and adapt my knowledge in order to tackle them successfully, which will benefit me greatly in later life. I learned a lot about how to deal with various people and maintain respect which is a particularly valuable attribute for leadership. It has not only developed my confidence as a performer but as a leader, which I had found challenging before.
Would you like to tell us anything about the challenges you’ve faced this year, and how you’ve overcome them to achieve your qualification?
2020 was certainly a difficult year for all. I was in year 11 and I learnt to cope with juggling the dual priorities of GCSE revision and Gold Arts Award. Then I had to stop dancing myself, due to a breathing condition. In addition to my four dance lessons a week, I taught dance to younger girls and boys for six hours on a Saturday. Luckily, this gave me more time to focus on choreography and produce dances for Mary Poppins Junior before lockdown, as well as revise, but it was difficult giving up something I had done for over 10 years.
What are the next steps for you following your qualification?
Although I do not intend to pursue a career in the arts, I will still perform when possible and participate in any choreography opportunities. I enjoyed teaching dance as a dance assistant so perhaps I will pick it up again. However, my main priority will be my A levels. I am currently studying History, German and Chemistry as well as an EPQ which can be quite intense. The arts have always been a release from the more academic nature of school so it will remain a part of my life. Truth is, I don’t know what will happen, but I will welcome any new and exciting opportunities with open arms.
What are your career aims?
After school, I wish to study History at university before pursuing a humanitarian role in the United Nations. Quite an ambitious goal, but there is a lot of work to be done worldwide and I want to be part of the fight against social inequalities. A creative approach will help me be innovative in any future field of work; however, the arts have taught me a lot about inclusivity. As part of my Arts Award, I looked at the historical significance of the character Jim Crow and his effect on racism in the Deep South. This is evidence of how influential the arts can be and how it was manipulated to enforce negative behaviours. In recent years, we have seen how performance has been used as a force for good internationally, by teaching about diversity and inclusivity through expression. This is ultimately the influence I wish to have.
Have you got any advice for other young people working towards an Arts Award or Trinity qualification?
Don’t be scared! The arts is all about creativity so experiment and go out of your comfort zone. It may seem daunting, but it is important to take risks. You never know what will come out of it. Be confident in your abilities. You are more than qualified to be doing what you are doing so believe it. Listen to feedback. Personally, I believe feedback is vital for Gold leadership. Every now and then, speak to your moderator or people you’re working with and ask how they think it’s going. From there, you can understand what your strengths are and what you can improve.
Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2020.