Interview with Andrea Walker

Voice talks to dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director of 201 Dance Company about Smother, his early inspirations, and how to enter the industry!

Interview with Andrea Walker

Firstly, could you introduce yourself, and give a quick summary of your show?

Hey guys I'm Andrea, dancer/choreographer, and Artistic Director of 201 Dance Company. "Smother" is a dance show fusing hip-hop and contemporary styles. It has a strong cast of 7 dancers, and focuses on the dysfunctional relationship of two young guys.

What is your earliest arts memory?

When I was 7 I wanted to be a painter. I remember drawing stick figurines and thinking "this is my future!" (It wasn't...)

What first encouraged you to become a performer?

I watched a lot of MTV growing up and loved the dancers backing artists in music videos. Watching them really pushed me to take on this career, and it's the reason why my style is quite commercial.

Do you remember your first professional performance, and how did it go?

It was amazing! I was touring with a singer called Ebony Bones and we opened a massive music festival in France. There were over 10,000 people watching, the buzz was incredible!

What do you feel is the best thing about your job?

The fact that you get to be active and move people while doing what you love.

Conversely, what is the worst?

The constant back aches, neck pains and high risk of injury.

How do you decide whether or not a show has gone well?

"Smother" is an emotional show. If I can spot at least a few people dropping a tear by the end I know we did a good job.

If you could work with anybody, dead or alive, who would you choose to collaborate with?

I'd love to work with choreographer Brian Friedman...and I'll always secretly want to be a backup dancer for Britney Spears (I know, don't judge).

What made you want to come to Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

The atmosphere...I love how everyone is fighting to get their show out there and risking everything to be here. I wanted to be a part of that.

Is performing at EdFringe different from 'traditional' shows?

Yes! You get audiences of all different cultures and ages. I love it!

If you could travel back in time and give 16 year-old you one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don't be scared to take the scarier path, it will all work out one way or another.

What advice would you give to young people who want to enter the industry?

If you love what you do - no matter how you move, no matter what your style is - there's a place for you. Don't be scared to be "different", it might be your strongest asset.

Do you have social media that our readers can follow you on?

Yes! You can find us on:

Twitter: @201dancecompany

Instagram: @201dancecompany

Where can people catch your show during EdFringe?

We're at Zoo Southside (venue 82), 3:20pm, every day till the 27th of August


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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