First year Musical Theatre students were given dance tips by acclaimed actor and dancer, Layton Williams, when he delivered an intensive workshop recently.
West End star, Layton, visited the Performance Hub to help the students prepare for their solo and ensemble performances in their first modular assessments in ‘Musical Theatre Practice’. Layton taught excerpts from professional routines for ‘Run and Tell That’ and ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ from Hairspray as well as giving the students a thorough work-out through an advanced dance warm-up.
Layton began his career at the age of 12 playing the role of Billy in the West End musical, Billy Elliot. He followed that success with the role of young Michael Jackson in Thriller Live before moving from stage to screen when he starred opposite Jack Whitehall in the TV series and film, Bad Education. He is now appearing in the national theatre tour of Hairspray playing Duane.
James Lovelock, Lecturer in Musical Theatre at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We were absolutely delighted when Layton agreed to come along and share his experience of performance and dance with our first year students. It is really inspiring for them to see how their studies can lead to viable careers in the arts and getting tips and advice from a professional really adds an extra string to their bow when they’re preparing for their own performances.”
Layton said: “I’m passionate about helping and nurturing young people in their ambitions to forge a career in the arts including acting, dance and performance. I think I gave the students a really good insight into how hard you have to work to be successful in this industry – but at the same time, I think they were all really inspired by the energy and intensity of the session.”
Tiffany Barritt, 19, from Erdington said: “It was great to have a workshop with a professional musical theatre actor whilst preparing for our assessments. The workshop was challenging and enjoyable, and Layton was fabulous. He was really down-to-earth and everyone felt at ease with him even though the workshop was very intense.”
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Anyone interested in booking a #DanceWithLayton workshop should contact: info@DanceWithLayton.com. Follow him at Twitter@laytonwilliams and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaytonWilliamsOfficial