Roary The Tiger

My name is Éva Lourie-Russell and I am a 22-year-old dance artist based in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Recently, I have been working with Hull Dance and Ganton School to deliver dance sessions to the sixth form students with co-artist Holly Gibbs. We started the sessions by asking the students what they were interested in when it came to dancing and everyday life. This was so we could create bespoke sessions for the participants, most of whom had never danced with professional artists before. One of our initial questions was if the students had any previous dance experience. However, most of their responses included them being 

secret dancers; people who love to dance but only in the comfort of their own home. This then led to conversations of con

fidence and how the sessions are a chance to show the world our love for dancing by moving for ourselves and to the beat of our own drums! From this, Holly and I had the idea to combine the aforementioned concept with the interests of our die-hard Hull City football fan students, more specifically their enthusiasm for the team’s mascot Roary The Tiger. For those of you who don’t know, Roary is a tiger who summons the spirit and confidence of the football team and the football team’s fans, Hull City’s very own spirit animal!

Spirit animals is something we all resonated with and after establishing/exploring the notion of spirit animals in class, it was abundantly clear that this was the most fun and accessible path for the students to engage with the dance training. As a collective, we decided to carry on this exploration into our performance to show at the Creative Voice Platform that took place on Sunday the 23rd of January, 2022.
After many long hours of making, rehearsing and being featured on BBC Radio Humberside we finally had our spirit animal performance ready for the stage! However, we were not the only ones performing at the Creative Voice Platform. The platform brought together multiple dance groups from across Hull and East Yorkshire to perform to a sea of audience members at Hull New Theatre. This togetherness gave the students a chance to see other work and make friends with people their own age who are interested in dance. Shortly following the dress rehearsals and chatting to newly found friends, it was finally showtime. With face paint on, curtains raised, lights blinding and the sound of ‘The Eye of The Tiger’ playing in the background the students summoned their confidence to share their now-not-so-secret inner dancers to the platform’s audience members. Overall the participants did an outstanding job, honouring their spirit animals as well as the great Roary himself.

Moving forward, I am hopeful and eager to start working with Ganton again as well as the new groups that will be launched due to Hull Dance’s new framework ‘Move Together’, kickstarting the meeting of the secret dancers of the future.

Picture of Éva Lourie-Russell
Éva Lourie-Russell

Dance Artist
February 2022