Emily Hughes-Lewis dancing in our Barley Sprites film

My name is Emily Hughes-Lewis and I am a freelance dancer based in London. I have been very lucky to perform around the world, in some very cool places like the Olympics and with Basement Jaxx but I can confidently say, this project has been by far one of the most enjoyable to date. When I read the brief and about Caroline’s mission to Inspire Individuality, it felt like too good an opportunity to miss. I applied for the job, thrilled to receive the opportunity to audition and found myself a few weeks later walking through country roads on my way to what I was expecting to be a very busy, nerve-wracking day.

How wrong could I have been?

I arrived to meet only a handful of dancers, all of which were very different. Most auditions you find 200 girls competing for maybe two or three contracts and all of whom look identical, sizing each other up; a very intimidating experience. Before the audition began, Caroline and Simon introduced themselves and mentioned the basics as usual, job brief, vision and how many contracts available but then went onto compliment us on our dancing based on what they had seen on our applications.

I had never experienced this before, we are usually known by number, left to warm up and then either called out or tapped on the shoulder to leave the audition if you haven’t been successful. No warm welcome or appreciation so you can imagine my surprise. We began a lovely warm up class held by Sara which allowed us to show versatility, again very refreshing to have the opportunity to show different styles. Caroline couldn’t resist and joined in for the warm up, little did she know how much that relaxed me and helped me enjoy the process. We went onto perform our solo and again received such lovely feedback. I left feeling uplifted, that was a first.

When I found out I had the job, I was ecstatic and rightfully so. I had the chance to become a barley spite or a fairy as Ted (Simon’s little boy) liked to point out. Not to mention the chance to see more of Caroline’s beautiful dresses, to work with a fantastic camera crew and team of dancers.

Gold leaf on our faces and beautiful lyrical dresses, we gingerly headed to the barley field with our fingers and toes crossed for the weather to hold out for us. A few days, cups of tea and too many bottles of hairspray later, it was a wrap. I had such a blast and cannot wait to see the finished project after Simon has worked his magic. We are performing together again soon so keep following Caroline’s website for more details. #InspiringIndividuality

Thank you, Emily, for this lovely guest blog.

Beautiful photos by Eva Tarnock, Jan Marshall and James Markland

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