Our Stories - Clare Wilders (Goodman)

"As dancers, we are naturally versatile and adaptable."

Clare Wilders (Goodman) trained at The London Classical School of Dance (later known as West Street School of Dance) before embarking on a dance performance career covering modern, jazz, Musical Theatre, movies and even pop videos.

In 2004 and 2005, Clare received a Financial Retraining Grant from DCD to retrain as a Scuba Diving Instructor.

"After an extensive run, it was time to close the curtain on the Clare Goodman show. As we all know, the dancer's career is limited and I had managed to enjoy the best part of twenty years on and off. Having discovered a love for scuba and teaching, I was fortunate enough to receive funding and support from the DCD and re-trained as a Scuba diving instructor. I was lucky and swam straight from the instructor course into full time work, going on to teach over four hundred in water diving certifications ranging from absolute beginner to professionals. Putting my creative skills to use I then went on to create the DiveBunnie range of funky, girlie scuba wear, as a side line to my DiveBunnie.com website and blog.

After a successful eight years' living and diving in the glorious waters of the Red Sea in Sharm el Sheikh, it soon became apparent that it was time to return to the UK. With little options for full time scuba diving instructors in our chilly waters, and having discovered that I really did love teaching, I chose to merge my two careers, teaching and dancing.

And so, a little apprehensively I must admit, I returned to the field of dance, this time with my sights set on a teaching qualification. Bidding a heart-wrenching (if temporary) farewell to my husband in Sharm, I found myself on a plane and London bound.

I had been accepted to the Royal Academy of Dance on the renowned Professional Dancers' Teaching Diploma, and soon found myself surrounded by a fantastic team of teachers and fellow former dancers, ploughing our way through a phenomenally intensive three months. We had the RAD syllabus to learn, along with a whole wealth of teaching methods and tools, regular peer teaching on each other, practice sessions with real students and with a whole book worth of theory to write, the end of the course seemed to land in our laps almost as soon as the initial dust had settled.

And now, having made the full move back (with hubbie this time) to the UK, I am finally setting down roots. I have been teaching at the lovely Hasland Dance Studios in Herne Bay, guiding a delightful group of teenagers through their technique and pointe work classes. I have also teamed up with community dance company The Right Step in Rochester bringing dance to both extremes of the age range with their Active Armchairs program designed for older, frailer adults often in residential care homes, as well as creative, cross-curricular dance classes to primary school students. Both of which have proved hugely rewarding. And of course I have my own dance classes: Determined to help Rochester residents dance themselves fitter, I have been teaching adult ballet classes at the Rochester Dance Junction and some fun Zumba classes nearby too, both of which I thoroughly enjoy.

There comes a time when we all have to move onto another venture and just because the performance comes to an end, doesn't mean that everything has to stop. There are so many other avenues down which we can venture. As dancers, we are naturally versatile and adaptable. Without realising, a dancer gathers a whole wealth of skills along the way, organisational skills, the adaptability I have already mentioned, creativity and so much more. All of this still has value in the "real" world."

See Clare's website here.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact Ellen Chambers, Grants and Careers Officer, on ellen@thedcd.org.uk or 020 7831 1449.

You can support a dancer like Clare to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal