News: Eliot Dreams of Dancing in New York

Friday 31 August 2012 by Sarah Golding

Eliot Smith

Eliot Smith, who recently graduated from London Contemporary Dance School, has been offered a place at the Martha Graham Dance School in New York City.

It was Robert Cohan, Founding Artistic Director of The Place, who advised Eliot to audition for the Martha Graham Dance School. Cohan trained at the Martha Graham School, and began his professional career in dance when he joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1946.

Eliot auditioned and soon after was offered a place at the school plus part scholarship – the maximum scholarship they give. The two-year dance course costs £30,000 and Eliot has raised £10,000 so far. He has until November to raise the rest of the money, which he is hoping to do through sponsorship.

Eliot started dancing at Dance City in Newcastle at eleven years old. In 2006 Eliot founded his own youth dance group, Brazen Dance Company. From there he continued his dance training with Dance City on their Centre for Advanced Training Scheme for Ballet and Contemporary. In 2008 Eliot transferred to Laban Centre for Advanced Training and went on to study at Lewisham College in London gaining a first in Dance Foundation. During his time at The London Contemporary Dance School he was made an ambassador for the 2012 Olympics for the North East and in February 2011 Eliot was commissioned to make a brand new work to help raise money for Westminster Cathedral.

On hearing that he has been accepted in to the Martha Graham School Eliot says,
“My emotions are both joyful and lost as I need help to make this dream a reality. The school has given me a part scholarship, however, I still need to find more to help me study at this amazing school. This is such a huge opportunity.”

He explains,
“It’s been ten years since a British dancer or choreographer visited or even trained at The Martha Graham School so it’s not just me going over there to learn the dance technique it’s to learn the dance language of the people who first learnt to dance under Martha Graham and bring that back to Britain.”

For more information about Eliot and his choreographic work visit,

Related article: Sara Nichol, The Journal, 3 Aug 2012

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