2019 update: Honoured and delighted to have won the One Dance UK 2019 Award for Dance Writing! The full list of categories and winners is here.
2018 update: In Spring 2018, I became the founder editor of Springback Magazine, a new publication model for dance writing across Europe, conceived by John Ashford of Aerowaves Europe. I have long enjoyed mentoring writers on the Resolution Review programme (The Place, London) and at Springback Academy (Aerowaves Europe). Springback Magazine takes that mentoring a quantum step up by combining it with professional publication and editorial guidance, thereby both covering new dance across Europe and nurturing new writers across the continent.
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How did I start writing on dance? By accident. I took my first dance class while I was still doing a diploma in publishing, following a degree in biology. After a couple of years working for a medical publisher, I did a one-year dance course at Laban, then got a job at Dance Books where I took on the publication design and production: copy-editing, layout, typesetting (examples here) of their books, and co-editing Dance Now magazine.
While producing Dance Now, someone suggested I try writing a review for it. Why not? That’s how the writing started. A couple of years after leaving Dance Books I got a call from Guardian dance critic Judith Mackrell asking if I’d consider some reviewing for the paper. Guess what I said.
Since then, I’ve been writing freelance for the Guardian and many other publications. The biggest single project was the Guardian’s Step by Step Guides (2008–2011) – a series of 59 user-friendly profiles of companies and choreographers that I wanted to be as engaging and entertaining as they were informative. I also conceived and scripted an animation series called Planet Dance: a visitor’s guide to contemporary dance, which as been subtitled into more than 10 languages!
One day I was doing some research and came across an article that turned out to be by – me! Time to catalogue my stuff, I thought, and I built what you see now: sanjoyroy.net.