Hi, I'm Sasha, I'm a 24-year-old UEA graduate, and I bring my dance background into my writing. I started ballet at the age of 3 and at 9 was studying at the Royal Ballet School on weekends. Being prompted to audition for full time ballet (boarding) school made me realise that my love for ballet wasn't quite the same as for those around me. I was often reading when I should have been stretching my hamstrings...
From then on, while I've continued to dance, I've understood that I enjoy being involved in varied projects at the same time. Becoming disabled at the age of 17 and then acquiring a further disability at 21 has complicated my relationship with dance and the arts more generally. I'm very engaged in long-overdue changes occurring in the ballet industry so I write a regular round-up that documents this on substack.
I love that rrramble focus on accessible forms of art and I love to celebrate the everyday. I am a firm believer that art that uplifts people is just as important as art that challenges or upsets.
If you could have written one book what would it be and why? The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. I love the way the novel grows from socio-political subtlety into a page turning adventure. While the feminist premise is less ground-breaking now than it was in 1969, (inhabitants of the planet that the main character visits have no fixed sex), the prospect of an alternative to biological essentialism becomes increasingly relevant amid the erosion of hard-fought trans rights.
A poem you can recite on demand?
The only poem that I can genuinely recite is Cats Sleep Anywhere by Eleanor Farjeon.
Which piece of media most recently moved you to cry?
I laugh and cry very easily, so the last piece of media that significantly made me cry was The Cellist, a short ballet by Cathy Marston. It follows the true story of Jacqueline du Pré's talent, her beautiful music, and the silence that multiple sclerosis wrought before her death. A beautiful pas de trois (trio) between her, her cello, and her husband. I need a tissue just thinking about it!
Most out-there thing on your current playlist?
Learning from my Spotify Wrapped this year that my 13th and 14th most played songs were Like A G6 and Who's That Chick was truly humbling. In my defence, my 'year 8 roller disco' playlist saw me through the end of my dissertation.