Performer Layton Williams is best known for his starring role in the BBC’s hit sitcom Bad Education. He began his career on the West End in title roles Billy Elliot and Thriller Live.
He has also performed with Matthew Bourne in Lord of the Flies and The Car Man and has toured with Hairspray and Rent.
This was his fourth workshop in as many years in Norwich, where he is always popular with dancers. Starting with an intense warm-up, working on body strength and core stamina, he then moved to technique and corner work.
The choreography was to Lady Gaga’s hit Fashion, which was sassy, commercial and intricate. Students ranging from 12 to 36 years-old were in attendance and the ability level was just as varied from absolute beginners to recent returnees from post-grad courses.
Owner of Passion Productions, Scott “Scooby” Atkins, said it was a great session for everyone involved.
He added: “It was such an amazing opportunity to bring together this many people of different ages and backgrounds from across East Anglia to share the experience. Layton is inspirational to our next generation of performers which is why we keep asking him back.
“He pushed everyone to the limits of their capabilities whilst reassuring confidence in people. Everybody was there to have fun and in Layton’s words… ‘Live’.
“There were no judgements or attitudes, everyone was there to learn from a professional and enjoy themselves.”
Also in attendance were members of the region’s only all-male company LEGACY, which was formed after the Lord of the Flies project by Matthew Bourne. The acclaimed programme saw local boys aged 10-25 undertaking themed workshops in the hope of landing a part in the touring production, of which Layton was a part.
At the recent Lord Mayor’s Celebrations, Passion Productions were the only dance company to perform on the main stage. They are next performing at Norwich Pride in Chapelfield Gardens on Saturday, July 29.
The company is currently recruiting new members for their Wednesday classes which run from 6-8pm at The Garage. New starters can enjoy their first class for half price (normally £7) using the code “PassionArchant”.