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Zoie Golding

Zoie Golding on a new movement of dance

By Zoie Golding

Founder, Zoielogic

Zoie Golding, the founder of Zoielogic is choreographing a new movement in dance; without the boundaries of environment, participants and audience.

Finding her love for dance at the age of three, Zoie deferred a scholarship at the Junior Royal Ballet, choosing instead to embrace the fluidity of creative movement.

In a business where the product is sourced from the imagination, Zoie shares how she has created and curated a portfolio of performances which challenge the perceptions of dance.

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What's the source of your passion for dance?

I was a very active kid; I had a lot of energy to burn. My mum took me to ballet at the age of three, and that was it. I think it was the freedom it gave me to express myself and connect with who I was.

I started to realise I was a choreographer very early on because I enjoyed bringing my imagination to life. I like lifts, catches, throws and risks. When I was at college creating my last year piece, I got the football team to help me. Just watching these guys do that sequence opened up a whole gateway for me.

You’re celebrating 20 years of Zoielogic, what have been the highlights so far?

The highlights are when you’ve actually changed the direction of someone's life from what could have been quite destructive to something extremely positive. I worked with a lad who was in a secure unit for gang crime, and then saw him on Sadler’s Wells stage. He came on a journey with me, and his whole trajectory changed because we made that access possible.

It’s always a highlight to watch that spark change in someone, and at that point you know: That's why I'm here.

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"Dance is a very unique way of allowing you to say something, without words, in a very different powerful way. We found a way to open discussion, which is what it's all about."

What’s The Grid Experience?

The Grid Experience was a direct response to COVID-19. Connection, touching and moving together is fundamental to the way we work. I was really conscious about the people in our community who rely on that physical connection. We wanted to create something that allowed people to come together and have a shared experience in a safe environment. We made a socially distanced grid in Guildhall Square. We taught 64 people online, some of them had never danced before, and then we all rocked up. We were celebrating what it is to be together, going back to some of the simple things.

During July, you embarked on a special COVID-19 response tour of RIDE, how did that work?

We make shows to reach people who don’t necessarily engage in arts. RIDE is something that allows people to enjoy a 20-minute performance on a Ford Orion. My granddad is 99, he was on his own for such a long time that I just wanted to do something to entertain him. I knew that I could take this show to him, and then from that idea we took it to nine care home car parks. The response and joy it brought was awesome.

Headfunk puts the spotlight on men’s mental health, what prompted you to address that as an issue?

I’ve worked with men in dance for 20 years. The side-line of that is that you start to understand toxic masculinity and see the effects of systemic male behaviour and expectation. I’ve mentored lots of lads and I was staggered four years ago when I discovered how high the male suicide rates were. We had this resource to really make a difference and highlight this issue. We created a platform that told the stories of real men who’ve never danced before. It’s about allowing guys to be heard; dance is a very unique way of allowing you to say something, without words, in a very different and powerful way. We found a way to open a discussion, which is what it’s all about.

How is the creative arts sector in Southampton evolving?

Arts and culture always bring people together. We’re working in a lot of the city’s communities, empowering their voices and getting them heard. We’re animating the city’s spaces and bringing them to life. Southampton has lots of villages, I think the aspiration for the Southampton UK City of Culture bid is that we bridge those villages to bring people together and celebrate our city’s identity.

"It’s always a highlight to watch that spark change in someone, and at that point you know: That's why I'm here."

Zoie Golding

Can you tell us how you’re bringing dance into the workplace?

I just love the challenge of seeing where else dance can be, as well as showing others what it’s all about. Ultimately, it’s about demystifying dance and opening up the process so people can see how it comes to life. The idea was about creating some regular dance activity in the workplace. We made it whilst people were working at their desks and we choreographed around them. It was really fascinating because the feedback suggested that productivity was better because of the energy.

I love to animate spaces, buildings and environments in places where you wouldn’t usually think dance would be. The Old Bond Store is inspiring as a space, where things could potentially happen.

What are you working on for 2021?

We are looking at touring RIDE to every greenspace in Southampton next summer. We are also going to be touring our show Sleuth; a detective show where the audience chooses the clues.

I’m also looking into setting up residence in Southampton as I have an interest in urban regeneration. I would like to see how we can bring some of these buildings back to life, as well as what we can do to help re-invigorate the city.

If you could bring any performance to the city, what would it be?

It would be a huge, city-wide event. I’d love to take over the streets and disrupt the city with everything it has to offer. It would incorporate Southampton’s history and people; perhaps 1000 Sotonian men opening the gates of the docks and getting to the shore…