I’m not quite sure what my main motivation was to start dancing. I remember watching it on TV and wanting to give it a go. No-one forced me to go or say I should try it out – I just knew that I wanted to go to classes. This was when I was six.
Was it difficult being a lad in South Wales whilst being a dancer? Not at all! I kind of kept it to myself really because I’m quite modest and it’s not that I had to be quiet but I just got on with it really. It was something I loved to do and it didn’t really matter what anyone else thought.
National Dance Company Wales associate scheme helped me and encouraged me a great deal. I took classes there every Sunday and had various performance opportunities with them. Being taught by company dancers and having a little insight about what the company did I knew that was what I wanted to do!
I did think to join NDCWales. I applied for the post-graduate apprenticeship. I did the audition and got offered a place to work with the company but for me my heart was set on Richard Alston Dance Company so I went to the RADC audition after NDCWales and Richard offered me place with them to which I accepted immediately.
I just finished my final performances with RADC at Sadlers Wells so I am taking April off and heading off to do a little bit of travelling and recharge the batteries. I then come back in May with a clean slate and see what happens. Nothing is on the cards as of yet and I’m looking for the next big opportunity and can’t wait to see what it’s going to be!
It’s hard to find what was the best thing about being a member of RADC. I think it is the work that you get to perform. It’s such beautiful and intelligent choreography and working with Richard is wonderful. He’s very open and encouraging when making work. The same goes for Martin Lawrance, the company’s associate choreographer, as well.
I think the highlight of my career so far has to be winning the National Dance Awards this year for Best Male Dancer. It was such an incredible feeling at the ceremony and I felt it was the perfect way to finish with RADC.
Choreography is something that’s not really for me at the moment. I want to dance, I want to perform more and try to work with as many choreographers as I can to continue my experience with learning as a performer and as an individual. I don’t think I would want my own company.
I’m not quite sure yet what I would move into after performing. I would like to stay in the arts as I’m so passionate about it but what I’ll be doing – who knows?
Liam Riddick was recently named Best Male Dancer at the National Dance Awards. He started his career in Wales, trained in contemporary dance at Cross Keys College, Newport and joined London Contemporary Dance School in 2007. He then joined Richard Alston Dance Company as an apprentice in 2010 and become a full company member in 2011.