Interview with Lloyd Perry and Rebecca Scott

Interview with Lloyd Perry and Rebecca Scott

Posted on sabato, 21 ott 2017, 12:20 by admin
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We talked to Lloyd Perry and Rebecca Scott, the winners of Under 21 Latin at Blackpool Festival 2017. Lloyd and Rebecca represent England.

You have to keep with the people who are pushing the game forward and you've got to look at the top competitors in Professional and Amateur to look what they are doing... analyse how and what they are improving...

I can see you are quite happy with winning yesterday

[Rebecca]: Yes, quite (laughing)

[Lloyd]: Just a little bit! (laughing)

How did you start dancing?

[Rebecca]: I started at the age of four. I don't know why, just came to the kids' classes, and then continued with the IDTA medallists programme. By the age of six, I was in the competitive circle because I loved the performing part of it. That's what I loved the most about it. I had few partners, my first partner, when I was six, was a friend from school who I invited to come to dance along. I was his partner for couple of years. Then, when I wanted to be more serious about it, I had another partner. I think I met Lloyd when we were about nine years old and we were ten when we started dancing together. And now, it is nine years down the line (laughing).

So your dance history before Lloyd is very short

[Rebecca]: Yes, I guess it is. It has been quite a long time now.

[Lloyd]: I did not start so early, I joined the kids' classes when I was about seven years old. I started competing when I was about nine years old. Shortly after that, about 10 months into my competing, I started dancing with Becks. I was really competing for about a year before I met her. And we have been competing together since.

How did you meet? I guess you were too young to make your own arrangements.

[Rebecca]: It is funny actually, we were discussing it last night (laughing). The first time we ever met, was on a little TV show. It was a kids' TV show about Ballroom and Latin. Lloyd had his partner, I had mine and we were competing against each other. And he has actually just started dancing.

[Lloyd]: I literally just started dancing when we first met.

[Rebecca]: We then competed against each other for about a year. Then, after British nationals, we got together

[Lloyd]: My parents asked Rebecca whether she would like to dance with me or not. And she could not say no! (laughing)

Do your parents support you?

[Rebecca]: Yes.

Where they involved in dancing before in any way?

[Rebecca]: No, in my case they were not. I absolutely have no idea where I got it from. My sister and I both dance, and neither of us know where that came from.

[Lloyd]: It is totally different for me. I come from a big background of dancing. My grandparents were professional dancers, also my Mum and Dad. They are teachers and they own a dance school so I was brought into that world very early. I did not start dancing yet, but I was around dancing from very young age. My Mum and Dad still have got a massive involvement in what we do. They prop us in the right direction, they manage us, they make sure that we are staying in track. So, yes, my Mum and Dad are very important cog in that machine.

What do you like about dancing the most?

[Rebecca]: It is always a hard question. There are so many different aspects of it, not just the dancing we do, the fact that we compete. I do love the competitive aspect of it, I love competing and going to the competitions. For me, it is always been the fact that number one is that I love to dance, but I love to perform it, I love to absorb the music and enjoy myself on the floor.

So which side of it is more important: winning or performance?

[Rebecca]: Hmmm... hard to answer

[Lloyd]: It is hard to decide, because you don't have just one not the other. There is got to be a balance between being a competitor and an artist. When you practice and you are working on your dancing it is very important to be wrapped up in the artist side of dance, the music, the choreography and what you feel. But you need to keep in the back of your mind what adjudicators want you to do. You need to be able to sell it, you need to be competitive. You need to love the competition. For me, there are two things that I love: the music and the competition, the adrenaline and the energy I get from the competition. But when I practice, I love the music and how it makes me feel. The fake tan and the costumes are definitely not at the top of my list (laughing).

Do you have any friends outside dance circuit?

[Lloyd]: Mainly outside, I would say. We have two very different friend groups. We are actually quite friendly with everyone we compete against...

Even if they beat you?

[Rebecca]: Yes! It is a community, sportsmanship. Of course you get upset but it would be silly to get upset about every single thing you are not pleased with. It is not great but...

[Lloyd]: You just need to try as much as you can. We all want the same thing at the end of the day...

[Rebecca]: But to hold it against each other would be wrong. It is not their fault they were better on the day than you were.

Are you a couple in private life as well?

[Rebecca]: No, just in dancing

Do you have the same friends outside of dancing?

[Rebecca]: No, because actually we live about two hours away. So very different friends, two very different circles. I live in Solihull, in Birmingham area.

[Lloyd]: I am from South Wales. I live twenty minutes outside of Cardiff.

Is it easy to travel between these two places?

[Rebecca]: We are now used to it. I remember when we were kids, two hours of travelling was a problem.

So your friends are aware that you are dancing, aren't they? How do they see it?

[Lloyd]: They see it as normal. Most of my friends are people I grew up with, went to school with so they know what I do. It is something they associate with me. They already been on the phone congratulating me. There will be a party when I am back. Any excuse for a night out (laughing).

Was there a party after you actually won?

[Rebecca]: Very short!

Because you were dancing again the next day?

[Rebecca]: Exactly!

[Lloyd]: There was a little bit of a party yesterday but we were half asleep (laughing)

[Rebecca]: We will enjoy the rest of the week now.

What do you like about your partner?

[Lloyd]: What do I like about Becks... well, I would say she is very easy-going, in a good way. She doesn't let me to get away with murder but she puts up with my flaws. We've known each other for so long so I think she reads me pretty well. I do an average job in reading her so... Over all these years together we built up a close relationship. She is like my sister.

[Rebecca]: I agree, just...

[Lloyd]: Be nice!

[Rebecca]: Well, I agree I am fabulous (laughing)! But seriously, we've known each other for so long, it works, we work so well together. Like Lloyd said, we read each other so easily. We sort of know each other feelings, and we know how to deal with that. Lloyd is like the other half of me. We are quite opposite in quite a few ways but we balance each other out. If I get stressed, he is the one chilling out, laid back and that helps me.

What is your partner's the biggest flaw?

[Rebecca]: Sometimes he gets too stressed about something, he puts too much pressure on himself but he doesn't need to. He should work on his self-confidence.

[Lloyd]: Probably...

[Rebecca]: You don't need to doubt yourself. That's what I think.

[Lloyd]: Maybe she is too nice.

[Rebecca]: I'd take that.

Come on, I won't accept that! I will let you think for a moment. In the meantime, tell me what do you like to eat?

[Rebecca]: All sorts. I eat rabbit food as he calls it, because I like salads.

So you eat rabbit food, and he prefers rabbit (laughing)?

[Lloyd]: Exactly. And maybe this is her biggest fault!

[Rebecca]: I am partial to a bit of chocolate, and he is as well! Anyway, I think it is normal to watch what you eat. But I really like getting creative with food, and you can get creative with salads.

Are you a vegetarian?

[Rebecca]: No, no, I just like it. I like chicken with salad, or egg... Healthy food basically.

[Lloyd]: I eat a lot. I like my food. I go to the gym a lot, so it kind of cancels out the calories. I don't eat bad, I don't eat McDonalds every day, I eat healthy stuff like chicken, stir-fries... just a lot of it (laughing). Oh, and you can't beat the curry. I love a curry.

What do you do when you are not dancing?

[Rebecca]: I cannot remember the last time (laughing). I see friends at the university. OK, I go to the gym a lot. I read a lot, I love books. That's about it.

What kind of books do you like?

[Rebecca]: Any sort! But fiction mainly, anything which interests me.

What about you, Lloyd?

[Lloyd]: I go to the gym as I said. This year I got my own clothing company which I spend a lot of time working on. It is fitness clothing. So a lot of my time going into it when I am not dancing. I do a lot of work on the laptop, like marketing and generally business things. I try to find some time for friends. And sleep (laughing). It is only so much you can get done in a day apart from dancing. I have a pretty simple life actually. I go to the gym, I dance, I do some work on the clothing company and I sleep (laughing).

Do you watch TV?

[Lloyd]: Actually no, I really don't. I have some series I love to watch but not TV program...

[Rebecca]: Or films sometimes

[Lloyd]: Yes, I like a good film.

What kind of films?

[Lloyd]: Either action or comedy. Something which makes me laugh or keeps me on edge of my seat.

If you were not able to dance, what would you do instead?

[Rebecca]: I cannot imagine!

[Lloyd]: I love sport. Something like swimming, tennis, golf, boxing, I love them all. I like to watch them all. I used to swim when I was younger. But I don't know, I could imagine getting bored with it as it is one thing.

[Rebecca]: Yes, dancing evolves very quickly. You were good at swimming.

[Lloyd]: I imagine tennis or golf would be more interesting because you are always against someone directly... My Dad is a huge golf fun. He'd prefer me to take up golf and be like Rory McIlroy, get rich! (laughing)

And you, Rebecca?

[Rebecca]: I don't know, it is so hard, I've been dancing all my life! Before dancing I did gymnastics. This is the only other thing I can think of... Maybe that...

What would you change in dancing if you had such power?

[Lloyd]: I would make sure that Youth event finishes earlier here, before the Rising Stars (laughing).

[Rebecca]: Change the times, please! Sleep is important!

[Lloyd]: At the competition, for me, jive is the best dance. And it is never done from the first rounds in this country. So I would always have jive from the first round.

[Rebecca]: We love jive! But it is only danced from the semifinals.

[Lloyd]: It is hard to say what I would change... because there is always a good reason of why not to change it. For instance, if you wanted less people in a heat to allow judges to have a better look at everyone, the competition would become a two day or three day event. Let's say if they included a jive, it would make a competition a lot longer and people a lot more tired.

[Rebecca]: It is all very difficult.

Is jive your best dance as well?

[Lloyd]: Our favourite and our best.

Your favourite Ballroom dance?

[Lloyd]: Foxtrot

[Rebecca]: We stopped Ballroom a couple of years ago now, but every time somebody puts a Foxtrot music on, he is like "oh, I miss Foxtrot, let's do a Foxtrot"!

[Lloyd]: It is the only Ballroom dance I really, really miss. I love it.

[Rebecca]: I quite like Tango. It is very different to the other dances.

What was your biggest argument about?

[Lloyd]: To be honest we don't have big arguments. Of course, we argue, everyone argues. But nothing I would consider a serious big argument. You know, really falling out.

[Rebecca]: Of course we argue at practice. About timing or about taking a step in some other way...

And who is usually right?

[Lloyd]: Me, all the time (laughing)!

[Rebecca]: What!?? How many times you said I was right (laughing). We don't let anything like that to escalate.

[Lloyd]: If anything escalated big, my Dad would not let us! Because we were always surrounded by either teachers or parents... we managed really well.

[Rebecca]: I think it had impact on us, because now, when we are alone we don't let it escalate. Honestly, it is a truth, we've never, ever, had a shouting match.

[Lloyd]: Because we are far away, whenever we get together it is mostly to practise and to dance. There is no room to argue. We don't go home together still mad at each other. Once practise is done it is done.

So, in a way, living separately and away from each other helps?

[Lloyd]: I think so.

[Rebecca]: And in a sense it teaches us to value the time that we actually have together. That's why we don't want to waste time shouting and screaming at each other, or being "in a mood" for each other.

[Lloyd]: There is nothing worse... When we were younger, at practice nights, we've used to see a lot of other couples on the floor absolutely screaming at each other. It was so bad to watch!

[Rebecca]: We used to say to each other that we could never be like that.

[Lloyd]: These people were adults but not behaving...

[Rebecca]: Now when we are older, we go to these practice nights as adults, but we are aware there are children there. We still remember what we used to see and it makes you think why would you want to set that sort of example. It is a bad example anyway.

What was your best competition?

[Lloyd]: This one!

[Rebecca]: Definitely.

[Lloyd]: We had a few good ones. The closed British championships, the nationals. We've done very well. We won the Youth and Juvenile and Junior quite a number of times. But also won the Under 19 in Paris. This year you made the majority of the international finals.

[Rebecca]: But when you win the competition like this is something else.

[Lloyd]: It is unbelievable.

[Rebecca]: Blackpool is Blackpool.

[Lloyd]: It is the whole surroundings and atmosphere. It is about who is watching you and who you're competing against.

[Rebecca]: And it is the whole build-up, from the International and the UK Open everything is set towards Blackpool.

[Lloyd]: It is months and months of anticipation. The whole weekend was very good for us, very successful because we also made the finals of the Rising Stars. We were over the moon!

So you are ready to win the next year Rising Stars?

[Lloyd]: We are still young, yes!

Will you still be under 21 next year?

[Lloyd]: Yes, but we will not dance that again, we will try to keep progressing forward. Rising Star will be the aim, and full Amateur will follow.

So shall I wish you the same result next year in Amateur?

[Lloyd]: That would be great (laughing). But I doubt it. We've never actually done the full Amateur there. We've always done the Under21.

It is great to see the next generation, young British couples getting to the top positions in again. Is there maybe a re-birth of dancing in England?

[Lloyd]: I think so. With history of how successful England was there was a generation which, kind of, was relying on being simply English and feeling like they came from this tradition, been taught by the best ... but it doesn't mean that you are going to be the best. For years there has been very little successful English dancers, especially in Latin. The Ballroom is still quite strong in this country and has been for a while but Latin, kind of, dropped off. We have Neil Jones in Amateur who is very successful, but before that it was many years ago we had a successful dancer. Now, we have few young people who understand and come to the competitions and they recognise how hard people are working around the world. In this country, you get used to competing just against each other. And there is a very small number of people in England who dance when you compare to other countries.

[Rebecca]: When you take our Juniors, they compete against each other, pretty much the same group of people. But when they come to the Blackpool Junior Festival they realise it is a completely different game!

[Lloyd]: When you take all the Russian and Ukrainian kids, the Chinese and the Americans, they are all very high level. So it comes a realisation that there are people out there who work as hard as or harder than you. Because there is always someone working harder. They are getting better a lot younger now.

What has changed?

[Lloyd]: Couples in other countries developed fast. In the last 20 years Latin has changed massively. I am too young to have watched it live, but watching the videos, looking back, it has developed so fast. Russian couples, American couples, they really pushed the development of Latin dancing. They completely changed how it is done and how it's danced. You just have to keep with the people who are pushing the game forward and you've got to look at the top competitors in Professional and Amateur to look what they are doing... analyse how and what they are improving... Latin dancing now is not going to be the same in 10 years' time in the future.

[Rebecca]: You've got to keep looking forward

What is the difference for you between Amateur and Professional dancing?

[Rebecca]: I think the difference now is a lot less than it was years ago.

[Lloyd]: Yes. But there is a certain maturity, relaxation and understanding in what Professionals are doing.

[Rebecca]: Amateurs still have, a kind of, raw approach to what they are doing. There is a lot of energy thrown into all they are doing. With Professionals you have more sophisticated approach. They have an air of "I know what I am doing", that sort of certainty.

In your opinion, are there any differences in dancing between WDC and WDSF?

[Lloyd]: We never danced for WDSF or been to their competitions, but we watched the videos. I like to know what is going on (laughing).

Did you ever wonder how would it be to compete against them?

[Lloyd]: To be honest, I would love to just throw everyone in one competition.

[Rebecca]: And see what happens!

[Lloyd]: I think it would be the best thing to do. Judging would be difficult, it would be a hard scenario. However, people have come over from WDSF into WDC and in their first competition have been very successful... so I don't know. There is definitely a massive issue there but you cannot blame couples for what is going on. It is their choice to dance in one or the other organisation. But wherever they danced, they did not cause the problem in the first place.

[Rebecca]: I would love to compete against everyone else, if only they could come to Blackpool.

[Lloyd]: Yes, if everybody came to dance this weekend, it would be that feeling that the champion is the champions of everyone. We've won this weekend, but there is still a lot of Under21's who were not allowed to dance this weekend...

Do you think it can change?

[Lloyd]: It is hard to know what one can do...

What was the most exotic place you went for competition?

[Lloyd]: Indonesia. We went to the island of Lombok, and it was amazing. It was for the Indonesian championships.

[Rebecca]: It was very hot there. Boiling. But it was absolutely beautiful.

[Lloyd]: The competition was very close to the hotel. The hotel was on an amazing beach... it was great.

At least you did not have to dance in a tailsuit

[Lloyd]: But I did! We were still doing Ballroom. It was our last ever Ballroom competition.

Do you mainly use your phone to access the internet, or laptop or PC, Mac?

[Lloyd]: Phones taken over the world... I use it to access various social media like Snapchat. I use Instagram the most.

[Rebecca]: I love photos, that's why I think Instagram is the best.

Websites?

[Lloyd]: YouTube. That's what I watch instead of TV.

[Rebecca]: Yes, because it is about real people.

Do you watch a lot of dancing on YouTube?

[Lloyd]: Actually, Facebook is a place we're watching the dance videos.

[Rebecca]: There is so many of dance pages on Facebook.

[Lloyd]: Also, DSI TV is good, you can get an account there. I like watching the big competitions in there because you can see everything.

Does it mean you are on the phone all the time?

[Rebecca]: Everybody has a Facebook but I think we do still appreciate that you don't need your phone when you sitting next to each other. This is more important.

[Lloyd]: It is funny when you show each other things on the phone and the conversation becomes about "what's on the phone".

What are you plans for the nearest future?

[Lloyd]: We have a number of smaller competitions coming up. We want to keep on the same track we are at the moment. Things are going well. We feel like we are improving. We want to start to attack more of the Amateur competitions now. Obviously everybody there is of a high standard, and older, so we have to work very hard to start to break into higher rounds. I like the direction we are going.

Good luck and thank you very much for talking to us.

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