Sam’s a ‘Move More Hero’

Since Get Set Leeds Local (GSLL) began, we have loved meeting the huge number of people across the South Leeds communities taking part, volunteering and leading a huge variety of activities each week which get themselves or others moving in some way.

We feel these people are all ‘heroes’ and an inspiration to us and others. With the help from some GSLL friends, every month we are meeting and sharing a little about some of these ‘Move More Heroes’.

This month we caught up with Sam, who was put forward by DAZL dance, due to being the inspiring young person they see Sam as.

Can you tell us a little about yourself Sam?

My name is Sam Lawrence, I’m 15 years old currently doing my mock GCSEs. I’ve lived in South Leeds my whole life. I started dancing at the age of 4, so have been doing it now for about 11 years. I did a little bit of football too when I was younger, but I realised that my passion was with dance.

What got you into dance? Is it something you’ve always done?

I think I’m the only dancer in my family, so I’m not sure where my joy for it came from. It feels like something I’ve always done. I used to dance around the house, so I think my parents always recognised I would be a dancer one day. I joined an after-school dance club at primary school, and my love of dance has grown since then.

Do you have a favourite style of dance?

I’ve got two main favourite styles of dance, which are Contemporary and Commercial Hip Hop Mix.

What training do you do?

I’m currently returning after injury. Not dancing is taking a toll, but I have been given some exercises to get back dancing fully soon again.

Typically in a normal week I’ll train with different dance groups four nights per week after school, and then do a full day on a Saturday at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Training is busy. I’ve been with DAZL about 4 years. I’m part of the DAZL Excel programme, which supports advanced training [Excel is a performance programme for talented dancers to support their progression into further dance opportunities]. We do lots of technical training and get lots of performance opportunities.

I’m also part of Kick Off, which is an all-boys contemporary dance group. I also train on the Northern School of Contemporary Dance on their CAT scheme (Centre for Advanced Training) where we really dive into technique, but also helps with things such as nutrition for dancing.

I have also studied dance in school which has given me a good non-physical knowledge of dance, insight into performance and technique.

What’s your favourite dance? What do you think you get out of it?

I feel the physical side helps keep me healthy, it keeps me physically well. I feel like dance is a form of expression. Dance helps you communicate the words that you can’t necessarily say out loud. It keeps me happy.

There’s a sense of community around dance as well. I go to dance, and I feel there’s always people there to support me, people like Mason one of my tutors (from DAZL), but there’s also the people around me. I feel it influences me to be a better version of myself.

Do you do performances as well as training?

I do quite a few performances. I feel DAZL give me quite a lot of performance opportunities – things like on stage performances, video and flash mobs. It helps me become more of a versatile performer. Through DAZL I’ve become exposed to so many different forms of dance, I feel it’s helped me to be a better dancer.

Have you had any moments which feel the most rewarding?

Performing on the main stage of FRESH, which is a Yorkshire Dance showcase performance of youth dance, definitely stands out as one of those moments.

I’d also say winning a sportsmanship prize at a DAZL awards night helped prove I was a supportive person, and has shown how dance has helped me become a better person than I already am.

Has anyone else supported/inspired you?

I would say my mum. She’s been there in the moments when I’ve questioned whether to continue, to support me to see why I do it and inspires me to continue.

Any advice for someone considering giving dance a try?

Dance is a really accessible sport. It can be modified for whatever your physical ability. The best part of dance is the positive affect on your mental health, and the massive positive benefits to your physical health.

I’d say to anyone to just get stuck in, people may think its not for them, but when they try it they usually realise they enjoy it.

How do you find the school/dance balance?

I’m practicing for GCSEs this year, ready to do them properly next year when I go into Year 11. The people at dance are great at helping me with revising, which I really appreciate.

With school stress, I feel dancing helps me balance the stress of school and helps me relieve the stress through the physical movement.

Any aspirations?

I want to pursue both dance and musical theatre. Musical theatre mixes up all the training of dance and drama and puts it into one. I’ve done some musical theatre through school, Sister Act was really fun, Adams Family and I had a main role in Rock of Ages.

My main dream would be to perform in the West End one day.


This post was written by Karen Peck

We encourage anyone living or working in South Leeds to use this website to tell their news. You can either use the Create an article for South Leeds Life page, or email us at:


While you’re here, can we ask a favour?

South Leeds Life is published by a not-for-profit social enterprise. We keep our costs as low as possible but we’ve been hit by increases in the print costs for our monthly newspaper – up 83% in the last 12 months.

Could you help support local community news by making a one off donation, or even better taking out a supporters subscription?

Donate here, or sign up for a subscription at

Thank you for your support