Earlier today, AUB students met with Darcey Bussell CBE, the former Principal Dancer at the Royal Ballet at Pavilion Dance South West in Bournemouth.

BA (Hons) Graphic Design and BA (Hons) Animation students met with Darcey to discuss her new aerobic dance workout, DDMIX.

DDMIX aims to get people moving without being intimidated by the word ‘dance’ or the technicality of the steps; a full body workout that is such fun that it doesn’t feel like exercising.

Darcey briefed students on the new enterprise and asked them to explore the potential of the DDMIX brand by designing a variety of expressions of the brand that remain true its core values of fitness and diversity.

To bring the workout model to life for the Graphic Design and Animation students, Darcey then led BA (Hons) Dance students in a DDMIX class.

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Darcey said:

We’re building a relationship with the University as a brand new business, using young talent and the students’ knowledge and expertise. Hopefully we can create something fun with them. 

This has been like a bit of a breakthrough for us; like a breath of fresh air. 

“When I retired, I realised that I had to keep moving, but I didn’t want to do anything specialised. I wanted to have fun with dance and movement. The idea of DDMIX came about as I wanted to enjoy many flavours of dance styles and wanted to experience them all at the same time. 

“As soon as I had kids I wanted to make them realise that dance was there to have fun, that they could enjoy it. With this in mind it was about creating up to date choreography, and creating music that was authentic to the style but having a funky popular element to it. 

“I had a lot of fun creating DDMIX with Nathan Clarke. He does the Take That tours and I did Viva La Diva with him, which I did with Katherine Jenkins, and he did a documentary with me about Hollywood dance. He also does all the choreography for The Voice.” 

When asked about her advice for Dance students, she said:

It’s all about as much diversity as possible. It’s about trying all kind of things so you are experimenting with your body and you can see what its limits are. You loosen up parts of your body that you never thought moved like that.

You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself. That’s very important. And take lots of correction.” 

Darcey’s One Piece of Advice

“Learn from your mistakes. And be happy to make mistakes. We always worry about getting it right straight away but actually we don’t go through all the mistakes and understand your weaknesses. [If you don’t] you’re never actually going to go any further and I think it’s being very aware of that.

“I think we have a habit of always working on what we’re good at. My teachers always said ‘fall on the floor’ and I was like ‘I’m not falling on the floor, it’s too embarrassing’, but you’ve got to make those faux pas in your life and not even worry about what anyone else think. It’s part of the learning process.”