London Contemporary Dance School graduate, Renee Stewart is gracefully taking the dance world by storm. She walked in Milan Fashion Week AW17 and has headed up several international campaigns. She’s twirled around since she was seven and now brings together the artistry of movement with Jack Wills Sporting Goods. We sat down with her to talk all things dance.
JACK WILLS: Why dance?
RENEE STEWART: I started dancing when I was about seven. I just really enjoy moving and I think there’s artistry in dance. But I like expressing myself through movement, that’s why I like doing it.
JW: What’s the craziest thing from dance that you put your body through that pushes it to its limit?
RS: I think the hardest thing that I’ve done through dance is probably from going to university because it was three years of five days a week, 8.45am to 6pm where you were there dancing and rehearsing. That, over a three year period was challenging, you’d go through different waves of emotions and being physically tired. That was the most challenging and rewarding thing that I’ve done so far.
JW: How does dance positively influence your life?
RS: I think dance is a mental thing for me, and emotional and physical. I like using my body and moving, and working with different people like choreographers. It’s exciting meeting so many new people within the industry and working with so many different types of people – I think you learn about yourself quite a lot.
JW: If you weren’t a dancer what other profession would you choose?
RS: If I wasn’t a dancer I’d probably be a photographer. I take photos in my own time, but I’d love to go and work for National Geographic and travel.
JW: What do you love about dance, and what do you hate?
RS: I think there’s also a sense of artistry in dance and working with different types of people. You find out a lot about yourself, as a dancer throughout the years and you go through different emotions. The combination of the two – the artistry and the physical side – it’s quite amazing.
JW: What do you like to do to relax?
RS: I enjoy exercising even if it has nothing to do with dancing – I do yoga and cycle classes. But I also just like sitting at home, watching Netflix and eating food.
JW: What is your ultimate goal in life? And what’s the ultimate goal in your dance life?
RS: I kind of combine the two. I’d love to just work with as many people as possible. It’s to take every day as it comes and by surrounding myself with people that are in the same industry or think the same way as me – that’s what makes me happy. Working with photographers, directors or doing jobs with Jack Wills – I think it’s amazing. Within dancing, there’s no main goal just yet for me – I’m enjoying what I’m doing now.
JW: How does family fit into your life?
RS: Family is very, very important to me because I’ve got a huge family – there’s eight of us, eight kids! We’re all different ages – the youngest is seven and the oldest is almost 50. Everyone’s everywhere. It’s so hard to get us all into one space, but soon we’re all going to be in the same area which will be great – a big family reunion.