Eshe Blake-Bandele: Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer
Eshe Blake-Bandele was born in Leicester in 1989 and discovered a passion for dance at the age of three with a local dance troupe performing on numerous stages throughout Leicestershire. Her dance training began 6 years later, when she was scouted to join Leicester Arts in Education Youth Ballet Scheme. She also developed her confidence in performance dancing with Carinosa, a local soca based dance troupe.
Eshe began her formal training at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, achieving a BPA Honours and Post-Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Dance. She then continued her pre-professional training with the school’s touring company Verve 12, working with world renowned choreographers such as James Cousins, Lea Anderson and Akram Khan. She performed in many of Akram Khan’s works including a lead role in ‘Vertical Road’ which toured the UK and Europe.
Following graduation, Eshe began a professional career with Keneish Dance, an African contemporary dance company, touring with its production ‘Vigour’ in 2012. With these companies, Eshe performed on many grand stages including Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. She is now a partner of Dance Select, a multi-skilled dance and circus company, performing fire and stilt work throughout the UK.
Eshe is currently a teacher and choreographer at Studio 79, a faculty of the Dance and Performing Arts College in Leicester, on its BTEC Course. In this role, she benefits from the opportunity of showcasing her work on major stages including Leicester’s Curve Theatre.
Collaborating with her Studio 79 colleague, Joshua Pilmore, Eshe has co-choreographed a very well received dance piece for Move It 2017 entitled ‘The Offering’. Move It is an annual dance festival held at the Excel Arena in London and features professional dancers, dance schools and celebrities. The piece was a fusion of African and commercial dance styles, enjoyed by the many thousands attending this popular event.
Eshe has always been involved within the Leicester African Caribbean community in dance and performance events and activities. She has participated in various productions held at The African Caribbean Centre, Curve, The Y Theatre and many more. Eshe strongly believes that celebrating Black history is not a single, annual, monthly activity but a continual, dutiful and lifelong commitment to uplifting the African Heritage community and sharing its culture with wider audiences.
Facebook: Eshe Blake-Bandele
Photo credit: Jamie Allsop