Meet the Member: Millie Daniel-Dempsey

Millie is a performer and choreographer; she trained in Scotland, and has worked extensively with a variety of choreographers in Ireland, since graduating. Find out more about her here,

How long have you been dancing?

I began dancing at the age of 11. Classes were hard to come by in the west of Ireland at the time so until I moved to Dublin I only danced once a week and my parents thankfully drove me 45 minutes to and from the class! 

Where did you train?

I started my training in Inchicore College’s Dance Studies course when I was 18. I’m forever grateful for them letting me into the course as it enabled me to find contemporary dance. From there I went on to get my BA Hons in Contemporary Dance Performance from the Scottish school of Contemporary Dance.

What has been your favourite performance you have performed in, or created, to date and why?

I love to perform but I think one of the most enjoyable performances I’ve had in the last year or two was Sibeal Davitt’s ‘Surrender Navigation’ for Body and Soul 2018. Sibeal created the work on 4 women and it was a high energy , physical work to perform to amazing music. It was a sweltering hot day when we performed it at Body & Soul to a full tent of people. We were low on space but we all just went for it and the atmosphere was perfect. We looked like a bunch of melted candles at the end! 

What choreographer and their work, mean the most to you?

There’s so many great choreographers making work now so it’s hard to pick one. I gravitate towards work that has a strong physicality to the movement and also a theatrical element. One of my favourite shows is Joan Clevillé’s ‘Plan B for Utopia’ and, although I haven’t seen her work live yet, I really admire Ina Christell Johannessen’s work for Zero Visibility Corp. 

What is the diet and fitness routine like, of a professional dancer?

I have quite a varied fitness regime as I also work in the fitness industry. I try to mix my training between dance, weight/strength training and yoga and I try to get a few sessions of each in a week depending on my schedule. I love gym training and try to use it to compliment my dance training and vice versa. It’s definitely helped me keep my strength and fitness up in between working on projects. 

I’m vegetarian so in terms of diet I try to fill up on lots of salad , fruits and veggies and also get good protein sources. I usually have to meal prep a lot for busy days and make sure I have plenty of energising food with me. 

What do you do, for fun, when you are not dancing?

Spend time with my daughter, exercise, listen to music and go to gigs, go for walks and coffee dates with friends. I try to go to the parent & baby cinema whenever I can as I love going to watch films too. 

What does dance mean to you?

It’s my favourite outlet!

If people wanted to see you, where could they find you on a regular day?

Working in my gym or spending time with my family! 

How has DI enabled you as an artist? 

DI has enabled me as an artist by supporting my development as a professional. This year alone I have been extremely lucky to take part in the residency programme and receive the mentorship award which will allow me to further my choreographic voice under the guidance of Lea Anderson and alongside my colleague Amy Lyster. 

Millie & Amy Robyn Lyster during 2020 residency for 'Azelia & Rhododendron'