Tea with Flo and Joanne

Candoco Dance Company, January 26th, 2018
This Flo meets General Manager Joanne over a cuppa.

Hello and welcome back! This week, Joanne sat with me over a cup of tea and told me everything about her life as General Manager.

Q1: How do you like your tea?

A: Usually caffeinated, normal builder’s tea with a bit of milk, not too weak, not too strong, just right. But I have to move to decaf in the afternoons, because I am pregnant and although I prefer the taste of normal tea, it might keep me awake all night so…

Q2: What is the most stressful task you have had to do in this job recently?

A: Recently… Oh boy. Erm, it’s quite hard to answer because there were a lot of stressful things. -you can pick more than one. I think the most stressful thing, just generally is juggling. As General Manager you’ve got lots of different things on your to-do list and you have to trust that you’re prioritising everything in the right order. One of the most stressful things is getting dancers’ visas done in time. We have one dancer who needs her visa renewed soon and if that doesn’t work then obviously she can’t stay in the country, which has serious repercussions, but it’s always been fine.

Q3: What is the most satisfying thing you have had to do in the two weeks/recently?

A: Well, it’s difficult because, one thing that is quite satisfying, and Kerry knows this, is being able to do a bank reconciliation and making everything balanced in the accounts. Also, something quite satisfying is the recent presentation I did in Paris for a panel discussion. It was very satisfying because I knew what I was doing and it’s always really rewarding to know that actually, I’ve been with the company long enough that I know this stuff very well.

Q4: Savoury or sweet?

A: Savoury.

Q5: How long have you been doing your job?

A: Nine years. -you are committed! Actually, this General Manager job, seven and a half years, but I’ve been at Candoco for nine years. However, the General Manager role has also changed a lot. I mean, some aspects of my job I’ve done since the start and other things I’ve only started doing recently. -it’s constantly evolving. Yeah.

Q6: What is your favourite colour?

A: Yellow, probably.

Q7: If you could try out another role in the company, which one would you choose?

A: Definitely a dancer. I did dance training and for a while I thought I might go into dancing professionally. I worked as a dance artist and that is one of the most wonderful things to do so I wouldn’t mind doing that full time at all. -I wouldn’t mind either!

Q8: Television or Books?

A: Books. No, actually that’s not true. -everyone wants to say books… Exactly, but actually, it’s telly.

Q9: 17 words explaining your role and what is takes to do it.

A: Oh… juggling – prioritising – staying – calm – not – taking – things – too – seriously – problem – solving – patience – perseverance – diplomacy – listening – observing – overviewing. I’ll probably come up with some other words later on.

Q10: If you could be any dancer in any work ever done by Candoco, who would you be and in what?

A: Any of the dancers in Set and Reset/Reset. Not anyone in particular because I just love that piece. I love the swing of the choreography.

Q11: What is your favourite season?

A: Spring.

Q12: What did you enjoy doing the most this week?

A: Work related or anything? -It’s up to you to choose, that’s what’s beautiful about it. Ermm… Reading a bedtime story to my daughter, because it doesn’t happen very often, I’m often out in the evenings. ­-How sweet!

Q13: What are three things people remember you for?

A: Oh, well other people will have to answer that one, haha. -no, it has to come from you! Oh dear! -at least what you think they remember you for. Mmm, hopefully my positive mood most of the time… [pause] It’s really, really hard.

Jess: Your kindness!

Lucy: Really good grammar.

Joanne: Oh yeah proof-reading, that’s a good one hahaha. My eye for detail. -one more. Oh, it is so hard, I am actually quite a boring person. Oh dear…

Jess: You’re quite… like, motherly, nurturing.

Lucy: Very caring.

Joanne: Oh thanks guys. There’s this thing… People often say of me that I’m really responsible but I hate being responsible. I know I am, but it makes me sound really boring so… Oh reliable is the other one… so boring hahaha. -you are not boring at all Joanne!

Q14: Christmas or your birthday?

A: I think my birthday, because it’s in April, and I like April. Yeah. But then, if I was to say Christmas, it’s also about giving other people things rather than just yourself. Erm, but I’ll go with my birthday.

Q15: Dancing at a ball or dancing the night away?

A: Dancing the night away! -everyone has gone for this one so far, Candocans seem to love dancing in the dark!

Q16: Who do you work with the most at the office?

A: That’s an impossible question, because my role as General Manager is to work with everyone. So, possibly in terms of the number of conversations I have, I probably work most with Kerry and Jo T, but my role is to support the entire team. -which you marvellously do.

Q17: Can you speak any other languages?

A: Dutch and German, that’s it. And I can read Portuguese. -pretty impressive!

Thanks for those insightful answers! As for me, I will be back next week to introduce you to another Candocan, who has also had to move to decaf a few months ago…

Flo x