The Shimmering Extraordinary, created by Emmy Award-nominated director Fx Goby, is a collaboration between Scottish Ballet and Nexus Studios.

Commissioned as part of our Safe to Be Me™ Festival 2021, a digital festival of dance that celebrates diversity, the films are inspired by the programme’s themes of acceptance, identity, and respect.

Bringing together artists from various backgrounds, the six short films focus on the stories of six individual dancers; Annie Edwards, Hayaat zahra shah, Madeline Squire, Mukeni Nel, Nikita Gold and Saul Nash.

They put the lens on each person’s journey and practice, giving voice to their story, and how dance and movement has become their way of expressing and communicating themselves.

Each shines a light on the strength and resilience of overcoming obstacles, to feel proud and empowered in who we are. 

Using movement as a tool to discuss and explore intersectionality, the films and the festival celebrate dance as a universal language; a way in which to celebrate and communicate oneself.


“When I do drag, I feel more open, exciting, and it's easier to just show who I am.”

Nikita Gold is a prolific dancer with killer moves and great taste in music and fashion. She is a classic queen with outfits to die for. Nikita likes to storm stages around the world, wowing audiences wherever she goes.


'I found [voguing] about two years ago…. It was definitely a space which enabled me to express myself and feel more confident in myself as a gay man.'

Saul Nash is a Designer and Choreographer from North East London. Having received a scholarship to attend and graduate from the eminent MA Menswear at the Royal College of Art in 2018, Nash came from the unconventional route of Performance. Practising for many years as a dancer and graduating from BA Performance Design at Central Saint Martins in 2015.

Hayaat zahr

'When I started dancing, I felt the most permanent side of me just came out. If I didn’t find dance, I wouldn’t have been the woman I am today.'

Hayaat zahra shah is 24 years old. They are from Manchester and were born in Pakistan.


‘I feel like when I’m dancing … It liberates me from shame, and I feel seen the way I want to be seen.’

Annie Edwards is a disabled dance artist from Brighton, now based in London. She works with hip hop and contemporary dance, performing and creating work for a number of years. Her practice combines a love of movement and music with a drive for social justice.


‘I wish that there was a word that you could say for that little grey area, because disabilities can fluctuate, I know that mine can’

Madeline Squire is a First Artist with Scottish Ballet. 


‘Being different is okay… Dance has made me become the best version of myself’

Mukeni Nel begun dancing aged 6 in Winchester and has since toured internationally.

Safe to Be Me™ and Safe to Be Me™ Festival are proudly sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments.

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