The Evie Dee Inspiring Life Award was established in 2016, in memory of the life of Evangeline Douglas.
Evangeline Dobson Douglas, Evie, was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Peebles in the Scottish Borders. Aged four, Evie began ballet lessons and made her debut in the dance world as the swan in The Ugly Duckling!
Her enthusiasm for dance grew and she attended lessons in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary Dance, Highland Dance and Musical Theatre; finally becoming a teacher at the local dance school. Evie loved the Arts; she adored performing, visiting galleries, and attending the theatre, especially if her favourite choreographer Sir Mathew Bourne was involved.
Evie shone brightly. She sang, she painted, she drew, she excelled academically, and she participated in extreme sports. Evie was a perfectionist in all she did. Above all, Evie loved to dance. When she danced, she said that she felt free. Dancing defined her as she grew up. As a teenager, Evie developed her own quirky look with ever-changing hairstyles and colours, a unique sense of dress, and an ever-expanding collection of tattoos and piercings. She was never judgmental, accepting and celebrating everyone’s uniqueness. She was a warm and caring girl, always happy to share her talents and abilities and encouraging others to reach their potential.
Evie lived life to the max, travelling at every opportunity – Europe, Australia, North America, and memorably, a volunteer project in Fiji. She embraced tough physical challenges, including skiing, climbing and sky diving – with the same enthusiasm that she embraced complicated choreography.
However, behind this creativity and energy Evie struggled for many years with depression. In her late teens, Evie felt lost and unsure of her future. She drifted from one university course to another, worked in retail, qualified as a fitness instructor, and continued to dance and to teach dance. Evie found some direction when she attended the Summer School at Trinity Laban in 2014 and she secured a place on the Diploma in Dance Studies from September 2015. It seemed as if she had a plan. Sadly, this plan was never to be realised and her battle with depression was eventually lost in November 2014 when she completed suicide.
In memory of Evie, the Douglas family decided to set up the Evie Dee Inspiring Life Award at Trinity Laban to ensure that Evie will continue to dance and enable others to share her passion.