Studying Dance at University

So, I thought it’d be a good idea to make my first proper post a little introduction/overview of what I’m doing at university currently! I’m at De Montfort on the single honours Dance course which is based around contemporary dance. Around this time last year, I did about ten different auditions for universities and conservatoires and at the end of that emotionally and physically exhausting process, I ended up accepting an unconditional offer to study Dance at DMU, and here I am.

The first year of the course consists of five modules: Dance Technique, Rethinking Choreography, Exploring the Dance Profession, Contemporary Dance: Current Perspectives and Improving Performance. We have about 15 hours contact time per week (and then are expected to do our own research on top of this, and book studio space to rehearse and go over class material), a typical week’s timetable looks something like this:

 

Monday: 10-11 Exploring the Dance Profession lecture / 11-1 Dance Technique

Tuesday: 9-11 Dance Technique / 12-1 Improving Performance lecture

Wednesday: 9-11 Dance Technique / 11-12 Improving Performance workshop

Thursday: 11-12 Current Perspectives lecture / 1-2 Current Perspectives seminar / 2-4 Dance Technique

Friday: 12-3 Rethinking Choreography workshop

 

So, despite what lots of people may think, I am in uni every single day, some longer than others. Some modules vary from week to week, seminars and lectures may alternate, sometimes there might be an extra lecture added in on specific weeks etc. There is also an optional ballet class most weeks for all year groups, this is only one hour and is for everyone – those who have done ballet since they were 3, and those who have never set foot in a ballet class in their lives. Our technique classes are timetabled as two hours long but only 1.5hrs of that is taught, and the final half an hour is there to self-direct a cool down, stretch and write up any notes and reflection from the class – something I find very useful and really wish I’d got into the habit of doing this before now!

There aren’t many performance opportunities handed to you from class so it’s good to get involved with as much as possible and investigate everything you come across. I’ve been attending an improvisation collective that meets once a week, there’s been a couple of workshops held by outside artists, I’m dancing in a third-year choreography piece, and this week I’m performing in Swarm Sculptures by Lucy Suggate (I may post about this soon).

Being so close to the centre of Leicester, I got myself an Under 26 Curve theatre membership when I moved here, which gets me 15% of ticket prices and £5 tickets/2-4-1 deals captureon selected performances. I’m pretty sure I’ve made my money back already and made it worth it and it’s only been a couple of months! I’ve been to see Akram Khan’s Until the Lions, BalletBoyz’ Life and James Wilton’s Leviathan – more on those later. Speaking of performances, I was lucky enough to go down to Bristol to see Akram Khan’s Giselle, which was phenomenal and I will be posting a review of that soon hopefully!

That’s about it for now… if you have any questions about the course I’m doing or anything I’ve mentioned, don’t hesitate to ask.

Much Love x

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