NICOLE VICTOR

MA Contemporary Dance Performance (PAS)

Nicole is an apprentice dancer with Tavaziva Dance based in London. She completed the BA (Hons) in Dance (Contemporary) at NSCD in 2017. Nicole is from Gibraltar.

"I am privileged to say that I study at NSCD. From the staff, to the teachers and the students, there is so much passion, support and love under such a small roof. The school provides endless opportunities to work with many experienced artists from around UK and Europe and showcases a wide range of works from upcoming and established companies and artists. There is so much going on, there is never a period where nothing is going on (except during certain holiday breaks)."

 

Why did you decide to study contemporary dance?       

I started dancing when I was 4 years old, doing Modern and Ballet. I then moved onto Show Dance which is a blend of Modern and Jazz styles competing both nationally and internationally. Since I wanted to further my career in dance I began Contemporary Dance classes with the aim to prepare for auditioning for vocational dance schools in the UK. Graduates from NSCD, Adrian Lopez and Nathaniel Conroy mentored, taught and inspired me to explore and study Contemporary Dance.

What do you enjoy about training in Leeds at NSCD?    

I am privileged to say that I study at NSCD. From the staff, to the teachers and the students, there is so much passion, support and love under such a small roof. The school provides endless opportunities to work with many experienced artists from around UK and Europe and showcases a wide range of works from upcoming and established companies and artists. There is so much going on, there is never a period where nothing is going on (except during certain holiday breaks).

Leeds is such a beautiful and friendly city, everything is relatively close.

 

What is life as a dance student like at NSCD?

It is very intense, not just physically but mentally. We begin classes at 9am but as a dedicated student I would be in the studio at least 30-45 minutes beforehand to ensure my body is prepared. The day officially ends at 5pm but we fortunately have the option to book studio space for rehearsals and self-development until 9pm. During project and assessment time I would easily be in the studio until school shuts.

When it gets to the weekend, it’s either more time for rehearsals or time to reflect on the week, set goals for the following week and also to relax pop into town for a coffee with friends.

Life as a dance student is very tough, you need to be self- disciplined, organised and have the right mind-set. Most of the time it’s all about balance which is something I am still struggling to find.

 

What are the highlights of your time at NSCD so far?

NSCD has challenged me creatively and physically. The school has nurtured and provided me with the support to grow as an artist, a performer and as a person. The journey from 1st to 3rd year has been a life changing experience and I highly value what the school has given me. To define one of many assets, the school has moulded me to become open minded dancer allowing me to absorb and embody an eclecticism of styles, and the willingness to investigate different artistic and choreographic areas within contemporary dance.

Looking back at my time at NSCD there are countless workshops, classes and performances which have excited me. I must say one of my highlights must have been during Independent Projects in 2nd and 3rd year, not just working on my own project but also performing and helping in my peers’ process. It is times like these when you look back at the rest of your year and realise how much talent, different interests and how unique everyone is. It is so inspiring.

 

What are your career goals?

I have no doubt that the MA course at NSCD will continue to push and refine my skills and areas of interest. This level of training will not only fulfil me with satisfaction and pure enjoyment but it will broaden my options and provide me with the assets, exposure and platform to then audition with a greater chance of being employable within the industry.

My ultimate goal is sustaining a contract within in a company, and continue to practice and be curious about creation and performance.

What advice would you give to people thinking of studying contemporary dance?

Stay strong and motivated! Some days you will wake up feeling very sore and your body says no (like I would say ‘run over by a truck feeling’) or things may happen which you cannot control. But remember it’s those moment when you are onstage or in a class when everything just clicks and fall into place is when you realise you were born to do this. Search for those moments, they are magical. If you cannot imagine what else you would rather be doing then you’re on the right path.

(Photos: Joanna Krzanicka)