Nora is a current student on the BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary). She reached the contemporary category final for BBC Young Dancer 2017.
Why did you decide to study contemporary dance?
I’ve never seen the start of studying contemporary dance as a decision, it happened quite organically. I trained in ballet for a few years but wanted to explore my body and mind in another challenging way with more possibilities for my body, therefore contemporary suited me.
What do you enjoy about training in Leeds at NSCD?
The diversity of people is brilliant! Everyone has different backgrounds when they first start, which is very enriching during training. You can learn and pick up things from everyone which is a joy. Besides that, the high level of teaching is incredible. The teachers will drag everything you’re capable of out of you to make sure you train on your highest level everyday.
What is life as a dance student like?
It sounds cliché but it’s a lifestyle. Besides that it is physically challenging, it’s also heavy on the mind and that can’t be underestimated. Everything that is normal for a human being is in function for dance for me: sleeping, eating, resting,.. We do what we want and love day in day out and we should definitely celebrate that.
What are the highlights of your time at NSCD so far?
I danced in a production for Light Night 2016 choreographed by Gary Clarke and Antonio Borriello in collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre, NSCD and Northern Ballet. It was an amazing experience to be able to work with a professional choreographer together with Leeds based organisations.
Reaching the contemporary finals for BBC Young Dancer 2017. I received a lot of support and guidance from the school which was extremely helpful.
On top of that, I come from Belgium and living in a different country is the main highlight. Being able to communicate in English and meet the culture of this country is refreshing and exciting.
What are your career goals?
I want to become a company dancer. Wim Vandekeybus (director of Ultima Vez) is my biggest inspiration and I would love to dance for his company one day.
Besides that, I want to travel and see different parts of the world. It would be amazing if I can do that whilst dancing.
What advice would you give to people thinking of studying contemporary dance?
Go for it! Contemporary dance is a wonderful little planet on it’s own and it’s great to be a part of that. You have to be prepared to put in a lot of work, effort and determination in your craft but you’ll eventually be rewarded for it. It takes time and patience to achieve your goals so, I would say, keep in mind why you want to do this and remain the passion.
Watch Nora’s self-choreographed solos as part of the BBC Young Dancer Contemporary Final 2017: