Before doing the BA, Rebecca studied on the ‘Access to HE Diploma: Contemporary Dance’ at NSCD.
Why did you decide to study contemporary dance?
Before I came to NSCD, I trained at a dance school where all of the teachers/guest teachers/mentors had been contemporary trained, particularly at NSCD. Doing the foundation course was a huge inspiration for me and it gave me all the skills and reassurance that I was at the right school and doing the right course for me.
What do you enjoy about training in Leeds at NSCD?
Leeds is a wonderfully diverse and culturally rich place. It’s also heavily populated with fellow artists and art students and there is so much opportunity to work with fellow artists in surrounding colleges and universities. Chapeltown in particular has a great sense of community and the locals are amazing and make you feel so welcome, especially when you first move to Leeds. There is always so much to do and get involved in, it’s a great city for students both in the day and at night!
What is life as a dance student like?
Life as a dance student is very hard, but it is also incredibly rewarding. You have to commit to long hours and hard days/nights in the studio, but I feel the school really prepares you for the reality of the career/profession we are all hoping to go in to. I feel blessed that I am able to walk in to a studio every day and do what I love to do. We get to work with amazing teachers and choreographers which is the great part of being a Dance student. I am constantly inspired and surrounded by incredible young talent who will one day shape the future of dance. Although it is hard work you also get to express yourself and your ideas through your art on a daily basis. If you are willing to put the work in, you can get so much out of your training and the teachers will push you above and beyond what you ever thought you could do or be.
What are the highlights of your time at NSCD so far?
The transition from foundation to BPA was a highlight of my time here because it was a real reassurance that a year’s work had paid off! The foundation course really allowed me to identify with myself and figure out what kind of person/artist I wanted to be. It also gave me so much deep knowledge of dance and my body, it was a real pleasure to work so closely with one group of people. Rehearsal period is always a massive highlight of my year, I have managed to work with amazing choreographers each year through an intense creative practise and performance outcome. So far I have worked with Tiia Ojala, Jamaal Burkmar and Gavin Coward. Learning a lot about different types of performances has also been interesting, a huge highlight was performing at Harewood House on a site specific project in first year, it’s great to get out of the studio and immerse yourself in a an environment that isn’t your typical “mirrored, sprung floored studio!”
What are your career goals?
It is very scary now that my training is coming closer and closer to an end, however I am very excited to see what the future holds for myself and fellow students. I would like to do company work and hopefully this will allow me to see more of the world. I’m also interested in some of the post graduate companies at NSCD and will be auditioning for these places next year! I would also like to branch out in to other forms of art and further develop my practise in different areas. I’m very interested in working with some more physical theatre and maybe even musical theatre eventually. All I really know is that although it’s scary, NSCD is preparing me for a long and successful career, whatever that may entail. Aslong as I get to do what I love everyday, I will always feel fulfilled.
What advice would you give to people thinking of studying contemporary dance?
You have to love it, and you have to give it your all. The more you put in, the more you will get out, and NSCD will provide you with all the skills, tools and knowledge you need to make your dreams a reality.