A note to first year me.

Take advantage of the opportunities in front of you. There is no greater gift than structure in the life of somebody who wants to dance and that is a luxury for many that doesn’t extend beyond graduation day. To be able to know when, where and who your class will come from five days a week is a blessing that you should not take for granted.

Technique classes and assessments are nerve wracking and can cause stress but remember one important thing at the end of everyday – you are doing what you love. Don’t let the stress of remembering a phrase dampen that fact as one day you’ll pine for an 8.45am assessment and the feedback that comes at the end of it.

The tough part of dancing begins when you leave, and you have to find the classes, pay for them, pay for the train and pay for the time it takes to get you to London and back or wherever your nearest studio may be. Take advantage of the timetable given to you as a student. University is by no means free of charge and all your technique classes are of course paid for, but the price is set whether you go to them all or go to none. Go to them all and more. Use the studio space that’s at your disposal. The gift of a dance degree is the hours of studio time and lectures that come as part of our lovely student fees but equate to perhaps a few hours of lectures in the life of an English student also studying a BA. Don’t waste this time, be a sponge. Soak up all you can.

Learn from your peers as much as you learn from your lecturers. To be around people that love something as much as you do is a wonderful environment to be in, use this energy to inspire each other. Support and collaborate as much as you can because soon you will all be dispersed to all corners of the country and weekly choreography showings will seem like a long long time ago.

Don’t be so set in your goals. Of course everyone embarks on a dance degree with a dream to dance, but you’ll find other paths along the way that you didn’t know existed. Its OK to follow these paths, even if it doesn’t end up where you thought you might. Try modules that seem unfamiliar and try new things, if you don’t take the chance now you may never be able to again.

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