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High-flying dance graduate thanks DMU for shaping her career

A thriving Dance graduate of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been making grand jetes in her young teaching career thanks in no small part to the skills she learnt while studying here.

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High-flying teacher Rebecca Woolven graduated from the university in 2011 and thinks the DMU Dance BA (Hons) course influenced her success.

Rebecca is now Head of Dance at the Swindon Academy teaching 13- to 19-year-olds vocational, BTEC and GCSE dance – a rapid rise since qualifying as a teacher in July 2013.

The 29-year-old is also a Head of House, a middle-leadership position at the school where she is responsible for nine members of staff, and is now in training to be an assistant-principal.

Rebecca, who is originally from Cirencester in Gloucestershire, is grateful for what she learned at DMU and says the Dance course “shaped my career so far”.

She explained: “My choice to study at DMU was down to the resources and the course structure.

“The vocational aspects of the course meant I could develop my teaching and leading skills in community and school settings, as well as strengthen my existing technical practice in contemporary dance techniques.

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“My favourite aspect was the placement in schools and in the community which allowed me to make links and gain skills by working with dance artists and professionals. The links I made have shaped out my career so far.

“DMU developed my skills as a dance artist, leader and person. I gained team-work skills, time management and high levels of commitment when working to tight deadlines, all of which have benefited me greatly in my chosen career path.”

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She also gave high praise to DMU’s Dance staff, particularly Head of Dance Jayne Stevens and principal lecturer Sally Doughty, as well as the facilities on offer such as the Performance Arts Centre of Excellence (PACE).

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Rebecca said: “I received fabulous input and encouragement especially from Jayne and Sally. There was always a person to talk to and a commitment that they cared about you as an individual, pastorally, as well as academically and vocationally as a dancer.

“The facilities are fantastic – outstanding even; I have encountered none as good since leaving! They were always available for private use as well to develop your practice continually during the course of your studies.”

After graduating from DMU, Rebecca studied for her PGCE teacher-training qualification at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, where she qualified in 2013.

For any current DMU students looking to follow in Rebecca’s pointes, she advised: “Take every opportunity, go to extra classes, go to classes in the city – Leicester is a huge dance hub with thousands of connections of which I still use now. Go out and grab it.”

Posted on Thursday 19th January 2017

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