DMU dancers inspire the next generation

Representing national and regional dance bodies is giving De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students and graduates valuable exposure and a say in the future of the sector.

Katie, Molly, Bethan, Carden represending DMU as One Dance UK ambassadors

Final-year Dance student Molly Brunsdon-Lloyd, together with recent graduates Carden Stapleton, Bethan Siddaway and Katie Mcloughlin, have been chosen as ambassadors for One Dance UK - a national organisation working towards a stronger and more diverse sector.

Beating stiff competition, they join a handpicked team of young people across the UK who will help to deliver One Dance UK activities at local and national level, while learning about varied career paths in dance and gaining a wealth of new skills and experience along the way.

Dance students Emily Morgan and Lauren Edwards have also secured spots on the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s LEAP Ambassador programme, offering them the chance to investigate behind the scenes, experience practical projects, develop new skills and make new contacts.

Bethan Siddaway

For Bethan, One Dance UK formed a key part of her university life – from using their resources during her studies to volunteering at their events hosted at Leicester’s Curve theatre – which is what motivated her to apply for the scheme.

The 23-year-old from Cambridge said: “We have the chance to develop a personal project as One Dance UK ambassadors and I’ve chosen to focus on dance for children and young people, which is something I’m really passionate about.

“I feel like not enough children and young people know about the opportunities available to them and it’s my goal to help connect the dots for them.”

Since graduating from DMU in 2021, Bethan completed a PGCE in dance and is balancing performing with teaching for the Royal Academy of Dance.

“I knew straight away I wanted to go to DMU. The whole environment excited me and the teachers were so welcoming,” she said. “I learned so much and left with a whole new and exciting set of skills. It was a really positive experience all round.”

Molly Brunsdon-Lloyd (photo credit SUNY Brockport)

Current student Molly is most looking forward to making new connections during her time as a One Dance UK ambassador. “Networking within the sector is really important to me as I’ll be graduating soon,” said the 21-year-old from Eastbourne.

“I’d eventually like to work for a dance charity, so getting to experience the many different aspects of that now is really valuable to me. I also enjoy teaching and getting to lead workshops will hopefully boost my confidence as an artist.”

As part of her degree, Molly spent 10 months studying in America at one of DMU’s partner universities in Upstate New York. “I always knew I wanted to study abroad and I picked DMU because of DMU Global - its international experience programme,” she said.

“My study abroad has made my whole degree. I genuinely believe I’m doing a lot better in my studies than would have done without it. DMU Global is a really supportive team and they give you a surprising amount of financial help too.”

Katie Mcloughlin

For 2022 graduate Katie, being busy wasn’t a barrier to becoming a One Dance UK ambassador. She is balancing the role alongside interning with Soft Touch Arts Mondays to Fridays and working with a dance company on Saturdays.

The 23-year-old from Suffolk said: “I have so many goals and believe in taking up opportunities whenever you can, otherwise I feel like I’m missing out if I’m not working towards something.

“I’m excited to work with people of all ages and to explore things beyond performing, like producing and setting up events. I’ll get so much more out of this opportunity because we get lots of support from One Dance UK.”

Katie first started thinking about enrolling at DMU when she found out that her A-level dance teacher had studied there, as well as world-renowned choreographer Akram Khan, who is the university’s current Chancellor.

“Lots of little things drew me to DMU and when I came to campus I knew for sure it was the right place for me. It’s really nice that so many DMU Dance students and graduates were chosen to be One Dance UK ambassadors this year – it speaks volumes about our course,” she said.

Posted on Thursday 12th January 2023

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