After studying Art & Design, Psychology and Dance at A Level at 6th form, Helen went on to study BA Dance Performance at Middlesex University in London in 2008, and graduated in 2011 with First class Honours. After teaching in a range of community settings and exploring other work opportunities, Helen applied for and is now currently studying for a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) in Dance Teaching at the Royal Academy of Dance.
Helen aims to qualify in July with Qualified Teacher Status, and hopes to secure a teaching role so she can complete an NQT year as a nationally qualified teacher. It has so far been a very demanding course but she hopes it will all be worth it.
1. Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?
Like most dancers I first became involved in dance by attending ballet and tap lessons at my local dance school from about the age of 4, from what I can remember. I continued with dance lessons there until I was 18 and moved on to study dance at university.
2. What do you find you like best about dance class?
Depending on the style of dance I enjoy different parts. I’m not a short dancer so really enjoy traveling sections and grande allegro where I can use my height to my advantage. I like feeling as though you are giving everything and have used all your energy and ability, only for your teacher to say “once more…”. You somehow find it in yourself to perform again because it makes you feel so good.
3. What is the hardest part about dance for you?
Whether it’s technique class, choreography or teaching, it is frustrating – as a perfectionist – if things don’t always go your way as quickly as you would like. However, when you reflect on it, it’s not something that sticks in the mind because the process of dance overwhelms the negativity.
4. What advice would you give to other dancers?
Don’t give up!
5. How has dance changed your life?
By studying Dance at Undergraduate level it gives you such a broad range of skills, many of which are transferable into other industries. Although I worked away from dance for three years, the passion still remained so I applied for my PGCE and I am now training to become a dance teacher. It is a very demanding course but rewarding at the same time.