Roehampton Dance alumna awarded British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Monday, April 16, 2018

Roehampton dance alumna, AkosuA BoaKye, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List for her services in dance.

AkosuA BoaKye is a founder and director of AkomaAsa Performing Arts Academy. She is a dance practitioner and also teaches Western Contemporary and West African Dance and Choreography. She graduated from Roehampton in 1997, AkosuA earned a PGCE qualification and taught dance in a variety of settings in schools, universities and the community.

She has worked as Curriculum Leader with Kensington and Chelsea College (KCC), Cohort Director with Dance United. AkosuA now works as a Dance Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and Movement Instructor for the West End musical, Disney’s The Lion King Cub School—a role which has since developed to casting and coordinating for the school.

On her career she said ‘An unforgettable part of my journey is working alongside Thea Barnes, Resident Dance Supervisor for the West End musical, Disney’s The Lion King, in my role as the Cub School Coordinator. I also get to work with children who are training for a role in a top West End musical.To see children simply throw themselves into learning a range of disciplines with the ambition to work on stage is highly inspiring and motivating. Every session is exciting and rejuvenating’.

In addition to the British Empire Medal, AkosuA has also been awarded 2006 One Dance UK Trailblazer Fellowship for her work in West African Dance.

On her time at Roehampton she said ‘Much of what I engaged in at Roehampton helped to shape and prepare me to understand the characteristics needed when working in today’s professional arts and education industries’.

On advice to students AkosuA said ‘Be prepared to work hard and take this opportunity whilst studying to develop your skills as a physical performer seriously. Throughout your career, you will still need to regularly take dance classes for maintaining fitness, keeping yourself motivated and networking. To improve your career progression, be ready to continue your professional development and gain further qualifications and training’.

The University of Roehampton is rated No. 1 for dance research in the UK (REF 2014). It has the world’s largest PhD programme in dance and offers a new comprehensive master’s portfolio.