Turning my love for dance into a career

by Hannah Brown
24 August 2015

Hi I’m Hannah Brown. My teachers, family, and friends said that when you find the right university, you just know. After visiting different universities, it wasn’t until I was pulling up to the gates of the University of Roehampton with my Dad that I actually felt excited. From the second that Open Day began, I knew this was the right place for me and it has been for the past three years.

I just graduated with a BA (Hons) Dance Studies with 1st class honours and there are so many memorable moments (too many to count!). The reputation of the dance department, the opportunities to connect with the dance industry, the stunning campus, the extra-curricular opportunities and support I had from the Roehampton Student Union are all a part of what made me fall in love with what I was doing year after year!

Hannah Brown - Dance

I have met incredible, inspirational people and made friends that I will keep for life. I've embraced the work experience opportunities that the dance department has offered from assisting with Dance for Parkinson’s research examination days to being the Artistic Director for the Footprint Festival.

The Footprint Festival was running in my first two years at university and by my third year I just had to take part. Planning for the week-long festival in May started in early October and I enjoyed working with six other committee members who also were third years. Opening night was incredible! Seeing everyone for the first time all come together to celebrate dance and that we were the ones who had brought everyone together was so overwhelming!

We had wonderful comments about the curation of the night and the standard of the choreography. It was a proud and exciting feeling as the foyer to the theatre buzzed with people between performances. In these moments all the hard work that we had put into our year-long planning paid off. We had over 60 artists from across the globe, 18 workshops, and 18 hours of performance time! We even managed to secure funding from the Wandsworth Arts Council to run an outreach dance project with Heathmere Primary School. It was an amazing experience and our team received the Roehampton Award.

My ideal career has changed many times during the past three years. I think this was largely influenced by being able to choose modules in my degree that played to my strengths and interests. In one module called the Teaching Artist, I went on a work placement teaching as a visiting artist in a 2nd year BTEC Dance class at Richmond Upon Thames College. It was so much fun, because I came from a BTEC school too, and I connected with the students well.

Right now my mind is open to so many possibilities that I had never thought of before. I’m currently working as the Student Activities Intern for the Roehampton Student Union and using the skills I gained by working on the Footprint Festival. I can’t wait to build upon my experience to progress careers in teaching and choreographing with youth groups, and project and management in cultural events and festivals.

Read more about the Footprint Festival and see videos of the festival on YouTube.

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