Updated: Dec 11, 2019
13th-14th November | Cara Verney
As a student, finding work experience in your final year at university can be the most daunting thing in the world! I can’t lie, at first it was. Where do you even begin? Many questions will cross your mind, what interests me the most? What do I want to learn? What will be useful to my learning and most importantly what am I going to enjoy!
However, I have thankfully had the most amazing support from Next Door Dance throughout my dance training. I was part of their youth company based at Dance4 during my training at college (in Nottingham) and I am now living in Leeds studying BA (Hons) Dance at Leeds Beckett University where I am training in contemporary dance. Life in Leeds is so crazy and exciting and has provided me with many opportunities and experiences. It’s such a great city to gain connections within the arts and has amazing organisations throughout the entire city. Leeds Dance Partnership allows all the organisations to stay connected- Leeds Beckett, Yorkshire Dance, Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds Playhouse and Phoenix Dance Theatre; providing amazing experiences all over the city. As you can tell, I love it here and hugely recommend as a place to study or live!
So, where did it all begin. The main aims I wanted to accomplish when partaking in my industry placement was to gain an understanding on how a company may be organised and gain an insight on all the little in-between work that takes place in order for projects to happen. To learn how to manage and apply for work/funding. Gain an insight into working with young people and their development and to experience work within the community. Next Door Dance provided me with 2 days of work experience in November, day 1 involved shadowing Georgie in her daily work and day 2 had me helping out NDD on the first day of their rural tour!
Georgie has been my guru and guiding mentor throughout the whole of my training (what an absolute angel!). I honestly don’t know where I would be without her and I can’t thank her enough for her continuous support! The day began by Georgie giving me a run down on the institutions we would be visiting alongside the scheduling of classes, session activities and a list of jobs NDD had formed for me to complete over the course of the two days I had with them. The first session of the day was at Park Vale Academy, this was an after-school session. It was a great experience to help out in this session and assist the young people in their work, it was also wonderful to see the joy this session brought to the young people and great to see a school so involved and committed to the arts. Our next location was The Louisa Holmes School of Performing Arts. I used to take part in the contemporary technique class here when I was younger and having covered this class myself, it was great to see familiar faces. It was insightful to see how the class was structured and how routines can be adaptable and inclusive to all who is present.
My second day of work placement with NDD involved us visiting a village hall in Heanor, Derbyshire for their first performance on their rural tour. It was great to see how a working company operates on tour and all the aspects that are involved to make it all happen! The weather was not on our side this day- however we powered through and I got stuck in helping NDD build the stage, prepare the set, build props and enjoy plenty of lovely cuppas! It was great fun for me to capture behind the scene footage and enjoy the performance of The Beautiful Game; I also loved the face paint and got to experience the amazing fan zone!
Overall, I had the best time on my industry placement with NDD- they always provide a fun and supporting nature for all who have the opportunity to work with them. Thanks for being simply wonderful humans!