Amy has recently finished school and due to start at Dance College at the end of the summer. Last year she completed the Sports Leaders UK Award in Dance Leadership Level 1 and recently completed the Award in Dance Leadership Level 2 through Y Dance, the national dance organisation for young people in Scotland. Amy has enjoyed dance for years, taking dance classes since year 1 and co-ordinating mini dance clubs for friends at school. However, she hadn’t considered that she would be able to do dancing as a career until she did the dance leadership courses:
“I did Y Dance level 1 last February holidays and it was then that I realised I wanted to do it as a career. Before then I didn’t think it would be possible. Last month I did the level 2 and that was really good. I learnt so much. I remember thinking that it would just be a bit of fun and that I would get to dance lots but I learnt so much”
Amy highlighted in particular the self-confidence she developed and the knowledge she built up about dancing during the courses:
“I definitely developed my confidence hugely. It gave me lots of confidence to be able to lead classes and teach people dancing. There is also a lot I have learnt too. When I was away doing the level 2 class I learnt a lot like learning how to do swing dance, how dancing came about and all the different styles I hadn’t really heard of”
She also reflected on the skills she developed in leading and communicating with children, in particular the “language that you use and the pace for teaching dancing” to younger groups.
Amy is now planning to take this knowledge to Dance College and would like to pursue a degree in dance and progress into a dance teaching career. She feels that the dance courses were critical in her decision to follow this career path and that the dance leadership courses really helped her secure a place at college:
“I just had so much to say in my personal statement. There was a specific question around how dancing had helped you”
The course tutors at Y Dance played an important role in motivating and encouraging Amy to pursue her love of dance. They were important role models and helped support Amy’s aspirations:
“Before I did the level 1 course I never thought about doing dance as a career. The teachers were really encouraging. I went home and looked it up and it seemed doable. I never thought that I would be able to do that. It was the teachers at Y Dance they made you feel really good and they really enjoyed themselves. I thought I want to be like them. It was the Level 1 course that made me realise and with the foundation course over the summer I just knew that I wanted to do dancing”
Following Amy’s level 1 course she promoted her dance clubs more widely, running two sessions during the week and two after school for students in the local grammar school. She also delivered sessions at her local primary school as part of the Level 2 award. She highlighted in particular how useful it was logging her volunteering experiences as part of the courses – helping her to reflect on what went well and what she learnt. Amy plans to continue volunteering now that she has left school with a week-long dancing boot camp over the summer.