Anna completed her Gold Arts Award with Universal Dance. She decided to develop her talent in dance, predominantly ballet, by improving her skill at jazz dance. We chatted with Anna to find out more about what her Gold Arts Award experience was like.
What was most valuable to you personally about your Arts Award?
The most valuable part of Arts Award was definitely the number of opportunities it allowed me to participated in, and become more proactive in searching out these opportunities.
For example, I’ve wanted to perform at a dance festival for years. My Arts Award made me proactive enough to organise private lessons for this so that I could enter myself into a festival. The same goes for setting up the dance club at school and encouraging me to write emails and talk to various people to arrange the organisation.
As I mentioned, I wanted to expand my skill in jazz dance, however I struggled to find opportunities for jazz dance near me. However, I undertook research as part of my Arts Award which has helped to become much more proactive in finding these opportunities. I did manage to find lessons in jazz and also created a jazz trio for our school dance show.
How did you share your arts skills or lead your own projects?
For my leadership project, I ran a dance club at my school for the Year 7s and 8s where they improved their jazz technique and learned a dance which they performed in our school dance show. I found this rewarding and beneficial because it gave me great experience in teaching dance.
Tell us more about your portfolio.
I created a scrapbook style portfolio, which was all handwritten, and posted on Arts Award Voice as part of my work for section 1D. You can find my arts issue debate around how injuries impact dancers right here.
What did you find inspiring?
Learning from other people inspired me greatly in my Arts Award. My work experience at Cascade Dance and friends I worked with on my jazz choreography for our school show are both examples of how I’ve grown from the input of others.
What did you find challenging?
The most challenging part was the distance between where I live and the Universal Dance locations. This meant I had to contact my advisors on the phone and consequently managed most of the project myself.
At times this could be a challenge, as there is a lot to cover for the Gold Award, especially whilst balancing A-Levels and dance exams. I have to say this did make the experience more rewarding when I finished it! What I learnt from managing this project will definitely help me in my further studies, such as my Teaching Diploma, where I’m required to be more independent in learning.
What events did you attend as part of Arts Award?
The biggest event I attended as part of my Arts Award was Move It, which I found so inspiring! The dancers on both the Main and Freestyle Stage were incredible and really emphasised the importance of good performance skills.
What are you going to do next and has Arts Award helped you?
I’m currently taking a gap year before going to university. I’m spending the first half completing my Dance Teaching Diploma with the British Ballet Organisation and spending the second half at a Performing Arts School in Canada.
My Arts Award has definitely helped with this, as it made me much more proactive in looking for opportunities to develop my teaching, and therefore helped me find the Diploma course. The Level 3 qualification and teaching experience from doing the Award looked great on my application, and I was able to talk about them confidently during my interview. I also included the Award on my application to the school in Canada, which helped me to stand out.
Who gave you the most help and inspiration?
My arts inspirations were teachers and professionals who helped me develop my jazz dance, including Rosina Andrews and Megan Allaway. I interviewed them both and they both gave really helpful answers about their career paths. Since I want to become a dance teacher, I found this incredibly useful.
If you have completed an Arts Award and would like to be profiled too, join our Arts Award Alumni and let us know about your experience.