Students in Edge Hill University’s resident dance company 3rd Edge travelled to New York last month to perform at the US launch of the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing.

The event was hosted at New York University by the Drama Therapy Programme, Dr Nisha Sajnani and Professor Vicky Karkou. Students Emese Allen, Amelia Shallish, Ruby Rose Tate, Georgina Fowler, Lauren Green, Gabrielle Orr, Maria Mortimer, Sophia Thomas and Scarlett Primrose, closed the event with a performance of So Love…, choreographed by renowned dance artist, Mathieu Geffré.

Co-editor of the book, Professor Vicky Karkou, Chair of Dance, Art and Wellbeing at Edge Hill University said:

“Our students gained not only an experience of performing in a different venue such as New York University, but an international experience of performing in one of the most exciting cities in the world in terms of contemporary dance.  They had opportunities to meet students and professionals from the dance and related fields, to try out dance classes at well-known dance studios, to wander around the city and get exposed to different cultures, offering them opportunities to try and taste an international career beyond the boundaries of the UK and substantially advancing their employment opportunities. They impressed our hosts and the audience of the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing launch.”

Watch the video of the trip, edited by Amelia Shallish:

Directed by Debbie Milner, Senior Lecturer in Dance at Edge Hill University, So Love… is the portrait of a generation looking at tomorrow’s adventures. Negotiating in between expectations and authenticity, this piece gathers a cast of young women building the path towards their empowered future.

The performance was met with phenomenal feedback. 3rd Edge dancer, Amelia Shallish said:

“Many people found the piece extremely moving and really commended us on how well we performed as a team. Diane Amans, who we were all familiar with, having quoted from her books numerous times within our essays, told us that our performance was the best thing she had seen in a long time.”

The trip was paid for by the Student Opportunity Fund (SOF), which enables students to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities. The fund also allowed the students to partake in one-off classes during their visit and to soak up the culture that New York City has to offer.

Speaking about her experience on the trip 3rd Edge dancer Maria Mortimer said:

“Attending and performing at the launch was not only a rare and greatly valuable experience, it also gave us the opportunity to talk to industry professionals and those who had been published in the book. Not only was it a meaningful event and beneficial to our studies, but it gave us the chance to perform in front of academics, allowed us to make international links, experience America and represent the University.”

The fund ensures that costs are not a barrier to students making the most of their experience at Edge Hill. It allows undergraduate students to apply for up to £2,000 which can help towards the cost of activities designed to prepare them for the future and enhance their employability skills.

3rd Edge dancer Emese Allen said:

“I enjoyed everything about the trip, it was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Student Opportunity Fund completely made this possible for us. To be able to network and discuss arts related topics with people at the event, some of which I know as authors and practitioners, was amazing.”