I’d like to carry on teaching dance in the community, and maybe look into teaching in higher education in the future. I love the idea of inspiring others like my lecturers inspired me.
Dance graduate Isobel Davis never dreamed she would end up teaching at the dance school where she first enjoyed lessons as a 12-year-old. Once part of the youth dance programme, Isobel now works at Déda in Derby as a Dance Development and Learning Co-ordinator, teaching and supporting a range of classes, including aerial, and encouraging other young people to get involved in dance and the arts.
“I started dancing at three, and always wanted to pursue a career in dance. I went on to take a Dance GCSE and then studied for a BTEC in Dance. I had my heart set on going to a conservatoire, but with six siblings my parents would have had to re-mortgage their house to pay for it, so I decided to do my dance training at university level at Edge Hill and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
Like many people, when I started my course I wanted to be a performer, but Edge Hill really opened my eyes to the range of possibilities for Dance graduates, not just as dancers but in the arts in general. I ended up choosing not to perform for my dissertation; instead I looked at dance in education and how it can inspire creativity in children. It was an odd choice but it was something that really interested me. My course showed me that creativity can come from anywhere and you can make a performance out of anything you have to hand. That really resonated with me.
After graduating I was fortunate to put my research into practice working for Premier Performing Arts, running workshops in more than 100 primary schools. I was the only dance teacher in the organisation so I had a lot of responsibility from the beginning. When the job came up at Déda, I didn’t think I had the right skills but it was this experience that made me stand out.
Every day is different at Déda. As well as assisting in aerial, hip hop, ballet and creative movement classes and organising the Academy programme timetables, I am involved in several community projects. These include Plus one, a dance project for care leavers who are currently working on a piece based on a zombie apocalypse, and Dance with Dementia, which allows people with dementia to participate in dance workshops in care homes, as well as projects with young people in hospital and in schools.
My experience at Edge Hill gave me the confidence to try different things. It gave me the technical training I needed to perform but it also nourished my creativity and made me feel like my ideas were good and could go somewhere. I’m also able to draw on a lot of what I learnt on my course in my job.
I’d like to carry on teaching dance in the community, and maybe look into teaching in higher education in the future. I love the idea of inspiring others like my lecturers inspired me.”
To find out more about studying this programme, please view full course information for BA (Hons) Dance.