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Excellence Scholarship winner Megan Hart in the Catalyst building.Excellence Scholarship winner Megan Hart is building up to an appearance at a major dance final while also fulfilling her academic ambitions at Edge Hill University.

The 21-year-old from Prestwich, Manchester, who has been performing since the age of two, has secured qualification for the 2019 SOAR British Street Dance Championships along with her fellow team-mates after finishing first in their regional heat.

Currently in the second year of her Psychology degree, Megan has already tasted success at national level, having been accepted on to the England Dance squad in the mid-2010s through her involvement with Radcliffe-based Freakdance (competing competitively in street dance and commercial categories).

“That was my most significant achievement,” she reflected. “We came first in the commercial category at the International Dance Federation World Championship in Austria, having competed against 1,500 competitors from 31 countries.”

Megan received an A* in Psychology at A-Level at Holy Cross College, strengthening her determination to pursue the subject at university.

“This confirmed my aspiration to have a career in the field although I always knew I would carry on dancing. I aspire to become a clinical psychologist and the psychology department at Edge Hill University has supported my ambitions – I am currently a psychology intern here.”

The challenge of balancing her training alongside her studies has been met by the need to adopt disciplined time management methods in between dance classes.

“I take my coursework to the studio with me to ensure I stay on top of my work. Dancing is a great stress relief, especially when exams are looming so finding the right balance between university and dancing is highly beneficial.”

Megan, who also taught dance at the J-Star Academy in her home town prior to university, is pleased to see how popular the activity is becoming – a trend she is keen to see continue.

“I believe this is due to more inclusive classes being available. Zumba is a great example of a new style which encourages everyone to join regardless of age, size, gender or ability. The perception of dance has evolved, toxic masculinity and the stigma attached to male dancers is fading thus more and more males are partaking in dance lessons. Long may it continue.

“The benefits are endless, and, in future, I aspire to combine my love for both dance and psychology together and teach dance movement therapy sessions.”

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