Enhancing my academic qualifications after a professional career
I am an ex-soloist with Scottish Ballet and now a freelance ballet teacher and choreographer. I teach at Danscentre in the city of Aberdeen, a busy school dedicated to working with students of all ages and levels. This gives me the opportunity to work with very young children all the way through to young adults – Primary RAD grades through to Advanced 2. Being able to physically watch the progression of the students, from the start to these latter levels, is incredible and extremely rewarding.
The Royal Academy of Dance has been a huge influence on me and my training, not only as a dancer but also as a teacher. I started my ballet training at the age of 3 and went on to take all the vocational level exams. Through great RAD teaching and the developing syllabus work, I fulfilled my dream of dancing professionally for 14 years. Then, on retiring, the RAD’s ‘Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma’ allowed me to carry on the RAD’s vision through my own teaching. To this day I continue to have faith and confidence in the RAD as I believe that I’m learning from the world leader in dance education. I am now back studying as part of the BA (Hons) Dance Education distance learning course.
Today, students studying for a career in ballet can also study at degree level at the same time, gaining a recognised qualification alongside their vocational training. This was not an option for me, so now this course is perfect, allowing me to return to study while teaching at the same time. The experience I gained throughout my career enhances my studies and my studies enhance my teaching.
Continuous Professional Development is extremely important in the teaching world and I know the RAD will continue to influence my life, and help me to train young dancers for generations to come.