Nicola Heffes-Doon

Studying by Distance Learning – Student – Certificate of Higher Education: Dance Education

I am a young professional dancer who has made a career out of teaching, choreographing and performing. I chose to study the Certificate of Higher Education: Dance Education primarily to gain Registered Teacher Status with the RAD. My husband is in medical school between Grenada, the UK and the US and we have to move around a lot, so distance learning was perfect for me. Once I started the programme, I began to discover a wealth of information on dance and dance education that neither my teaching experience, nor my degree in theatre dance, had exposed me to. It is fascinating to learn about teaching whilst being able to put my new knowledge into practice with my students (from current pedagogy and nutrition, to music and anatomy), and my teaching has been challenged and enriched by the experience.

The biggest challenge for me so far has been time management; figuring out how to balance my responsibilities at work with the demands of school. After the first semester, I had a much better idea of what was required and settled into a routine. In a developing country, resources can be extremely limited and arts education is low on the priority list. Sometimes the things I learn seem far removed from my daily experience, but studying has inspired me with a vision of what could be, and I have begun to equip myself with the knowledge and tools to implement it.