Melanie Thompson

Student – PGCE: Dance Teaching (with QTS)

What I love most about dance is its ability to evoke change. Dance is the perfect combination of athleticism and emotion that sets it apart from other modes of physical activity and art. As a little girl I was always in awe of the Royal Academy of Dance and its reputation after receiving grades in ballet, modern, jazz and tap. I first started teaching when I was 16 helping at a local ballet school. Teaching is a natural process of any dancer’s career; similar to choreography, there is always a need to be creative and share your knowledge with others.

After completing a BA (Hons) in Dance Choreography at the University of Northumbria, I spent two years pursuing a career as a professional dancer, later running a Dance Theatre Company where I began sharing my practice with dedicated students wanting to become professional dancers. My highlight was writing their references for professional dance schools and seeing them receive acceptance into Urdang Academy, Bird College and The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. This was a defining moment for me and I knew I wanted to further my teaching career.

I wanted to enhance my professional practice both as a dancer and a teacher and was eager to find an establishment that would facilitate the best training. The RAD offers a unique experience to train in a vibrant dance environment with the guidance from outstanding professionals. This has enabled me to feel confident that I am offering quality teaching to students.

I am now studying on the PGCE:DT which will allow me to teach across a range of ages from 11-19 years, providing me with more opportunities for the future. The programme is extremely challenging but every milestone reached only makes it more rewarding. My biggest challenge has been teaching students who don’t love dance initially. I have enjoyed changing their perceptions and helping them understand that dance is unique to the individual and is inclusive to all. I look forward to gaining more experience in dance education, working towards becoming Head of Dance and ultimately, continuing to complete a Masters and becoming a Dance Lecturer in the future.