Starting a vocational dance college/school is such an exciting time in a dancer's life, however, it can also be super scary and daunting. We caught up with one of our models Sally who went to the Northern Ballet School in Manchester to get her top tips for anyone who might be feeling nervous.
1. What advice would you give to someone moving away from home for the first time to go to college?
‘I moved to Manchester when I was 16 to go to Northern Ballet. The best thing to remember for anyone feeling nervous is that you're all in the same boat. A lot of people are in the same situation as you, the best thing to do is talk to your classmates/ roommates for advice and support as it is likely they are feeling exactly the same as you are.
2. What were the top 5 things you couldn't live without at dance college?
‘There were a lot of things I couldn't live without, it's hard to it narrow down. If I had to, I would say the first thing is my stretch loop from Move Dance. I was obsessed with getting really flexible and used to go into the studio 30 minutes before class to warm up and stretch. Secondly, my soup maker was ideal for throwing what I had in the cupboard when I was really busy. The third thing would have to be my fairy lights, I loved making my room feel homely. There is nothing better than coming home to a cozy room after a long day. My fourth item would have to be my notebook/ planner. I used mine mostly for getting organised and writing down my goals. Finally, Dobble it's a great card game and a perfect Ice breaker!!’
3. ‘Is there something you wish you knew before starting college?’
‘I wish I knew more about all the different avenues dancing can take you on, when I first started I thought I would be a ballerina, I had no idea about all the other amazing and different opportunities dance has to offer. If I knew this I think I would have invested more time into dance genres I am not so comfortable with, for example, hip hop or commercial.’
4. What were you most nervous about and what were you most excited for?
‘I was most nervous about starting and everyone being a better standard than I was. However, it wasn't like that at all, when you start everyone is put on a level playing field. You go back to basics and work on your technique so It doesn't really matter how much experience you had compared to others. I was most excited about the shows at the end of the year and trying different dance genres I had not much experience in. My background was mainly ballet and contemporary so I was really looking forward to doing more Jazz and commercial.’
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just about to start dance college?
‘I would say don't put all your eggs in one basket and be open to other dance styles. Push yourself and step out of your comfort zone, you might be surprised and find a new skill. Don't take yourself too seriously, dance teachers and employers don't like a diva. A smile goes a long way, be yourself and you will do just fine!!’
Find Sally on Instagram: @salliejayne
We hope this has been helpful for anyone who might have been feeling slightly anxious or worried. Remember just be yourself and enjoy!!
The Move Dance Team x