How did you start in theatre?
While reading English and theatre studies at the University of Lancaster, I was introduced to physical theatre. I continued my interest by taking a year of movement studies at the Laban Centre (now Trinity Laban). After studying a PGCE in drama at Manchester Metropolitan University, I directed my passion for performing arts into secondary drama and dance teaching.
What is your best piece of advice for students today?
Make the most of any opportunity – you can learn from everything. Also, look after yourself.
What would you change about training in the UK?
A greater emphasis on the opportunities in the sectors students are interested in post-education. Our BA dance degree at Deda, in partnership with the University of Derby, provides opportunities for students to meet artists and take placements in the areas they are interested in. The right amount of exposure can help set them on an inspiring career path.
What is the best part of your job?
The breadth and depth of it. I am constantly inspired, challenged and able to make a difference to people’s lives through the projects and commissions we develop and the talent we nurture. It is satisfying to see our students volunteering on a placement and then giving up time to continue after the assessment period.
And your least favourite?
Lots of ideas and not enough time to do them.
Which practitioners do you admire the most and who should students look up to?
Our associate artist Joss Arnott is an amazing choreographer who uses the dancers’ personalities in his work, which is fascinating to watch. I also admire Nikki Rummer and JD Brousse who do fascinating research into narrative development in contemporary circus.
What is the one skill every successful theatre/dance professional should have?
Being open to things and not constrained by art form boundaries.
Clare Limb is head of dance development and learning at Deda. She was talking to John Byrne