Dance: Enrichment Activities
LIFT DANCE COMPANY
Founded in 2005, this exclusive youth dance company provides students from Neath College an annual opportunity to work intensively with the lecturing choreographers towards creating new and innovative dance works ready to be performed at the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea. Students are invited to audition and those lucky enough to be offered a place will commit to an extra 2-4 hours of studio rehearsal time per week. Choreographers have included Craig Coombs (Company Director), Saydi Jones, Elise Addiscott, Vicky Burroughs, Nia Collier, Stacy Panico, Terry Michael, Natalie Partridge, Matthew Howells and Amelia Cunliffe. The company have also collaborated with One Vision Dance Company and performed with Ballet Cymru, Powys Dance, Jermin Productions and at the National Dance Company Wales’ Youth Dance Platform.
LIFT Associates Dance Academy
Founded in 2006, this invites young dancers aged 14-16 into the college from local secondary schools to experience dance training and to advance their skills in dance before committing to a full-time dance course at College. Craig Coombs (Subject Leader and Course Coordinator for Level 3 Dance) holds weekly dance classes focusing on a range of technical dance approaches, whilst developing choreographic and performance skills. The academy dancers also get the opportunity to perform alongside LIFT Dance Company in the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea every year. Tutors on this course have included Craig Coombs (Academy Director), Caryn Pritchard, Abbie Bassie, Matthew Howells and Vicky Burroughs.
Fairy Tale Productions
Founded in 2015, this is an inclusive dance opportunity for any student who wishes to take part in a Christmas dance production. Once auditioned, students are invited to a weekly 3 hour extra-curricular rehearsal (more if in a leading role), to work towards creating an original dance production which is performed at the Nidum Arts Centre. This project invites students to develop their skills in all dance styles and foster their theatrical story telling skills through dance too. In previous years the productions have included ‘Nutcracker’, ‘Neverland’, ‘Wonderland’ and ‘Emerald City’. This opportunity is also offered to LIFT Associate Dance Academy students and has links with dancers from local secondary schools and private dance schools. Choreographers have included Craig Coombs (Artistic Director), Elise Addiscott and Saydi Jones.
Summer Dance Festival
Founded in 2014, this is a one week long festival for dance which takes place annually (in June) and is open to all students across Neath College. The festival invites dance industry professionals to teach dance workshops and masterclasses to all that take part. The festival also sets up university links for the Level 3 dance students and allows time for advanced skills development. Professional classes led by Matthew Gough, Gwyn Emberton, Ballet Cymru, National Dance Company Wales, Harriot Eton, Gregory Sage, Michael Williams, Robyn Stack, Daniella Powell, Jalisa Andrews, Guzel Atymtayeva, Shakara and Deavion Brown.
Professional Training Placements
Level 3 Dance students (BTEC and A Level) are encouraged to organise professional placements at suitable times throughout the year. This is designed to better prepare them for the industry, higher education and professional dance training courses. Student placements have included time with Ballet Cymru, National Dance Company Youth Wales, Trinity Laban, Arts Educational Schools, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Jermin Productions, Neath Amateur Operatic Society, National Youth Dance Wales, Ovation Musical Theatre Company, Impact Musical Theatre Company, Motion X County Youth Dance Company, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, The Urdang Academy, London Studio Centre and London School of Contemporary Dance.
Professional Dance Work Experience
Dance students on the Level 3 BTEC and A Level Dance courses are often provided with the opportunity to work professionally whilst studying at college. Opportunities can be varied year by year but have included dance performances with; The Black Eyed Peas, Bright Light Bright Light, Ballet Cymru, Wow Productions, Dynion Dance Company, TAN Dance, Mariinsky Ballet and Gwyn Emberton Dance.
Specialist Personal Tutor Programme
Founded in 2006, Craig Coombs (Course Coordinator for Level 3 Dance) offers specialist tuition designed to prepare all Level 3 BTEC Dance for auditions in higher education and training courses in Dance related study; musical theatre; contemporary; ballet; choreography; commercial; jazz and tap. This course is designed to practically prepare students for foundation, diploma, professional and degree level courses, offering support with interview and audition techniques, alongside guidance into writing applications and applying for student funding.
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