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Published on 26 June 2018

Dancing up a storm: Dance City and the University of Sunderland
Dancing up a storm: Dance City and the University of Sunderland

From street dance to ballet, the University of Sunderland has teamed up with Dance City to offer new qualifications for the superstars of tomorrow.

The two North East institutions are keen to set trends and offer students the chance to express themselves with creativity and flair.

It is also hoped that by collaborating to offer dance training at such a high level, the partnership will play a vital role in retaining dance talent within the North East.

Two of the courses will be hosted at the Fire Station Arts Centre in Sunderland.

Newcastle and Sunderland-based Dance City has joined forces with the University to offer a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and MAs in Advanced Dance Performance and Advanced Professional Practice (Dance).

The courses will be part of The Learning Academy at Dance City which offers formal, professional dance training all within a venue where professionals, students and the wider community mingle together – a unique offering in dance education.

Anthony Baker, CEO and artistic director, Dance City, said: “We are very happy to be collaborating with the University of Sunderland as our accreditation partner as we bring our higher education program in-house at Dance City.

“One of our main aims is for the region to retain its talent and being able to offer such high quality and unique training opportunities to the North East is a huge achievement and a step closer to being able to achieve our goal.

 “Our plans for the future are all about ensuring that people in the region have the same or even better cultural opportunities as the rest of the country. With this news we are the only place in the country where training, performance and outreach all take place under the same roof, offering a totally different learning environment and experience to other dance courses.”

Professor Arabella Plouviez, Academic Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland, said: “This collaboration between Dance City and my faculty provides a really innovative new relationship that will benefit students.

“Dance City is uniquely positioned to provide a truly professionally focused set of programmes in dance and that fits well with our priorities and our other subject areas across art and design, performance and media.”

 The courses are practically focused and have a strong emphasis on developing dance technique.

Students will spend up to 75% of their study time in the dance studio, undergoing rigorous technical training comparable to any professional company.

The BA (Hons) in Professional Dance will begin this September and be delivered at Dance City’s Newcastle site. The MA in Advanced Dance Performance will start in September 2019, while the MA in Advanced Professional Practice (Dance) will begin in January 2019 both at the Sunderland site, based in The Fire Station Arts Centre.

The course celebrates all aspects of dance and students will be encouraged to become versatile professionals, able to achieve long-term careers in different avenues of dance.

Study will be divided into three focused areas: professional practice, education and management. These modules will develop abilities and physical understanding of accurate and artistic dance technique. Students will cover a wide range of classical and contemporary styles including ballet, contemporary, urban/street, jazz and world.

Teaching methods include a mixture of classroom, practical work and workshops.

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