Posted 2 April 2014
“I love that I am able to continue ballet dancing and hope that, in the long run, the society will help me to learn new forms of dance"
Rather than leave their favourite activity behind when they started university, Harper Adams students have started their own dance society.
A small group of passionate ballet dancers have been practising every weekend since the start of 2014, with instruction from a local dance school.
First year student and society chairman, Camilla Williams, 19, from Bristol, said: “Harper Adams didn’t have a dance society when I arrived last autumn, but a few students seemed interested, so I decided to try to get it off the ground. It’s going well so far and the students are enjoying it.”
Vice chairman Rebecca Short, 18, from Andover, Hampshire, added: “I didn’t want to stop dancing when I came to university but there was no ballet class close by that I could get to as I do not drive. When Camilla asked if anyone wanted to start a dance society I jumped at the opportunity!
Camilla, a food and consumer studies student, who previously attended Bristol’s Red Maids’ School, added: “I love that I am able to continue ballet dancing and hope that, in the long run, the society will help me to learn new forms of dance such as modern and, hopefully, tap. With more varieties of dance and more students, we should be able to develop the society so that we can do shows and maybe enter competitions.
“Most of us have danced before but the society is open to everyone – from those with years of experience to beginners. We just want to share our love of dance!”
“Our thanks go to sports and societies co-ordinator Andy Jefferies for helping to find us a teacher from the Centre Pointe ballet school in Shrewsbury. We’d be grateful if anyone can help us to develop the society by providing sponsorship or equipment. We cannot start tap until we get the right flooring to dance on.”
The students currently practise in the Harper Adams University fitness studio, which has a mirrored wall and a recently-installed ballet barre.
Rebecca, a first year veterinary nursing and practice management student, who previously attended Peter Symonds College, added: “It was great that we were able to get the society off the ground so quickly, thanks to the support available at Harper Adams.
“We started discussing the society before Christmas and it started running when we returned in January. I love the relaxed nature of the class and I’d like the society to become a popular club at Harper. Maybe someday we could form a team and enter competitions,” said Rebecca, who has completed all of the Royal Academy of Dance ballet grades and wants to maintain her skill level.
The society’s secretary is Emma Saville, 18, from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. “I’ve been dancing since I was very young and really wanted to continue doing so at university. I really enjoy our Saturday lessons and being able to keep active in a fun way. It would be great if the society could gain more members,” said the former pupil of Sandbach High School.
Camilla’s ambition is to work in the food industry helping develop new products for a food brand or supermarket. She chose to study at Harper Adams because “the course looked really interesting and covered a large variety of topics to give me a better understanding of the food industry. The year in industry was really important to me, as it gives you a better idea of what you want to do after you have your degree and gives you a really good feel of the food industry and what it is all about. The campus has a great atmosphere and the university has a good social life.”
Rebecca is aiming to become a veterinary nurse working in small animal practice. She has already completed eight weeks of veterinary practice work experience for her course and loved it. “The course at Harper Adams really appealed to me and I love the stunning location. When I came to my first open day here I loved the atmosphere and how welcoming everyone was.” When not studying or dancing, Rebecca volunteers at the Dogs Trust in Hampshire.
Emma, who is also a keen horse rider, is in the first year of the countryside management degree programme and wants to work as a countryside ranger. She chose Harper Adams because it offered the right course and had a friendly atmosphere.