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Dance graduate, Hazel, tells us about her student experience

Hazel chose to study BA (Hons) Dance Performance and Teaching at the University of Central Lancashire because of the extra focus on teaching, which could provide her with placements in both educational and community settings. 

Hazel recognised that this would be valuable experience to have when she graduated and seeing the UCLan Campus and discovering Preston guided Hazel to make the University her first choice.

During her studies, Hazel worked as an assistant at Preston Youth Dance Company where she was also a member. Alongside this, Hazel was a member of Ludus Youth Dance Company for two years.

As a University student, Hazel tried to get involved in every project that UCLan had to offer and tried to watch as many live performances as possible. Talking about her experience, she said: “By doing this you open yourself up to potential employers and make valuable connections with people working within the industry. You start to become aware of what you are passionate about and what really interests you.”

After graduating in 2019, Hazel moved to Newcastle and joined Dance City’s postgraduate company “The Collective” where she completed a master’s in Advanced Dance Performance. The Collective was taught and directed by David Lloyd and this involved refining skills from contemporary dance, acting to tumbling.

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Hazel was set to go around the UK on a national tour with Dance City and Mischief Company, but this was not possible due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Hazel and her team devised their own solos working from home and created a short film entitled ‘The Solo Collective.’

Recently, Hazel signed a contract for her first full-time job as a Sports and Dance Coach working for Progressive Sports. Talking about how her experience at University helped with her current role, Hazel said: “I believe that UCLan equipped me with skills that are so transferable to a wide variety of jobs that the world is now my oyster.”

She continued: “Whilst UCLan helped me improve my teaching ability, performance and technique, they also helped me become a well-rounded dance artist. They taught me how to articulate my ideas and thoughts, they taught me how to plan and present ideas to others and how to communicate effectively with people of all ages. I really owe everything to UCLan!”

When asked what advice she’d give to current students wanting to do something similar, Hazel said: “Take every opportunity possible and try everything. You never know who’s going to potentially employ you one day as the dance world is, as big as it feels at times, incredibly small. Be kind to everyone, work hard and don’t worry about what everyone else is up to. Everyone has their own individual journeys. Don’t limit yourself to just dance, try other art forms, be curious and stay open-minded.“

"Everyone has their own individual journeys. Don’t limit yourself to just dance, try other art forms, be curious and stay open-minded"

Hazel Lotfus, BA (Hons) Dance graduate