So, why Cardiff? It started when I visited the open day, I really liked the friendly feel of the campus, the people and the sport/dance facilities. It’s nice to focus on the academic theories and the sport activities you enjoy via the Sport, PE and Health degree, but we also retain our passion for dance as a focus too by choosing the Dance Pathway.
To start with, university feels very different to sixth form, you quickly become much more independent. Everyone is so welcoming, and by living on the campus you soon get to know people and you very quickly get in the swing of it! There is loads to do in Cardiff- the nightlife is amazing and you still feel very safe when you are out. There are lots of great shops and things to do both in Cardiff Central and Cardiff Bay. The public transport is great, and everything is within easy reach!
Apart from studying on a course I love, my highlight so far has been receiving a Level 2 Dance Leader award as part of my university studies – supported by ‘Dance Fit’. Dance Fit have collaborated with the university to enable this level 2 qualification, which means I can get a job teaching dance whilst I am studying.
Dance Fit deliver dance classes in over 20 schools in Cardiff and has over 500 participants, the organisation has classes for all abilities the opportunities for us to teach expand right across the city. Dance Fit also engage with the Cardiff Met to get the students involved with shows.
As part of our Level 2 qualification, we had to choreograph a dance and perform it in their show, whilst also supporting their younger students with their dances and getting them ready to go on stage. All of this experience enabled us to gain Dance qualifications and real-world experience whilst on the Dance pathway.
I have also been given the opportunity to teach a range of different dance styles to different ages and abilities. This has been within the community, at competition squad sessions and also at after-school clubs. These sessions have helped me to develop my lesson planning skills and my ability to adapt my approach to different situations- therefore not limiting my knowledge to just primary school teaching. Managing and teaching different groups and situations has allowed me to be ready to teach when faced with a real-life experience. It has also helped me develop my confidence, I am definitely less nervous to deliver a Dance lesson than when I started!
As well as Dance, I have been developing my skills as a PE teacher. Using theoretical knowledge learnt in lectures and turning these skills into practical sessions when I teach primary school children. In order to complete this module, I was practically assessed and put together a presentation to show how I had applied my academic knowledge using different theories highlighting what we did well and how we could improve in the future.
As well as being able to dance, in my first term I completed a module that allowed me to try different sports including; gymnastics and athletics, this meant I could learn other sports skills which benefitted my teaching skills to deliver a variety of physical education and health lessons.
It’s really important to engage with extra-curricular studies whilst at uni. I am part of the dance society and my role is Dance Captain- which means I choreograph the dances and organise the squad’s rehearsals before competitions. I would definitely recommend joining the clubs, it’s a great opportunity to meet people, socialise, and take a break from your academic timetable.