First Students Gear Up For New Dance Degree

degree04.jpgThe first students have been offered places for the new BA (Hons) Dance degree which will start in Derby this September.

Déda in Chapel Street have joined forces with the University of Derby to launch the new degree which will one of the only Higher Education courses in the UK that is based off-campus at a professional dance house.  This will give students a better insight into the arts industry with a range of work- based experiences.

The specialist Dance degree will include theory and practical contemporary dance with modules covering choreography, dance techniques performance skills, production, history and applying dance in health and community settings.

There are still some places available and Déda is hosting an open day on Friday June 6 for anyone interested in joining the course in September.  The day will include a tour of Déda and Derby Theatre, a sample dance class and the opportunity to meet lecturers and staff to discuss options.

For more information about the Dance degree or to book a place on the June 6 open day, please contact or visit

Degree students will be based at the expanded dance studio facilities which will be completed at Déda this summer.

The new dance studio at Déda has also been designed with capacity for teaching the latest aerial dance skills. 

Students will be working with top choreographers and dance professionals on a daily basis.

There will also be a wide range of work placement opportunities both at Déda and through its extensive network of professional touring dance companies to increase students' employability in the Arts.

clare-limb.jpgDéda's Head of Dance Development and Learning Clare Limb explained: "The majority of students who have applied and have been offered places live locally and there is still some capacity to interview and audition young dancers who have perhaps not made up their minds about their future education.

"This degree course fulfils a real need in the region for a specialist degree that has a clear focus on the employability skills required to be successful not only as a professional dancer but also in a range of different careers including teaching in schools as a dance specialist, community development work and professional choreography."

Among the students who are planning to join the degree course are current Derby College students Joshua Horsley and Lydia Alty.

Joshua Horsley (18) who is currently studying Performing Arts at the nearby Derby College Joseph Wright Centre and who is a member of Déda's Youth Dance Academy and performs with the award-winning Bounceback group.

Joshua, who lives in Long Eaton, is also an accomplished ballroom dancer and is excited about the extended opportunities for young people in this area.

"I applied to several universities but I am keen to live at home so I delighted that I was offered a place to continue by education here in Derby.

"I have loved being part of Déda and performing with Bounceback so I know the standards will be high on this course.

"Being based at Déda will give us all great opportunities to gain work experience behind the scenes as well as developing my performance skills.

"I hope to be a professional dancer in the future but I am keen to gain behind the scenes skills too which will hold me in good stead for my future career."

Lydia Alty (19) from Sinfin has been dancing since she was four-years-old and has also performed with Bounceback at Déda.

She said: "The fact that the degree is based at Déda was the real draw to me as I have visited some other universities and they just didn't have the same feel or facilities.

"I wanted to stay close to home to be able to continue working during my degree and I am particularly looking forward to the choreography aspects of the course as I love to create my own material.

"My ultimate goal is to be a professional dancer and, with the opportunities to work with creative people both at Déda and visiting artists, I hope that this will give me the edge when I am looking to start my career."

Another student joining the degree course is Michelle Williamson (21) from Oakwood who already works in the industry and runs Midlands Dance Studios based in the city.

“"I started dancing relatively late when I was at Lees Brook Community School and also joined Déda’s Incompany dance performance group.

"After college, I went to Roehampton University in London but did not settle and came back to Derby to start my own dance company.

"I now feel ready to progress my education in the Arts and was delighted to be offered a place on the degree course.

"I am looking forward to learning new dance styles, more about the historical context to dance and particularly the aerial skills which is a really exciting part of the course.

"Being based at Déda will bring us into contact with so many different dancers and choreographers and I hope it will open many new doors for me."

Huw Davies, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts Design and Technology concluded: “Students on the course will be based at Déda and will also benefit from our full range of student facilities, support and life experience as they will be part of the University.

"The new degree will attract talented dancers from across the country and greatly contribute to the cultural life of the city and county.

"We look forward to welcoming the first students in September who will have the opportunity to experience Déda’s wonderful new facilities, and the high quality teaching and mentoring from some of the top dance professionals in the UK."

For more information about the Dance degree or to book a place on the June 6 open day, please contact or visit


Media enquiries:

Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665;

Note to Editors


Déda (formerly known as Derby Dance) is a unique venue located in Derby city centre offering a dance-focussed arts programme. The building houses two performance spaces, two professionally equipped dance studios, conferencing facilities and the CUBE café|bar.

With a class curriculum of almost 50 classes a week and an extensive community development programme Déda is one of the key cultural organisations in the city.

Déda receives funding from Arts Council England and Derby City Council.

About Arts Council England

The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.