Posted 8 May 2012
As all you creative people, especially arts students will know, the general reaction when you tell someone you're studying something like Dance and Drama is "Why?", a screwed up face, or some much appreciated comment like "That's not a real subject, what do you do all day, prance around?" (A small majority of people will tell you it's really interesting and ask lots of questions about your creative self, you will mostly find these people at Knights Park Campus!)
So for all those wondering, and those of you applying for Dance or Drama, I thought I would explain exactly what I do all day, and why I study my course!
When I was applying to University I was considering a lot of options, including teaching, media, English and of course my final decision of Dance and Drama. I really enjoyed everything that I studied at A-Level and knew I wanted to teach as a career, but it took me a while to settle on my subjects.
I made my decision (through advice from my Aunty) by imagining myself studying each subject, and how I would feel etc and also how I would feel not studying the other subjects I had as my options. The answer to that was that I couldn't imagine not dancing and acting regularly, and the thought actually made me quite depressed!
So I chose my subjects mainly because they were what I felt most passionate about, and I knew I would still have a lot of options surrounding my other subject choices when I graduated if I wanted to pursue a slightly different career. (You'd be surprised how much cultural and media theory there is in Dance and how useful English Language and Lit is to Drama!
Now for those of you who might not know what my degree entails, it is a mix of practical and theoretical studies (as this makes your degree classified, rather than all practical). I would say the percentage of this is around 70% practical.
Dance (my majoring subject - meaning I study 70% Dance and 30% Drama) is a very cultural course and focuses on the range of Dance in Britain at the moment, meaning I have studied a wide variety of styles, choreographers, dance theory, and have a wide range of skills I believe in performing, choreographing, and analysing dance. To see a list of the modules of the course, follow this link: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/undergraduate-course/dance-2013/
Drama is equally varied and looks at many different styles, or theatre movements, different theories on performance and issues in theatre such as gender. Nearly all my drama assessments have included a performance of some kind, whether this be a piece of performance work or a performance essay - making the theory a little easier to cope with! You can find Drama subject modules here: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/undergraduate-course/drama-2013/
Both subjects have really good facilities - we have two buildings to ourselves just over the road from the main campus and also really good links with the Rose theatre in Kingston and other theatres etc in Central London. You will find all of the lecturers at Kingston are either ex performers or professionals, theorists and academic writers in their subjects or specialised in a style of theatre - Shakespeare for example; Which I think really helps as the lecturers have been and done exactly what you're doing and what you're trying to achieve to a massive professional scale!
There are also lots of opportunities to create your own projects or performances. In my second year, our year group set up our own dance company. We have an independent running dance company under the Kingston Uni name who are performing in Germany this summer, a really cool Dance and Drama society, and we have companies that come into Kingston for auditions and so on. There really is so many opportunities studying Dance and Drama, and such massive opportunities to be as creative as you like.
It has been a fantastic three years, I have LOVED every minute, despite my moaning about being frustrated with exams etc, and would highly recommend the courses at Kingston for being diverse, current, and ever improving.
So to answer that frustrating question, no we do not just prance around all day, we are culturally aware, free thinking, analytical, creative, artistic students....Who do enjoy a good boogie! ;)
The one piece of advice I would give to you about Dance and Drama at Kingston is: You absolutely get out of the degree, what you put in. So make the most of it!
Course: Dance with Drama
Level: Alumni 2012
Other information: I came to Kingston straight from college. I am a member of the cheerleading society, snowsports society and am also a Kingston University Student Ambassador. I chose Kingston because... it was one of the few universities where I could combine my interests of Dance and Drama. When I visited Kingston for my audition, met my lecturers, and had a tour of the campus and Kingston river side; I immediately felt comfortable and knew it was the right choice for me. I have g...