Olivia Foskett is one of the 70 undergraduate students who are the first cohort to undertake our brand-new BA course validated by University of the Arts London. The dynamic degree aims to develop versatile dance artists who are ready for a portfolio career in the dance world and creative industries. To give insight into the new course, Olivia tells us about her first term at London Contemporary Dance School and what she’s learnt so far.
"When I first arrived in London, suitcase in hand and Pret a Manger subscription successfully secured, I had no idea what to expect starting at London Contemporary Dance School. I was nervous, but I was also excited. Excited to learn, excited to meet my classmates and excited to begin the next three years of my dance studies.
Why I chose London Contemporary Dance School
I chose to apply to London Contemporary Dance School because of its reputation and the impressive and varied alumni that the school produces. After looking at what the course offers and having a positive and enjoyable admission process, I was delighted to receive an offer to study on the BA course.
My year (class of 2021-2024) is the first year of the new BA course validated by University of the Arts London. This meant that we were the first year to benefits from a new diverse and rich course.
In the winter term I took classes in contemporary, ballet, improvisation, Pilates, dance fitness, dance science, contextual studies, reflection, mindfulness, breaking and my unexpected favourite, locking. The variety of classes and dance genres helps to create an adaptable dancer.
In the first two weeks of our spring term, we participated in an enrichment week, undertaking choir classes as a whole year and working with The Yonis: a dance group formed of predominantly London Contemporary Dance School alumni that follows the format of a girl band and performs in concert-like improvised dance sets. The week brought the element of joy, playfulness and experimentation and helped to settle us into our second term. We were also joined together as a year which cultivated a feeling of community.
Another element of the course is periodisation; a form of phased training that is put in place to minimise injury risk. I was happy to not be met by the normal small string of injuries that a dancer can acquire when undertaking strenuous dance training. By having measures such as periodisation put in place I could immediately recognise how special London Contemporary Dance School is. A school genuinely committed to its students’ wellbeing and concerned with providing a dance education of the highest caliber.
Alongside my studies, I have been able to enjoy the rich dance and cultural hub that is London. We are encouraged to take part in both external and internal projects and practices. I participated in The Walk with Little Amal when Amal came to Trafalgar Square, performing with Boy Blue Company. I also performed my classmates Samara Langham’s choreography to the school in our termly Ideas in Action. (Ideas in Action is a student led performance platform to show works in progress).
What have I learnt?
Here at London Contemporary Dance School there is a real emphasis placed on individuality and unlearning notions or pre-conceived conceptions of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. This artistic freedom is liberating and is helping me grow as a movement artist.
I’m grateful to London Contemporary Dance School for providing me with a safe space to explore, learn and grow, and for connecting me with incredible new teachers and friends. I can’t wait to see what’s to come in the next few years.