Dance students are a step above the rest


Talented students have secured places at two of the most prestigious dance schools in the country after coming through a Gateshead College course with flying colours.

Georgia Conway will study for a Higher National Diploma in dance at Addict Academy, where students have been taught by stars from TV hits The Voice and X Factor.     

Meanwhile, Lucy Gregory, Rhiannan Swann, Bailey Guy, Danielle Daley and Nikita Quinn will all embark on a professional and commercial dance degree at ShockOut Arts. The Manchester-based academy has produced a conveyor belt of performing arts talent who have gone on to work with the likes of Cheryl Tweedy, Black Eyed Peas and US rapper Will.I.Am.

Students Mercedes Wilkinson and Katy Dixon have also won a place at Leeds Beckett University where they will study commercial dance in a city that hosts Northern Ballet/ Phoenix Dance Theatre, The West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Yorkshire Dance National Dance Agency.

This success comes after the students completed a two-year commercial dance course at Gateshead College, which launched the programme in 2016. The first group of students have now completed the course and have all secured places at either a performing arts school or university – a 100% success rate. 

Georgia Conway says: “It has always been my dream to work in commercial dance, which has become more popular with the rise of social media. So many music stars promote their work on YouTube and Instagram and young people want to emulate their success.

“At Addict Academy I’ll get the chance to work with choreographers, independent dance artists and directors and the course at Gateshead College has given me a great foundation for this. During my time there, I gained useful skills and experience that will put me on a path to a successful career.”

Gateshead College’s commercial dance programme gives students the chance to develop skills and knowledge in all areas of contemporary dance production, including urban, jazz, street styles, choreography and musical theatre performance. Taught at the Baltic Campus and Academy for Sport, students spend most of their time working on practical dance routines but also get opportunities to explore the dance business, the various career options open to them and the best way they can prepare for employment or further study.

Fiona Wyles, curriculum leader for music and performing arts at Gateshead College, says: “We are incredibly proud of the achievements of our students. They have worked hard and have demonstrated the talent, commitment and drive to succeed in this industry.

“At Gateshead College, our aim is to provide a pathway for our students to progress to further education or employment. Due to our strong links with local organisations, we can offer our dance students exciting work experience opportunities to complement their academic qualifications and this will give them the employment edge in a very competitive industry.”

Find out more about Dance courses at Gateshead College here.