News and features

My Surrey experience - Amy Sharkey, BA (Hons) Dance and Culture

"I have definitely changed since starting at Surrey as I have matured both academically and personally. I have gained confidence in areas of my life that I never expected to before but more so I have had an incredible experience and met people who will be part of my life for a long time."

"When I was looking for Dance degrees in the UK, the course offered here at Surrey stood out for a few reasons. The Professional Training placement was a huge contributing factor – the thought of having the opportunity to work at a professional dance company! In addition to this, I loved the look of the campus and facilities offered to students, including Surrey Sports Park.

I am passionate about Dance for several reasons which are hard to articulate into words. Firstly, I love to challenge myself and the physically demanding of the course does exactly that. Secondly, I love dancing – simple as that! Whether it is attending dance classes, trying new styles and techniques or going to watch a show/performance. Studying at higher educational level has also opened up the field of academic research in dance which I was unaware of before. I love the theory modules – learning about dance notation and the history of dance and social/political discourses surrounding dance just fascinates me. I also really enjoy our contemporary dance classes a few times a week and that we have had to opportunity to try new dance styles such as Kathak and African dance. 

The staff and lecturers are all highly skilled and knowledgeable in their own fields of the programme. They provide outstanding support for the students and we are lucky to have access to the studios both at PATs and the Ivy Arts Centre, but also the NRDC (National Resources for Dance Centre), lecture theatres and the Library.

I am part of the Surrey Dance Squad (Contemporary Team) and the University of Surrey’s Woman’s Football Team. Both clubs/societies have really been a huge part of my Surrey experience in terms of making new friends, playing in games and competing against other universities and attending the social events! I think it enhances your university experience and also lets you meet people outside of your flat/course. 

I would 100 per cent recommend a Professional Training placement to others considering it. It not only gives you the opportunity to put your degree into practice but gives you experience in the professional world, during which you can make invaluable contacts and connections and the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge.

I recently completed my Professional Training Year placement at Akram Khan Company – a professional dance company who are known worldwide for producing thoughtful, provocative and ambitious dance productions for the international stage.  I was based in London for the majority of my placement but had the unique opportunity to go on tour with the company. 

My job title was initially Administrative Assistant, but this soon broadened as I was given experience in all areas of the company such as tour management, marketing and communications and even helping with some of the technical roles. The highlights of my placement were mainly having the amazing opportunity to work with such an innovative dance artist like Akram Khan, but also the shows I got to go and see, the rehearsals I attended and getting to travel both nationally and internationally with the company."

Read more student profiles and explore our performing arts degrees.

Related subjects

Related school/department

Related news and features