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Personal statement advice: dance

Writing a dance personal statement? We asked admissions tutors the dos and don’ts of personal statements – and that means steering clear of clichés…

What to include in your dance personal statement

  • Convey your passion for dance... : tutors really want to get a sense of your passion and love of dance through what you say in your personal statement. But demonstrate it with examples and experience, don't just say you're passionate. In fact, try to convey your passion without actually using the word 'passion'. 
  • ... Minus the clichés: De Montfort University stresses the importance of not resorting to the clichés that so many students come out with – like 'I was born to dance' or 'I come alive on stage'.
  • Evidence of your interest in dance: according to De Montfort, selectors want to see your 'genuine enthusiasm for all aspects of performance and an appreciation for each of the factors that contribute to it' along with some examples of how your own experiences or wider reading about dance have fed into this (see their Studying Dance and Drama at University leaflet for more helpful application pointers).
  • Relevant extra-curricular experience: if you’re involved in a dance group or you’ve had first-hand experience of planning and performing a production, for instance, describe and reflect on what you learned from this.
  • Your analytical abilities: tutors want to hear about about performances you’ve watched and - crucially - how you've analysed them yourself or developed an opinion about the overall interpretation, or how a specific element of it made an impact on you and why.
  • Any wider experience of ‘movement disciplines’: For its dance and drama with physical theatre course, Edge Hill University is looking for you to demonstrate your wider experience of 'movement disciplines', which could include sport, martial arts, circus skills or 'dance in any style'. It could therefore add further impact to your statement if you can link any activities like these to what motivates you to study your chosen course.

For more personal statement advice, see our top 10 things to include  plus our personal statement checklist for everything you need to get writing. And here's more on preparing that all-important audition piece.
 

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