Ng Wing Yi Isabella joined Salford from Hong Kong to study MA Dance: Choreography and Professional Practices. We spoke to her about her time at Salford and how this has set her up for success.

Why did you choose to study your course at the University of Salford?

The MA Dance: Choreography and Professional Practices explores the craft of choreography. I believed the course would help me to gain the skills and knowledge to work in different professional contexts. I was also attracted to the course because it has an industry placement which would be invaluable to my professional development. Finally, I believed that both the University and the course would suit me on a personal level as well as fit with my career needs.

Could you tell us a little more about your placement?

I felt truly inspired after completing my placements. I was given the opportunity to complete my placement at the Phoenix Dance Theatre during which I developed an in-depth understanding of the need for relationship building in dance projects, the creative process, how to build a production team and outreach development – all to put on a successful performance.

What other projects did you work on during your course?

The UK was in lockdown for part of my course due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so my cohort worked on a platform called Invertava Dance Collectives which was an online platform for digital dance classes. The platform invited collaborators from Asia, the UK and Europe to provide workshops for artists during the pandemic. The platform also provided networking opportunities across the sector.

I also helped to choreograph and perform in a dance video for Ignition. Ignition is a large project with partners across the UK (the University of Salford is one of their partners) focused on building and experimenting with green infrastructure and nature-based solutions.

What advice would you give to other international students to help them settle into life at Salford?

I would say that if you are a future student, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are confused or need support, there is always someone in the University who can help, you just need to reach out to them and ask. The University has different places you can go for academic and wellbeing support including the Library, askUS and the Students’ Union.

The second piece of advice I would give is to be open to constructive feedback. During your studies, you will receive feedback, all of which is to try to help you. Try to reflect on the feedback, take it on board and make the necessary changes as it will make you better.

What did you during your free time?

During my spare time, I made the most of the great transport links Salford and Manchester have. I quite often went hiking in the Peak District, which is just over an hour away from Manchester city centre. I also visited Formby Beach in the summer which is quite close to the nearby city of Liverpool and easy to get to from Manchester. It is a beautiful wide beach which is great for walking and even sunbathing if the weather is warm.

What was your favourite thing about studying at Salford?

The facilities on campus are incredible. As a dancer, the studio environment is very important as this is where we spend most of our time learning, creating and studying. The dance studio is fully equipped like a professional dance studio. They have a light and airy feel with large mirrors and surround sound. They provide a great environment to work in and I loved spending time there.

What are you doing now?

I am currently working at the Lowry Theatre which is a local theatre based in Salford Quays minutes away from the University’s MediaCity campus. I am part of the Centre for Training Dance (CAT) which aims to help identify and assist the next generation of dance talent to reach their potential through world-class specialist training.

If you would like to find out more about our MA Dance: Choreography and Professional Practices course, explore the course page.