Dance College Tutor Spotlight: Beth Manderson
In this new series, we’re interviewing our amazing dance tutors… We’re proud to have such a wealth of experience available from some of the most highly-skilled, qualified and respected dance professionals working in the dance industry today.
Every single member of staff is dedicated to imparting their extensive knowledge, techniques and artistry, nurturing each college student with the rigorous dance training needed for a long and successful professional dance career.
Today we focus the spotlight on Beth Manderson.
Beth has been teaching at our full-time dance college since 2011.
She teaches Jazz Dance, Musical Theatre, Contextual Studies, Audition Portfolio and Body Conditioning. Discover tips for your dance career as Beth shares her experience as a dance tutor and performer.
Thanks for speaking with me today, Beth. What do you love about teaching Jazz Dance and Musical Theatre here at DFA?
Musical Theatre is my passion – there are so many great musicals and to be able to choose a song from a show and choreograph to it is a dream. And, as I’ve also been through the paces myself , I have quite a few show repertoires to teach.
With Jazz Dance, it’s great seeing students learn and develop their skills. Having these technical classes really allows the students to understand how the body works and how we can use it correctly to prevent any injury’s throughout their dancing careers.
I see you teach contextual studies – what are contextual studies and why are important?
Contextual studies are so interesting as we really understand how dance impacts people’s lives in so many different ways. We…
- Analyse dance in relation to other art forms
- Explore different choreographers and their work
- Understand and share different opinions on how dance is used to explore different cultures.
Contextual studies also give us insights into how we can become more successful as performers, choreographers. It’s a unit that all students enjoy, exploring the different avenues of dance.
You also teach audition portfolio – one of the many ways we prepare students for the real dance world – how important is this part of the course and what do you cover?
This is such a great Unit and I love getting the students ready for the big wide world! Everything we cover is all you need to know about
- How to go about getting yourself out there,
- Feeling confident, prepared and ready to share your talent,
- Curriculum vitae writing,
- Headshots and photographic portfolio,
- Equity talk,
- Opportunities to meet agents and audition for them,
- and also a series of mock auditions.
Having been through the process of auditioning many times myself, I have first-hand experience and a huge amount of auditioning skills.
Although this Unit teaches everything you need to know about auditioning, students get more than the Unit’s worth, as we prepare them for all opportunities and fallbacks.
Originally from North Wales, Beth trained at the Arts Educational School London where she graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Musical Theatre.
Beth’s theatre credits include: the role of Amber in Hairspray at Aberystwyth Arts Centre; Gertie Cummings and Ado Annie (role and understudy) in the UK tour of Oklahoma!; Swing and performing the role of Alice in the UK tour of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; the role of Lisa in the European tour of Fame; Children Will Listen at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London; the role of Satine in the Scottish tour of Moulin Rouge; and international tours on board the Aurora for P&O Cruises, performing with The Theatre Company.
Beth’s pantomimes include Princess Jasmine, Aladdin at the New Brighton and Theatre Royal Bath; the role of Cinderella in Lowestoft; Cinderella, Swansea; Jack and the Beanstalk, Llandudno; Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, Malvern; and Aladdin, in Rhyl.
Alongside teaching and choreographing, Beth is a qualified SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) Assessor and a Manager at Stagecoach Edinburgh.
Beth, who are your all-time favourite choreographers, performers &/or dancers?
Choreographers: Adam Shankman, Jerome Robbins, Bill Deamer, Andrew Wright.
Performers… Hugh Jackman, Zizi Strallen, Bonie Langford, Cynthia Erivo.
What music videos, albums &/or singles are you loving or listening to on repeat right now?
Everything and anything! You always need to be current but also remember and appreciate all the classics too.
What do you enjoy most about the choreography process?
1. Listening to a piece of music and creating a story of your own.
2. The developing process, and…
3. Allowing the students to take it into their own hands and find their journey through the performance.
We’re really excited to have you teaching on our Summer Intensive this August! What techniques will you be covering in the Summer Dance Intensive?
SO much good stuff…! The Summer Dance Intensive is perfect for serious young dancers aged approximately 14-19yrs.
In our pre-vocational college-level workshops, we’ll be covering Jazz, Contemporary and Commercial Dance. I’m joined by my colleagues, Beverley Moreland, who’ll be leading the Commercial Dance workshops and Vassia Bouchagiar who’ll be leading the Contemporary Dance ones and I’ll be leading Jazz Dance. We’ll dig into…
- Jazz Technique,
- Core Strength,
- Arms & more!
- Plus Mechanics of the Body and how we use them correctly to enhance our skills and technique
Our Award-Winning Professional Dance Training College gets better every year. What makes DFA’s course so different from other courses? What’s so special about DFA?
DFA is a small and intimate college – it’s truly a home from home, but with the professional training to train students up ready to become amazing dance teachers &/or performers (but also a whole lot of life skills).
Why should dancers audition for DFA’s full-time course?
We have excellent tutors who have had a wealth of experiences in different avenues from performing to teaching; as choreographers and examiners; as well as working in a variety of professional dance environments and travelling the world.
What qualities are you looking for in your students?
Drive, passion and hunger.
Apart from talent, what skills/abilities does it take to succeed as a professional dancer?
Courage, passion, drive, dedication. Remember – it’s also ok not to always succeed, that’s what makes us stronger and drives our passion.
Thank you so much, Beth!
Find out more about life here at DFA… Meet our inspiring faculty, find out more about professional dance course, read our graduates’ success stories or audition & apply for DFA’s full-time dance course.