Students who have graduated from the University of Derby BA Hons Dance degree – based at regional dance house Déda in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter – have been honoured with a seat plaque at the venue’s theatre.
The Dance degree was launched by the University and Déda in September 2014 and is the only one in the country to be based at a dance house with access to work experience at this and other arts partners’ venues.
The group of third year students recently performed their final choreography for an appreciative audience at Déda’s theatre and were then invited to unveil the seat plaque which was the latest in a fundraising initiative by the venue.
Déda CEO and Artistic Director Stephen Munn explained: “We are all incredibly proud of this second group of graduating students from the Dance degree and the seat plaque is a fitting tribute to their hard work as early pioneers for this innovative learning model.
“Their final showcase was fantastic and really inspired the current year one and two students as well as those who have been offered places to join us in September.”
University of Derby Programme Leader and dance artist Alice Marshall added: “It’s only right that one of the best seats in the house should now be dedicated to this group.
“They have worked extremely hard over the past three years and have been a pleasure to teach.
“In turn, they benefited greatly from this unique degree which combines practical, theoretical and work experience opportunities to equip them with a wide range of employability skills across the arts industry.
Among the graduating students was Nicola Himsworth, 21, who is originally from Rotherham.
She said: “I have learnt so much during my time on the degree at Déda. Being based at a professional venue has also enabled me to also work alongside the technical team and I did my dissertation on lighting and the relationship between that and movement.
“I will continue to dance and teach but this experience has opened my eyes to the other career opportunities available to me and I also hope to be working on the technical side in the future.
“We were all extremely honoured to have a seat plaque named after us in a place which has had such a positive impact on our lives.”
Déda is a charity and, as such relies on grants and public donations to continue its valuable work. Plaques cost £150 and every penny is invested back into Déda work which benefits local schools and community groups.
For more information about how to support Déda’s work in community, health and education, please visit www.deda.uk.com