Frances Marinay is a dancer from the Philippines studying on PAA’s semester program in England for a full year. She is just finishing up her spring semester and will enroll again in the fall. Here is what she has to…
Spend a semester or year training at the best university dance program in all of the United Kingdom. Classes are offered in a variety of styles and levels by renowned dancers from all over the world. You can choose to have a full course load of dance intensive studio classes, or courses in dance studies and theory are also offered. As with all PAA semester programs, you can also choose courses from the university’s offerings in other disciplines. You will stay in a single room in an on-campus house and will have the chance to meet students from all over the world. Our Site Director Anna will lead regular trips and excursions including an overnight trip to Edinburgh, Scotland (all included in the cost of the program), and will provide you with tickets to a variety of dance performances around London.
“I had no idea that study abroad opportunities for dance majors were available. PAA made this possible for me and I’m very grateful. I highly recommend every dance student to experience dance in a new culture and add a new perspective to their dance repertoire.”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
The Rivoli Ballroom is one of the last remaining ballrooms preserved in the 1950s style architecture. The ballroom attracts an eccentric, enthusiastic crowd looking for a fun night of dancing and dressing up from “night out” clothes to David Copperfield inspired costumes. Open infrequently to the pubic, check the website and Facebook to find out their next event.
The Rivoli Ballroom has been a location for many TV shows, movies, and music videos. Musicians such as Kings of Leon, Florence and the Machine, and The White Stripes have used the ballroom for music videos and gigs.
Hailed as one of the most exciting, innovative dance spaces The Place, is a space that houses the London Contemporary Dance School, the Richard Alston Dance Company, and a 280 seat theatre. The Place offers classes, workshops, and other professional development opportunities for artists young and old. Performances are open to the public year round as well as festivals and special events. The Place is a member of the European Dancehouse Network aimed to support UK artists.
English National Ballet
The English National Ballet is one of the four major ballet companies in Great Britain alongside The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and the Scottish Ballet. The company employs an internationally diverse group of dancers and a symphony orchestra known as the English National Ballet Philharmonic. The company has performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as international tours. The English National Ballet offers classes ranging from beginner to advance as well as dance workshops.
PAA Home Base
Throughout your program in London, your home base will be the University of Roehampton. You will stay in a single room and take courses in the iconic dance studios from faculty in the best university dance program in the entire country. Roehampton is located about a half hour commute from the center of London, tucked away on a beautiful campus near the tennis club where Wimbledon is played, complete with green fields, quaint ponds, and families of geese roaming the grounds.
About the Location
London is filled with some of the world’s most diverse and celebrated dance groups, and offers more performing opportunities than can be imagined. In fact, we’ve had dancers on our programs join professional dance companies following their semester through contacts made during their time studying. London’s exciting energy is contagious and will have you hooked the moment you arrive. In addition to the vibrant dance scene, you will have the chance to explore the historical, political, and cultural landmarks of the city with other students. From Big Ben to Westminster Abbey, learn what it means to call London home.
Spend the semester immersed in the life of a British student by living in student villages right on campus. You will have your own room in a six to eight bedroom suite that you share with other British and international students. Your floor will have a spacious common area as well as a full kitchen where you can save money by cooking yourself meals. Take advantage of this small group setting to build friendships and community while you study abroad. Classroom buildings, the student center, and restaurants are all nearby. Enjoy the independence of living on your own while still creating lasting relationships with other students.
You will have your own single room in the housing. PAA usually has a handful of students on campus each semester studying dance and theatre, who join hundreds of study abroad students from all over the world. You will spend most of your time with other students in the dance department, as you log studio time and collaborate on performance pieces.
A Day in the Life
The Participant Experience
The sweat rolls off your face as you begin the sequence again. You see your British friend in the mirror sweating right beside you. The big final showcase is next week, and things are really starting to come together. The stress of the end of the semester is accompanied by an incredible sense of accomplishment as you’ve succeeded in three studio classes including a collaboration with the Royal Ballet. Tomorrow you will join other Performing Arts Abroad students to see a performance at the iconic Royal Albert Hall, and the weekend will include an excursion to Stonehenge and a personal trip to the Harry Potter studios to see how the movies were made and drink a butterbeer on the Hogwarts set. And to top it all off, you have an audition with a local dance company who wants you to come back and join them on a tour next upcoming summer. When you arrived, you were missing home. Now, you never want to leave.
You will book your flight to arrive at Heathrow Airport in London (LHR) between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on the arrival day. A PAA Roehampton representative will be waiting at a pre-arranged meeting point, and you will be directed to a bus that will take you to campus.
Upon arrival on campus you will be given your room key and taken to your housing by Roehampton staff. Your first afternoon will be a chance to unpack, settle in, meet other students, and join a Roehampton welcome dinner. The following day, Roehampton will lead several on-site orientation activities so that you will be prepared for your experience in London and can begin to get to know other students. The next day you will finalize your registration and class enrollment. PAA’s Site Director Anna will also meet you to show you our office and take you out for a Welcome Meal and an additional orientation. This orientation will include important information about the city, an overview of British culture, information about the performing arts scene in London, food, transportation, and other need-to-knows. During this time Anna will also answer any questions you have and will provide you with a Hop-on / Hop-off bus pass that includes a boat cruise on the River Thames so you can explore London on your own, as well as tickets to dance shows in London throughout the semester. The following day, you will join additional university orientation activities, such as a “Photo Frenzy Day”, which is an epic photo scavenger hunt that will take you into central London for a chance to win a prize!
A Typical Day
The following few days will include additional pre-class activities, and classes will begin shortly thereafter. For the rest of the program, you will be living on campus going to class and exploring the city on your own as a student in London. We will provide excursions and cultural activities throughout your semester, including the previously mentioned tickets to a variety of performances.
Add to your dance skill set and gain international experience while you spend a semester focusing on your development as a performer. From ballet and modern to hip-hop and beyond, you’ll be able to pick the dance courses that are right for you at London’s best university dance program, at the University of Roehampton. Train under distinguished professors and feel the benefit of small classes where you are immersed with local Londoners, as well as other international dancers. The university is located about 30 minutes from London’s bustling downtown and is a close-knit community filled with historically picturesque buildings. Thanks to the unparalleled international student support and the friendly, lively campus, you will feel at home the minute you step off the plane.
Deb is the primary PAA contact for all participants once they have applied to their programs. She processes applications, conducts applicant interviews, communicates with overseas partners regarding acceptance decisions, orchestrates all pre-departure preparation, supports participants while they are on their programs, and oversees re-entry counseling as she ushers them into joining the ranks of our fabulous PAA alumni.
Deb grew up at a small, independent school surrounded by the languages, music and cultures of students from around the globe. Her passion for exploration has brought her to many out-of-the-way places such as studying variable stars at a Nantucket observatory, flying a small plane over the skies of New England and mapping ancient lava flows in southern Arizona. Without a doubt, though, her favorite place is anywhere in a theater. As an award-winning stage manager, Deb has collaborated on productions throughout the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts and always enjoys challenging and innovative theater. She happily admits to an obsession with all things organizational and considers a trip to the office supply store a totally valid form of therapy.
She has studied and traveled extensively in England and Scotland, has journeyed through parts of France and currently shares her space with cats, humans, and far too many books.
Erin Hardee Patterson
Erin advises everyone who expresses interest in PAA’s programs. She responds to e-mails, answers questions submitted in online forms, makes and receives phone calls about our programs, and communicates with those who begin an application.
Erin Hardee Patterson earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music, and her Master’s in Music Therapy from Florida State University. Her professional adventures as a cellist, singer songwriter, board-certified music therapist, event coordinator, admissions professional, project manager, and newly trained birth doula have helped her to live all over the United States – from her home state of Virginia, to New Orleans and Maine, to Tallahassee and Vegas (to name just a few!). In addition to her US travels, a ferocious case of wanderlust inspired Erin to travel to The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, France, and Belgium. (The wanderlust is no joke – this bio was written on a plane!). She enjoys practicing her conversational French and American Sign Language, and has aspirations of one day carrying on conversations in Spanish (hopefully on a beautiful balcony in Spain). Erin is a new transplant to the Northampton, MA area with her firefighter/paramedic spouse Max, their dog Eleanor, and 3 very fat house cats. She is passionate about tiny humans, music, yoga, beautiful bodies of water, succulents, two steppin’, empowering families to have joyous, satisfying births, and being a smiley muppet.
London Site Director
Anna supports all participants on our programs in London, acting as the main point of contact throughout their stay in the United Kingdom. She coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Anna holds a B.A. in English and German from Ca’Foscari University of Venice. The Italian village where she was born was never enough for her and from a young age she decided she wanted to see the world and meet a lot of people from different cultures. Fascinated by foreign languages and traveling she first studied abroad in London when she was in high school and then at Humboldt Universität in Berlin a few years after. New York City holds a special place in her heart, ever since she was an intern at the Italian Cultural Institute there.
After volunteering and working for the not-for-profit association AFS Intercultural Program helping hundreds of high school students enroll and prepare for their experience abroad, she moved to London and focused on working with university students. She loves West End musicals, fashion, drinking green tea, spending time at the V&A museum, studying Korean and backpacking throughout Southeast Asia.
London Program Director, Roehampton
Rhys acts as the university contact for PAA students studying at Roehampton on semester or summer programs. He finalizes course schedules, coordinates university orientation events, provides academic advising, and acts as a liaison between PAA and Roehampton’s academic departments of dance and theatre.
Rhys is the Study Abroad Manager at the University of Roehampton. He graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Modern Languages having spent a year researching the televised media and working in France, and volunteering in Ecuador. Rhys and his team work closely with Performing Arts Abroad throughout a student’s time in London to ensure they return home having had a transformative experience.
Despite a Tony-worthy performance in a school production of a TS Eliot play, Rhys today finds himself much more at home seated in front of the stage rather than performing on it. A long time resident of London, he enjoys the performing arts across the city from world-class productions at the National Theatre to exciting new works off-West End. Drop by the office to discuss cheap ticket strategies.
Rhys firmly believes there is no city quite like London and no campus as friendly as Roehampton. He can’t wait to meet you in person.
My semester at Roehampton was a life-changing experience. With the incredible help of PAA, I was able to spend five indescribable months studying theatre in London. I met people from all over the world, saw game-changing theatre all over the city, and learned so much not only about theatre, but also myself.
“It was amazing to meet people from all around the world that share with me passions and dreams. This goes over any cultural difference. The city was great and the classes very interesting and useful, I hope to have the chance to do another program like this again!”
“I had a great time while studying abroad. I learned so much. I would honestly do it again if given the opportunity. I met a lot of amazing people and I hope that what I learned serves me well in the future.”
From the blog
Performing Arts Abroad alum Maria Frances Marinay is interviewed by GoAbroad.com about her amazing experience studying dance in London on the Dance Semester in Spain program. Check it out!
We at Performing Arts Abroad are incredibly proud of the Study Abroad programs we offer in Ireland, England, Italy, and New Zealand, as well as the participants who go on them. Students are applying now for Spring semester, and in honor…
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Fall 2018||May 15 2018||Sep 12 2018||Dec 15 2018|
Important Fall 2018 Dates
|Event||Start Date||End Date|
|Arrival||September 12, 2018|
|Orientation||September 13, 2018||September 15, 2018|
|Classes start||September 24, 2018|
|Classes end||December 14, 2018|
|Departure||December 15, 2018|
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||End Date|
|Spring 2019 (estimated)||Oct 15 2018||Jan 09 2019||Jun 07 2019|
Important Spring 2019 Dates
|Event||Start Date||End Date|
|Arrival (estimated)||January 9, 2019|
|Orientation (estimated)||January 10, 2019||January 12, 2019|
|Classes start (estimated)||January 14, 2019|
|Classes finish (estimated)||March 19, 2019|
|Spring break (estimated)||April 1, 2019||April 19, 2019|
|Advice, guidance, reading week (estimated)||April 22, 2019||April 26, 2019|
|Departure (estimated)||June 7, 2019|
|Spring 2019 (estimated)||$17,795|
Apply today — How the process works
Submit a simple online application
Schedule a live video interview with a Program Coordinator
Upload program specific materials to an online portal
Receive your aceptance decision and begin your journey!
How the process works
To apply, click the “Apply Now” button on this page. You will fill out a simple initial application online and pay a deposit that is refundable if you are not accepted. Otherwise, this deposit will be applied toward your overall program cost (not an additional fee). We will review your initial application and contact you within a few days to let you know if we are inviting you to the final step. At that point, we will open an online portal for you and ask you to complete and upload the following materials:
- Your resume/CV
- Official university application / enrollment form
- One academic reference letter
- Your official academic transcript
- A dance audition video (required for upper level courses)
- Your availability for a 30 minute Skype interview
- The Skype interview is our first face-to-face impression of you. Show up on time, dress well, and be personable.
- For your academic letter of reference, be sure to choose a professor who knows you well and can speak to your strengths and dance interests.
- Talk to your financial aid office and academic department to see if any of your financial aid, grants, or scholarships can be used for your semester abroad. Federal aid should always apply as long as your school will accept academic credit from the University of Roehampton.
- Your dance audition video should highlight the dance style you do best, and should be a high quality video with a strong opening. For contemporary dance, you should performing at least six dance sequences showing: floor work, traveling and use of space, turning, balances, and jumps. Videos with other dancers are fine, as long as you clearly identify yourself. We prefer videos to be uploaded to an online platform such as YouTube to allow us to easily share with the dance studio supervisors.
Students must be 18 or over the day they begin the program.
GPA / Student Status
Preference is given to students with a 2.8 GPA or higher and students can apply to the program in any year of their degree, including freshmen. If your GPA is lower than 2.8, you are welcome to submit an application with a letter of explanation, and we will consider each application on a case by case basis.
There is no foreign language requirement for this program, as all instruction is in English.
We give preference to applicants with at least one year of dance experience. An audition video showing your current skill level is required for upper level courses.
We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for dance and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.