Until the age of 12, Jack Mansfield had never considered dancing as a hobby, let alone as a career. It wasn’t until Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies came to Plymouth in 2014 that dancing was even on his radar: now, 18-year-old Jack is studying for a Foundation Degree in Dance.
Jack explained: “I had the opportunity to perform in Lord of the Flies after Re:Bourne organised a series of workshops designed to get more boys into dance: I loved it. Until that point I’d been really into football and a few other sports, but dance was something else. By the time I finished my GCSEs, I knew I wanted to study performing arts at the College and it was whilst completing my diploma I decided I wanted to pursue dance specifically.”
Jack had originally planned to complete his higher education dance training at another institution, but he changed his mind last minute. Jack said: “I nearly went elsewhere but I am so glad that didn’t happen. I am really happy it worked out this way.
“Lauren and Jo are excellent teachers and have always been really helpful, but now the complexity of what we are doing has increased, they work even harder to get you through it all. I started dancing quite late and I lack a lot of the technical skills that some of my course mates have developed over the years, but Jo and Lauren are lovely and will fully commit themselves to helping someone catch up.
“I love coming to College – it’s just such a great place. Being here among such a friendly group of students and staff is really good for building your confidence, which will only improve your performance skills. Lauren and Jo want you to walk around feeling like you can achieve anything as long as you put the work in, and that’s empowering.
“I am pleased I decided to continue my studies to university-level. It has been really useful for developing my technical ability, but it also gives you other skills that would help you in a variety of dance-related jobs.
“I can’t recommend this course enough. You meet loads of industry professionals and are given so many different opportunities for networking, and we get to work with a lot of departments throughout the College – just as you would if you were working in the industry. I can’t stress how happy I am with how things have worked out and I’m proud to be a student at City College.”