Aspiring performers from Mansfield college get chance to learn from industry experts

Hip hop dance moves, using the voice, and the art of stage combat were just some of the skills practised by aspiring performers at West Nottinghamshire College during ‘industry week’.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 3:56 pm

The four-day event was enjoyed by first and second-year performing arts students on acting and musical theatre pathways and welcomed a host of specialists and practitioners who taught the next generation of actors, singers and dancers a range of techniques and abilities required for successful careers in their chosen fields.

Simon Watt, programme area leader in performing arts, said: “It was fantastic to have industry week back again after being unable to host visiting professionals last year due to Covid restrictions.

"The chance to work with such a variety of people in a short space of time was hugely beneficial to our students’ industry knowledge.

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Acting students demonstrate their ensemble work created with performance maker, writer, filmmaker and digital creative Dr Tom Payne (front, centre).

“This range of practitioners and activities gives access to specialist sessions that aren’t always covered by the curriculum and is also a fun way to reward students for their hard work. We wholeheartedly thank all the people and organisations who gave up their time to come and work with them.

“Our Star Awards rounded off this very successful week, with 31 certificates presented to deserving students, ending the term in an incredibly positive and rewarding way.”

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The event kicked off with a dance workshop led by Jasmine Eccles from choreographic and talent development mentoring programme Xzibit Young Creatives as well as vocal workshops by trained speech and language therapist Florence Wainwright, a talk and presentation by Christopher Neil, education manager at Mansfield Palace Theatre, a creative session on how to make original new theatre around a particular topic by Dr Tom Payne, course leader on the BA (Hons) Acting and Performance degree programme at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) and co-director of UK/Australian performance company Dopplegangster, Professional performer-turned-business teacher Nikita Bridgeman led two dynamic sessions exploring stage combat and the event concluded with the performing arts department's 'Star Awards', a celebration of achievement that saw many students recognised by their peers and tutors for their hard work during the term.

Dr Tom Payne (left), from Sheffield Hallam University, devises scenes with acting students Scott Self, Keon Maskell (back, right) and Ash Whetton (front).

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Jasmine Eccles (front, second), from Xzibit Young Creatives, delivered a dance workshop to musical theatre students.
Musical theatre students were put through a range of vocal exercises by speech and language therapist Florence Wainwright (centre).
Florence Wainwright (right), from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, directs musical theatre students Izzie Baker and Rachel Hirst (centre) in scripted accent work.