Making Waves – Samantha Mills

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to our new team of Student Ambassadors working with us on our Making Waves project. You have already met Rhiannon, Chloe and Kaitlyn and we are excited to introduce you to all 9 of the team over the coming weeks!

After successfully completing my second year at Plymouth University studying Dance Theatre. I am currently making work and performing for various companies, ‘B-Spokes Arts Collective’ and Barbican Theatres ‘Company B Dance Company’. I have also been asked and will be choreographing the opening section for Company B’s summer platform.

Screenshot_2016-06-13-19-39-58-1Over the summer I will also be doing a Somatic Residency with Somatics Practitioner and Head of Theatre and Performance at University, Ruth Way and Guest Somatics Practitioner Kay Nelson, from the USA. Alongside this I will be completing my level 2 Dance Leaders qualification with Exim Dance Company and have successfully gained a place as a Student Ambassador for Exim on their new project ‘Making Waves’. This is a fantastic opportunity as I am going into my third and final year, this will allow me to grow more and develop my skills in leading and speaking in the community. Also it’s a paid job so this is brilliant for me as I am still training at university and have started my journey and search for paid work in the arts. So Exim is massively supported the development of my training and time in Plymouth.

Screenshot_2015-12-16-23-59-35-1Since being at University, in my first year I was a member of ‘Attik Youth Dance Company’, selected for the Opening Performance for U-Dance 2015 by Choreographer Charlotte Eatock and joined Exim Dance Company as a Trainee Practitioner, to gain my Level 1 Dance Leadership qualification. I successfully completed this and received my certificates, also I gained a lot of teaching experience shadowing and assisting Lead Practitioners at Exim. This is where Exim started to support my dance career and teaching development.

Then in my second year, I again joined various dance companies, Barbican Theatre’s ‘Company B Dance Company’ and also was invited to join ‘With Company’, an undergraduate and recent graduate student company, established and directed by third years. Having danced and performed for the last year in the new up and coming professional student dance company, through an interview process I have been offered to take over ‘With Company’ in September as Artistic Director for the academic year of 2916-2017. Delightfully I have accepted this offer and cannot wait to get started with project ideas, within my third and final year of my degree.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to work with Exim again as they were running the Level 2 Dance Leadership qualification in my second year so I was able to do that and continue developing my teacher training alongside my professional development at University. I have also been able to gain my First Aid Certificate and DBS Certificate with the company.

Exim have supported my studies in Plymouth further, offering these qualifications and courses to students like myself. Offering support and guidance throughout the course, also advice and mentorship. Being able to do the courses part-time alongside university is perfect. It allows me to gain more skills and qualifications in a community setting, whilst studying, that will then go on to support me after third year within my future career in Dance.

Gaining the Student Ambassador position is amazing as it’s a paid job, starting out in the industry I want to specialise in, whilst studying. Going to different secondary schools and colleges to promote Dance and Higher Education at University. Teaching a dance workshop and giving a presentation and talk, about higher education and my individual journey in getting to where I am today and why it was the right choice for me. ‘Making Waves’ is a different project using dance as a way to promote higher education, the highs and lows of university living life and how we’ve managed to deal with them. This has really helped push my career further, as I am constantly learning and gaining new experiences and skills that contribute to my professional development.


Samantha Mills

Student Ambassador / Trainee Practitioner


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