Exim Alumni – Amy Chatwin

Since I can remember, I have always danced. I mostly trained in classical forms of dance, the traditional Ballet, Tap and Jazz. My family moved to Vietnam where we lived for 6 years so I spent most of my teenage years there and did whatever dance I could. Doing the IB (International Baccalaureate) you don’t really get to focus on dance. So when I returned to England to study dance at Plymouth University, I was glad to be able to really focus on dance even though I hadn’t done any contemporary before.

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I first came across Exim in my first week of University when Claire Summers came in to talk to my year about Plymouth Dance and Exim. Claire mentioned the opportunity to study for a level 2 Dance leadership qualification so I signed up for it. Over that first year as well as doing the course, I shadowed Claire teaching Clash in Dartmouth and eventually began to lead some of the sessions. In my second year, my University workload was huge so, I didn’t do much with Exim but then, in my third year I began working with them again as part of my PDP (Professional Development Project). In this project, you pick several strands to follow of areas you might like to work when you graduate. I chose to shadow Claire teaching Tap and Ballet, and also covered the classes in Claire’s absence and I spent some time in the Exim office, I even wrote a funding bid!

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There were so many highlights working with Exim but, I think what really stands out for me was being able to shadow Claire and see the confidence and relationship between her and the students. This really helped me with my own confidence and to develop my own teaching style, which has helped me to progress to where I am now.

Since graduating, I am part way through a PGCE focusing on dance at Plymouth University with my placement at City College Plymouth supporting their Dance BTEC. I also teach dance and performing arts at The Pauline Quirke academy on a Saturday. Exim helped me in so many ways from gaining the Dance Leaders qualification to the experience of shadowing and teaching for Exim. Having that experience and support gave me the confidence to really go for it after I had graduated.

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If I could give anyone thinking of getting in touch with Exim, about taking a class or a student looking for work experience, it would be to just do it! There is so much to learn from the company because of the wealth of knowledge among them. It’s put me in a great position not just with my teaching but I also got to see how a company is run. Everyone is so friendly and it’s really like a family environment.

Thank you Exim for all of your help and support, I have really enjoyed working with you all.

Amy Chatwin

Work Experience 2014-2016

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