Tim Blowfield: 12 months on

Tim Blowfield studied at Doreen Bird College and London Contemporary Dance School. He performed with AMP (now New Adventures) in Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake" and "The Car-Man". Tim also danced with Diversions Dance Company, Kerry Nicholls and Ben Wright. He now teaches and is Head of A Level Dance and Contemporary Dance at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. Tim also teaches at Performers College and has presented his choreography independently. He is an A Level Dance Examiner for AQA.

DCD supported Tim with Financial Retraining Grants in 2014 and 2015 to help him to gain his Post-Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Dance to support his transition into dance teaching.

We caught up with Tim 12 months after he received the Acting for Others Bursary.

Photo: M.A.D. Photography

What have you utilised the Dancers' Career Development Financial Retraining Grant for?

The Acting for Others Bursary has been used to pay a large proportion of my fees for my postgraduate course at London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS) at The Place. As a mature student I have been studying part-time.

What has the Financial Retraining Grant enabled you to achieve?

The funding has enabled me to complete my second year of study on this exciting postgraduate course at LCDS. I have recently been awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Dance, having completed this part of the course. I am now eligible to continue my studies forwards to the MA conversion (of the diploma), which I intend to pursue. The grant has provided me with the opportunity to take some very interesting and challenging units this year: Anatomy and Physiology, Improvisation and Doublework, Release technique, Yoga, Teaching practice and Theory of Education. This year I also completed written assignments for other units, where the teaching part of the unit was last year: Choreography portfolio and Somatics.

What has been the impact of the Financial Retraining Grant?

The funding from DCD allowed me to make the most of this course, as I felt able to find cover for enough of my work commitments, in order to fully engage with the course. In addition to the taught courses identified in the section above, I have been able to attend highly inspiring and motivating tutorials with Mary Evelyn (Head of Postgraduate Studies at LCDS) to discuss teaching practice. I have also had the privilege of being allowed to observe a number of teachers at LCDS teaching BA and postgraduate students. All aspects of the course have enabled me to deepen my knowledge and understanding of contemporary dance and of educational psychology. This has already had a direct impact on my teaching, for example in the way that I teach certain principles, movements and phrases as well as how I communicate with my students. This increased knowledge, as well as the fact that at the end of the course I will attain a respected qualification, has been very empowering. As a result of the course, and the grant which enabled me to pursue the course, I have been equipped to better support my students' growth and development as artists.

What has been your biggest challenge over the last 12 months?

Despite the fact that the grant enabled me to be absent from some of my work commitments, inevitably there were certain teaching commitments that I was not able to cancel/ find cover for, partly due to both Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and Performers College requiring a certain level of consistency for my students at both establishments. Therefore, the challenge has been to juggle work commitments, my studies at LCDS and family life. I have had to regularly stay up very late at night in order to keep on top of everything, and unfortunately our children (who are five and three years old) wake up very early in the morning!

I very much appreciate the support that I have received from DCD. I am very grateful to be studying on such an inspiring and exciting course.

To find out more about how we can help you, please contact Ellen Chambers, Grants and Careers Officer on ellen@thedcd.org.uk or 020 7831 1449.

You can support a dancer like Tim to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal