Bachelor of Dance Studies student Myles shares his first year experience at university.
"Dance has always been a passion of mine as it allows me to express who I am without using words. In high school, I was lucky to have teachers who ran dance classes. Attending these classes encouraged me to explore something that was just a hobby at the time, and inspired me to think about studying dance at university.
"I visited a number of institutions around the country, but it wasn’t until I was presented with the opportunity to visit the University of Auckland that I was swayed to apply.
"I and others from school were fortunate to explore the facilities and meet with Head of Programme Dr Ralph Buck and his team, experiencing first-hand what they study and research. After this, and once confirmed onto the programme, I was eager to learn more from the staff and my fellow students.
"For me, I was nervous from the beginning, thinking that I wasn't good enough to be here, but on our first day we were given the chance to dance in front of everyone. From then and during the first few weeks, I realised that we were all on an equal playing field and that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It was also important for me to see other male dancers, both students and staff.
Growing up in a small town, you don’t see many male dancers around and so I found this motivating.
"Over the course of the year, I learned a lot from our lecturers in both the studio and classroom. It is amazing being tutored by industry professionals who have worked for major companies and have strong career experience. They are humble and provide a lot of help and support should you need it. They truly look after you.
"The courses themselves are interesting and explore a lot of themes and tools for creating and displaying movement. I really value learning Māori and Pacific dance: being Māori, it helped me connect a lot with my culture.
"Being new to the university, I did face some challenges. Being away from home, you can’t just go to your family for help which can sometimes be quite tough, but I’ve truly valued the advice provided by second and third-year students. On difficult days it makes me thankful for their guidance and kindness.
"There are a lot of highlights for me this year, from our first-year dance showcase to meeting other new students. Our lives are just beginning.
"Going into my second and subsequent years, I feel confident that I have made the right decision to study dance. It is my passion and something I really enjoy. I find that when I dance I am able to express how I am feeling through movement, without having to say a word."