The Bachelor of Dance Studies has given Leticia Fortes the chance to get to know dance in her brain as well as her body.
"I’ve never been a studio-based dancer, I just picked up moves from television really. At high school, I was introduced to contemporary dance and I fell in love with it. I knew I wanted to know more about dance, and I found that the University of Auckland offered me the chance to get to know dance in my brain as well as my body.
"There’s so much more to dance than just physical movement. We have learned about dance history, ways of teaching and learning and how to write academically. Our conditioning course has us learning to take care of our body and nurture it. I found as well as learning about dance, I’m learning about myself, which has been really interesting.
"This year, the third year class is traveling to China to perform in a festival. It will be a chance to apply what we’ve learned so far; community dance methods, how to teach and educate people about dance, and professional practices, and apply that to a real-life situation.
"I want to be a dancer when I finish studying, but I do feel like I will be doing some form of postgraduate study. I’d be interested in exploring Pacific Island dance stereotypes. The dance industry in New Zealand is getting bigger, and more opportunities will arise from that.
“In the future, I’d like to help others find their passion in dance by teaching, and this programme has set me up for all of those options."