Michaela Stanton

Bachelor of Dance Studies student Michaela completed her studies with a Summer Research Scholarship project investigating the future of dance education in Aotearoa.

Michaela stands in a dance studio smiling, with her hand on her hip
Michaela Stanton

Why Dance Studies?

"Dance is my passion. I love dance and people, so it was a no-brainer."

What area interests you most?

“Education is where my passion lies; being able to help others grow and learn is amazing.”

What did you enjoy most about your degree?

"I enjoyed the mix of practical and theory courses and courses where we worked directly with the wider community. Collaborating with other students was a particular highlight; we learned and grew together as we studied."

Where to next?

“I plan to teach and expand my skillset in other creative spaces.”

Summer Research Scholarship project: The Future of Dance Education in New Zealand Secondary Schools

"My Summer Research Scholarship project explored the future of dance education in New Zealand secondary schools. We interviewed teachers, students and dancers from across New Zealand. The project focused on the relevance of dance education in our ever-changing society. We must question what, why and how we can make dance education more relevant to avoid becoming lost and irrelevant. We risk losing the many vital skills dance education offers to young people. This research allowed us to look at these questions and reimagine relevance as a community, offering new perspectives (including from those we teach and mentor).

"My supervisor Professor Ralph Buck was amazing. He was very supportive the whole way through. This research was based on a project he had done in Australia, so our research has now been combined."

What did you learn from the experience?

Something that stood out to me was the importance of connecting with others.

Michaela Stanton

“Being able to talk and collaborate with so many people, sharing thoughts, feelings and opinions, showed me what we can learn and create when we come together.

"The Summer Research Scholarship was a great opportunity, and having had this experience, I'm so excited to see where I go as a dance practitioner and educator."

Michaela grew up in Marlborough, at the top of the South Island. Although moving away from home to Auckland was a struggle at first, she's proud to have overcome the challenge.

Michaela hates wearing shoes, but she works in a shoe shop!