Student success 20.09.21

Yue Ying Ho: The MA student dancing her way to the big time

An MA student at the University of Salford has successfully auditioned for two dance companies as part of the ‘Refract Festival’ curated by Sale Waterside.

Yue Ying Ho, who studies MA Dance Performance and Professional Practices landed roles at both ‘Hawk Dance Theatre’ and Kapow’ and will be performing with both companies over the next two weeks as part of the festival.

 With Hawk Dance Theatres and Kapow, she will be performing two pieces called 'and then it just stopped' and ‘Grow’ respectively.

She said: “As I was earning a role for Grow, we mainly worked with video footage and the dancers' experiences. I had a preconception that my body was physically ready due to having been in a physically demanding role not long before.

“This was extremely important due to the number of challenging lifts within the choreography. Luckily, the dancers are very knowledgeable and understanding, therefore, they supported me to make sure things were comfortable for our bodies.”

She added: “Though I did not have a formal audition with Hawk Dance, I have always enjoyed Josh Hawkins lessons with EMERGENCE. I find 'And then it just stopped' very enticing. We are working with a steel structure; therefore, the piece requires a lot of strength to be able to support your own weight. Having only three days to learn and rehearse the piece, detail and focus was key to grasping the concept quickly.”

Yue Ying said that she was excited to be part of the festival, and shared that the biggest challenge was having all the performances held outside.

She said: “Due to it being outdoors, the audience won't be positioned directly in front of you, therefore, you need to perform to all sides of the space. Another factor is movement. 

“Each movement must expand to its fullest potential to register in the space. I have also been rehearsing piece outdoors to understand the feeling. With changes in temperature and weather, it is important to be mentally prepared of these changes in case anything goes awry.”

Yue Ying is due to finish her MA very soon, and despite all the extra work with various dance companies, she is on her way to getting a High Distinction. She gushed over her time at Salford and with her lectures and shared what she thought made the course so special.

She said: “I am extremely grateful for the team at Salford University - especially Deborah Milner and Joss Arnott. They have gone above and beyond to support our learning and development. Having the added pressure of Covid, this year has not been easy for anyone, but they have done so much to make sure we still got the most out of our degree.

“Having completed a BA in Contemporary Dance, studying for an MA in Dance Performance and Professional Practices, I got a unique insight into the profession and the possibilities. I now understand the different routes I can take and not to limit myself into one category. I am working hard to showcase myself as a dance artist that whose values stems from racially driven inclusivity in my practice.”

The Refract Festival will be taking place from the Thursday July 22 to Saturday July 31, if you would like to find out more about the festival or where you can see Yue Ying’s performances, click here.