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The perfect fit

Why did you choose Roehampton specifically?

With its highly specialized research programme and the world-class faculty, Roehampton was, simply, the perfect fit for me when looking at MA possibilities. I found nowhere else in the world that had the modules directly linked to my research interests and faculty members that actively cared about my well-being. Receiving a quick, personalized email reply from Professor Andrée Grau sealed the deal that Roehampton was the place for me.

Why did you want to study in London/UK?

As a thriving European metropolis, I knew that London would give me plenty of possibilities to travel around Europe, discover cultural happenings in the big city, and find plenty of opportunities for newness. As a LUIP ambassador, on behalf of Roehampton, I was able to engage with many of the activities and experiences I had hoped to discover before arriving.

What is your current occupation?

I am currently a full-time freelance flamenco dancer and researcher, as well as co-founder and director of Al Margen Flamenco Company. After managing two careers for four years, as a dancer and high school Spanish teacher, I recently realized that I needed to dedicate all my energies and attention to dance. My current pursuit reminds me quite a bit of the path I was on while at Roehampton, which was one of the happiest and most fulfilling years of my life.

Did you ever envision this career while studying at Roehampton?  

Yes. Returning to New York City to teach Spanish in high school was, actually, the diversion from my expected path. Even though my undergraduate degree was in Spanish education, I spent years after, including London, pursuing dance and research. This career move almost seems to pick up from where I left off in London and at Roehampton. Roehampton allowed me to do purposeful research, create artistic works, and engage with people both within and outside of my identity communities, which is what I plan to dedicate myself to doing moving forward.

Do you think your degree at Roehampton help elevate your career? If so, how?

My degree at Roehampton absolutely helped elevate my career. It introduced not only an intense focus to detail in research but, also, exposed me to a number of different approaches to dance, theory, and practice. The way I approach dance and research, today, is in no small part due to my skills attained at Roehampton.

What was your most memorable moment at Roehampton?  

My most memorable moment was, actually, during the first month when Professor Ann David invited me to attend a dance performance in the city. The dance performance related to my interests in gender and contemporary dance, so she took the initiative to bring me under her wings and show that our department was a caring, nurturing family. This set the tone for the rest of the year, which continued in a similar fashion.

What was it like living and studying in London?

As a New Yorker, I was intrigued by how I was going to feel in a big city other than my own, but I was pleasantly surprised. As the meeting point of so many immigrants and cultures, I felt like I could explore something new every day. Just when I thought I found all that London had to offer, there was another engaging exhibit, pop-up shop, neighbourhood event, etc. that would leave me wondering more. 

Ryan  Rockmore

Roehampton, University of