Creative Arts and Industries

Dance Studies postgraduate students and graduates

Our postgraduate students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including professional dancers and choreographers, primary and secondary school teachers, television and film producers, as well as from undergraduate study.

Sarah Foster-Sproull in the dance studios.

Sarah Foster Sproull

Dance has been my passion for a long time. I already have a career as a choreographer and dancer and I wanted to put this industry experience through academic rigour in order to push my thinking, to unfold the creases in my brain and approach my practice from new angles.

I investigated a number of postgraduate providers, but I chose to study at the University of Auckland because of the world class expertise of the academic staff within the uniquely New Zealand perspective of the Dance Studies programme.

“I have enjoyed deepening/reaffirming my passion for research in areas that have a direct impact on the environment that choreographers and dancers work in. I am interested in advocacy, ethics, contractual agreements, human rights, copyright and notions of attribution and intellectual property as it pertains to choreographic research. I am curious to discover more about New Zealand society and how dance can support/reflect/inform/challenge our community.

Ultimately I would like to work in an organization that combines my passion for performing arts and law. I am interested in writing policy, advocating for dancers’ and choreographers’ rights, creating dances, teaching choreography and technique and supporting the next generation of inspiring artists.”

Sarah is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Dance Studies (PGDipDanceSt), aiming to continue on to the Master of Dance Studies (MDanceSt) in 2015.

Emily Campbell dancing.

Emily Campbell

“My choice to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Auckland was a decision made in two parts; firstly based upon the excellence and internationally renowned status of the academic staff in the Dance Studies Programme, and secondly, upon the increased emergence and exceptional standard of creative practice research arising from both staff and students across NICAI.

“Throughout the past two years of my study at Auckland I have felt unconditionally supported in my individual approach to research by all the Dance Studies staff. I was privileged to win first place and a monetary scholarship for the ‘Live Performance’ category of the postgraduate research competition ‘Exposure’. Further highlights include spending a month of my masters research year on an artistic residency on Fiji’s remote Koro Island, as well as gaining experience as a lecturer through teaching both technique and theory papers on the undergraduate dance programme.

“Having recently completed my masters’ degree, I’m inspired and excited to begin my PhD research. I hope to pursue an academic career within dance focusing on choreographic research and feminist artistic practice.”

Emily Campbell is currently studying for a PhD in Dance Studies.

Hannah Kaye

Hannah Kaye gained a Master of Creative and Performing Arts -- Dance Studies with honours from the University of Auckland, graduating in 2010. Almost immediately she was appointed as the Auckland-based dance educator for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, to enable local schools and communities to access the RNZB's education resources more readily. Hannah has taught dance extensively in both primary and secondary schools throughout Auckland, as well as conducting professional development programmes for primary school teachers. Most recently she was involved in a big education project with the Auckland Art Gallery and the University.

Kat Walker

"I chose to further my study of dance in order to become an expert in my field. Postgraduate study has allowed me to become a dance specialist, as well as concentrate on my dance company 'Hopskotch' at the same time.

The University of Auckland has given me many opportunities to explore dance in the community and also internationally, with a trip to Hong Kong and a scholarship that allowed me to study hip hop in China."

Kat Walker has recently completed a Master of Creative and Performing Arts (MCPA) – Dance Studies.

Sachiko Miller

After graduating from the University of Auckland, Sachiko went home to Fiji and worked for a year at the Oceania Centre at the University of the South Pacific, where she organised Fiji's first dance festival. In 2007 founded VOU ("new" in Fijian), a powerful and vibrant Pacific dance experience rich in ancient stories, tradition and culture.

 Sachiko has performed, composed and choreographed major works in New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. She is also the president of the Fiji chapter of the World Dance Alliance.

Rosemary Martin studying at a desk.

Rosemary Martin

“When I retired from the Royal New Zealand Ballet, I knew that I still wanted to work with dancers, think about dance and be in a dance environment. As part of the Dance Studies Programme at the University of Auckland I have the opportunity to use my practical professional experience and knowledge and combine it with academic theory and understanding of dance.

“My research interests are focused around dancers’ health, ballet scholarship and cultural theory. My master’s research involved an investigation of attitudes surrounding female ballet dancers having to dance in pain. I had the chance to conduct a pilot study of this research over the summer of 2008-9 with a NICAI Summer Research Scholarship.

“I also continued performing, working closely with Dr Carol Brown, and in April 2008 I performed ‘The 19th Step’, a collaborative project between musicians, dancers, visual artists and a mathematician at the University of Roehampton in London.”

Rosemary Martin has recently completed a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and is now a lecturer in Dance Studies at NICAI.

Profile shot of David Zeitner-Smith.

David Zeitner-Smith

“The diversity of dance as an art form is fascinating and challenging. The beauty of dance is that it is a language, a form of communication that everybody can practise and understand regardless of their heritage, ethnicity or social stance.

“Having had a fulfilling career as professional dancer, I aspire to pass my knowledge and experience to future dance professionals. The Dance Studies programme at the University of Auckland enables me to supplement my practical experience with academia. I  have experienced ongoing support for my studies at The University of Auckland.”

David Zeitner-Smith is currently studying for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Dance Studies.