Hello! My name is Niamh Allanson-Campbell, I am 18 years old, and I am an aspiring dancer and performer from Portishead, Bristol.
I have recently been offered a place on the BA (Hons) Musical Theatre course at Millennium Performing Arts, one of the top London dance colleges. However, whilst I was delighted to have been successful in gaining a place at this institution and had already started making plans for accommodation and part-time work in the area, we had the devastating news in July that Student Finance England would not be funding the course for September 2018 entry. Unfortunately, this means I have no financial support from the government for my vocational training (i.e. no student loan and no maintenance loan) and without some means of financial help, I may not be able to train as a performer at Millennium Performing Arts.
My parents are giving me as much financial support as they can, but with the elevated costs of living in London I still need help. Nevertheless, I am determined to do everything I can to try to find the money to fund my training and become a professional performer, starting off by reaching out to those around me with this crowdfunding page.
I started dancing at the age of 4 and since then have never stopped, training in ballet, modern, and tap syllabus classes at Annette Adams School of Dancing and 344 Dance School in Bristol up to Advanced 2 level. As I became more serious about pursuing dance as a career, I started training at the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) in Swindon, one of 9 national centres for advanced dance training across the UK. Whilst training at the CAT I was able to push my boundaries as a dancer and explore contemporary dance, working with choreographers such as James Cousins (winner of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award) and artists from Phoenix Dance Theatre. I also had the opportunity to perform a curtain raiser for James Wilton’s ‘Leviathan’ and most recently performed at WOMAD festival with Compagnie Pernette.
In the last 3 years I have also participated in programmes such as Urdang Youth Academy and Lukas McFarlane’s ‘SEEDS’, which have pushed me towards becoming a more versatile and resilient performer and instilled in me a further motivation to pursue vocational training.
I love to push myself in other ways to become the best performer possible - for example I am also a synchronised swimmer and competed for England in 2015. Recently I worked for Aquabatix on Janice Kerbel’s major new artwork 'SINK’, commissioned by The Common Guild as part of Festival 2018, the cultural programme for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
Why do I need the money?
I have been lucky enough to gain a place at Millennium Performing Arts, one of the top institutions for dance and musical theatre training in the UK, and I am extremely grateful for this amazing opportunity. Whilst the course was originally supported by a student loan and maintenance loan from Student Finance England, this is unfortunately no longer available. Therefore, in order to attend the college, my parents and I will need to self-fund a significant amount of money to cover the course fees and living costs of London.
At present, I lifeguard at 3 different places, as I am desperately trying to save up enough money to go away. I have also found somewhere to work in London, so that I have some source of income during my training, something many performing arts students choose not to do due to the demanding contact hours at college. However, I am in the unfortunate position wherein I cannot do it all by myself. I am hoping that by setting up this crowdfunding page, I can be one step closer to pursuing my goal of becoming a professional performer.
What’s in it for you?
As a way of saying thank you for your support I am pledging to offer rewards. I am more than happy to come in and talk to younger students about my experiences auditioning and being a performing arts student, as well as providing updates on how my training is going and any performances that I will be appearing in.
Any donation no matter how small will make all the difference and will be so gratefully appreciated. Moreover, if you know of any other fundraising ideas or opportunities, or could share this page on your social media, I would be extremely thankful. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this, and supporting my journey to help my dream become a reality.