Case study

Digital and audience engagement manager — Nick Kyprianou

Nick uses his knowledge of dance alongside film production, digital and journalism skills in his role at Matthew Bourne's New Adventures dance company. Find out how he got his job

How did you get started in dance?

I studied a BA (Hons) in Dance at the University of Chichester, graduating in 2014. After completing my degree I completed an internship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance as their graduate intern in the Learning and Participation (Dance) department. This allowed me to put a lot of the skills that I learned during my degree into practice, and was a varied internship in project management and administration. I also took a lead on social media for the department and worked closely with the marketing and communications team, which took me into the world of marketing and all things digital. This was when I found a passion for generating engaging content for the arts and also began freelancing as a dance journalist.

After I left Trinity Laban, I worked at the Royal Academy of Dance as their marketing and events officer on their Step into Dance programme, before moving into a brand new role at New Adventures.

What does a typical day involve?

I work closely with Matthew Bourne and New Adventures staff to support Matthew Bourne's artistic vision by developing and enhancing engagement with audiences. I seek to increase its diversity and improve access, champion digital innovation and excellence within the organisation.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love my job as every day is different and it allows me to think creatively about how we can engage new and existing audiences, while being able to challenge and innovate how we present ourselves online.

It's so inspiring to see an internationally-renowned choreographer and his creative team at work, while highlighting and promoting the diverse range of workshops and projects that the company delivers to thousands worldwide, across their online platforms and in print.

What are the challenges?

The challenges I have found, which I proudly welcome, are having to learn on the job, from how to edit a professional piece of film to discovering different marketing and website processes that I may have been taught if I undertook a degree course in those areas.

The days are also long and require a lot of travelling, but the rewards outweigh my sometimes tiring schedule.

How did your degree help you get the job?

It gave me the chance to explore different potential career paths, from performing to journalism and choreography to arts management. The skills I learned were key to me reaching the position that I'm in now.

My degree gave me a solid grounding in contemporary dance technique, as well as a deep understanding of the dance landscape and history. Modules in criticism and journalism taught me how to write about dance in an informed way, while my physical practice taught me what it feels like to move in different ways. Both the theoretical and physical aspects have instilled both creativity and intelligence into how I work today.

What would you like to do next?

In five years' time I hope to be heading up my own department in digital marketing and audience engagement for an arts company, and I believe I can certainly reach this as New Adventures is such a supportive and open environment to grow, explore and try new things.

Any advice for others looking to get into the dance world?

Immerse yourself in every moment and stay open to new ideas and processes. It's the only way you will grow and succeed.

Ensure you have a work/life balance. Go out and have fun, but also use the facilities and support from staff and colleagues to the maximum. Don't be afraid to fail but be confident that you can succeed.

When studying you may start your course thinking 'I'm going to do this' - be open to that changing.

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