Deborah Bull CBE speaks to students at Sion-Manning RC Girls School as part of our Creative Industries talk series

26 January 2016

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Students at the West London school were invited to a talk from renowned dancer, writer, and broadcaster Deborah Bull as she, in conversation with Head of Year 7 Hannah Lovegrove, told the gathered cohort about her experiences growing up in Skegness, to her time at the Royal Ballet School and on to her tenure as creative director of the Royal Opera House right up to her latest role as Assistant Principal (Culture & Engagement) at King’s College, London.

This life lessons talk highlighted the depth and value of not only dance, but all the arts as key to students well being and giving them the skills to think about all of life’s challenges from a variety of perspectives which are invaluable to creating understanding between people in society. As Deborah herself put it “The arts allows you to experience other peoples’ lives.”

She went on to remind the pupils that “the arts don’t just need artists; we need great managers in finance, costume designers, stage technicians and lighting technicians for example.” Going on to tell the students that for many of the creative arts, highlighting painting and sculpture as examples, there is no such thing as “too late” to start.

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Speaking openly and frankly on the subject of fear, Deborah told the students that in her experience sometimes fear can hold you back. This can manifest as a fear of the unknown or it can be fear of looking foolish. She encouraged the audience to fight their fears and face them head on, but also asked that the collected students encourage and support one another when they try something and fail, as she put it “you don’t learn something new unless you get it wrong first and you only get good at something through practice. I’ve made a friend of failure but it took a while. It has to be a part of everyday life.”


Keep up with all the updates from our Creativity, Arts and Culture in State Schools Series here.