Ella Peck

Politics and Sociology

Ella discovered her passion for dance through the Luso Brazilian Society while studying politics and sociology. Inspired by performing and teaching dance, she went on to establish her own dance company, Element Dance Brasil.

What is your current profession?

I am the founding member and director of Element Dance Brasil. I teach and perform at various venues all over the UK.

What did you do at Leeds in addition to you course?

I joined the Luso Brazilian society and began to learn samba and eventually I became their secretary/dance teacher and leader. This meant I was able to bring in new things such as performing as part of the university dance evening. I also took part in the university yoga sessions, and was able to do electives in dance at Bretton, as well as nurture my passion for languages with co-curricular language electives. I also worked at the university International Student Office which was a great experience. I met so many people from all over the world, and learnt how many things international students have to cope with and experience when studying abroad. I worked part time as a waitress in central leeds, which funded my dance classes. Eventually I began performing and teaching dance whilst at university, a lot of which began with the Luso Brazilian society.

What skills do you feel you developed as part of your course?

My writing skills, multi tasking skills, summarising and extracting information all developed as part of my course. I am still greatly interested in Politics and Sociology. In particular, race relations, feminism and human rights. I do still hope to use my degree at some point in dance too!

What skills do you feel you developed outside of the course?

An understanding of business, dealing with people working for Luso Brazil and later as meet and greet at the international student office. My dance skills have developed as well as my people skills. I am also a lot more confident as a result of co-curricular activities.

What advice would you give to current students when thinking about careers/what they do after University?

Enjoy the time you have at uni to really research your options, and think about how you might develop the skills you need. Whatever your dreams are, look into them...... Maybe this will mean another two years of study... But to get where you want to be... It's so worth it, so rewarding. It’s easy to just do tasks set to meet a grade, get a deadline, but so much more rewarding when you can actually learn something and make it relative to you, and your future career. If you can also look into work experience or anything similar to add to your experience, then do so! And make the most of the resources and knowledgeable people around you. I would also recommend taking the time to work out what your strengths and weaknesses are in areas relevant to your career, and see if you can develop them at uni. For example, if you are bad with computers, go and visit the ISS desk. Ask questions, ask for advice, because these kinds of resources may not be so readily available once you finish.