North West Regional College lecturer Carie Logue Houston has been announced as a finalist for Tutor of the Year at the NI Creative & Cultural Skills Awards. The finals, which this year will be hosted this year at NWRC’s Strand Road Campus, celebrate the many unsung heroes of the creative industries who continue to inspire young people in Northern Ireland. Dancer Lecturer Carie, who first started teaching at the college’s in 2004 said she was honoured to be put forward for the award based on her contribution to dance and education. She said: “The nomination was a complete surprise, to even be shortlisted feels like an award. It is so lovely to be considered and recognised for my contribution to dance. “Teaching dance, nurturing and developing movement and creative skills is immensely rewarding. To see a young person’s confidence and abilities develop in the dance studio is simply wonderful and then to see them apply these skills as a step towards their dance journey is the greatest. I feel very lucky. “To get the opportunity to work with young people who come into our Performing Arts courses and develop their dance skills and creativity is gratifying. In particular, working with students with little or no dance background prior to the course and then seeing them connect with dance and embrace it gives me an enormous sense of pride – some students from this introduction to dance have gone on to pursue dance at Degree Level.” Carie, who delivers the dance units in the Level 3 Performing arts course ( Dance technique & performance) and HND Performing Arts course ( dance criticism & analysis/ choreography/ physical theatre), has also established an extremely successful student dance company – Ascent. She explained: “Ascent was created for students who wish to expand their dance skills further and provide opportunities to enhance students dance experiences. “Ascent also gives students a ‘Taster’ of the industry – with dance performance opportunities in various public events, including the annual NWRC Hair and Beauty events, Talent North-West (Ascent made it to last 6 acts in the Final at Forum), An Turas production @ the Forum, O-Bon Japanese Festival ‘Little Tokyo,’ and City of Derry Jazz Festival performing alongside Sicilian Swing Band ‘Jumpin Up’ (Finalists of Italy’s Got Talent). “I’ve always encouraged our Performing arts Students to embrace opportunities that can arise during their time at NWRC and make connections with creative bodies in the industry which can lead onto developing their skills and possible creative career enhancement.” Carie, who has previously taught dance in London, also works as community dance artist at Studio 2, whilst continuing as a freelance choreographer for various events in the city such as: Assistant choreographer in The Return of Colmcille/ The People’s Procession for The City of Culture and Choreographer for other major events in the city such as: O-Bon Japanese Festival of Light event (Playtrail), City of Derry Jazz Festival, Foyle Maritime Festival ‘Voyages’ Showcase, Derry City & Strabane District Council - Annual Halloween & Spring Carnival Parades. She is also a regular dance facilitator for the Millennium Forum’s annual Interact Youth Festival and Studio 2 Summer dance schemes. Carie Logue Houston was nominated for the award by NWRC’s Curriculum Manager for Music and Performing Arts, Ronan O’Callaghan. The winner will be announced on December 6.
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