A Wigan dance teacher is heading Stateside with a very special mission.
Suzanne Clandonf of Hawkley Hall, is one of 47 people to receive a prestigious scholarship to change the face of physical education.
She has been given the award by the Fulbright Commission, a flagship international exchange scholarship programme between the United States and 155 countries wordlwide, promoting academic excellence and cultural understanding.
The 32-year-old, who has spent the last seven years teaching physical education at Deira International School (DIS_ in Dubai, will fly to New York next month to study a masters of science in leadersgip and change management at the New School in Manhattan.
Her passion and work in bringing dance to education in the United Arab Emirates, by co-founding Dubai Desert Dance, a non-profit organisation which provided a platform for dance education and performance in and among education instritures, helped to ensure she was a worthy candidate.
She said: “I am incredibly honoured to be selected for the 2015-16 Fulbright Award. The award will take me to New York City for a period of two to three years to study leadership and change and my passion which is tap dance.
!I am thrilled to be the only representative from the North West of England, and perhaps the first ever Fulbrighter from the Wigan area. I hope this news will introduce Wiganers to the Fulbright Commission, and provide young people with the courage to work towards their professional goals and dreams.
“I hope to use this opportunity to meet with leaders in the field of education reform and make the curriculum more creative. Dubai is isolated in professional development and so I hope to move it forward.”
Suzanne’s career began at the young age of 15 when she began teaching tap dance at the Broomfield Academy of Ballet.
Wishing to live and work in a different culture and travel the world she moved to Dubai in 2008, promoting dance in schools and last year, represented the UAE as a female soloist at the IDO World Tap Dance Cahmpionship in Germany.
As she went to New York on a research trip, she brough Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated LAdies, famous for TV talent show So you Think You Can Dance to Dubai, where they shared the stage.
Suzanne, a former Winstanley College student who worked as a PE teacher and school sport co-ordinator at PEMBEC High School, said: “I wanted to gain international experience and become more aware of different educational systems across the globe. I used Dubai as a central base to travel, as I have been across the world, including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Australia.!
The Fulbright Commission is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK and the US Department of State, with additional support coming from the Scottish Government and a variety of individual and institutional partners.
For more information visit www.fulbright.org.uk and follow Suzanne’s work on www.suzanneclandon.com
By Natalie Walker