Student Opportunities in the Local Community: RAFT by Gwyn Emberton

Aber uni strives to make opportunities for its students, whether this be aiding them in getting a study year abroad or bringing in award winning professionals in a specific subject area to lead innovative workshops. Not only this, but the local community offer oppertunities to volunteer and learn new skills.


At the heart of this community is Aberystwyth Arts Centre, which provides us with theatre, film, arts, music and all sorts of workshops. A few weeks ago, Gwyn Emberton Dance Company performed their exceptional piece, RAFT, and provided a fantastic opportunity for the Aberystwyth Community to get involved. The opportunity was open to all members of the local community and saw an interest from many of the universities students, who were eager to get involved. As a recent Drama and Theatre Studies graduate I couldn’t resist this opportunity and volunteered too. When I met all the other volunteers I soon found that we all had different skills and experiences. There is a girl participating in the next cheerleading championships, a boy training to be a stunt man and another boy who has no experience of dance, but really wanted to get involved and try something new. It was incredible to see the diversity in such a small group of Aber Students.

We began the workshop with a fun and lively workshop which got us experimenting with movement and made us more familiar with all members of the local cast. Then, we began to learn the choreography from the lovely Lara who guided us through it. I could feel the buzz grow and infect us all as we creeped closer to the performance debut. The dancers and exceptional team behind the creation of this event were so welcoming too, they were keen to get involved and meet new people. As I am interested in the theatre and arts work industry it was great to hear their advice and tips on ways to network and keep connections.

Finally, the night of the performance dawned on us and what an experience it was! The local cast waited in the audience in awe of the first half and the imagery the elements of the performance so cleverly created, then got ready for our moment. It was over in a flash and such a great experience. Army crawling along the stage so I looked like a Gecko was definitely my highlight of the show!

This is just one of the fantastic oppertunities Aberystwyth can offer you if you study here. If you come to Aber there are a vast array of oppertunities in Aberystwyth and through the universities close connections with world leading companies. Many departments promote a year in industry and local oppertunities to volunteer in some great productions or help a charity organisation can add transferable skills onto your CV. Aber has so many oppertunities available so you can get involved in something you enjoy or will be a challenge for you.