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Nafisah Baba wins BBC Young Dancer 2017

Ex-Royal Ballet star Darcey Bussell crowns Middlesex alumna Nafisah winner at Sadler’s Wells theatre

Nafisah Baba dancingNafisah Baba, BA Professional Practice in Arts (BAPP Arts) alumna, was announced winner of BBC Young Dancer 2017 at Sadler's Wells in London on Saturday 22 April.

BBC Young Dancer brings together dancers aged 16-21 to compete across four categories – ballet, contemporary, street dance and South Asian dance.

Presented by Anita Rani and Ore Oduba with legendary ballerina Darcey Bussell, the evening is a unique opportunity for young talented dancers across the UK to perform in front of some of the country’s leading dance figures.

An incredible feeling

“It still hasn't really properly sunken in yet, but it feels incredible to have won this competition,” says Nafisah.

While studying professional practice at Middlesex University, Nafisah was a member of the postgraduate dance company Chrysalis London, renowned for its uniquely theatrical choreographic and directional style. The director, Jodie Blemings, set up a professional practice partnership between Middlesex University and the Chrysalis London dance company.

Nafisah at the BBC Young Dancer of the Year

“Middlesex University and its wonderful tutors have given me so many tools,” she explains.

“There are many aspects to the BAPP degree, particularly regarding reflection and understanding the learning environments I have been involved in, that have really helped me during and after completing the course.”

Beating four other finalists, Nafisah received a trophy and £3,000 to help support her dance studies.

Nafisah dancing

"Don't be afraid"

As for advice for future Middlesex University students, Nafisah believes in going for what you want and not being afraid to make mistakes.

“Something I learnt from the BAPP course was there is no such thing as simply being wrong. If you can learn from it, then it’s not a mistake. Mistakes are opportunities for growth and sometimes they lead you down the right path!”

Watch Nafisa perform her duet 'Deliverance' alongside partner Lois Wong.

Learn more about studying BA Professional Practice in Arts at Middlesex

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