BIMM University / Performers College / Take The Stage

Take the Stage: Katie Dunsden, Performers College

11th June 2024

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Take the Stage is our series where we catch up with graduates from our Performing Arts schools, Performers College, ICTheatre, and Northern Ballet School. This week we’re catching up with Katie Dunsden, dancer, choreographer, and Performers College Trinity Professional Diploma graduate on what she’s been up to since graduating.

What is an average day like in your current role?

Wherever I am it always starts with coffee no matter what! Then, depending on whether I’m working in a West End show or on tour it can really vary.

If you’re working on a permanently installed West End show, you’re usually called in for warmup around 5pm, which means you have the whole day to do you! It means you can fill your day with different things, maybe take a class, catch up with friends or just relax.  I would usually get to the theatre slightly before and start to do some makeup and wig prep before heading to warmup.

I’m currently on a nightly touring production produced by Strictly Theatre Co, this means the venue changes every night and there is a lot of travelling everyday pre and post-show. We would typically leave the hotel at 1pm where the tour bus will collect us and take us to the venue, and because each day is a different stage we have to do a quick tech rehearsal at each venue for lighting & sound. This is great for us, as it gives us time to adjust to the stage and warm up. After the show, we quickly pack up and get back on the bus to the next hotel ready to travel and do it all again the next day! It can be a really tough routine to do day in day out, and these have been the most physically demanding shows I’ve ever done, but we all look after each other and as a performer it is one of the most creatively fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had.

What is your top advice to current students and other up-and coming performers?

Never stop learning! Go to class, learn from different people and don’t be afraid to ask questions or for advice. In a different aspect, You should make sure to surround yourself with supportive people, as sometimes the industry can be really tough and it’s important to be around people that motivate and inspire you in your career.

Why is collaboration important in creative industries, and what would your number one collaboration tip be?

Collaboration opens doors to meeting and working with new people! You can learn so much from working with different people especially if you’re working together to create something. My number one tip when collaborating would be to not be afraid of it – enjoy the process of putting ideas together with another artist, you never know where it could take you!

What was your biggest take away from your time at performers college?

To just go for it! You have all the tools and have had the best training to prepare you for the industry. Whilst you’re still in training, go to as many classes you can, really absorb everything you can. You have the best variety of classes and learning from the best of the industry right at your fingertips! Trust them to help guide and shape you to be the best performer you can be. The hard work you put in now will pay off in future.

What have been your career highlights so far?

Each job brings something special for a different reason. I have been very lucky to be in two original west end casts, On Your Feet! was my first job out of college, at the London Coliseum and Moulin Rouge at the Piccadilly Theatre. In my time at Moulin Rouge we opened the Olivier Awards Show in 2022, this was a moment I’ll never forget!

Another massive highlight was playing my first role in the West End Revival of Grease where I played Cha Cha DeGregorio and covered Rizzo. A huge recent highlight was in my latest show with Strictly Theatre Co at the London Palladium, it was such a special show, directed & choreographed by another Performers College graduate, Alan Burkitt.

What else have you been up to?

I’ve been teaching & choreographing different pieces at various institutions, and it’s been great to see the upcoming talent into the industry and working creatively with the students. I also love to move my body differently, go to a gym class or see friends and socialize. It’s important to do things that aren’t industry related and have a life outside work, so you live a happy & healthy balanced life!

To discover more about Performers College, including auditions and how to apply, contact us at [email protected] or book an Open Day on our Events page.


BIMM University

BIMM University provides an extensive range of courses in modern music, performing arts, filmmaking, and creative technology to over 8,000 students across 14 schools in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. We have a long-standing commitment to providing the highest quality in creative industries education, allowing students to maximise their career potential in an inclusive community built on a culture of shared passion, creativity, and collaboration. Berlin | Birmingham | Brighton | Bristol | Dublin | Essex | London | Manchester