Grant McLay

My incredible journey to perform in 13 countries around the world, in front of over 2.5 million people that translated from a BA to a MA to a Doctorate was only made possible by institutions acknowledging RPL.

Grant McLay
Grant McLay, Professional Dancer and Course Director of Contemporary Dance at University of Limerick

Starting dance at the late age of 18 years old, I very quickly started to see a professional dance career as a possibility. Moving into ballet and gaining a contract with a state ballet company, it was not long before my thirst for different styles of performance became important and I was then onto London’s West End performing in the musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.

Returning to Australia, and another crossroad in my journey, I wanted to explore more about dance, the art form I fell in love with. I had the opportunity to apply for a BA in Contemporary Dance (Sydney). As a mature age student, (luckily by leaving my abysmal school grades behind me), my professional career was recognised as prior learning and allowed me entry into the programme. Unfortunately, with only one year completed, I returned to the stage and left academia behind.

My second chance at higher education came in the form of a MA in Contemporary Dance Performance. This time my spell on the BA and my career RPL gave me the chance to continue my academic journey but once again I was drawn back to the stage and performing.

The ability to look more closely into the art form I am passionate about has allowed me to develop as an artist and educator in ways that would not be possible otherwise.

My third chance was applying for a doctorate. Using my RPL I was able to get onto the programme and this time bring my own wealth of knowledge. If it wasn’t for those couple of pivotal lecturers in the three individual institutions seeing my potential I wouldn’t now be a course director of a BA in Contemporary Dance.