I returned home to Manchester at the weekend and managed to catch the end of the 'Move08' movement on screen festival.

Part of the festival was an 'industry brunch'. (A free event. Yes. I did say free.) The organizations Sound Art Network, Northern Film Network, PANDA and LANWest were all invited, each on representing a different aspect of the performance industry.

The intention was to bring together people from different fields and trying and discuss ways for collaboration, cross over between disciplines and generally make each other aware of one another.

For me as a student it was a great chance to see what exists beyond the fours walls of the studio - for example, PANDA offers and incubation program for new companies and LANWest runs a yearly platform for emerging artists, and meet people who can help me access this.

When the floor was opened up for discussion I was enthralled by the debate. And I learned a few things;
1. The arts council don't fund dance for film. Seems a bit unfair.
2. I better get used to the fact that I am going to spend a lot of my working life filling in propsals and ticking boxes to get money.
3. Luckily there are people who'll help you with these forms (PANDA for one)
4. There are lots of people out their striving to produce good art. (ok, I already knew this, but its good to be reminded sometimes).
5. And this was the single most important thing. Network. Network. Network. Then you'll met these people and together you can pool resources/skills/information/advice and to create opportunities.

What dawned on me was a dance students busy schedule often means networking takes a back seat.

But three years is not a long time. Then the real world calls - so get out and get connected. It'll make the transition easier.