Celebrating achievement in the workplace
5 July 2017
From muddy boots to ballet shoes
builder Becky’s dancing success
Not every woman has footwear with reinforced toecaps in her wardrobe - but professional planner Becky Sleap has two very different styles in hers.
One is a traditional work boot, and the other is made of pink satin and ribbons.
By day Becky can be found traversing the rubble and uneven surfaces of several building sites. After work, however, those steel toecaps make way for dainty ballet shoes with rigid toe boxes to protect her toes when she dances ‘en pointe.’
Becky, aged 29, has been dancing since she was three, and has just pirouetted her way through the first stage of professional standard ballet.
She is a student of the Frances Flower School of Ballet in Gorseinon, and is delighted that decades of hard work have been recognised with exam success. She has qualified through all the early ballet grades and is now reaching the highest levels.
“I don’t have any plans to dance professionally, but I really enjoy it as a hobby and will continue dancing in my spare time,” she explained.
“I had to do a double pirouette for the exam, and that was quite nerve-wracking - so I was pretty relieved to get through that bit.
“I have another two levels of professional examinations to go, and the technical levels are higher again, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.
Ahead of her exam Becky was practicing three nights a week at the ballet school, and also at home on weekends. Not only has dancing helped to keep her toned and fit, but the discipline of performing in front of judging panels has helped in other ways.
“Ballet builds confidence and in turn that has helped me in work when I need to do things like give presentations, for example.”
Strictly-fan Becky’s day job is as a professional planner with Hygrove Homes. The company is a family-owned and family-run house builder based in Swansea.
She has a degree in law, a masters in planning and further professional planning qualifications.
But her job doesn’t restrict her to the office, and she’s often out on site, liaising directly with the builders or helping to solve any engineering problems which may arise.
“It’s really interesting,” she said. “I’m involved at the design stage, but also in the engineering side of things too, and how it all comes together.
“I work closely with the site manager and we have a great team of builders to work with.”
Becky said house building might not be the obvious choice for many girls considering a career, but said they would be surprised at the variety of roles the industry offered.
“It’s quite a specialised field but there’s a lot on offer, including design, architecture, engineering and accountancy to name just a few.
“I would definitely encourage women to look at the construction industry as a potential career.”
Hygrove Homes is a family-owned, family-run house builder and developer.
Active in the construction industry for the past 30 years, they employ 500+ local site and supply contractors workers including 15 apprentices.
The award-winning developer has sites currently active at Upper Bank and Pontardulais.
Hygrove prides itself on local support for community sports teams and initiatives.