The many benefits of moving through dance

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With so many diverse dance classes and programs in the ACT, everyone is bound to find a style that suits them best. This is a sponsored post. 

WITH so many diverse dance classes and programs in the ACT, everyone is bound to find a style that suits them best.

And, once they do, not only can learning to dance be fun, it’s also a chance to get creative, make friends, get fit and, in some cases, learn about the world.

Developing kids’ confidence and creativity

LEARNING dance can help nurture children’s natural creativity, give them the physical skills to enhance their abilities and develop their confidence,  says QL2 Dance artistic director Ruth Osborne.

QL2 Dance runs innovative, challenging, diverse and rigorous dance and artist development programs for young people, with a staged progression over several years of their lives, she says. 

“We develop the next generation of dance makers, supporting, nurturing, mentoring and coaching them through their critical early years and as they emerge as professionals, beyond and alongside other learning they gain from universities and elsewhere,” Ruth says.

“In our core programs, we provide and support an ever-changing balance of taught skills, rigorous challenge, creative practice, disciplined activity, and provocative guidance.”

Ruth says the youth dance company offers training programs for young dancers who will eventually participate in its performance projects. 

QL2 Dance has been offering programs from ages eight to 26 but next year, a new program called “Creative Moves” for ages three to five and five to seven, will be offered.

Ruth says QL2 prioritises choreographic literacy, intellectual engagement, and the discipline of creative process. 

“We enable growth and development for young dance artists, emerging choreographers and our audiences, producing thoughtful and challenging dance works,” she says. 

“We present immersive, creative and demanding performances by emerging and established artists.

“Ours is a unique approach to training and dancers’ development; nurturing creativity and collaboration along with technical skills and rigorous training.” 

QL2 Dance, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon. Call 6247 3103 or visit ql2.org.au

Kim’s thrilled to teach dance in person again

Kim Harvey
dancer Georgia Willshire. Photo: Everline Imagery

OFFERING classes in classical ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary, musical theatre, lyrical and open classical, as well as performance classes and conditioning, the Kim Harvey School of Dance director, Kim Harvey, is thrilled to be back to teaching face-to-face.

“We’re working hard now to prepare the students for online auditions, examinations and future opportunities in a shorter than usual time span,” she says.

Kim Harvey School of Dance has been running for 30 years, and now operates from a bespoke building that was awarded the Australian Institute of Architect’s ACT Art in Architecture Award 2016, Kim says.

“Our students are fortunate to have access to a world-class facility and our highly-trained faculty love working in the space,” she says.

Kim says she’s proud to have been instrumental in the early training of future and current dance professionals such as Dimity Azoury and Cadi McCarthy. 

“I love running the school: the interaction with engaged young minds, the opportunity to see students grow and learn, the sharing of knowledge and love of dance to all ages and the family and community that extends beyond the dance school,” she says. 

Kim Harvey School of Dance, at “The Oak”, 11 Rosevear Place, Dickson. Call 6230 0425, email admin@kimharveydance.com.au or visit kimharveydance.com.au

Exploring the world through dance

CANBERRANS can experience the world through dance, in the safety of Hackett Community Centre, at Folk Dance Canberra, says the dancehall’s publicity officer Lynette Aitchison. 

Operating for more than 26 years, Folk Dance Canberra offers classes to all ages and skill types in dance styles that span the globe, from Russia and the Balkans, to Israel and Turkey, and even Samoa.

While the classes can vary in complexity, Lynette says they’re all fun and good for physical fitness.

“Some of the dances are quite easy, some are more complicated. Some are like village dances, others are more choreographed,” she says.

“The music is really interesting and different, and often has inspiring stories behind it because it’s related to an event that’s happened in that country, or it’s part of the culture. 

“A lot of us are travellers. It takes you to another world.”

Personally, Lynette, who joins in on the classes, too, is a fan of Balkan dance and has even travelled to Bulgaria to participate in a dance workshop there.

“I think I like dancing from the Balkans region more, but I do everything, even dances from the Samoa islands,” she says.

Folk Dance Canberra, Hackett Community Centre, 114 Maitland Street, Hackett.
Call 6286 6401 or visit folkdancecanberra.org.au

Dale loves making lessons fun

TEACHING a range of classic dance styles, Dale’s Ballroom Dancing offers a fun way to get fit, socialise and compete in a friendly environment, says owner Dale Harris. 

“You don’t realise how much exercise you’re doing, you’re constantly on the move,” she says. 

Dale, who loves seeing her students having fun and improving in her classes, teaches styles such as the 10 traditional ballroom dances: waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese waltz, cha cha, samba, jive, rumba and paso doble. 

Backed by more than 20 years’ experience teaching dance, Dale started dancing even earlier, at the age of six, when she developed an interest in ballroom dancing. 

She’s since received many qualifications in ballroom dancing and is also a championship adjudicator who travels interstate to judge ballroom competitions. 

And while it’s not compulsory, Dale says her students have a chance to compete and she loves seeing them receive medals for their achievements.

“I enjoy seeing the looks on the kids’ faces when they get their medals,” she says.

But, she says she also loves to see them having a great time and enjoying the classes, with classes for adults, children and social classes, too. 

Dale’s Ballroom Dancing, 245 Cowlishaw Street, Tuggeranong. Call 6296 4009, email dale_harris@bigpond.com or visit dalesballroomdancing.com

Greg supports the dance community

MANUKA Woden Physiotherapy has a long-standing association with the dance community, says practice principal and physiotherapist Greg Nash.

“In the 1980s and 1990s, the original principal of the practice worked with the Australian Ballet, as well as local dance schools,” he says. 

Also, his daughter Cinzia Nash is a dance teacher at DanceEdge in Tuggeranong.

Greg himself has been treating dancers from many disciplines for more than 30 years, with experience in many conditions associated with ballet, hip hop, contemporary dance and ballroom.

Graduate physiotherapist Vera Chalneva, an elite rhythmic gymnast who has also been coaching for seven years and has a wide-ranging sporting background, has recently joined the practice, too.

WIth an interest in postural exercise, soft tissue therapy and women’s health, Greg says Vera’s an invaluable asset to the practice and that she complements his experience in sport and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. 

“Manuka Woden Physiotherapy aims to provide the highest level of care to all our patients, and will be open during the Christmas and New Year period,” Greg says.

Manuka Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, Call Manuka on 6295 6896
or Woden on 6281 1382 or visit manukawodenphysio.com.au

Charlie Wan, left, teaching Subsdance Dance Studio students.

Charlie’s dance studio promotes diversity

WHETHER exercise dances like Zumba or world dance like Brazilian Funk or Afrobeat, director of Subsdance dance studio in Kingston, Charlie Wan, says her classes focus less on being perfectly technical and more on creating a space for expression and community.

While Charlie bought the studio only 18 months ago, she’s used her own experience as a dance teacher founding studios around the world to build a diverse space merging arts, community and social issues, she says. 

“I found personally as someone who has been performing as a full-time job for 15 years that the commercial dance world can be a little elitist; you have to be a certain way, look a certain way,” she says.

“If you’re a performer, dancer, or entertainer who’s ready to be in a space where everyone is accepted, where we never discriminate and are open to all forms of creativity, Subsdance is the place for you.”

Charlie says she has four main rules for Subsdance.

“Rule one in our place – there is no hate, towards each other or yourself.

“Rule two, it’s not about the choreography. Take what we have and make it your own.

“Rule three, there’s no level of fitness or technique you have to be in this space.

“Rule four, in all elements, not just dance, be confident and love yourself.”

Subsdance Dance Studio, The Cusack Centre, Level 1, 27-29 Eyre Street, Kingston. Call 0477 528026 or visit subsdance.com.au

 

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