Queensland Ballet’s Education Teaching Artists are hitting the open road in August and September, taking school and community workshops to 15 locations across regional Queensland. The workshops aim to inspire regional communities and provide the opportunity to experience the physical, social and emotional benefits of dance.
The workshops cater for all ages and abilities with something on offer for everyone. Community classes, presented by Ergon Energy Network and Energex range from QB Petit Pointers aimed to enthral the littlest lovers of dance, to a tailored Ballet for Adults class for mature active adults. The tour also includes In-School workshops, sponsored by Shell’s QGC business, providing safe, educative and inclusive dance experiences for students in kindergartens and schools.
Queensland Ballet’s Education Teaching Artists play a vital role in taking the joy of movement and ballet all across Queensland, from our home studio in Brisbane to rural towns in outback Queensland. Throughout the tour we are going to help you get to know our Education Teaching Artists by asking them all the important questions; from their fondest moment on stage, why regional tour is important for regional communities, and of course, the best road trip songs.
Q: How did your dance journey begin?
A: My dance journey started when I was four and my father took me to a creative movement class for early years. I refused to join in, telling my Dad that this is not real ballet! Afterwards I trialed a different ballet class and have been inspired by the art-form ever since.
Q: How long have you been a Queensland Ballet Education Teaching Artist for?
A: I have been part of the Queensland Ballet Education Teaching Artist team since 2015.
Q: If you had to pick one moment dancing on stage that is most memorable, what would it be?
A: My most memorable moment was dancing in Hamburg Ballet’s Der Nussknacker, whilst I was a student at the Hamburg Ballettschule. One of the company dancers was unable to perform and I was asked to fill in, so had to quickly learn the role and perform that evening. I was fortunate enough to perform for the rest of the season and my family also had the opportunity to watch whilst visiting for Christmas.
Q: What do you love most about dance?
A: I love how dance provides another way of learning and exploring the world around us. Whether that is through watching or participating in dance, I think that is what makes dance unique and also continually relevant.
Q: What is your favourite part of regional tour?
A: My favourite part of regional tour is visiting new and familiar communities across Queensland. Some communities I have visited annually since 2014, and I have great relationships with local teachers and students. As we aim to expand our tours to new locations, some communities are new and we are working alongside teachers and students for the first time.
Q: What has been your regional tour highlight?
A: Regional Tour is one of my favourite Queensland Ballet programs and there are many highlights, but one is from when I was teaching in Hughenden. As there is no ballet studio, families travelled from surrounding areas to take part in the workshop and we were hosted by the local community hall. As I was teaching a chicken decided to join in, and proceeded to parade itself on the verandah all morning squawking loudly.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about being on the road again?
A: Great people, enthusiastic students, passionate teachers, road trips with the Queensland Ballet EdSquad team and visiting all the local pubs.
Q: What’s something we may not know about you?
A: Alongside my role at Queensland Ballet, I am also studying biomedical science.
Q: Why is the regional tour important to you?
A: Access. In Queensland we have such a large regional and remote community base and we need to ensure the same opportunities are provided in these communities. My family is also from South West Queensland, so to me it's really special to visit these locations and support the local dance and arts sector.
Q: Best road trip song?
A: Country Roads Take me Home by John Denver.
Photo credit: Paul Beutel