This issue we shine a spotlight on our teachers and our examiners. We thank our teachers for all their dedication and commitment to the art of teaching dance and we remind them of the importance of taking time for themselves. There is a great physio mini warm-up and cool-down plan from the dance physiotherapist team at Kinetica Physiotherapy and our in-house psychologists talks about the early signs of burnout which is very common in dance teachers.
“Dance teachers are often small business owners and the level of responsibility, paired with the difficulty of taking time away can be a recipe for burnout.” Although we are focusing on working life here, burnout can actually occur in any arena of our lives, but what does it actually mean when we say we are ‘burnt out’?” Kate Fennessy tells all in her May/Jun column.
Do you get really nervous at exam time and find it hard to even look at your examiner? Well just like you, your examiners were once a student of dance. We talk to one examiner from each of the major syllabus and associations so you can get to know them and understand how much they really want you to do your best and that mistakes happen, it is how you move on from them that counts.
“Sometimes in exams, I might see a student who makes a mistake or maybe a pirouette or step isn’t successfully executed. I would love to say to them not to let it show on their face or let it have an effect on their presentation. If an exercise, step or pirouette commences well and finishes well and you cover up any fault with style and grace, it will make you seem like a much better dancer than if you drop your presentation. Professional dancers have bad days when they are performing on the stage, but they are trained to cover it up and continue their performance as if they are feeling on top of the world. Exams are no different. It is like a performance.”
Kathleen Hamilton, AICD BOROVANSKY, Children and Major Examiner
On the cover of our Teachers Issue is Miss Jasmina Stefkovski Principal of Melbourne Academy of the Arts as voted by her student Astrid Fiek for our Capezio Teacher of The Year Award. We also feature 26 of our top entries, beautiful letters from student dancers tellings us why they think their dance teacher is deserving of our Capezio Teacher of The Year Award. Have tissues on hand as there are some real heart warmers here.
Successful dancer and now much loved teacher/choreographer Adam Blanch shares his story – from stage to class room – and how this journey that stemmed from injury has led him to his true passion, teaching dance.
“I have found a wonderful balance working with both contemporary and ballet students. I love helping contemporary dancers to value ballet and how they can make ballet practical and beneficial for them. The constant massaging and developing of certain muscles allows the dancer to move with greater freedom, take risks, but still feel secure. I love taking a ballet dancer and teaching them how to use their spine, to give value to every step and articulate their bodies outside the constraints of ballet technique. My injury allows me to give insight to where a movement comes from. I have a very kinaesthetic style of teaching. I love using imagery to get the student to understand the mechanics of a step and where it manifests from. At the end of the day for me, a beautiful classical technician that has the capability to move their body beyond the classical repertoire is pure bliss and an asset to any company. Especially at a time when every company in the world is embracing a contemporary repertoire, this only makes a dancer more employable.” Adam Blanch
We have a huge amount of fantastic photos of Australian dancers doing what they love from: inside The Australian Ballet School and Sydney Rambert School Auditions to onstage with Victorian State Ballet in Le Corsaire, Valley and Wildebeest and The Australian Ballets’ MURPHY.
Dance Teachers wanting to book a tour, order backdrops, apply for insurance, implement studio software, and secure a dance specialist photographer will want to get their hands on this issue. Our dancetrain recommended suppliers guide includes testimonials from each business so you don’t have to take their word for how good they are, the industry is doing it for them.