“Five years ago, if you had told me I would be an ambassador for the dance industry, I would not have believed you.”
12-year-old dancer Nytalia Chigach has much to be proud of including being named one of the foundational ambassadors for Dance Writer in 2017.
Nytalia has bounced from state-to-state around Australia, living in Perth and Tasmania. Nearing two-years-ago, Nytalia and her mother found their true home in Melbourne’s western suburbs where The Dream Academy dance studio welcomed Nytalia with open arms. She has participated in many dance workshops with high-profile choreographers including Jason Coleman, Penny Higgs and Jessica Starr, creative director of Muse Dance Company in Los Angeles.
Nytalia has formed some of her closest friends at The Dream Academy, which proves that quality outweighs quantity when it comes to friendships.
“I feel like I have known them forever, but it has not been that long at all. We are very close,” Nytalia said.
Nytalia trains in various styles at The Dream Academy, with her favourite style being lyrical contemporary. She believes ballet is an essential skill to perfect the art of contemporary dancing.
“You really need to do ballet to let your technique take you further. That is why I have started ballet and I really enjoy it now.”
She loves to dance because it gives her a sense of happiness. Nytalia admits that she suffers from high anxiety, which can have a strong impact on her school and social life. The way she copes with her anxiety is through dance; it acts as a stress reliever and allows her to express her emotions.
“When I am really anxious I cry, but when I dance it all just melts away,” told Nytalia.
“Expression is everything in dance,” she added.
“Sometimes I go into my bedroom, blast out some random song and just dance how I feel instead of doing my homework,” Nytalia said with a giggle.
“In high-pressure environments like school exams or even just social occasions she gets nervous, but dance is always something that relaxes her,” admitted Nytalia’s mum.
Nytalia’s mother Geneine McFarlane once believed that dance was more of a hobby than a career. As soon as she saw her daughter dance at the annual studio concert last year, she was overwhelmed with happiness, letting out tears of joy.
“Watching Nytalia on stage has made me realise that dance could be the perfect profession for her. I have definitely changed my outlook on that and I will be there to support her every step of the way,” said Ms McFarlane.
“My mum has supported me through everything; always given me advice and never puts me down,” Nytalia explained.
Her coach Tayla Blake has seen tremendous improvement in Nytalia in such a short time. Nytalia said Tayla pushes her in a way that is both motivating and inspirational.
“Nytalia is a beautiful girl inside and out! She’s fitted into the studio environment without a second thought. She is so supportive of everyone and incredibly humble. She has a natural performance quality when she dances, particularly in lyrical/contemporary pieces, and it is simply stunning to watch. She has come such a long way. She really is an honour to teach,” said Tayla.