“When dancers just do steps, it’s too perfect. I want dancers to show who they are as individuals, to get a little dirty. It’s about taking risks to find out who you are.” – Mia Michaels.
As a dancer, suffering from physical adversity is one of the hardest things in the world but for 15-year-old Olivia Withington, she has grown stronger from her own crippling battles.
Ashleigh Stewart, 23, has smashed her own expectations by being named in the Australian Songwriters Association’s Top 30 list among other nominations for her debut single.
The dance industry has been largely starved of major technological innovations. You need only look down at your average ballet slipper to realise you’ve probably been wearing the same design since you were a child and one that has changed little in terms of functionality for hundreds of years. Yet MDM Dancewear has now engineered what is arguably the perfect ballet shoe.
It is certainly a reality check for many dancers when So You Think You Can Dance star Tate McRae says even she has not got enough training and experience to be a professional dancer…yet. Dance Writer chats to Tate about her passions and how she remains true to herself.
Dance Writer exclusively interviewed Dance Academy star, Ashi Ross. Read her perspective on making dance a career and what is involved.
Forget apples, safe dance practice will keep the doctor away!
Social media is arguably altering the perception of what is achievable in dance. Young dancers are copying movements from Instagram and performing them without regard to harm or hazard. According to a Melbourne based dance instructor and qualified doctor Lisa Ellis, dancers can still be as flexible as they possibly can be by following a safe dance procedure.
She has been a top 10 finalist in the “Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler Australia tour” and trains in a highly sought-after extension program known as Dance Prescription. Nine-year-old Bella Jacobs—on top of all these achievements—has just been announced as the second ambassador for Dance Writer.
Bella began dancing at three-years-old. Based at the Dream Academy in Victoria’s western city suburbs, Bella trains in most dance styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, acrobatics and even music theatre. Her coach Tayla Blake has inspired her greatly to be the best dancer she can be. “She is one of those kids who wants nothing more than for everyone to succeed and catch their dreams,” Tayla told Dance Writer.
Being an ambassador is very important to Bella as she believes she can show the world her passion for dance, inspiring others to achieve their own dreams. “I love to laugh and dance, and always look on the positive side of life,” said Bella. “I feel so happy, excited and proud to be an ambassador for Dance Writer,” she added.
When Dance Moms stars Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler came out to Australia to tour their workshops in January 2017, Bella knew this was her chance to impress her two idols. It was a dream come true,” Bella smiled. Learning from one of Australia’s best dance choreographers Marko Panzic from The Dream Dance Company really helped Bella develop the confidence to perform in front of the famous sisters.
“We all had to perform the choreography given to us by Marko. After the performances, Maddie and Mackenzie chose their top 10 finalists out of 170 participants,” told Bella. More than that, Bella also had to perform an improvisation solo in front of the panel. To her amazement, Bella was awarded a spot in the top 10. After all the performances, Bella met Maddie and Mackenzie and got a photo with them. “They were so humble and friendly,” she said. “This made me feel very special and that I can achieve anything I set my mind to,” she added.
On top of that awe-inspiring achievement, Bella has been training with Dr Lisa Ellis at Dance Prescription—a technique-based extension program for young dancers in Melbourne’s south-east. Bella has had the opportunity to train with such incredible young talent with the expert guidance of the dancer turned doctor. Dr Lisa Ellis focuses on technique and goal-setting so the dancers are reminded to constantly work hard to achieve their dreams. “Dr Lisa makes you believe in yourself and that you can achieve anything with hard work, dedication and lots of fun and laughter,” Bella said. She has just been accepted into Dance Prescription’s senior group, which will be a new and challenging adventure for Bella.
Alongside competing in solos and troupes, Bella also had the chance to participate in the Follow Your Dreams nationals competition in Ballarat. It seems like Bella’s hard work and dedication paid off as she was awarded a spot in the top 10.
Bella has been thankful to have the support of her family who takes her to all of her classes and competitions. Her mother Alison has been nothing short of a super-mum, always acting as Bella’s rock when needed. “My family always encourages me to take a strong interest in my passion for dance,” Bella said.
Dance Writer welcomes Bella Jacobs to the team with open arms.