VDF Founder and ACE Radio breakfast co-host Kate Meade is officially listed in the Australian Financial Review Qantas 100 Women of Influence this year for outstanding contribution in the Local and Regional category.

Kate Meade has had a monumental year when it comes to accolades and prestige. In 2017, she was named Ausmumpreneur of the Year for her excellence in executing the Victorian Dance Festival to be what it is today. This month alone, Ms Meade was nominated for an ACRA award alongside co-host Jon Vertigan for Best On-Air Team Country & Provincial and now named among the top 100 Women of Influence in the Australian Financial Review.

Ms Meade said she is blown away by the honour of being listed with women of such high calibre and intelligence.

“The difference that some women do in their communities is so big and to be listed among those amazing women is unreal!”

The Victorian Dance Festival (VDF) is the most popular festival in the state, attracting thousands of dancers Australia-wide. Ms Meade brought to the country some of the world’s most influential artists to teach masterclasses, including USA’s leading contemporary dancer Travis Wall, popular contemporary artist Kathryn McCormick and emerging professional dancer Tate McRae. Ms Meade’s influential in the regional space has created an abundance of performance opportunities for local young dancers.

“I travelled to Melbourne to ask the full-time dance studios to get involved in regional opportunities. There may have been a lot of rejections along the way, but we got to where we needed to be; to give the dance community a platform to come together,” she admitted.

Kate Meade at VDF. Photo by Belinda Strodder.

Kate Meade describes herself as an accidental leader. She formed VDF as just another developmental opportunity for her dance students at the time, unaware of the potential for the festival’s future growth.

“I never sat down and thought I’m going to be a leader in the dance industry.”

Her strategy behind VDF was about keeping the intention pure; to bring dancers together in a non-competitive environment to make new friends and share the passion for dance.

“VDF has never been about celebrating great dancers,” admitted Ms Meade. “It has been about celebrating how great dance is!”

Her concern is that many dancers seeking a professional career in the industry do not explore the possibilities that sit within dance, which can be turned into innovative pathways. The advice for success is to be brave and courageous in chasing passions and sticking to them.

“Many young dancers entering into the industry in Australia are worried they are not going to have a professional career in dance. There are so many other areas of dance to pursue! They just need to have the courage to do so.”

“If your heart is with the right intentions and you aim as high as you can, the world is your oyster.”

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