Did you know that I never intended to enrol my eldest, Caitlin, into Dance Classes? How crazy is it that someone with such a passion for Dance didn’t ever want her own child embedded in a studio dance culture?
I remember back fondly on my times as a teen dancing with studios; the make up, the rehearsals and the excitement of being back stage preparing to perform. As a late starter into formal dance training I was old enough to be aware of the commitment it took not just from me, but also for my family for every class, extra rehearsal, eisteddfod and performance I participated in. I was happy to commit, I knew it was something that I loved and wanted to continue into a career. My family, well they by default were forced to get me to every class, rehearsal and performance whether they wanted to or not. Let me tell you there was great celebration when I got my drivers licence and could take myself!
So here I was with an almost 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old, longing to get back into dance teaching after an interstate move. I had no intention of placing my girls into the kind of culture or commitment that seemed to be required in order to join a dance class. That was until I came across an advertisement for a Jazz and Tap teacher at Jane Grech Dance Centre. As with every job you apply for, you stalk everything about a place before you apply. So I trawled through the website and google searched (this was before Facebook was big) and not only found a place I would love to teach at, but also somewhere I would be happy for my girls to attend.
So what was different?
It wasn’t all about the performances and producing dancers, it was about providing great dance experiences to children of all ages and abilities. As a High School Dance teacher, this was exactly what I was looking for. The reasons I trained as a High School Dance Teacher is because it gave me the opportunity to share my passion for dance with students who may not get to experience dance at a Studio or who found dance at Studio’s too intimidating.
Jane, along with a number of other studio’s throughout the country, were paving the way for a shift in the culture of Dance Studios. More information was coming out about the importance of dance in the global development of children. This was starting to filter into studios who had Principals that were knowledgeable and willing to forgo the traditions in light of new information.
My 7 years at JGDC was a wonderful time of developing my teaching skills and business management skills. It also taught me to look deeply and question what is really important in great dance education. I would find myself looking at a new opportunity or a void that could be filled and assessing it against our Core Values. Every studio can’t offer everything. If an opportunity to fill a void would better the dance experience of our students and their families it was definitely something to consider for the future.
The Birth of Prelude Dance Centre
It was on our return to Queensland, now as a family of 5, that I found a void I couldn’t help but fill. Searching for just the right studio for my girls to continue their dancing was much harder than I thought. No studio seemed to quite fit what we were after, so Prelude Dance Centre was born.
I still remember telling my husband when he walked in the door after work one day “I’ve decided to open my own studio, just a small one.” I had already booked the hall, decided on a name, and claimed my website domain.
We opened in July 2016 with just 4 classes on one day a week. 2 classes in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Almost 3 years down the road, we now have our own Centre, running 40 classes over 6 days a week, with over 150 families proving that there really was a void that needed to be filled.
Thank you for seeing that every Dance Studio is offering something a little different and you chose us to support, encourage and help your children to grow into confident and caring adults, who also happen to have great dance skills.