Three years ago, Aimee Morton was a member of the health club at our Serpentine Jarrahdale Community Recreation Centre and saw the potential to develop a new service offering to the local community. She approached Centre Manager Nicole Little and Assistant Manager Tracey Goodeve about the concept of starting dance classes at the centre, using the skills she learnt as a graduate from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts and as an award-winning dancer.
With a lack of available opportunities for children and young people to get involved in dance locally and with Aimee’s infectious enthusiasm, Nicole and Tracey supported the new initiative and the program was born.
Dance Inspire started off with ‘Grooving Kids’ and a Hip Hop class, holding 15 students in each. In the space of three years, the terrific trio has turned two classes and 30 students, into 11 classes hosting 165 students weekly.
“During the lead up to our first ever concert I do remember going into the classes and thinking ‘how on earth are they going to pull a concert together’, because I was obviously only seeing bits and pieces of the dance routines,” Tracey laughed.
“But when we actually saw the concert it was just amazing to watch– they have learnt so much and Aimee really does know exactly what she is doing!”
While the physical development is wonderful for the students, what’s equally as impressive is how Tracey has turned it into much more than a dance program. The young people in the group are often supporting and helping the younger children in classes and on the night of the concert.
“In the classes they have the instructor but Aimee will pick two helpers as well, and that way they’re learning how to develop leadership skills and it gives them an interest as well,” Tracey said.
The students are already benefiting from the skills they’re learning, with some of the younger girls teaching the Grooving Kids classes.
The boys and girls in the classes range from as young as two years old, starting out in Twirling Tutus, right up to 16 years old taking part in a wide variety of styles offered.
“We have ballet, jazz tap, for hip hop we have three classes; a beginner, intermediate and advanced, Acro is the same we have beginner, intermediate and advanced, and we offer lyrical as well,” Tracey said.
After the annual concert which will take place on December 6th this year, Tracey, Nicole and Aimee are looking to implement a male instructor for the ballet classes to encourage a diverse participation between boys and girls, as they continue to develop the program even further in 2017.