Ausdance National has a new National Council made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who have taken charge of your national peak body and are continuing its work.
We asked the National Treasurer how she got started in dance and why she believes a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance.
How did you get started in dance?
I was born on a farm in Africa where rhythm was a natural part of our daily lives. Funerals were met with dancing, and it was respectful to take part.
Dancing captured my imagination from a young age. I always wanted to be a ballerina but being far from any towns I did not get many chances to participate in extracurricular activities. As soon as I turned 14, I was keen to join the monthly ‘sokkie’nights. These were the Afrikaans version of a disco, but closer to traditional German folk dancing. I participated in a play where I played the queen and had to learn to waltz. This lead to me dancing on stage two years later with a well-known folk singer that visited our small town. During my years at the University of Johannesburg, I participated in ballroom dancing. In 2000 my then fiancé had to go for dancing lessons because part of our reception was based on a mix of sokkie and ballroom dancing. We do still sometimes dance when invited to year-end functions, but mostly in the kitchen.
What was the first Ausdance National project or activity in which you participated?
In 2014 I was offered the position of Financial Administrator at Ausdance National. It sounded exciting, and I was hoping to learn so much more about Australian dance in general. Coincidentally, this job was advertised only weeks after both my children attended their first ballet concert, The Nutcracker, a production by the Russian Ballet.
What is the key benefit that Ausdance membership offers to its members?
This is for our board to determine and will be central to our ongoing discussions. Quality, affordable dance insurance and an office that guides members in the right direction with legal, governance and other business matters—these membership benefits support professional dance practice and complement those offered by our state and territory offices.
Why did you decide to join the Ausdance National Council?
After working for Ausdance before, I thought this might be a great opportunity to utilise my knowledge and experience from a financial perspective. In our current political environment, it is essential that there is stewardship with grant funding to ensure that what we stand for and how we use funds is for the improvement of dance, arts, culture and Australia in general.
Why do you believe a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance?
A national body assists in communicating in one voice relating to matters legal, governance, WHS, Safe Dance®, etc.