In the rhythm for exams

DANCING AWAY: Envy Dance Studio students Michaela and Ana practice their routines.

Charlotte Varcoe

IN THE lead up to The Border Watch’s weekly deadline, it is not uncommon for staff to hear the distant tapping of dance shoes or classical music through the Mount Gambier office as the neighbouring Envy Dance Studio dives into routines.

Celebrating a decade of dance, the studio is gearing up for an exciting 2021 calendar, rebounding from months of uncertainty and complications due to COVID-19 restrictions.

While details for this year’s anniversary concert remain under wraps for now, studio principal Tamara Kilsby said it would be one to remember.

She said following restrictions last year – which resulted in a limited capacity concert – dancers, family and staff alike looked forward to getting back on the stage.

The studio has maintained a busy schedule during 2021 with students competing in competitions and practicing for upcoming exams.

“This year we have jazz and contemporary exams as well as our usual ballet exams,” Ms Kilsby said.

“We have also been travelling and competing in little competitions and we did have some booked in for Victoria but due to the COVID-19 outbreak over there we are just waiting to see whether we can go.”

Ms Kilsby said South Australian competitions remained a focus to ensure students had the opportunity to showcase their talent.

“Last year was tough for the kids when they weren’t able to be in the studio and be involved in classes face to face but all teachers and everyone involved was adamant to keep the routine as normal as possible so we jumped into online classes to help with that,” Ms Kilsby said.

“When we came back into the studio we saw progress with the students and saw how hard they had practiced while they were at home which was fantastic.

“We are excited to introduce jazz and contemporary exams as it is just another thing the students can put on their resumes if they wish to make a career out of dancing.”

Now in her seventh year of teaching at the studio, Ms Kilsby said the constant changes in dance methods, styles and teaching techniques kept staff on their toes.

“We always look forward to being able to keep up with those changes and making sure the kids can get the best out of what they do here,” she said.

“We also have students from high schools around the region that are completing their Certificate III in Dance, which is a great opportunity for them.”