All photography provided by Katrina and Stirling Rank and Jen Brown
I am a practicing dance artist and educator. A graduate of Australian Ballet School, I performed professionally in Australia and in the UK, on stage and in film. I have a PhD in Contemporary Arts, Dance specialising in narrative and embodiment within contemporary dance practices (2001). My current dance work focuses on dance across the lifespan from babies to mature bodies and dance for health.
I have been working with diverse communities for many years, starting with Diamond Valley Actors in 1996 with dancers with disabilities and producing work with CALD communities, new mothers, older dancers, the trained and untrained. Council collaborations include: This Home, Whittlesea Council (2006), Dance with Me with Ausdance Victoria, Latrobe City Council and VicHealth (2012-13), The Alice Project with Ausdance Victoria, Glenelg Shire, Wellington, East Gippsland and Latrobe City Councils and VicHealth (2013-15) and Knowing You with Ausdance Victoria and City of Whittlesea (2017-18).
In 2013, I established Fine Lines, a unique program for experienced dancers 50 plus, in response to the following issues:
under-representation of mature dancers in innovative contemporary work
lack of appropriate classes and performance opportunities for older dancers
loss of community
loss of creative opportunities
Fine Lines attracts committed, mature dance artists, who meet weekly to maintain their practice and engage in the creation of new work.
I'm lucky enough to have received awards and opportunities including the Caroline Plummer Fellowship (Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand), and other artist residencies. I was awarded a doctorate in 2001 in Contemporary Arts for my research into the nexus between narrative and contemporary dance creation. Other degrees include a BA Hons and a Bachelor of Education. I've contributed to national and international movement education programs, and taught in schools, the community and across all ages and abilities. I deliver ongoing dance programs within aged care contexts and to people with Parkinson’s disease.
To dance forever, and to encourage others to dance no matter their age, size, ability or circumstances.
What I've Achieved
Awarded the 2018 Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance Education
Designed, constructed and directed ‘The Archivists’ 2018
Co-produced and directed ‘Switch’, a twinnings project with Gold company for the World Dance Joint Congress 2018
Produced and directed 'Tales of the Pebbleverse' 2017
Created and performed 'My Body is an Etching 2' for the BOLD Festival 2017
Founded Fine Lines classes and projects in 2013
Fine Lines perform at the 2017 Australian Dance Awards with cabaret sensation, Yana Alana
Produced and directed Mean Feat Dance Film Project 2015. Mean Feat screened during White Night Melbourne 2016 and screened daily for 9 months at Federation Square, Melbourne
Established Dance for Parkinson's classes in Hampton, Victoria in 2016
Raised awareness of Parkinson's disease through projects 'Dance with Me' Latrobe University (nominated for a VicHealth Award)
Developed mass community participatory projects with local governments for Ausdance Victoria (2012-18)
Caroline Plummer Community Dance Fellow, Otago University, Dunedin, NZ 2007