The joy of dance

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The creativity, discipline and athleticism of dance can not only be sheer joy, but can also be life changing.

For Limelight Dance Academy owner Kerry Mills, dance has also been life defining.

Kerry started dancing at Margaret Fairhead School of Dance aged 10, progressing to become a teacher and then to studio owner, rebranding the well-known and respected dance school to Limelight Dance Academy.

limelight-dance-3While a new name sometimes means a big change, the focus at the studio is still on the same high standards, values and fun.

“Along with maintaining our traditional high standards, the school is also pushing forward into the future; teaching safe practices, providing more performance opportunities, and making greater use of technology,” says Kerry.

“Margaret and the studio are very dear to me, and have been a big part of my life. The Margaret Fairhead School of Dance was established by Margaret in the early 1980s and grew to be one of Hamilton’s most well regarded dance schools and I am proud to continue that tradition.”

As part of its commitment to technology, LDA now also offers an online learning environment.

Made for dance schools, Movitae is an online hub which allows students to take their dance class home, and be assisted between lessons, helping become better dancers faster. Unlike social media, content can only be shared within the organisation and Movitae is suitable for all ages.

limelight-dance-2A group of LDA dancers recently travelled to Hollywood in Los Angeles and performed at Disneyland as well as training with professional dancers.

“The experience of dancing at venues like these and in such an atmosphere is something very unique and an amazing opportunity for our dancers,” says Kerry.

“The absolute highlight for me was watching the 22 students at Disneyland. They were so slick and professional, and just seeing the joy on their faces as they performed, and how much they all stepped up their game was so fulfilling.”

Fitness Journal finds out more:

What you are most proud of with regards LDA?
How far our students grow each year, empowering young people to strive for their best, work hard towards their goals, and achieve amazing results in our exams and performances.

What about dance gives you the most personal joy?
Being able to walk into the studio, put on a piece of music that inspires/moves you – and let the outside world disappear.

Five things you would share for anyone wanting to take up dancing?
– Ballet is the backbone of all dance styles
– Be kind to your body, it has to last you a lifetime
– It is never too late to start
– Do it!
– Don’t give up.

My parents started me at ballet when I was three and a half because I was pigeon-toed, had a severely swayed back and a speech impediment and I am dyslexic. Through years of dance training and hard work you would never know…

That is why I love dance, and my life/job, as it has given me so much – and being able to share this gift is with the next generation is just amazing.


TRIP OF A LIFETIME

By Olivia Kerbers

During the September/October holidays, 22 students from Limelight Dance Academy travelled to Los Angeles to undergo a dance tour.

The main purpose was to understand what the dance world in LA is really like, and to perform a 30-minute dance piece in Disneyland.  World Class Dance Tours promoted the tour at the studio, and after a year of countless rehearsals, group meetings, multiple fundraisers and a final showcase, we travelled to LA, spending nine nights in Hollywood, and three nights in Anaheim.

limelight-dance-4We were lucky enough to be able to attend four full days of classes (even twerking) at studios such as Millenium Dance Complex, IDA Hollywood and The Edge Performing Arts Centre. We had seminars with professional dancers from the LA area and we had our first LA debut, a performance on Hollywood Boulevard!

We also participated in tourist staples like In-N-Out burger, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers Studios, Madame Tussauds, a star homes tour and of course, lots of shopping. After Hollywood, we then travelled to Anaheim, where Disneyland is. It definitely is “the happiest place on earth!”

 We spent three days in and around the park, with two professional Disney dance workshops, and of course, our performance in Californialand. After 12 days, we arrived home tired, but inspired.

I think the most beneficial thing out of the tour was the reassurance and realisation that we can pursue dance and performance as a career, and it made our love for dance greater than it already was.
 
None of this would have happened without our teachers at Limelight Dance Academy, the organisation of the whole tour by World Class Dance Tours and of course, the support from our parents and everyone else who helped us get to LA. This once in a lifetime opportunity definitely created some lifetime memories.

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