As part of our 2020 Full-Time Studies Guide, we asked a number of graduates to describe their experience as full-time students. Romy Vuskan, a 2014 graduate of Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance, responds below:
What level of education (academic and dance) had you attained before beginning your full-time training at Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance?
I graduated with an OP3 from Brisbane State High School and I held a CSTD Jazz teachers certificate.
How did you find the transition from full-time studies to the profession?
The Ministry of Dance make that transition very easy for all their full time students by providing them with professional work as a collective throughout the two years. All teachers are current industry professionals as well which kick starts the networking prior to graduating.
Being mentored and having access to an abundant amount of knowledge from the entire faculty allows you to ask questions, make mistakes and grow throughout the two years preparing you for the professional world.
What were the most important benefits of your studies?
Relocating to Melbourne to ensure I was amongst the industry and all the auditions that only occurred in Sydney and Melbourne
and becoming as versatile as possible to ensure I could work in all avenues of the industry.
How quickly did you gain employment upon graduation?
I was very fortunate to start rehearsals for a cabaret created by Jason Coleman the day of my graduation! It was pretty surreal. I had been working professionally prior to graduation due to being selected for the agency during my first term of studies.
Tell us a little about your present job.
I’ve recently finished being a part of the Australian first immersive cinema, Dirty Dancing experience, as part of the dance ensemble. Between longer contracts I do corporate/commercial work around Australia. Prior to Dirty Dancing I had just come from a cruise ship contract for Norwegian Cruise where I originated the role of Fabiola in Havana! The show was directed and choreographed by Tony award winner and current Tony nominee Warren Carlyle which was such an amazing and rewarding experience.
In July I started rehearsals for Production Company’s performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie as part of the ensemble which I’m so excited to be a part of.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you were a student?
That no matter how sore your body is, no matter what’s going on in your life, just turn up to class and everything will be okay. Squeeze everything you can out of every mentor and student that crosses paths with you because one day you will use that knowledge without even realising it. Build that tool belt so you can do anything that is every thrown at you.
This interview was part of our 2020 Full-Time Studies Guide, published in the August/September 2019 issue of Dance Australia. Subscribe to Dance Australia here or Dance Australia at your favourite retail outlet, or online here.