Once a dancer, always a dancer.

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Photo: Maxwell Photography
Photo: Maxwell Photography

Jane Kesby has been teaching at The McDonald College in Sydney for 17 years.

What drew you to teaching dance?

Once a dancer, always a dancer. I’m at home in the studio when working and creating with the students. I have always loved the self-discipline with the technical and artistic challenge. Within that there is great freedom to express yourself. It’s a beautiful journey with the never-ending quest to grow and I’m forever learning new ways to teach, share and encourage the students.

Has the coronavirus lockdown left you with lasting changes to the way you teach?

Mindset and connection are everything and this has really been highlighted during this period. We start each day by simply connecting and sharing a daily gratitude about the good that is going on during these tough times. With daily gratitude comes the realisation of how rich we really are, and life is determined by our mindset.

How do you balance the importance of technique with the importance of artistry in your students?

They go hand in hand, but this is not easy for some students who struggle with their technique and/or self-confidence. We teach our students that it’s not just technique but the artistry and musicality through the whole body that creates the beauty, illusion, and magic.

The McDonald College is truly the only school of its kind in Australia. We are an independent, non-denominational, K-12 school, specialising in the NESA Academic Curriculum. Our offering includes Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Dance (Commercial) and Rhythmic Gymnastics. Uniquely, we have forged partnerships with the Sydney Dance Company offering students pathways to the future with industry training of the highest calibre.

This article is just one of a suite of teacher interviews in our Focus on Teaching special issue of Dance Australia (Oct/Nov/Dec 2021). Did you miss it? Subscribe and never miss an issue!

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