Student In The Spotlight – Jane

Jan 31, 2022

We often get questions from new students asking, what classes they should start with, or what will the class be like. Initial inquiries often ask “Am I too old?“, or “I think I might be too big to dance.

As you know we are Australia’s only dance studio exclusively for adults. Adults of all shapes and sizes, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds. But rather than tell you what it’s like, I thought – lets get some of our newer students to tell you exactly what it was like for them.

Name:  Jane Ryan

Age: 59 and ready to welcome my 60th this year.

Preferred Pronouns:

Favourite Colour: Red

Favourite Genre of Music: Everything – mood dependent, but it can change at the drop of a hat if I hear something that ignites my senses.

Favourite Food:  Smoked Salmon – Mountains of it with capers, red onion and cracked pepper

When did you start dancing at DW? January 2020 at a Tap Basic class with Leanne.  Week 1, I tackled tap in sneakers, before they were discarded for socks – but no tappity tap sound of course.  Week 2, I had my new tap shoes and just loved that sound.

How old were you when you started dancing at DW? 57

Did you have prior dance experience before coming to DW? What was it?  No dance experience at all.  I played sport as a child/teenager/adult, though never said no to getting up and doing my ‘thing’ on the dance floor.

What dance styles did you begin with?  Tap for a full year in 2020.

What dance styles have you tried since?  Jazz for over 50’s since January 2021. Currently in my 3rd week of Silver Swans Ballet and also 3rd week of Dancehall with Joelle, direct from Jamaica.  Unfortunately, the tap classes on offer don’t now fit into my weekly schedule, but I haven’t given up the opportunity to give it a go again.

What made you want to start dance classes?  We visited friends in Mackay (Qld) in November 2019 and Belinda had her Jazz and Tap classes on 2 evenings while we were there.  I tagged along to watch her classes and was totally hooked on how much fun dancing was with tuition.  When we got home I searched like mad for an adult’s class like Belinda attends, and then found The Dance Workshop.  Though we live on a farm in Gingin, I have travelled every week since 1.5 hours to Perth to get my fix. I have always tried new things and make a point of learning something new and out of my comfort zone  every year. They have mostly been art inspired, but dance is certainly another style of art I’ve become very much hooked on.

How did you find out about find DW (ie Google? Instagram? Facebook? A friend? Etc):  Google

What was your very first impression of DW when you began your classes?  I loved the fact that there were people from all walks of life and gender getting together to do something that brings them joy.  Also, Leanne was extremely knowledgeable and knew how to pass her passion for tap onto the participants.

How did you feel after your first class? Exhilarated, on a high and my feet tingled and ached for most of the night.  I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep.

How do you feel now coming to dance classes? Eager and always leave on a high – especially after my Jazz for Over 50’s class.

What difference did you notice in your body? I.e. fitness? Flexibility? Coordination wise?  I’ve always been active, played lots of sport and as a ‘mature’ adult now, along with working on the farm,  I do a weekly boxing class which I’m obsessed with and a yoga class, both in Gingin.  But……..I know I have  loosened up considerably since Day 1 and way more switched on to what to do and don’t take weeks to perfect a move now!  Though, I do practice each week between classes.

What difference did you notice mentally and emotionally after you began taking classes?  My head is a lot clearer after each class and if for some reason you may be feeling a little flat, dancing and music can sure change that.

Any words of wisdom or inspiration you would like to part on anyway wondering whether or not they should start dance classes?  It doesn’t matter what ‘artistic’ direction you take, this motto by Albert Einstein is my stable go to:- “Creativity is contagious – pass it on”.

I hope you found that interesting, to see things from the perspective of one of newcomers. Every now and then, we will post a “student in the spotlight’ where our everyday real-life students will tell you exactly what starting dance classes was like.