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Jan Urbini

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YEAR 7-12 DANCE COORDINATOR AND DANCE TEACHER

Dance is my passion and I have the privilege to share this passion and my knowledge of the art form with MLC students. I hope that when a student studies Dance, be it for one semester, one year or five years, that she will discover and appreciate her physical and creative possibilities.

I have the opportunity to work alongside the girls in non-classroom environments such as in the College Production, IGSSA Dance Festival and House Dance, which allow the students to implement and practice the skills they are learning in the classroom context. Developing cooperation, collaboration, punctuality, reliability, problem-solving and interpersonal skills are just some of the additional benefits of being involved in these activities.

Performing to an audience is always daunting and the Dance girls perform publicly each year at the annual Dance Showcase. For many, especially those in Year 7, this may be their first time on stage. Every year I get that ‘lumpy throat’ feeling for each class that goes out on Hadley Hall stage. It’s always like watching my own child perform. There is a sense of unfathomable pride that she has taken the stage, along with an intense nervousness that everything will go right!

One of my favourite moments at MLC would have to be attending and watching the 2020 College Production of This Girl Laughs, This Girls Cries, This Girl Does Nothing. With the arrival of COVID-19 and its effects and restrictions, the possibility of a College Production even taking place was deemed extremely remote. But the Theatre Arts staff and determined Year 12 cohort rethought and reimagined how it could still happen.

They saw the possibilities and benefits that this play offered to the performers and its viewing audience. This was the perfect play for the times we were living in; there was so much for everyone to take away from it.

This was the first time in the 16 years I have been at the College, that I viewed the production as an audience member. It was a personification of the MLC spirit; of giving and service. Our staff and girls understood the importance of sharing and caring for our community at this time and created and performed an amazing and magical piece of work. It was truly awe inspiring.

I was also one of those students that hadn’t decided what I wanted to do when I left school. Dance as a subject at school didn’t exist, and neither did the university course at WAAPA, way back then.

I was a wife and mother of two children before I returned to tertiary study as a ‘mature age student’ to complete my BA Dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

When I began the course, it was always my intention to use the skills and knowledge I learnt, to teach. Dance had been introduced into the curriculum and there were positions opening up for specially trained teachers, in primary and secondary schools. Dance is my passion, and here was the opportunity for me to share my love and understanding of the art form with students who may not be exposed to dance in any other way.

Category

Voices

Date

11 October 2020

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