The Free Spirit Dance & Music School came as a result of my experiences in relationship, with myself and with others. My want for a greater sense of who I am and the contentment I was looking for always lay within, and it seemed somewhat ironic at the time, that the path I steered away from to pursue matters of the mind eventually came full circle to pursue that which is most dear to me. Matters of the heart.
To give you the full picture of what the Free Spirit Dance & Music stands for, I will share with you my journey.
I was 5yrs old when I started dancing, my parents where both artistic, my mum and her family travelled the world with her parents as they performed and my dad aspired to act.
Starting with ballet at 5, at 7 I started Modern Ballet, both of which I pursued until I was 14yrs. I gained distinction in all of my Modern Ballet exams and at 14 I had already achieved my teachers certificate (for Modern Ballet) and my teacher at the time had directed me to another school to further develop my talents.
I was awarded my first schoarship at 14yrs of age by Randy Allaire (Lead prinicipal dancer for Michael Jackson in his BAD and Dangerous tours). Over 100 dancers auditioned for 5 scholarships, I was one of those 5.
I started American Jazz that same year which introduced me to theatre, jazz, contemporary, ballet (again) and many other styles. I had never done push ups before so when we had to do them in our warm ups, I giggled often while I struggled with my lack of upper body strength.
I was accelerated through the syllabus and I was put in the advanced group for performances. So whilst learning with the advanced students I was learning 2 other exam syllabus' simultaneously.
At 15yrs of age I was choreographing my own dances which were winning competitions across New Zealand. I was frequently told I should be overseas dancing, I struggled with being too young to go on my own and bided my time until I could jet set over seas by collecting flyers from travel agents where ever I went.
At 16yrs I was awarded my second scholarship from the LA Dance Force, I was in the advanced group this time and there 80 students auditioning for 5 scholarships.
At 18yrs I was a finalist in the National Dance Championships in New Zealand, I achieved the highest marks in the country for my Advanced 3 and Solo Seal Exams (they had flown Randy Allaire all the way over from the USA to examine me in my exams), I was the only one in Christchurch sitting the exam. It was nerve racking as I had 3 people assessing me including Randy!
In the same year I was asked to choreograph to feature pieces for the opening of the Westpac Trust Centre, I was lead in 3 of the 5 dances which I performed in on the day, 2 of them were my own pieces. 8500 people attended the specticle and I received a standing ovation for my work! It was incredible!
At 20yrs I had moved to Melbourne with $200 saved (all my money was spent on cds and dance shoes hehe). Performed in 42nd Street and the limited season of Hair which debuted Olivier Newton-John's daughter in her performing career. She was 16yrs of age at the time.
At 23 I was flown to Thailand to work for a UK club called Ministry of Sound for 6 months. After Thailand I then moved to London for 2yrs, I was a dancer at the official Live 8 after party amongst a couple of other corporate gigs. Fitness at this point was starting to over-shadow my dancing.
I arrived in Brisbane in 2005 and after performing at a couple of corporate "gigs" I stopped dancing and focussed entirely on my career in the Fitness Industry. I received some awards for my work, but the satisfaction I got was nothing like what I got when I danced.
It took me 4yrs and leaving a relationship to get in touch with what I really wanted. My heart sings when I dance, but I wanted it to be different this time. I didn't want to be the perfectionist who could never watch videos of her work because she would always pick fault...it was never good enough. I didn't want to be the girl who stopped eating properly because she thought that at 5'9" she was too tall and large to look like a dancer.
When I came back to dancing it was scary, but it was incredible. I wanted to dance for joy, perform for joy and share my love for music and dance with all I encountered.
In 2010 I started dancing again, but this time I went to a completely different kind of dance...LATIN! WOHOO. I had never been lead in dance before, everything I had learned was based on choreography, so I had to let the man lead and I would then follow. I found my bliss again! To me dancing is celebration, dancing is joy, dancing and music lift us to places where we can truly fly.
So the Free Spirit Dance & Music School is about connecting with who you are, celebrating who you are, being comfortable in your own skin, accepting and loving your body, your physical self and your metaphysical self.
By offering traditional dance and music styles from across the globe, we celebrate our own cultures and we celebrate the cultures of others.
The Free Spirit Dance & Music School is also a not for profit organisation, please check out and help us support our nominated charities promote the care and protection of animals and children.
By healing our relationship with ourselves
we heal the earth!
Who Runs The Free Spirit Dance & Music School?
This program would not be possible without the most amazing support. My beloved Anthony. He is an incredible man who encourages and loves me unconditionally. Thank you so much for everything you do and especially who you are. I love you so much.
The Free Spirit Dance & Music is supported and run by the people in the picture above, Nina van der Plas and Anthony Campbell.
We are based on the Sunshine Coast in QLD Australia, and have the most amazing of companions in the form of an Alaskan Malamute (close relative of the wolf) Maia.
So yes our dog has an influence in this program in that she reminds us every day that we need to play, have fun and enjoy ourselves in each moment.
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