The Space is a versatile performing arts school in the heart of Prahran, Melbourne. The Space has a Diploma course which offers something different: you can study part time from 9am – 12:30pm. Dancers can study intensively whilst managing a job, maintaining other interests or pursuing side projects. The curriculum at The Space covers classical ballet, contemporary, hip hop and includes physical training methods like Pilates and The Franklin Method, which is the method of somatic training also offered at Tisch School of the Arts and at Lincoln Center in New York. The Space is inviting people to apply for its 2019 intake. Dance Informa spoke to students from The Space about what makes it so different and so great.
“What drew me to the course was that I had just completed three years of intensive study, and I didn’t want to give up all of the opportunities I had gained from my studies,” says dancer Will Barker. “However, I was interested in exploring my more creative side with dance. I thought if I didn’t give dancing a shot now, then it would have never happened. This course was exactly what I was looking for due to its flexible nature. It allows me to train intensively in the mornings, and I have the rest of my day to have a life and continue working. The Space is exactly the right place for me to continue my studies, as I didn’t want to go to a strict dance school where I wasn’t allowed to think about anything else other than my dance training.”
All of the dancers speak about the work-study-life balance they can manage at The Space. Dancer Brianna McInerney originally studied at Beau-Rock Ballet School and found out about The Space through a friend. McInerney had always wanted to study dance intensively but also loved her afternoon teaching job. “The FIIT course means I am getting the classes and training that I need each day but am also able to work in the afternoons and lead a really well balanced life,” she says.
Dancer Stephena Page, who started dancing when she was four, said she wasn’t satisfied with the courses she researched until she came across The Space. “I wanted more than a course that would guarantee technique and promotion,” she reveals. “I wanted and needed to grow as an individual, an artist, and that’s what the Space had offered me.”
Barker says, “The Space has a really happy and healthy environment, and our teachers and mentors give us the skills to discover our own strengths and weaknesses. We also get the opportunity to spend time creating our own choreography and obtain experience creating our own productions, as well as working with industry professionals daily.”
“I love many different styles and the challenges that they each bring to the table,” McInerney adds of the classes at The Space, although she connects strongly with the contemporary and lyrical classes. “I absolutely love the movement quality.” After she graduates, McInerney hopes to perform and “at some stage, I would love to own a studio and pass on the passion I have for dance to future generations.”
Page, who will complete the course at the end of 2019, says that after she graduates, she wants to continue performing both nationally and internationally. She also wants to teach. “I want to encourage the younger generation to express, not impress,” Page says. “I feel as though the mainstream industry is extremely fixated on the attention derived from their own art instead of on the intention. I am passionate and determined to teach children that all they have to be is truthful and nothing else. I believe that truth is the essential key to benefit oneself.”
Page adds that most of her time outside The Space is filled either with teaching or free styling. “Improvisation allows me to create a different existence each time. That is the beauty in improvisation — that there are no limitations whatsoever.”
You can find out more about The Space by visiting www.TheSpace.com.au. The first audition for 2019 courses is Thursday 2 August. For further details, head to www.danceinforma.com.au/full-time-dance-auditions-guide/the-space-dance-and-arts-centre/.
By Tamara Searle of Dance Informa.