Get to know the Victorian Dance Festival 2020 instructors

VDF 2019. Photo by Elly Ford
VDF 2019. Photo by Elly Ford

The 2020 Victorian Dance Festival (VDF) is right around the corner. Coming up on the weekend of 3 – 5 April, at Melbourne’s Batman Royale, VDF will feature exciting workshops with world renowned dance faculty, auditions, special speakers, Vitality Teacher Day and much more. To get us in the spirit, we caught up with some of this year’s instructors. Find out more on what they love about VDF and what they have in store!

Arna Singleton, founder of The Legacy & Co, hip hop/urban choreographer, brought to VDF by Jump Dance Challenge

What was your favourite thing about VDF 2019?

Arna Singleton.
Arna Singleton.

“VDF has to be one of the most inspiring and enjoyable dance festivals I have ever been part of. There are too many things to name when it comes down to my favourite thing from 2019, but definitely venue, layout, atmosphere, workshop teachers and the showcase. The honour of teaching workshops, meeting different dancers and having my dance company, The Legacy & Co, perform at On Stage at VDF were definite highlights.”

What’s special about VDF?

“I believe what is special about VDF is the huge reminder to all that the weekend encompasses the coming together of dancers in a positive genuine atmosphere. There is a real sense of celebration for everyone. No matter what style you train in, what school you are from, competition dancer or not, everyone comes together and sees the value in one another. It’s just a joyous feeling across the whole event, and I think it’s something VDF should be highly commended for!”

Tell us about your favourite VDF moment?

“My favourite VDF moment is teaching both junior and senior workshops. To see hundreds of dancers working their hardest in front of you is always a breathtaking moment. It just reminds you about the importance of teaching and providing a memorable and rewarding experience for everyone. Additionally to that, my dance company, The Legacy & Co, performing at On Stage at VDF repping the hip hop/urban world. I will never take those moments for granted and the importance it places on my dancers and the value of them being recognised on a prestigious stage in a genre of dance they love in front of the dance industry.”

What has been your biggest challenge in the industry?

“I think the biggest challenge I have faced in the industry has been about coming across members of our dance industry who have their own agenda, meaning not necessarily looking at a bigger picture that includes everyone. I’m a huge believer that there is room for everyone and that we all have the ability to create higher value in what we do when we come together to find ways to work together. I understand that people must invest in themselves and their vision, but this vision can only come alive when we support and value what one another does. In order to have a dance community, you must be part of this community, and by that, I mean genuinely support where you can, attend one another’s shows/events, share one another’s news. Everyone can’t always be at everything or acknowledge everything, but where you can, you should take part, as it grows your own vision, grows the community and provides a better understanding on where we can take this thing called dance in Australia!”

Cat Santos.

Cat Santos, jazz dancer, teacher and choreographer 

What can dancers expect from your class at VDF 2020?

“Loads of fun and a whole lot of passion!”

What has been your career highlight?

“It’s almost impossible to choose one! I have so many for so many different reasons! Can my entire career be a highlight?! I’ve loved every single inch of it. Both the ups and the downs. They have made me who I am today.”

What does dance mean to you?

“Dance, to me, means the embodiment of how I feel and what I have experienced in my life and how I choose to express it. It means being completely in the present moment and relishing in the beauty that is the physical body.”

What has been your biggest challenge in the industry?

“Learning that the only person who can really hold me back, is myself! And particularly early on in my career, learning to trust in the process of my own unique journey.”

Describe your style in three words.

“Powerful, passionate and fast!”

Lucy Doherty, contemporary dancer, teacher and choreographer 

What was your favourite thing about VDF 2019?

“So many things, it’s actually hard to choose one favourite thing! But I loved the friendly atmosphere. It was great to catch up with so many friends and take classes from some of my favourite teachers, too!”

Lucy Doherty.
Lucy Doherty.

What’s special about VDF?

“The classes and opportunities being offered are of such a high standard. The teachers all have so much experience and expertise in their individual fields, and there is such a strong focus on quality dance education and inspiration.”

Tell us about your fave VDF moment?

“Again, there’s a lot to choose from! But I’d have to say teaching our More Than Movement class last year with Robert McLean. It was such a beautiful atmosphere, and all the dancers were so open and willing to be vulnerable and expressive.”

If you could speak to your younger self, what would you say?

“Keep following your heart and the things that inspire you. Be kind to yourself.”

Come dance with us at Energetiks VDF 2020. Dance Informa is so proud to be a major sponsor. For more information, visit www.victoriandancefestival.com.

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