From dancing at the Moulin Rouge in Paris to starring in Bollywood films, Taree-born Vanessa Gill is the perfect candidate for an intriguing day in the life.
Vanessa brings the skills and experience she has acquired during years of travel and global dance contracts to the local dance scene as a full-time teacher at Port Macquarie Performing Arts (PMPA).
“I teach classes of all different dance styles and ages at Port Macquarie Performing Arts. We work to motivate and inspire our students for a career in dance, as well as to be good people who take pride in themselves and their achievements,” Vanessa said.
As soon as Vanessa was old enough, she moved to Melbourne to study dance, which led to her first job as a “Vegas Showgirl” in Crown Casino. From there, she moved to Paris to dance and tour with the Moulin Rouge, then continued to travel the world dancing on cruise ships through the Caribbean, Alaska and Canada, Miami, Mexico and Asia.
“I spent six months in India studying Bollywood dance, which led to me starring in films, commercial TV and stage shows. I’m so grateful I’ve had a chance to see all these wonderful places while doing what I love most.”
Throughout her career, Vanessa has continuously added to her qualifications, including diplomas in dance performance and classical ballet, and acrobatic dance and aerial skills instruction. She is currently studying Rhythm Works Integrative Dance for kids with special needs for the PMPA Dance Therapy class, aimed at children with sensory and learning difficulties.
“I love dancing and performing, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, and teaching is my new passion. Nothing beats seeing the face of a student who’s nailed something they’ve been working so hard towards, such as their first no handed cartwheel!” Vanessa said.
“Performing arts is a competitive industry and as well as having fabulous technique and strong skills, you need to be resilient, compassionate and understand good work ethic.”
PMPA gives students the opportunity to meet teachers, dancers and choreographers from the top of the industry and to perform in professional productions throughout the year. The role of a dance teacher requires an understanding of the differences in each child’s learning, as well as patience, fitness, energy and motivation to inspire and create daily.
“I get so much joy from watching my students’ skills develop and witnessing their growth and personal achievements. I believe dance is for everyone and that it plays a big part in teaching important life skills, confidence and discipline,” Vanessa said.
Having now settled in Port Macquarie with her fiancé, Vanessa enjoys walking the beautiful coastline, camping, travelling and wedding planning, when she takes some time out from dancing.
“I danced around the globe for eight years, and have called Port Macquarie home for the past three years. I love it here; it has everything I loved about the small town I grew up in and also the biggest and busiest cities around the world. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful place on Earth.”
6:30am Breakfast and dinner preparation
8:30am Unlock studio and set up mats for Kindy Gym
9:00am Kindy Gym with under 5 years
9:30am Twinkle Toes Ballet Class
10:15am Private dance lesson
11:00am Gym or coast walk
12:00pm Errands, groceries and lunch break
1:00pm Creative planning – music editing, choreography, dance research, study and prep for classes
3:00pm Dance classes – ballet, jazz, dance therapy, junior acrobatics
8:45pm Home for dinner and downtime