Virtual Studio teacher spotlight: Jesse Scales


16 September 2020


Rafael Bonachela

“All you need is an eager attitude.”

Sydney Dance Company dancer Jesse Scales is sharing her expertise in the Virtual Studio and Spring School Holiday Workshops. While chatting to us, Jesse recalls the moment she knew dancing on stage would be a lifelong passion, tells us why mistakes are a great way to learn, and reveals the kind of fun you can expect to have in her classes.

All you can dance for only $28/wk in the Virtual Studio, learn from world-class dance instructors including Jesse Scales today.

Q. Tell us about yourself. How long have you been dancing and teaching for?

I began dance classes when I was three and I have now been dancing for 26 years. Nine of those have been as a professional with Sydney Dance Company, after joining in 2012.

I have taught many classes and workshops for Sydney Dance Company on our regional and international tours. It has been fantastic bringing my teaching skills to the fore with the opening of the Virtual Studios.

Q. Share with us your fondest memory or a fun story you have related to dance/performance?

One of my fondest dance memories is from when I was six years old. I had auditioned for and gained the opportunity to perform with Australian Dance Theatre in their production of Meryl Tankard’s 1998.

My first role in the show was opening the first act. The curtain still down, I placed myself on stage ready to begin, the music started, and I began to dance. The curtain started to rise before getting stuck halfway! Everyone backstage was stressing, I could even feel the frightened stare of the Stage Manager’s eyes on me, a small budding dancer with barely any prior stage experience. I just continued with my moves, and was the epitome of cool, calm, and collected. The curtain was fixed and came down, allowing for a reset. Take two, the curtain rose to applause, and I believe it was then, that knew I needed to dance on stage for the rest of my life.

What role does dance and fitness play in your life?

Dance for me has been and will continue to be, a source of inspiration, discipline, structure, technique, and creative outlet. It is brilliantly invigorating, challenging, and cathartic for the mind and the soul.

How would you describe your classes for those who’ve never tried them before?

I teach beginner ballet in the Virtual Studio and I’ll be teaching ballet in the School Holiday Workshop for the eight to eleven age brackets. I usually work within a standard ballet class structure, starting with exercises at the barre, then moving through to a few exercises in the centre. All you need is an eager attitude. My class will help reinforce any prior ballet skills and develop new ones, whether you’ve taken a thousand ballet classes before or not.

What is one piece of advice for attendees picking up your class for the first time?

Embrace mistakes! We should remember that the studio is the perfect place for this. Mistakes are one of the best ways to discover and learn about dance and yourself. Just dive in and let the natural flow of the movement guide you.

Also, ask questions. This helps deepen our understandings of different movements, and the subsequent discussions generate curiosity for further development.

What are three things you are inspired by or are interested in at the moment?

Music will forever inspire me. My favourite artist is Gorillaz. They have such a wide range of genres in their music, every track/album is a different mixture of sounds, concepts, and collaborative artists.

My colleagues inspire me a great deal. Having the opportunity to learn from and discover with them every day pushes me to grow with challenges, therefore enabling me to delve deeper into my movement practices.

I thoroughly enjoy people watching and observing everyday life. Being aware of the world outside our own bubbles gives us a plethora of creative material, to be used at our pleasure for dance and performative art.

Fun fact! Jesse is an avid reader. Learn about her top five favourite books, watch her review here:

Why not check out some of her favourite songs to use in her classes?

Get inspired by movement with Jesse in the Spring School Holiday Workshops. Secure your spot today!

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