Thirteen-year-old Emmanuel O’Kane dreams of becoming a ballet dancer when he grows up. He recently travelled down from the Blue Mountains to attend our Contemporary & Lyrical Extended Workshop at our Ultimo Studios these summer holidays.
We caught up with him to ask what he’s learned in class so far and what he loves about dance!
Q. When did you start dancing?
I’ve always loved to dance and move around. I started tap lessons when I was six and started classical ballet lessons last year when I was twelve.
Q. What style of dance do you like the most?
I love ballet the most. I love the graceful movements and its ability to tell many different stories.
Q. What do you love about dance?
I love how you’re able to tell a story through dance. I love how dance also involves acting and emotion. I love pretty much everything about dance!
Q. What music do you like dancing to?
Probably classical music since ballet is my favourite dance style.
Q. Can you tell us what you’ve learned in class so far?
I’ve learned how dance can come from many different places. Two of our teachers, Josef Brown and Jason Winters, were teaching us about how breath is important in every single aspect of dance. For example, you breathe in and push away from gravity. Josef Brown was also teaching us about using counter-balance in dance. The classes have been fun! I have enjoyed the intensity of dancing all day and meeting the teachers.
Q. What’s special about Sydney Dance Company?
Sydney Dance Company feels like a friendly artistic community.
I think that Sydney Dance Company gives young dancers like me an opportunity to train with very successful professional dancers and learn from what they’ve been taught, so they can teach us and we can hopefully become successful in our careers if we want to later become dancers too.
Q. Would you tell your friends about coming to Sydney Dance Company?
A few questions for Emmanuel’s mum, Belinda:
Q. Why did you choose a Sydney Dance Company holiday workshop for Emmanuel?
After watching a production by Sydney Dance Company in 2018, Emmanuel was keen to connect with the Company and its classes. The great teachers of this workshop offer an authentic learning experience. Thank you!
Q. What did Emmanuel learn from the workshop?
The workshop in Emmanuel’s words has been “amazing”. Emmanuel has learned “lots of interesting things” including the importance of breath in dance.
Q. Would you recommend the workshop to other parents?
Yes of course! The workshop days were extremely well organised and the staff are very friendly. We both felt welcome in the space and it’s been full of positive experiences for the students.
Our Summer Holiday Workshops are on now until 25 January at our Ultimo Studios, Bondi, Baulkham Hills and Penrith.