Our new Ballet teacher Matthew Carey has enjoyed an international career stretching from France to the reaches of Tokyo Disneyland, where he danced in the role of Peter Pan.
We sat down with him to chat about his start in Ballet, highlights from his dancing career and what he loves about teaching.
Tell me about your dance background. How and when did you start dancing?
I started dancing at the age of six at the Northern District School of Ballet, now Roseville Dance Academy. I received a scholarship to SCECGS Redlands to continue my dance training while still studying. At 15 I was accepted into The Australian Ballet School where I trained for two years before finishing with an Advanced Diploma in Classical Ballet at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
What do you love about dance?
I’ve always loved to dance, my parents knew I wanted to dance because I would dance around the house with the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack playing so loud I burst the speakers. For me, dancing becomes almost a meditation of concentration. When I’m dancing I’m in the moment not thinking about anything else, it’s my little escape from the world where I don’t have to think about anything else and just focus on the now.
You were previously a dancer at Tokyo Disneyland. How was that experience?
Tokyo is insane, incredible, weird, wonderful, old, new, beautiful; it’s a city of everything. Getting to live there for fourteen months was an experience I will never forget. Performing at Disneyland was also so life changing. It’s such a wonderful place – to quote Disney it’s “the happiest place in the world!”
What have been some of the highlights from your dancing career?
Career highlights would definitely be performing at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in front of 52 heads of government and the Queen, which was streamed live to 50 million people. Of course, I can’t forget my opening night of Angelina Ballerina at the Sydney Opera House to a packed crowd of thousands of screaming kids, I felt like Justin Bieber.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of teaching Ballet?
I enjoy making people smile and seeing them accomplish new things that two weeks ago they couldn’t.
Do you have any useful advice from your previous ballet teachers you now pass down to your own students?
Enjoy it! Ballet is too hard to not love every minute of it. So make sure you’re always having a great time!
Do you have any tips for adults starting ballet for the first time?
Do the Beginner’s Intro Short Course because it will really help you familiarise with a lot of the steps and terminology. Ballet terminology is in French so not only have you got to memorise the steps, you also have to remember it in another language!
Matthew teaches our Beginner Ballet classes on Fridays, 6.15 – 7.45pm.