Candide McDonald

Member Spotlight: Candide McDonald

06 December 2017

This month, we’re profiling one of our most passionate students – Candide! If she’s not at the studio, you can catch her writing or surfing.

When/how did you start dancing?

I began doing ballet when I was three. It was the only way my parents could get me to stop dancing in front of the television constantly. There was only ballet when I was a kid – or tap, which mum equated with Shirley Temple. I wasn’t allowed to do tap.

Why do you dance? 

I don’t know why. I just have to. It’s part of being a creative, I guess. I’m a writer, so I spend my whole life expressing myself in words – and writers love the “sound of their own voice”. Dance lets me express myself with my body.

What classes do you attend?

I do ballet, JFH, hip hop and lyrical. I’ve given pretty much every other style a go too. These four are my favourites – until something new, now and wonderful appears.

Favourite teacher and dance style?

Favourite teacher is incredibly hard since I’ve been coming to the studio for so long. I’ve had fave teachers in the past, who should get credited in that conversation (Michael Boyd, Bill Pengelly, Stephen Tannos). Presently? I have to start with Ramon. I came to Sydney Dance Company to do ballet and I kept walking past Ramon’s jazz class. The whole class was always having a blast.

I began doing every one of his (then) eight classes a week. I had a babysitter who looked after my kids at the studio. Ramon would often sit with them while they had dinner and did their homework. My three (now grown-up) kids are still very, very, very fond of him – my daughter especially, he is her dance god. Me too. I adore him. He taught me the foundations of everything I do in dance now except ballet, and became one of my most loved friends.

Other faves? Noah Gumbert – best ballet teacher I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of them. Mish (Michel Beirouthy), Andrew De Luna, James Deane, Jess Innes – my so, so talented dance mentors.

What’s one piece of advice or correction from a teacher you always try to apply to your dancing?

Have fun. Don’t compare yourself to anyone except who you were yesterday. I also nag my really regular teachers to correct me and listen 100% to their class corrections – it’s how I’m wired.

What do you do outside the studio?

Hehe, is there a life outside dance? I own, and am the editor of, an online trade magazine for advertising and marketing creativity, and I’m a freelance writer. I’m a mum of three adult kids. I walk everywhere, ride a surfboard in summer, and do my own workouts.

What are your holiday plans?

Enjoy my four days off work – journalism never stops!

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