Janelle has two lovely children Edie 8 and Leo 6. Edie has been dancing at Tutu Studios since she was 3 and Leo from the age of 4. A long time Tutu Studios parent and one of the loveliest people you will ever meet, Janelle graciously shares her insights on dancing, her gorgeous children and some funny moments tap dancing in the supermarket …

Why did you choose ballet and dance as an activity for your children?

I chose ballet and dance for my children, Edie and Leo as fun way to express themselves and explore their imaginations. To help gain an appreciation for music. A fun way to learn how to listen to and engage with others. A fun way to keep their bodies moving and active.

Why did Tutu Studios appeal to you?

I chose Tutu Studios because they have a very warm and caring approach towards teaching the children through dance. The classes are so magical and the children are so engaged and mesmerised by the stories that they experience and enact through dance each week. The teachers are always so encouraging and nurturing towards the children no matter what skill level they’re at.

What has dance and Tutu Studios given Edie and Leo?

Tutu Studios has given Edie and Leo a love of movement, dance and music. They love to express themselves through dance and are always dancing and moving to music every where they come across it. It has also given them a confidence in themselves to be daring and take a chance to try something new. Edie really strives to work hard at her ballet especially now that she has been preparing for RAD exams the past couple of years. She really enjoys the challenge. Tutu Studios has been so incredibly supportive of her and she has grown so much because of this support, positive, nurturing & encouraging environment. Both Edie and Leo love their tap. They enjoy the more up beat and fast tempo of the popular music and expressing themselves through the sound of their tap shoes. They’re always smiling and concentrating so hard to make sure they’re tapping out the correct steps. I’m so impressed with how both of them have developed over the last 12-18 months of learning tap.

What do you look forward to most in the Tutu Studios dancing year?

I really look forward to viewing week each term to see how Edie & Leo are further developing and what new steps/positions they have learnt. But my all time favourite part of the year is the end of year concert where all their hard work comes together. The concerts are gorgeous, simple but beautiful. Very age appropriate, not with all the over the top glitz & glam that some dance schools have, which can overwhelm a young child and put them off for life! The children feel safe in their normal class environment, but special with their gorgeous costumes and a little dusting of blush and fairy dust and their families there to support and cheer them on.

Did you dance as a child?

I did jazz ballet as a 7 year old, but we moved around a lot and I never got to continue on with dance. I wish that I had had the opportunity. I love music and dancing.

What do you love about dance?

I love being able to express yourself and have fun when you dance. Nothing makes you feel better if you’re a bit down than turning on some music and dancing it out! I love the way different types of music make you move in different ways and make you feel different emotions.

Anything else you would like to add? Any funny stories?

I feel incredibly lucky that my children have been coming to Tutu Studios for 5 years now and that they have had the pleasure of being taught by such beautiful, dedicated, nurturing staff. In Edie’s first few years of ballet she would bail up every male family friend/family member we had and put on her favourite ballet music or DVD, usually The Nutcracker or Don Quixote and have him lift her up onto his shoulders like she was a Prima Ballerina. As she is now 8 and considerably heavier, the cast of male dancers has depleted due to their lack of strength, but she’s always eager to rustle up & train a new one! Her dream is to be a Prima Ballerina, and then a ballet teacher.  Who knows if this will be her path, but I do know that this eagerness, confidence and determination is because of the beautiful start to dance she received at Tutu Studios. They both absolutely love their tap too, and I find myself telling them to stop tapping down the aisle at Coles, as I haven’t picked up what all the tapping, shuffling and stamping is about?! Then I just laugh and let them go for it. Music is all around us in life and your beautiful ballet school has given so many a chance to let their bodies find the beat and dance to a tune that suits them, without out fear, just the pure joy of dance and music. To me this is the meaning of happiness.