Torquay Dance Academy students headline Victorian productions

March 8, 2024 BY

A trio from the Torquay Dance Academy show their form at Bells Beach. Photos: FERNE MILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

IT HAS been a huge year for the dancers at Torquay Dance Academy (TDA).

Now beginning their 12th year teaching Surf Coast children how to dance, the academy now has students who are headlining Victorian productions.

Saskia Maillet started with TDA when she was just three years old. Now 12, she is taking home the championship trophies at some of Victoria’s biggest competitions.

Fellow dancer, Alice Lutz, was selected over hundreds of auditionees across Victoria to land the lead role in the State Youth Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker at the age of 11.

Another dancer who began with TDA at the age of three, Mimi Cook successfully auditioned to be part of The Australian Ballet School’s extension program.

Academy director Kim Fraser said the girls loved to dance, and encouraging them to express themselves through the art form was what the TDA was there for.

“We could see it was their happy place and so we created extension programs within the dance school to make sure girls and boys who wanted to pursue excellence in the art of dance were nurtured and supported.

Torquay Dance Academy has created extension programs for students who wanted to pursue excellence in the art.

“At the end of the day however, it is their effort that I am most impressed with, that and their joy.

“I think they’re the two main ingredients we nurture in all our kids who dance with us – be it those who come for the joy of one class a week or those who want to take their dancing to the next level.

“If a child or teen is giving it their best effort, we will always celebrate that over their result. As dancing is an art form, the other thing we love to see is when our kids show us who they are.”

Torquay Dance Academy opened its doors in 2013, and in 2020 built a custom-designed world class dance facility with four professional studios in Torquay, including Australian Ballet flooring, floor to ceiling mirrors, inbuilt sound systems and a student lounge area where the dancers can connect with children from different schools and different age groups.

The school offers classes for all ages in classical ballet, jazz (think Taylor Swift), acro, contemporary, musical theatre, tap, b-boys breakdancing, adult and the very popular under-fives program Tinkerballerinas.

Free trials are available in any and all genres until the right dance style for each child is found.

TDA is now open for enrolments.

For more information, head to torquaydanceacademy.com.au or phone 0424 400 437.