Master of dance hits classroom

SO You Think You Can Dance choreographer Kelley Abbey came to town yesterday to show 20 Ipswich State High School students a Top 20 jazz/hip hop routine and present them with $5000.

Ipswich High was the only school to receive funding from the Optus Dance Crew Fund in the national competition; the other two winners being dance groups.

Dance teacher Michelle Brown said she submitted a video to the competition showing the school's dance program, how it was evolving and how little they had to work with.

Miss Brown said the students were thrilled to take the master class with Ms Abbey and school had a strong dance culture, with many students taking dance as an extra-curricular activity.

“She really broke it down for them,” she said.

Miss Brown said the Channel 10 show had definitely fostered a love of dance among the school's students, with many of them imitating moves seen the night before in classes.

She said boys were increasingly becoming involved in dance, with seven male students currently dancing in the school's troupes.

The school will buy mirrors for the auditorium with the funding used to create a dedicated dance space.

Gary Euini, a 16-year-old partly self-taught popper, has been dancing for about three years but started learning at school this year.

“It's a great experience to learn from someone who's been there, done that,” Gary said.

Year 11 student Kasey Donovan, 16, has been learning dance for six years and said Ms Abbey's master class was a great opportunity for aspiring dancers.

“You get to learn from one of the best, really,” Kasey said.

Freemantle Media filmed the master class at Ipswich State High School yesterday and the clip will feature on the finale of So You Think You Can Dance.



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