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DECEMBER NEWSLETTER Published 5 December, 2016

Our very proud & dedicated teaching staff before the concert.

Left to right: Hayley Owens, Sharon Saunders, Kellie Jackson, Steph Riley & Madi Somerville.

25th Birthday Concert Joy, fun, fulfillment, excitement, proud, happy are just some of the feelings I felt when joining our dancers and crew on stage last Saturday night! It is a memory I will treasure forever. Our theme was perfect, there was so much love in Ulumbarra Theatre on Saturday night! Please check out our Facebook page as I will be uploading photos regularly over the holidays. sharonsaundersdancers/

Reflections on 2016 Sharon shares her thoughts on our amazing year at our studio

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VDF Workshop Recap An amazing night when VDF visited SSD with the beautiful Kate Meade.

Thankyou to everyone for your support and lovely thankyou emails. They are truly appreciated.

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Inside this issue

2017 Important Dates Lots of important dates and events coming up in 2017

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Sharon’s Concert Speech

It’s about the friendships that are forged at SSD. Unlike school, many students progress through their dance classes together and strong bonds develop. So many students and dancers will be life long

“Each year I try to rush through presentations so everyone can get home early

friends. It’s about nurturing dancers to be confident, resilient, and hard working people. It’s about

but tonight I would like to take a few minutes to share with you ‘Why’ I do what

building strong young adults who can make great choices and keep out of trouble. It’s about the joy

I do. This is the condensed version! We are all here tonight because my parents

dance can bring to ladies who come to class each week and forget about their problems. They can

paid for me to learn to dance. From 4 years of age, mum drove me to ballet

challenge themselves and have fun with friends all while exercising and laughing! It’s about families

class each week. She bought me a beauty case, which I still have to keep my

like Lois and Chris Mc Bain who brought their eldest daughter Ashlea to me over 20 years ago and

ballet shoes in. She did my hair, made my costumes and drove me to ballet

are still coming to dancing each week with their youngest child Hannah. Their grandparents never

exams nearly an hour away. She took me to Bloch arcade in Melbourne to buy

missed a concert. It is such an honour to be trusted throughout a childhood. It’s about the 4 year old

my first tutu. I started running dance concerts at home! Little did mum know 30

who was a little lion in one of our early concerts. Now that young girl has blossomed into a bubbly,

years later she would still be making costumes, but in troupes sets and she would still

much loved teacher. Steph now teaches her mum in the ladies class. Its’ about the community we

be watching my dance concerts!

have built at SSD where we support each other in good times and difficult times.

Fast forward many more years I travelled to Peter Faux Dance Ensemble and met the man who

Quite simply it’s about the little dancer who proudly says to me ‘I did it’! Yes you did and I am so

made a huge impact on my life and yours! Without Peter’s knowledge, faith and guidance I doubt

proud of you! I wasn’t the best dancer in the class and I was probably the shyest. I loved dance

we would be here tonight. He taught me so much more than dance as I hope we do for all of you.

and worked hard to be the best I could be. I will never stop learning and am constantly looking for

Dance can certainly change lives.

opportunities to grow as a teacher and share my knowledge with my staff and students’. Dance has made me the person I am today. I know dance will make a difference to us all. If each dancer takes

25 years ago I was a young mum and decided to run some classes at Marong. My husband Damien

away one life skill or special memory we have done our job. It may be as simple as having confidence

said that’s ok as long as it doesn’t affect the family!!! It kind of did and it hasn’t always been easy.

in their first job interview or to stand out for their beautiful grooming and poise. Dance sets us up for

There are always challenges and there have been a few times when he would have loved to tell me

a lifetime of opportunities and as Paul Malek says– Endless Possibilities! I want to sincerely thank

to give it up but he loves me and knows that Dance is my life! I wouldn’t be who I am today without

you all for allowing me to do what I love everyday!”

my dance school. It is in my blood and I love it. I have to thank Damien, Jackson and Alyce for


being so supportive. You are the ones who allow me to do what I love. Alyce is following in my foot steps and teaching in Ballarat. She is also making a huge difference to the lives of downs syndrome dancers at emotion 21. Why do I continue to love dance? I find it really hard to put into one sentence. There are so many reasons and here are just a few: It’s about the little girl who wakes up and says “mummy is it Monday today’? Because she knows Monday is dancing day and she will have her leotard on before breakfast! It’s about the new student who was too shy to join in or speak to us who is on stage here tonight. It’s about the student who joyfully dances down the aisles of IGA for all the world to see. It’s about the young dancer who puts on concerts at home just like I did must to my brothers disgust. He will never forget them! t’s about your child who happily tap dances around the house and drives you crazy! They are off the couch and living life! It’s about giving opportunities to others. I had the pleasure of inviting Marc Brew to teach at our school after he became a paraplegic and now he is changing the world of integrative dance and working worldwide.



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@sharonsaundersdancers 3

Farewell to Hayley

SSD WEBSITE The Sharon Saunders Dancers website is a great place to keep up to date with all the latest news and events happening at SSD.

Hayley has just completed her studies at La Trobe university to be an exercise physiologist. She is starting an internship in Essendon soon and will be moving back home to Melbourne. Great news, that her hard work has paid off and she can pursue her chosen career. Sadly for us, this means she will not be teaching next year.

Check it out at... www.


Hayley has been a great asset to our school and we will miss her. Thankyou for sharing your immense knowledge of ballet and conditioning.


VDF Workshop We were extremely lucky to be chosen for a visit from VDF Director Kate Meade last month. Kate is an absolute inspiration and works passionately to bring amazing opportunities to dancers of all abilities no matter where they live.

PARENT LOGIN See invoice and handbook for your new Parent Login and Password

Kate brought Donnie Dimase who is one of the instructors at VDF and a great talent. He taught our students a contemporary routine and we had some fun! Kate is working on a project to tell the story of dance schools. We were so honoured to be involved. Kate interviewed a junior student, Lucy Hall, senior student and parent, Hannah and Lois Mc Bain and myself. You can watch some of the footage on VDF Facebook page.

ATOD Exams Well I have never in our 20 years of exams seen so many smiles on exam day. The dancers were blown away by how wonderful and supportive MrsWitchell was with them. She instantly made them feel very comfortable. ATOD truly are a wonderful organization with the most welcoming and supportive network. We look forward to presenting medals, reports and certificates soon. ATOD are sending them express post as soon as they are received so we should have them to present on December 5 at our SSD Dinner. If you are not attending, they can be collected at the studio from 1pm-5.30pm.

ATOD Training Day We are looking forward to spending a day in January learning the newly updated Gold Jazz & Bronze Tap grades in Melbourne. ATOD update new grades every year, this ensures work is up to date and constantly reviewed by industry leaders.

We had the best night. Kate is beautiful, she recognized my achievement of running a school for 25 years and spoilt me with flowers, wine and a gift to attend any professional development to the value of $200 courtesy of VDF. I have only known Kate for 2 years but she is now such a close friend as she is to many of my fellow dance studio owner friends. The internet and Facebook has made such a difference to our lives, we have a support network 24/7 worldwide!

We will also be learning their brand new Junior Musical Theatre syllabus which is very exciting. I will probably invest in this as a new resource to use.

Thankyou to everyone who attended our VDF workshop. I appreciate you making the most of these precious opportunities and I really hope you consider joining us at VDF 2017. Check out their page if interested.

Enrolments We have now opened our enrolments to the general public and classes are filling fast. If you did not take advantage of our priority re enrolment please enroll soon if space is still available.

Sharon and Steph on Exam Day

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Enrolments are on our website or the link which was emailed to you. The Pre registration form in Term 3 was not an enrolment, it was a guide to help set a timetable.


Preschool Hip Hop Colouring In Have lots of fun coluring in Silly Goose who is making the letter “X” with his body by jumping high in the sky!

PHOTO WEEK After almost a year of sourcing, counting and fitting costumes it was lovely to see all costumes on students. Andy Banks took

Silly Gooseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

some fantastic photos. It is a massive week and one I would rather not do but I know most of you appreciate the opportunity and treasure the memories. Thank you for all being well prepared and more importantly courteous to Andy & Liz who gave up a lot of time to be at our


studio. Please support their efforts by calling them on 0418 590 591 and buying your photos if you haven’t already. They would make a lovely Christmas present.


Dance Wear to Sell Squee deee & eue yeue eeede ee yeue keeee.

Jume eeee ee eee eky & meke yeue bedy eeek eeke eee eettee “X.”

Bangarra Theatre Book directly online. No code required. Wednesday February 15 at 8pm.

newsletters all handy on your


If you are not joining us you may collect your exam results, certificate and medal at the studio between 1-5.30pm on Monday. Otherwise, it will be January 30 when we resume classes.

SSD App This handy App is free and

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I am pleased to advise I have received our exam medals and these will be presented at our 25th Birthday Dinner, Monday December 5 approximately 7.30- 8pm when we have finished our meals.

Bangarra Dance Theatre are coming to Ulumbarra and SSD students, Teachers & Adult dancers can buy tickets at the special price of $16. Bangarra


has an events calendar, notifications (if you turn them on), copies of pdf files and phone 24/7. See details in our Parent section of website.

Do you have any dance wear that you’d like to sell? No doubt many of you will have lots of dancewear that has been outgrown.

Jason Coleman’s Cabaret Cathedral

Please email details of items and I will add to an email to send out in the new year.

If anyone is looking for an amazing show to see I would highly recommend Jason Colemans’ and see his new show The Rhythm of Life.

New parents will be wanting items so if you get organized now you can take advantage of the opportunity. photos/a.1677806482433331.1073741829.1675023489 378297/1818629681684343/?type=3&theater


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Reflections on 2016 What an amazing year! We have packed so much in and had so much fun. We have welcomed so many new families and farewelled one of our beautiful mums. We have laughed and cried together. We have made new friends. We have been challenged by our new syllabus and grown as teachers and dancers. We have been embraced and supported by the wonderful board, examiners and teachers of The Australian teachers of Dancing. We have created, built confidence and improved so much. We have been inspired by industry leaders, Paul Malek& Jason Coleman at our own workshops. We have had a ball at Victorian Dance Festival and we even had a visit from Kate Meade and Donnie Dimase at SSD. I have learnt so much from the speakers and presenters at Come Together Dance Convention and been able to start sharing the knowledge with staff and students. I have been an active and proud member of the Dance Studio Owners Association who teach me more every day. We have introduced Hip Hop to our school and I am thrilled to say we had a record 10 boys dancing at SSD the past 5 weeks. With the introduction of pre school Hip Hop I hope to improve the ratio of boys to girls dancing in the future! I already have 2 outstanding workshops planned for 2017 at SSD with more to come! We never stop learning and I want to continue to nurture and inspire dancers to be the best version of themselves’ for many years to come! Have a safe and Merry Christmas, love

Sharon Saunders

Marking Systems for Examinations Test 1-2-3 in Classical Ballet, Jazz & Tap - the students are awarded a PASS or UNSUCCESSFUL result. In all other levels, the following result will be awarded dependent on the individual percentage gained. These percentages are not listed on the exam report. The percentages are set out below for Teachers information –  UNSUCCESSFUL 40% or less


9-5pm Weekdays Please refrain from calling or texting after hours.

Thank You


 PASS4 1% - 50%

We would love to hear your thoughts about our school and really appreciate a testimonial to use on our website.

 PASS PLUS 51% - 55%  CREDIT 56% - 60%  CREDIT PLUS 61% - 65%  COMMENDED 66% - 70%  COMMENDED PLUS71% - 75%  HIGHLY COMMENDED 76% - 80%  HIGHLY COMMENDED PLUS 81% - 85%  HONOURS 86% - 90%  HONOURS PLUS 91% - 95%

Alternatively, you can do a review on our Facebook page. https:// sharonsaundersdancers/

 HONOURS WITH DISTINCTION 96% - 100% The method of assessment for all components of examinations are as follows:  Highly Skilled  Competent  Satisfactory  Needs Improvement

Google Ranking To help pur google ranking we would really love you to leave us a review here: Sharon+Saunders+Dancers/@-36.796418,144.242788,17z/data=!3m 1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x6ad7508a65566351:0x4d12227ed9ef6a68?hl=en

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TEAMWORK Becky doing Ingrid’s makeup on Photo Day 9

2017 Important Dates January

Monday 16- Friday 20 Ministry of Dance Summer School- 10am -4pm Thursday 19- ATOD Teachers seminar- Transit Dance, Melbourne Sunday 29- SSD Professional Development Day 10am – 3pm. Class Helpers welcome 11am-1pm. Monday 30 – Term 1 Commences


Sunday 5- Mia Michaels live- Melbourne workshops Thursday 9- Term 1 Fees due


Friday March 17- VDF Teachers Day Saturday March 18 - Victorian Dance Festival – Melbourne Sunday March 19 - Victorian Dance Festival – Melbourne



Monday 27 - Thursday 30 – Viewing week- Term 1 ends


Pre paid DVDS will be ready for collection at the studio on Monday December 5 from 1pm-5.30pm. If you cant make it please ask a friend to collect DVD.

Friday 7- Sunday 9 - Come Together Dance Convention- Gold Coast


If you volunteered to do washing, please return that day.

Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 (I have applied for our exams to be held on one of these 2 weekends. The date will be confirmed by ATOD in approximately April/May).


Thursday 23- Last class for the year. Friday 24 – Stage Rehearsals 3.30pm-9pm (Classes needed for a short time). Saturday 25- 1pm Full Dress Rehearsal.7pm Concert- UlumbarraThetare.

If you miss collecting DVD you can collect at ‘Dance Your Way’ TuesdaysSaturdays from 10am. Please note: They usually close over Christmas until Mid January. I will drop them at Dance Your way on Tuesday afternoon.

A member of The Australian Teachers of Dancing Ltd. Studio address: Rear of 14 Lockwood Rd, Kangaroo Flat Postal address: P.O. Box 103, Marong, 3515 Mobile: 0418 309639 (weekdays).



E-mail: Website:



Sharon Saunders Dancers December Newsletter 2016

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