L.A.D. Studio dance instructors Lupita (left) and Ana Skuse with choreographer and director Desiree McGann (centre).
L.A.D. Studio dance instructors Lupita (left) and Ana Skuse with choreographer and director Desiree McGann (centre). contributed

Dance teacher's choreography of confidence

SEEING her choreography come to life through dance is why Desiree McGann loves what she does and celebrated her 10th anniversary of La Danza Studio.

Desiree started dancing at the age of 6 with Brisbane Academy of Dance and started ballet classes as she loved to dance and felt safe in the language of ballet.

Dance was a way to meet new people, feel safe and equal as the other children spoke English, Desiree spoke Italian and together they learnt French through the ballet syllabus.

She has had formal training in classical ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and character, completed exams in Federal Association of Teachers of Dance and Royal Academy of Dance Exams in Classical Ballet.

All of her achievements were accomplished as an adult.

Desiree has a Bachelor of General Studies and Bachelor of Teaching, University of New England, NSW, with 17 years teaching experience in Brisbane and local schools both private and state.

She was the director of choreography for Wizard of Oz in 2009, The Music Man 2011, Hairspray 2013 and Mary Poppins in 2015.

"The reason I started the studio was back 15 years ago the Qld school curriculum had a lot of contemporary based works but no one in the local area was actually teaching contemporary - they were either teaching jazz or ballet or tap but nothing in the contemporary style," she said.

"So I actually started teaching after school to assist students with their OP scores."

Desiree is the dance co-ordinator at Riverside Christian College and has run the Dance Department for 10 years.

For the past 2 years she has been the Head of Faculty for Creative Industry at Riverside.

"I love choreography and seeing my ideas come out with kids - I love what I do," Desiree said.

"All the dancing we do is based on the Qld curricular for schools.

"My students vary from St Marys to Aldridge to Riverside Christian College and obviously the primary sector from Granville to Mungar.

"We have 100 students and during our concert we have about 120 including the Riverside Dancing Crew.

"Our motto is if they make a mistake on stage they have to come to me and tell me how they improved and what they did to recover - encouragement of the recovery."

 

Director and instructor of tap, jazz and contemporary at La Danza (L.A.D.) Studio, Desiree McGann danced at her first concert at Maryborough City Hall.
Director and instructor of tap, jazz and contemporary at La Danza (L.A.D.) Studio, Desiree McGann danced at her first concert at Maryborough City Hall. contributed

The studio holds one concert at the end of the year usually on the first week in November and Desiree said more than 500 people came to watch.

Each year after the concert all students receive a certificate and ribbon for being part of the school.

"I also give out scholarships for the following year," Desiree said.

"Every year level will receive free tuition for term one of the following year - there were 20 students who received scholarships."

Desiree is the director and instructor of tap, jazz and contemporary at La Danza (L.A.D.) Studio.

There is also another component to the studio with Latin dancing with Lupita and Anna.

 

La Danza (L.A.D.) Studio director and choreographer Desiree McGann with her students at their annual concert.
La Danza (L.A.D.) Studio director and choreographer Desiree McGann with her students at their annual concert. contributed

"I teach a lot of cultural components especially as dance co-ordinator at Riverside Christian College; like Harmony Day - a whole unit on cultural identity.

"It is important in my field to teach a multitude of units when I can.

"In our studio we also have a Lads group which is just boys and they get to choose their music and then I choreograph a dance to their chosen music.

"It is just not dance but getting the confidence to go ahead in the world.

"It is the confidence that I am able to instil in the kids for them to go I am worth it and am going to try my best and keep on trying."

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