Amongst the best in Australia
Newcastle loves a good sporting story, particularly when there’s a ball involved, so when we heard about the National College of Dance and their astonishing achievements in 2017 we had to learn more.See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
Warning, there aren’t any balls associated with this story.
Owners of the National Dance College, Vicki and Brett Morgan, and their team have over the last four years been consistently producing some of Australia’s most talented and sought after ballet and contemporary dancers. So much so that in 2017 100% of the National Dance College students received offers from all over the world.
Vicki said, ‘For the four years that we’ve had the school it’s been a consistent trend, and when Brett was the artistic director three years prior it was
also very similar'.
Brett and the graduating team of 2017
‘The majority of our students are local, we are also quite popular with students from Western Australia and other regional areas like Mackay. I guess mainly due to Newcastle being of a similar size and it not being as scary for young students to move to. Sydney or Melbourne has typically been their only alternative. Newcastle has that creative culture but there are still those country family values here.’
Brett, ‘We’ve got a really good team of teachers, it’s probably our ideal team and regionally we have the best school in Australia.
‘I wasn’t from Newcastle originally, but I was lucky enough to get the gig to come here after working at the Sydney Dance Company and I brought a team of people with me which then morphed into people coming from overseas as well.
‘I've built the team and was able to bring Tim Gordon who had previously been with the Australian Ballet School. That’s always been our goal, to bring a very high level of training and knowledge to Newcastle so we can then nurture the talent that’s in the area so they can then go to Melbourne or wherever around the world.’
Luckily for us one of the shining stars from last year’s crop, contemporary dancer Rubi Hindle, was back in town recently so we caught up with Rubi, and
that stunning red Sckol Dress, to hear how life has changed for her since leaving the National College of Dance.
Where can we find you these days Rubi?
I moved to Spain on the 1st January this year and I am based right in the middle of Madrid dancing with a Junior company called Elephant in the Black Box, which is directed by the choreographer and dancer Jean Philippe Dury.
Had you ever been overseas before?
Not for dancing only ever for holidays.
So how did you find moving to the other side of the world?
It’s been amazing, it’s the polar opposite to Australia particularly the dance style, so it’s been an amazing learning experience. It was a bit scary though but I went with three friends from Australia so we were able to go through it all together.
Were you originally from Newcastle?
Yes I grew up and lived in Newcastle until I moved to Spain, I went to St. Philip’s Christian College from Kindergarten to Year 10 and I’ve been dancing at the National College of Dance since I was three.
In 2015 I did the intensive training program and accelerated from year 9 to year 10 so I could finish and get my rosa. In 2016 I did my Certificate 4 and in 2017 I completed my Diploma in Elite Performance and then transitioned over into Spain.
What have you been working on whilst living in Spain?
We’ve just completed a performance called Women which was directed by Jean Philippe, which was a world premiere at the Ellas Crean, which is a famous festival in Madrid. Currently, we’re learning four shows which we are performing in June, they’re a triple bill and they are each by different choreographers so it’s really hard to keep up.
How do you support yourself overseas?
I am on a strict student visa so I can’t work overseas, but I saved my money before going, I worked here at the Dance College and part-time at a sports park and I also have a lot of support from my family.
What are your big plans for the future?
Elephant in the Black Box was my main goal, because a dance company such as this in Australia seemed so far away but now that I am here it’s all about focusing on finding what I want and where I want to be. My next step is to do further auditions and just travelling around the world and performing.
I don’t have an ultimate goal, company wise, but the main thing I want to get out of my career is to be in a really well known contemporary dance company that allows me to dance and tour all the time.
In addition to Rubi the following are the other students who were a part of the 2017 dream dance team and have already left to follow their dreams, and
the team couldn't be prouder!
Ellise Pellizzer - Ajkun Ballet Theatre - New York
Maddison Weiley- Orlando Ballet School - Florida
Paige Finlay - Ballet Academy East - New York
Irena Cashman - Central Ballet School - London
Jye Fitzgerald - EBB Junior Contemporary Company - Madrid Spain
Rubi Hindle- EBB Junior Contemporary Company - Madrid Spain
Jess Brent - EBB Junior Contemporary Company - Madrid Spain
Monique Humphreys- EBB Junior Contemporary Company - Madrid Spain
Oscar Dews- Royal Caribbean Cruises then EBB Junior Contemporary Company - Madrid Spain Antjuan Trainor - New Zealand Ballet School Thalia Munyard- Adv Dip WAAPA
Sam Oswald- Iwanson International School of Contemporary Dance Germany
Mel McLeod - Iwanson International School of Contemporary dance Germany