A bit about me

I started ballet when I was 15. As a child of a single mother, my mum simply hadn’t been able to afford expensive things like ballet and music lessons until the family finances improved round then.

Those first few lessons, I felt like a fish out of water! I was in a class with kids 6 or 7 yrs younger than me, and my adolescent self felt like a huge whale in amongst those trim pre-adolescent girls. Happily, within weeks the younger girls had accepted me, I’d gotten (sort of) used to the look of my body in my swimsuit (couldn’t afford a proper leotard!) and my wonderful teacher was never ever offputting about my age or my size.

The magic of ballet grabbed me within minutes in my first class and has never let go. So here I am, still taking classes and now also teaching it!

Since my first ballet class, I’ve danced many styles, including bellydancing as a performer and junior teacher, tango, salsa and Irish dancing. I’ve also studied music, art and design, and been a professional writer and editor. I’ve learnt archery, and taught it to others. I tutored at Uni for a few years. Oh, and I  love to sew.

5 yrs ago I started pilates, hoping to alleviate chronic hip and sacral pain. It worked, and I became fascinated by the system and its possibilities, both as a dancer and in its potential to help people.

When a Diploma of pilates became available to study online (there being no pilates training school in Darwin otherwise) I jumped at the idea, and am now working towards it. I find it so rewarding to see pilates clients’ health improve! I also love the teaching aspect of it.

As for the ballet teaching, I’ve been doing that privately for a while now. I really enjoy seeing my students gain new levels of achievement and become better able to express themselves through ballet. And, in the absence of any adult beginner classes in Darwin, I’ve been persuaded by my students to run some. Offbeat Ballet is the result!

(And a huge thankyou to Brynda Wackett for the use of her gorgeous photograph for my blog header 🙂


2 thoughts on “A bit about me

  1. Hello there
    Interested in joining for Thursday classes.
    When I was younger I did a bit of ballet.
    Are your classes learning grades and specific exercises? Or do you ask your dancers to freestyle and make dances up themselves?


    1. Hi Jane, I’d love to have you in my classes!

      We’re learning Cecchetti grades, but fairly loosely as I’m not a Cecchetti qualified teacher (I’m working on that!) and my students wanted to go through the grades. My classes are very standard ballet classes starting at the barre with a plie exercise then tendu exercise etc. When we’ve done half an hr of barre, we move into the centre and do centre-work, which is when we do stuff that people would recognise as ‘ballet’.
      Most of my students are around grade 3/4, and I simplify the exercises for new people and make them harder for more advanced dancers.
      My students haven’t made up dances yet. No one seems interested in that so far. But that may change. I check in with my students to make sure they’re getting what they want from the classes.
      Often a pilates exercise or a specific strengthening exercise can creep in, when it will help my students learn, but the focus is always on the ballet.

      Regards, Imogheena


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