Vicki's early ballet training days with Miss Hansen.
Vicki's early ballet training days with Miss Hansen. Vicki Davis Academy of Dance

Celebrating 45 years of sharing a love of dance with others

VICKI Davis still gets a flutter in her chest whenever she sees a dancer light up the stage - despite teaching the art for 45 years.

Today, Ms Davis is presenting a performance at The Pilbeam Theatre which marks her 45th year teaching dance.

The founder of Vicki Davis Academy of Dance and Performing Arts, began dancing at the age of four.

She was taught by the late Valerie Hansen before going on to study ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, Scottish and Irish dancing, where she received honours for each grade.

She returned to teaching and assisted Miss Hansen with classes in Rockhampton, Mount Morgan and Yeppoon.

Ms Davis then moved on to teach at Jan Leibinger School of Dancing and took over the school in 1982 after Miss Leibinger fell ill.

She gained her licentiate degree in ballet, tap and jazz and in 1988 and was nominated as an examiner with the Education in Dance and Theatre Arts Inc Australia.

"Mrs D” as she is fondly called by her students, has taught thousands of students over the years.

Many have gone on to study dance, or are now teachers themselves.

Some have danced on cruise ships and others have been accepted into Qld School of Excellence, Qld University, The Australian Institute of Music and Brent Street just to name a few.

But what gives Ms Davis the greatest joy is watching a dancer grow.

"The most rewarding experience is watching children improve over the years and succeed in gaining confidence and poise,” she said.

"It's always easy for anyone to teach a really good student, but when you have a student who can't and seeing them improve over the years.

"Nothing beats former students enrolling their children in the academy.”

Today's concert will features 120 students, aged from 18 months to 55 years, including more than 35 present teachers and past students performing.

A true family affair, Ms Davis's sister Sandra Svendsen, who was an assistant teacher for many years, will be dancing, along with her daughters Brooke and Nicole.

Making a third generation concert, Ms Davis's two daughters, Krystal Carpenter and Jessica Williams, who also teach at the academy, will be performing, as will Ms Carpenter's sons Chase and Cohan.

"Without their continued support, choreography and hard work I am sure I wouldn't be still teaching today,” Ms Davis said.

"It is a special thing to have your children enjoy and spread the love of dance with so many children and adults.”

REFLECTIONS EVENT

  • To celebrate 45 years of teaching dance
  • Today from 5.30pm at Pilbeam Theatre
  • Tickets available at The Pilbeam Theatre
  • Students from two to 45 years to perform
  • Jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, musical theatre, cabaret, lyrical and contemporary
  • 36 past students and teachers to return and perform
  • Former principal of Qld Ballet dance and world renowned dancer, singer, actor, director and choregraphor Trevor Green to perform

Ms Davis took the time to thank her assistant teachers, Jessica Madden, Jaclyn Carrington, Jodie Foale and Rebecca Farr.

"Their input over the last few years has been wonderful,” she said.

"The studio has been lucky to have two new teachers to join our family, Natalie Latimer and Asami O'Mara. Natalie is teaching the Senior Hip Hop classes and Asami (who danced in Japan) is teaching extension ballet.

"Visiting tutors/choreographers, Karen Donovan, Trevor Green and Tayla Bubb have been a valued and respected part of my academy.”

Reflecting on the past 45 years, Ms Davis is overwhelmed to think she has reached this point.

"You don't think of it. You just start and it creeps up on you.... it doesn't seem that long ago I celebrated 40 years,” she said.

But overall, it has been a wonderful 45 years and Ms Davis doesn't have any regrets.

Teaching dance is something that is in her blood and a passion you can't teach.

"It's something that you have, I love to teach,” she said.

"I've always loved children and always wanted lots, so this way I can have both.”



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