Started dancing in her teens
“I’ve always known I wanted to be a ballerina. Since I was a little girl. Sadly, my parents couldn’t afford to send me to a proper ballet school at the time, (as much as I dragged home old tutus from the local community arts centre and twirled in them until I ended up on the floor). So, when we arrived in New Zealand and as soon as I could work, I got a job so I could study dance, this time as a young adult.
It was already too late for me to do it professionally, starting at 16, but that did not stop me from dancing as much as I possibly could through high school and university.
I discovered Ione Barczak when I was 28. I regard this period of my life as the moment my true ballet training began. Ione is the Mr. Myagi of ballet! She taught me that it’s not just a raw passion for movement, but a whole way of life, of culture, and of personal conduct. She continuously inspires a sense of purpose and dedication in each one of her students and she teaches us patience and humility as dancers and as artists. Our technical and artistic development each year is tremendous, thanks to her and to the close-knit network of peer support and our love and commitment to dance and ballet in particular.
The Dance Domain is the only adult ballet school I have ever attended, which doesn’t feel simply like a community establishment but rather instills the feeling of an actual dance company. I am truly grateful to be a part of it and I will always be indebted to Julie and Ione for founding and running it, and to all of my dance friends who have become my second family here, in New Zealand.”