Really started dancing 4 years ago

“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.”


Started Dancing 18 months ago

“Once upon a time, I read about this thing called “ballet”. Nineteen years later I eventually made it into a ballet class.
Mainly to tick off this item on my list of things to do in life, and to prove my mum wrong about me being “too old anyway”.
Just one class. Just to prove a point.
One-and-a-half years later I’m still dancing ballet. Who would have thought that Ione’s classes are instantly addictive! :-P
Besides, the Dance Domain is the closest thing to a magic school. Where else can you transform into any magical creature of your choice, king, knight, hero, pirate, evil lord, travel time and practice every class to fly? ;-)”


Started dancing 2 years ago

“I always thought ballet was something you either did from childhood or not at all. The moment I found Ione, I felt so happy. After I tried my first class, I was addicted to ballet straight away.  Starting as a complete adult beginner at the age of 25, I now have been doing ballet for 2 years. I feel very fortunate to have Ione as my teacher. Not only she is experienced and dedicated in teaching adults, she’s also the most patient and encouraging teacher I have ever come across. Our class is always fun with beautiful music and yet challenging. Our studio has provided us a suppotive freindly learning enviroment.  Ballet is now a serious hobby of mine and I don’t think I can ever live without it in the rest of my life.”


Started dancing 3.5 years ago

“As a busy individual with a heavy work schedule The Dance Domain gives me the outlet I need to keep stress levels low as well as keeping my core tight and of course having fun! Ione’s amazing ability to put my adult insecurities to rest about starting ballet from complete scratch has left a deep impression on me and I’m grateful for the knowledge and expert care!


Started dancing 12 years ago

“I am a 67 years old, Japanese grandma, who decided to take her first ballet lesson at the age of 55.
Lots of things were against me: I was then working full time as an international flight attendant. Years of flying gave ma a very unhealthy, stiff and tired body. It didn’t give me much time to attend regular classes either. I had literally no turn-out, had terrible balance and bad memory. Of course my age didn’t really help either.
One luck I had was that I knocked on the ballet class of Ione. Since then I’ve never looked back.
Ione is an amazing ballet teacher with an abundance of knowledge and experience. But what makes her so special is that she has unbelievable patience and understanding. We dance together, we laugh together and we cry together.
We are bunch of fun people with different level of dance, various backgrounds, diverse nationalities, genders and ages, but we firmly share one thing in common- unstoppable passion for ballet.”


Started dancing many years ago

“I started dancing at the age of 7 from aerobic – gymnastic to traditional dance, jazz and hip-hop back in Vietnam; and I always dreamed of becoming a professional dancer. Ballet is not so popular in my country therefore I did not have any chance to start doing it until I was at my late teens.
I came to New Zealand 6 years ago to study with a scholarship in Computing Diploma. And as a freelance dancer, I could find myself easily in any dance classes of many kinds: hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, and last but not least ballet.
Ione Barczak is my first ballet teacher and she is my most favourite dance instructor so far in my life. With amazing knowledge and expert care, Ione understands each and every student who comes to her classes, she knows exactly what your body needs to work on improving ballet technique; and gives you explanations on things patiently and professionally. Teaching with awesome music, being open-minded to share her life experience and listen to people’s stories, she inspires me to learn things from many worldwide professional dancers as well as challenging and encouraging to act and express myself in many dance characters; especially to love dancing ballet more and more.
The Dance Domain is my recommendation to all adults at any ages to start ballet and train to become ballet dancers. It has all it takes to deserve a vote for one of the best dance studios: great teachers, great location, great facilities, and great managing people.
Graceful thanks to all.”


Life-long dancer

“I began training in ballet at a young age, then after moving to Sydney, spent many years dancing jazz ballet.
After returning to live in Auckland I learned yoga and Pilates before being told about Ione’s adult ballet classes. Two years ago I attended one of her workshops where I immediately regained my love of ballet
I now attend ballet regularly which I enjoy immensely due to the ever-inspirational classes taught by Ione.”


Experienced ballet dancer

“I had previously danced ballet under the RAD syllabus from the age of 4 to 18 before restarting ballet as a hobby again at age 26 with Ione. 2 years on and I am so delighted with my achievements, having learnt the Vaganova and Finis Jhung techniques Ione teaches. These techniques have allowed me to maximise what I have and continuously improve despite my age. I am still constantly surprised with my achievements which I never thought was possible! We are taught to respect our bodies and learn how to utilize our muscles correctly. The more advanced classes are intellectually stimulating, challenging and extremely enjoyable. I am so grateful to Dance Domain for allowing me to continue to enjoy ballet as an adult. It is also a great place to meet other wonderful friendly students!”


Started Dancing 4 years ago

“I stepped into a ballet studio for the first time in 25 years nearly 4 years ago. Being a 37 year old mother of 2, I feared feeling old and clumsy, surrounded by people half my age lifting their legs to their ears! But after an hour, I was hooked. The class was friendly and encouraging, and to my relief, people of different ages from all walks of life were happily giving it a go. I’ve learnt more ballet than I dared dream possible, found friends and had so much fun along the way.”


Started Dancing 4 years ago

“I was first introduced to adult ballet classes after a friend told me about it. Up until then, I did not know that adults could do ballet, and spent much of my teenage years regretting not dancing as a child. I am now a devoted ballet dancer for four years, under the guidance of Ione who teaches like no other. I have performed in four showcases, the most challenging to date being Swan Lake, where I was fortunate enough to dance the role of Odette, the cygnets and the waltz all in one show. Inspired by the challenges ballet brought to my life, I began pointe classes, and performed on stage for the first time en pointe a few months ago. I find dance to be extremely meditative, and I am so grateful that it has now become a feature in my life.”


Started Dancing 4 years ago

“I took up ballet classes aged 31, with no prior experience apart from a brief stint when I was about 5. That was 4 years ago, and I still really enjoy the challenge of Ione’s classes. There is always something new to master, and it’s so rewarding to feel yourself making progress. Ione encourages us to be patient with ourselves, and gives us all the techniques we need to achieve our goals, bit by bit.

I have a busy work schedule, but there are plenty of options under Dance Domain timetable. Ballet classes are a chance to switch off from everything else and concentrate on my own personal development for a while. It strengthens my muscles, keeps me fit, and the classes are full of great people.

I always enjoyed watching ballet, but now I have so much more appreciation for it as an art-form. I’m so pleased I’ve taken up these classes, it has enriched my life in a number of different ways and I look forward to learning more ballet for years to come!”


Started Dancing Ballet 1 year ago

“I never thought about dancing ballet. I thought it was something that tiny skinny mean girls did from the age of 4, and someone like me could never do it. As I child I did a few years of Highland & National Dancing and was often the only boy in my category at competitions. When I started high school I dropped it because I found it just wasn’t challenging for me anymore. You could learn new steps, but there wasn’t the joie de vivre there. Once at university I bought myself on a whim some social lessons in ballroom & latin American dancing, which quickly grew, with my family buying me more lessons as my 21st present, and then my graduation gift. I’ve now been doing that dance for coming up 9 years!

A couple of years ago I thought it would be fun to do some other kinds of dancing and made enquiries but never took it further. I went to sign up for Broadway and Solo Charleston, and got told that I should do a block of ballet first to get the basics down pat first. Apprehensively, I looked around for classes, and found Ione’s. I asked people I knew if any of them knew her, and they all did, and the first person I knew said they could vouch for her because she was their teacher! I was extremely nervous about coming, and kept asking my friend all sorts of things, like what should I wear, how many boys come to these classes, what if the teacher doesn’t like me, and she said I’d be fine.

When I met Ione, I realised she was right. Ione puts you at ease and cares for your development as a dancer. There’s no wooden ruler for hitting you when your knee turns in, or stomping the floor until you get something perfect. This creates a welcoming environment where it is a delight to dance and be together, and where you never want to go home!”

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