Friday, August 31, 2007


Here we see the 8 and Under's celebrating after their successful audition. WHOO HOO! THEY ARE OFF TO DISNEYLAND. We had 80 kids express interest and we are now looking at a team of about 55 talented performers. We didn't get to catch too many kids after the news broke as they were running wildly to their parents to share the news or calling family and friends. Our tour representative, Ros Cochrane will be in the studio tomorrow, September 1st to give an Information Day.




Thanks to Stefanie for sending through some great photos of the Adult class from Orange. Here you can see them relaxing after their victory- 1st place in the Open Division. I have just managed to consume my first can of Coke Zero in 48hrs and so after 2 and a half days in bed have found the strength to give the Adult blog entry the detail it deserves. I was blown away by their performance on Saturday night. It was cool, it was schmick and most importantly they could actually dance. For those who weren't in the audience, let me paint the picture. The theatre was packed. I had to take Archer (and his pram) down to the car so my parents could look after him which meant a trip in the elevator located in another studio's dressing area. I had to wrangle poor little Arch through a sea of how can I delicately put this, very well endowed women (i think or hope that their abundant chests were props.) I noticed that they were getting into the spirit of their performance by well, drinking spirits!! I was worried- what was this Adult section all about? I sat with Leesa in the audience. The first act was Kath & Kim's (yes complete with g-strings & muffin tops) but they were certainly a crowd favourite. It was a very entertaining number. All those kaths and all those kims shimmying away in unison- very noice!! Next up were the Dolly Parton group. Another crowd favourite. The laughter, the cheering, the applause. I squeezed Leesa hard and said "is ours going to be funny??" She shrank down into her seat and whispered "NO". The curtain opened and there they were, they didn't need novelty, they could actually dance. I was so excited. I clapped, I cheered! Dave broke out into some breakdancing and I lost it. My jaw hit the ground- he was amazing! Their routine was followed by a great tap routine (there was an elderly gent in this one that I absolutely loved-so cute!). We awaited the adjudicator's decision and what do you know FIRST PLACE!!


Just got fabulous news which stirred me from my sick bed and has made me feel a lot better. Our beautiful Breanna Kingham won the Intermediate Ballet Championship at Orange Eisteddfod last night.

Here is Breanna with her trophies. We are so proud of you and so happy for you. What an incredible achievement!! Our congratulations!

Breanna has also so far placed second in her Contemporary solo, Jazz Improvisation and Demi- Character. Breanna, Jacinta & Kirshiah Sharpe also won the Open Trio section. Well Done Girls. So far, that routine has proven unbeatable.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


My thanks to Gail, Leesa,(my rock) Sonya, Mum, Dad, Regina, Narelle, Tracey, Julie, Rita, Sue- Ellen and all the mums who nursed me through the day and took turns with Archer and amused Cale. It was very much appreciated. Great fun conversation with Rose Murray who kept me company in the foyer during one section. Also thanks to the drunken man who ran from the pub down the road when I opened the boot of the car and banged my head so hard that I fell back onto the pavement. (yes this was one of my finer moments and occurred when I was trying to pack the car!!) Big thanks to the kids who danced so beautifully. Miss Leesa and I are so proud to be your teachers.


Saturday!! Was i as fresh as a daisy?? NO!! I was also battling what had been a queasy feeling that suddenly became a "shoot me" type sickness. Thank heavens for Sonya who got Immy looking beautiful for me while I attempted to pack up car and kids for theatre. Yes Onny was trying to help and yes it did result in Arch bungy jumping from bed onto concrete. Through my tears (i am such a drama queen) I got to the theatre, stopping occasionally to check on Archer for signs of concussion. Arriving at the theatre, I realised it was a Case of Mission Impossible and so made an emergency call for back -up to the dressing room. Thanks to Julie Richardson & Tracey Burns who came to the rescue. Thankfully Leesa was there as radiant and calm as usual. The kids looked fantastic and were excited. It was contagious and even the Theatre Nazi's could not rain on my parade. (ok so they did, a little bit......but I got over it as me and the pram were sent to the foyer.) Still, I got to see the magic of our kids on the screen in the foyer. Congratulations on all the fantastic results. From my little spot in the foyer, I got to witness quite alot and I have to say, once again, how incredibly proud I am of our studio. We are Mr Johnothan (phew.) Final tally was 2nd in 12yrs Contemporary, 3rd in 10yrs Classical, 3rd in 12yrs Modern, Highly Commended in 8 yrs Jazz (YAY our little champions!Yes Holly you got a weally big cheer), Highly Commended in a hotly contested 12yrs Jazz, 1st in the Adult section (this deserves its very own section), Highly Commended in Open Jazz and 1st in Open Trio (go Kershiah, Breannah & Jacinta.)

The Saga Continues

We survived our first day in Orange (I barely survived the night-thats a whole other story) and along with the Bunts, Rices, Yeos (friends from DBS), Sonya and the original DAD OF DANCE DES-O o'CONNOR enjoyed a nice meal. The now "grandfather of Dance" was seen deep in coversation with reigning DAD OF DANCE Will Bunt discussing tactical moves and strategies for the man not afraid to admit he knows the difference between an "attitude" and an "arabesque."Then it was to bed or so I hoped......after the bathroom had been filled with bubbles from an over zealous spa. (thanks to Onny, Immy & Beanie) First night in Orange and sleep would not be my companion. THE ARCHFUL DODGER decided it was time to party and party he did with his own distinct rebel yell into the wee hours. Anyway, this first action packed night was to prove that if seven kids (Immy, Onny, Jade, Amber, Katie, Millie, Beanie)could be this excited in Orange, what are we to expect from 60 in America????The mind boggles......................Look at Onny in first pic, I so hear you.........


Hey as promised this post will take you behind the scenes of our most recent performance. I commenced my trek to Orange with the gnawing feeling that perhaps I hadn't packed everything we needed for Orange. I have to wonder if the students ever consider us mums in their shining moments on stage. I think not......I can remember my days on the Eisteddfod circuit and shudder. My poor entourage would be behind me laden with my bags, make up, props, costumes and I would play the "star." (Mothers out there heed my words, your child will one day look back on you with much gratitude, appreciation and fondness for everything you do and have done for them. ) I have to say, we have a great bunch of Mothers and a great bunch of kids who for the main part give their mums a great deal of respect and thanks. Anyway, we got to Orange and I once again obsessively checked the costume bag. All was good!! This was also the very first Eisteddfod that all four of the Von Slack-Smith children accompanied me on. (what was i thinking???) Early in the afternoon on Friday, I ran into Katie and Millie Rice downtown and dragged them back to my motel room to help amuse my children. Katie managed to supply me with many memorable quotes but the one I related to most was "oh Miss Rikki, how doooooo you deal with all these children." (you had to be there to witness the look on Katie's face, it was a mixture of awe, horror and fatigue as Cale repeatedly jumped on the bed and squealed for her attention.) Cale loooooooves the Rices and his love can be a little claustophobic. Katie was fabulous and very grown up and helped me all afternoon and again at dinner so thank you very much. Regina aka REGGIE(as Cale says) took the kids to the park (yes she braved Cale in a wide open landscape) while Leesa , Gail and I looked at NEW PREMISES FOR ORANGE!!!! Thankyou!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Still recovering...........getting better.....think recovery process has been greatly aided by the joy I derive from Reality TV (and more so, reality tv that celebrates the Performing Arts!!) I am preparing myself for the first heat of Australian Idol. (I love it so much!!) Go Rosie Ribbons from Dubbo (she has served me at THE PARTY STOP!! Cale loved his Monster Truck pinata.) I am looking forward to Jacob Butler's performance tonight. Anyway, for all our dancers make sure you become devotees of So You Think You Can Dance? Thursday nights on Channel ten at 8.00pm. Guess who won't be teaching after 7.30pm on a Thursday night? I heard on the grapevine that one of the guys from the B BOYS Breakdancing team may be making an appearance. I know I am going to be so inspired by this show. I also heard that there is an Australian version in the pipeline (we better get rehearsing hahahaha.) So share in the joy that two of my greatest loves (reality tv and dance) can deliver.......Thursday nights will be my happy nights!!20 mins until Australian Idol.....Be still my beating heart.UPDATE!!! oh yes thank you viewing public!! Jacob Butler is through to the final 12!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Miss Leesa may be a local but I'm not!! Immy, Onny, Cale, Arch and I are heading to Orange on Friday for the Orange Eisteddfod. Good luck to all of our soloists going down earlier in the week. We are staying at the Templars Mill Motel along with Sonya & Beanie O'Connor, The Rices and The Bunts. I hope they show us a good time. The kids are dancing on Saturday but I am hoping for a look around the shops on Friday (hello "Danielle Louise."!!)A big hello to my Aunty Betty and cousins Liz, Cheryl, Mick, Karlie & Trisanne. Performance Kids should all have copies of the program and our notes. I can't wait to see Miss Leesa's Adult Jazz class in action. We are looking forward to what will be our last Eisteddfod for the year. Then it is all systems go for ballet exams and Concert!! If you see me in Orange, say hello. Good luck Girls!!
NEWS FLASH!!!! WE HAD A FANTASTIC FEW DAYS IN ORANGE!! I will be giving full coverage of our adventures, successes, moments, funny stories and quotes when I fully recover.........,I have been a little unwell (giddy from all the success and good times.) I will try and catch up on some sleep (thanks to The Archful Dodger's antics) and fill you all in over next few days.


Due to the Disneyland Auditions, we have had to postphone our exciting workshop until September 9th. We will let you know exact date and time as soon as the B Boys confirm. For anyone who is still interested, don't worry, it is not too late to register your interest. You never know you might even see me there popping and locking (Immy looks on torn between pity and fear!!)

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Well done Everyone! While I was at the auditions, "Lucernevale's" resident graffiti artist has struck again................Cale tried to deny it initially but the blue texta around his mouth and all over his hands and jeans gave it away. He finally admitted his guilt but then said "pwetty " (for pretty)." I don't know whether he was trying to suck up to me or had decided that his wall mural was in fact, pwetty. I had a few other words, none of which were "pwetty." Anyway, even that could not dampen my excitement over the wonderful young people who auditioned today. You all went to so much trouble and looked fantastic. Miss Leesa and I are over the moon. Imagine you all by this time next year if you keep up this outstanding effort. Our congratulations. We have had a look through resumes (wow- such brilliant reasons and so many heartfelt responses why you should go to Disneyland.) I loved Jade Bunt's!! She gives alot of great reasons why but my favourite was because she has a DANCE DAD!! Yes, Jade you certainly do!! Look out for Will Bunt and the other dads in the DADS OF DANCE calendar coming your way soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Here is Miss Courtney Hart ( reigning scholarship winner) in her brand new tutu. I think tutu's should be mandatory for all little girls (as should tiaras so that everyone can see we are all princesses). Courtney looks stunning and is having a very successful year as a Soloist. Such poise!! We are very proud of you. *UPDATE (August 22nd)- Just heard that Courtney danced beautifully today in Orange and received a Highly Commended for her Jazz (YAY!!) and got 2nd for her Modern Solo. I am impressed (especially since there was only half a mark between 1st and 2nd. Whoah that's close.)


Ahahhhaahhhh ahhhaahhhaaaa the chickens!! This photo will always be very special to me. Stepping Out was still in its infancy and these little chickens stole the show. We did The Wizard of Oz and they were in the farmyard scene. It was hilarious- there were yellow feathers flying everywhere and these little tiny girls prancing around, refusing to get off the stage. It almost turned to tragedy when during the finale, one little chicken fell off the stage or rather jumped(because she copied the Seniors!!) She escaped injury but we had a frightening moment when she was air born thinking "OH NO- now the feathers will really fly!!"It is funny to look back at their little faces- so serious about their stage debut!! They are just gorgeous!! Thank you Sue-ellen (one for my happy box.)

Another beautiful blast from the past

I can spy Katie Rice, Courtney Hart, Charlotte Hoynes, Erinn Boyle, Kate Delmoro, Sabine O'Connor, Georgie Peacocke and Amber Bunt. For many of these little girls this was one of their first Concerts with us. They are just waaaay too cute. I remember this routine, it was "Under the Sea."

NOSTALGIA- From Little Things Big Things Grow

Big Thanks to Sue-ellen Hart for sending me a big reminder of how lucky we are to watch these beautiful kids grow up. Here is little Courtney Hart and little Kate Delmoro. Awwwwwwwwwww aren't they cute?? If I remember rightly, this snap is from our Christmas Concert in 2002.


GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!! It is the eve of the Audition!! Whoo Hoo!


Hi Everyone,

Lots of people are dropping in to visit our blog!! Thankyou! This is a plea for more photos. As much as I love them, I am normally so busy at Concerts and performances that I don't get any photos taken!!We would love you to send in any photos that you have of the kids. Send us photos of them from concerts,eisteddfods, before class, after class or whenever. Also send me in their news. I know our kids are all very talented and we want to hear about all of their achievements. I am based for this year in our Dubbo studio and so I especially want to hear from our students at Forbes, Orange, Trangie & Coonamble. Contact me at I look forward to hearing from you all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Meet Ondine or Onny as we call her. You will often see her in Dubbo Reception with Gail (she is Gail's assistant or thinks she is......anyway when Onny is not in class she is normally by Gail's side.) Onny turned five in July and is very excited about starting school next year. (not as much as Mummy is though!!) Onny had ballet yesterday and I said, "Chin up Ondine" and the famous Holly Keizer fell to the floor laughing. I said, "What's so funny, Holly?" She said, "you called her Ondine. Her name is Onny." Onny she is.


I hope everyone has enjoyed the photos and slide show I posted tonight. While I was busy on our blog, Cale decided he should express himself artistically on our loungeroom wall. What I want to know is how did he manage to cover such a huge expanse of wall in such a short amount of time???Anyway, he isn't denying anything.....he very proudly showed us his work entitled "Mummy's Silent Scream- A Study in Orange Crayon." Mmmmmm do I stifle his artistic outpourings (so far it ain't coming off, no matter how hard I try!!) or do I learn to live with a crayon mural on the wall. (note well the red eyes.....Cale wrestles with his inner demons.)


Girls were looking amazing in Stretch class tonight. It is so fantastic to watch your improvement. Very few groans could be heard tonight........everyone is loving their new flexibility. As we always say with practise comes perfection!! Well done everyone. Here we see Paris stetching herself to her limits.

Paris Burns always makes us gasp. Her body can do she is so much fun!! Paris always makes us laugh. We have taught Paris since she was 3 yrs old and she is now 10yrs old. Paris is a beautiful girl who not only dances brilliantly but is a talented gymnast as well.


Check out our lovely Amber Bunt and Sabine O'Connor as they await their solo performances. We love the friendships that are created within Stepping Out Dance Factory. The girls are all so encouraging and supportive of each other. Amber and Beanie have danced together since they were 3 yrs old.

Check out my Slide Show!


Stepping Out's resident snapper, Sonya Redfox caught some dressing room antics. Paris and Beanie can't believe they are being hounded by the paparazzi yet again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Miss Leesa dragged her left hand into the studio today.(heavy stuff!!) Her ring is stunning and it is great to have her back!! She is certainly having a brilliant time of late. She text me from the airport last night to tell me that they had been upgraded to business class on the flight home..............nice!! Anyway, while I thought we would spend some time nattering about the wedding plans, Leesa was thinking Concert!! I got confused thinking wow this will be some Wedding but it seems no, her huuuuge plans are for our Concert Season. Is it really that time already?? It only seems like yesterday that we were planning 2006 Concerts! The word on the street is that this year will be bigger and better than ever. I can't wait!! I love Concerts and as I have told Leesa, organising a wedding is nothing in comparison to a Dance Concert. I thought their vows would have been a fitting finale this year but I think they have other plans. Just know, I will keep you updated. Oh, Leesa brought me back an early birthday present!! You should have seen my happy dance!! I got a FAB bag and I love it! I will take it to bed tonight. It is beautiful. Thanks Leesa...............ahh (sigh,) strokes leather on bag, time for another happy jig......

Sunday, August 12, 2007


"Look Famous, Be Legendary, Appear Complex, Act Easy, Radiate Presence, Travel Light, Seem a Dream, Prove Real."

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I have just heard the most amazing news!! I am very happy to announce that our beautiful Miss Leesa said YES to Aaron Chaseling last night. MISS LEESA GOT ENGAGED!! Whoo hoo! Congratulations to them both from all of us at Stepping Out. I have just gotten off the phone to Gail and we are so excited. I wonder if Miss Leesa will really get married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator like she has joked about in the past. Maybe while we are over in Disneyland?! Meanwhile, I am about to celebrate my 10 yr anniversary- how frightening is that?? Miss Leesa will be back on Tuesday. (have heard the ring is divine!! I can't wait to see it!!) May they live happily ever after...........will keep you posted on any news as I hear it.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Hey There Everyone,

I am getting excited about the warmer days! How fast is this year going?? Thought I should let you know that plans for our exciting new dancewear store are definately taking shape. Whoah!! We are in the process of refurbishing the space where you can shop to your little heart's content. We have hunted down some really cool stuff. I am in retail heaven. We are hoping that we can launch our store by the start of Term 4, maybe sooner................Anyway, stay tuned. I can't say too much just yet but just know, it is all happening ............and we are very excited.
miss leesa just text me from the great wall of china. how cool is that? She will be back soon.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


CALE dancing up a storm! We couldn't get him off the floor. He had all the moves and the ladies swooning. His latest obsession is Wolfmother.


I have had lots of questions about the upcoming Disneyland auditions so thought I should shed some light on what you should expect. Stepping Out has auditioned and been accepted by Disneyland and allocated special spots on their performance schedule for 2008. The auditions are now to finalise the team that Stepping Out will be taking with us for this amazing opportunity. AN AUDITION WILL BE HELD IN DUBBO STUDIO on the 18th August at 2.00-2.45pm for Juniors 8 yrs & Under, 2.45pm-3.30pm for Intermediate 9yrs- 12yrs and 3.30-4.30pm for Senior 13yrs & above. This will be an open class and will be filmed to be sent to Disney headquarters and Dance Around the World Head Office. You must be dressed in form fitting dance wear and have your hair secured away from your face. You must bring to this audition a recent photo of yourself, a brief resume of your dancing experience and achievements and a short written response to the question, “Why I should be on the Disneyland Team?” THERE IS A $10 ADMINISTRATION FEE. You should come to the class warmed up (we will not have time to warm you up) and in the class you will be taught several short sequences and also be involved in stretching. We will use the videos as a means of assessing who we think will be our strong performers, the type of choreography that will best suit the candidates and who may be in a position to take on lead roles within the Disney performances. PLEASE ALSO BE AWARE that your teachers have already been watching you in class and assessing your improvement. You shouldn't worry about this audition. Auditions are just opportunities. THE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES FOR A DANCER ARE WORK ETHIC AND ATTITUDE. You only feel pride and accomplishment when you are deserving of it. This is an opportunity any performer would leap at and you are incredibly fortunate that this opportunity is within your grasp.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

Friday, August 3, 2007


I was very proud of our girls tonight. They danced beautifully and I had many people with tears in their eyes thank us for our performance afterwards. One lady said she got goose bumps. Congratulations! It is so wonderful to see you using your talents to benefit others. Our well wishes to little Jenna. Stepping Out is thinking of you. Big thanks to the mums who came down with the girls tonight. Your support is a huge encouragement to us and them. I know we all have an Eisteddfod bright and early tomorrow but the opportunity to dance for such a brave little girl was truly an honour and an inspiration. As we left at interval (tired little dancers) the count was already well over twenty thousand dollars. That is an awesome effort and a big pat on the back to Donna Spillane and Jo Hornby for organising such a positive and beautiful event. Shine on Jenna.


Hire this DVD now. It is a hilarious look at the behind the scenes of dance competitions and the dance world itself. Even David loved it! This movie lifts the curtain on the world of children's competitive dance and I think, Leesa and I have lived every scenario depicted in the film and then some. I loved the parental politics (to watch, not when it's happening for real), petty rivalry, creative controversies and of course the hysterics of the pushy stage mothers. I think its safe to say, Stepping Out is more of a MR JONATHAN (hallejuah.) Anyway, for a great laugh and some persepctive, rent this out. We all can have fun laughing at ourselves.


Miss Leesa is in Hong Kong for two weeks. Stay tuned for news of her adventures. I am sure we will get a postcard. If you are wondering if I am jealous?? Yes, a little bit......but she deserves it. I will make do with dreams of shopping in Los Angeles next September.
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