Sunday, September 30, 2007


Here is my little man Cale who was down at the studio today while his dad strutted his stuff for the camera. I was very proud of all my boys today. David really worked the camera. Cale took every photo opportunity that he could while little Arch was happy to scoot about the dance floor in full crawl flight. He is now pulling himself up to standing position and I am most impressed to report that he dances too. He has a head wobble and infectious grin like no other. I see true star quality.


Sonya had an early call out with Tony Campbell. Like a true model, he was in the make up chair early at 7.45am. He sprung to life playing the dual roles of "Danny" and "Wild Sandy" from Grease. Sonya remarked on Tony's versatility and ease at jumping into these characters with such style and conviction. His audition shot showed signs of a supple back and his chorus line shot can only be described as smouldering. Next up was Ian Burns and it was his turn to laugh as all the women in the room enviously looked at his legs in heels. Narelle did his make up and the effect was stunning. He shone in front of the lights doing poses in tribute to Chicago's Cell Block Tango while Paris and Tracey cheered him on. He almost looked too good.......most unfair!! There was just a moment of nervousness when I asked "so are you as flexible as Paris?" as I tried to devise an audition pose for him. Anyway, could our dads get any more gorgeous....we weren't sure but everyone in the room knew that we were working on something very special. A man in trenchcoat, dark glasses and floppy moustache edged his way into the studio and took his turn at the make up station. Soon the shackles of anonymity were abandoned as he edged into his leotard and tights. Jennifer Beals never looked as good as Robert Duffy in his turn in the spotlight. He looked amazing. Each shot he made his own and I think even Lynne had to marvel at her husband's transformation in "A Chorus Line." He had legs and he knew how to use them. Our next "Dad of Dance" was the formidable Scott Murray. He brought "Bootmen" to life and was very patient with the tricky camera angles needed to get the shot. I returned to the room at one stage to see Sonya on her back cockroach style trying to capture Scott in mid flight. I quickly retreated. Scott is a very masculine man and so much to Roseanne Murray's delight he agreed to don a tutu. Her laughter could be heard from Studio 3 but Scott looked great. He twirled for the camera and looked phenomenal as a blonde. At one stage, he looked in the mirror and shrugged and said, "i look allright" to which I replied "but would you buy yourself a drink?" Energy was depleting......I made a dash for emergency supplies of chocolate and coke for us all. I did have to endure Immy, Amber & Beanie skipping and singing throughout the Mall but it was what we needed to recharge and head into the afternoon. Katie Bennett, giggling madly led her dad David into the studio. He momentarily appeared blinded by the lights. I asked the kids to bolt the front door. He, I feared could be a runaway. How wrong was I?? David, apart from being incredibly cute was a natural performer. His silver jumpsuit was shown off to perfection with every pose he created before the camera. He took my breath away with his audition shots and his pleading "I hope I get it" to the camera is worthy of an Oscar or at least a Logie nomination. It seemed the cute boys were just going to keep rolling in with the arrival of Miss Emmy J and James. James looked so fetching as Billy Elliot I wanted to adopt him. He also had to create the dancing girls in Billy's class and so needed to be about seven little naughty tutu clad girls. Emmy J contorted him in front of the camera and shouted "more turn-out!!", "softer arms", "James, Smileeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" and he handled it all with grace and aplomb. Our final Dad of Dance was Mick Schofield. I suspect Mick wasn't told about the make-up, the heels or the wigs but in "the show must go on" style he did it all. He was such a great sport and looked unreal as Kevin Bacon in "Footloose." Kevin never looked so good. It was an exhausting day. Sonya looked totally "spent" on a physical, emotional and creative level. I knew however, I could not rest. David's photo was the next day and I needed to go home and rehearse him. "Hi Honey, I am home........time for your close-up."

Saturday, September 29, 2007


The first day of photo shoots has now passed. We were fortunate to start the proceedings with true professionals in the form of Wayne Brabrook, Will Bunt, Andrew Erskine & Glen Keizer. Our "DADS" were consummate professionals in every capacity. Leesa and I were on hand as "pose" coaches and felt that we had most willing and pliable talent in our hands. Wayne had an early photo shoot Friday morning as he was jetting off for the long weekend (or so he says, our spies say no.....Sports Illustrated called and he was being flown to some exotic destination for the swimwear edition.) We always knew that the "Dads of Dance" calendar would be a stepping stone for these fathers but we didn't think their celebrity status would be so instant. I walked into the studio to hear Leesa coaching Andrew (aka "nobody puts baby in the corner") and was taken back by her cries of "no, arch your back more, no Andrew we need a little more in your eyes, yes perfect, beautiful Andrew.") I threw in a few humble "mores" and "goods" but strangely Leesa was right, after a while, the dance teachers in us took over and we were both intent on getting the best pose and photo of the "Dads." Our artistic team comprised of Sonya "Red Fox" on costuming, styling and Photography. Narelle Bunt is hair and make up ( at one stage, Narelle had to dash home as Will's outfit needed gold tipped false lashes and they weren't in her kit.) All the fathers have around four costume changes so as you can imagine, the shoots are long and exhausting for these men but there were no signs of mood swings or artistic temperaments. Even when Andrew fell from his stiletto heels, he still got back up there. Leesa was ready to catch him next time. Big feet were stuffed into tiny shoes. It was all quite surreal to be sitting in our dance studio and see the make up station, the lights and the camera (but not for our dancers but for our dads.) Will Bunt did not disappoint, even managing to take on the highly coveted Leesa "POSE OF THE POSES." This pose has long been held by myself but especially Leesa as the quintessential POSE. After watching Will take on many different poses and looks with grace and ease, Leesa whispered to me, "i think i know the man who can handle "the pose." With little coaching, Will jumped into character and gave a performance that literally brought tears to Leesa's eyes. It was "blue steele" (zoolander fans) intensity and it was magic. Meanwhile, Glen had abandoned his motorbike helmet and leather jacket and was swathed in white tulle as "Swan Lake." He sat patiently in the make up chair as Narelle accentuated his eyes and transformed him into the ballerina I wanted to be as a little girl. He was beautiful. Darienne has danced as well and I suspect that she has been coaching Glen at home- there is no way that he could have shown such line and poise if Darienne hadn't been giving him classical ballet tuition at home. His plie' was perfect. He was fantastic in the ballet shoot but really came alive in the audition shots, pouncing and cavorting for the camera like a Pussycat Doll. He looked like a giant Holly. Sonya has run herself ragged in the lead up and the costumes are just stunning, the artistic direction of the individual months are genius and her commitment to this project unfaltering. Well Done. I always knew it was going to be fabulous but last night I witnessed true "art." Stay tuned for a behind the scenes look of the making of the calendar today. Photo shoots starting at 8am.


Leesa was hard at work yesterday painting the interior of the shop. Despite our landlord's constant taunts of "what far out, psychedelic colour are you going to blind me with this time?', we have gone with a clean white palette. Stock has already arrived and we have already had a few purchases. The ballet shoes are really impressive, a lovely split sole shoe in a gorgeous leather that are like magic. They seem to instantly improve your arch. I think I will be buying my girls some for their exams and Concert. Leesa loves the tap shoes (firstly they have the most amazing sole and come with taps- phew, now our little tappers won't have that excruciating wait while the dads out there find the time to painstakingly apply the taps!!) We have been on the biggest hunt for the best dance products available and are even sourcing on an international level. We have so many variety of dance sneakers. I have lime green and hot pink with hibiscus flowers (let's see what the landlord thinks of those as I speed past him.) Miss Emma couldn't decide between the hibiscus sneaker or the hot pink glitter sneaker so she got both.....Miss Leesa is adorned by the glitter sneaker. Never fear we also have plain colours but there is just so many to choose from. We are even getting our own exclusive dancewear range so you can really step out in style. New looks for summer include crop tops, roll down shorts with contrasting band, roll down 3/4 pants and fab little singlet tops. You have to look the part! We have always found that if you dress like a dancer, it certainly carries through into your attitude and you start to perform like a dancer. We also really like the jazz shoe- it is a slip on with split sole that like the ballet shoe will instantly transform your feet into "stunning." If you are doing Eisteddfods, these could be your secret weapon. We intend to give our students generous discounts and we look to be able to also supply you with some fabulous dance inspired gift ranges (ready to stuff those christmas stockings.) Look out for the shop next term and don't forget to get all your concert needs and back to dance outfits and shoes with us. (BY THE WAY, my computer came home today. It had a little "breakdown" hollywood starlet style and had to go away for repair and recovery. Seems it was overheating (too much use.........)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Onny would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the premiere of High School Musical 2 is on this Saturday, 22nd September on the Disney channel at 6.30pm. Onny lives for High School Musical and knows every song word for word and every dance routine. I am kind of pleased that the next instalment will provide new material for her but also kind of scared. I know I am about to embark upon 24/7 High School Musical 2. She will demand that the soundtrack is played exclusively in the car. (while Cale crys for Wolfmother!!) We will be force fed lines from the movie. The tv will screen it ad nauseum. Onny will become Sharpay-ish (David interjects to say "will become!!- don't you mean is!!"). Onny is the proud owner of the Sharpay, Gabriella & Troy dolls. She has the dvd, the soundtrack and the live concert soundtrack. I have just ordered her High School Musical pyjamas (to entice her to go to bed earlier so she is less Sharpay-ish!!) Gail had better be warned too......she might think she can get work done on her lap top at the studio but Onny will seize it as an opportunity for further viewing. Poor Gail has sat through the original nearly as many times as I have. Even David knows all the songs!! Anyway, Lucernevale will be hosting Onny's premiere party on Saturday night...............and imagining Onny's expression when she gets to see the High School Musical pep rally at Disneyland.

Friday, September 14, 2007


We need your help to get to Disney.As you are aware we are lucky enough to have a team of 36 dancers from our studios in Dubbo and Trangie who will be travelling to Disneyland next year. We have started a fundraising group that will be doing a variety of activites over the next twelve months and are looking to raise money to help get the girls to Disney.
One of our activites is a Dads of Dance Calendar that we have some of the Dads dressing up in costume (for their beloved daughters) and having photos taken to put together to make a calendar.
We are asking businesses to sponsor spots on the calendar pages which will give you 12 months advertising. There will be 5 spots per month. We are asking for a donation of $50 a spot for the four side spots and $100 for the bottom spot.
We thought it would be nice to offer our studio parents and their businesses first option at sponsorship and 12 month advertising space
If you are interested we would love to hear from you. You can email Suellen on or ring her on 0427 859632 with your pledge or let Gail know and she can pass on your information to the committee.
We will be going out into the community next week so if you can let us know by this Friday 21st September if you would like a spot that would be great.
Thank you for your support.
The Fundraisng Committee


Hi Everyone,

As you know we are taking a team of talented performers to perform at Disneyland next year. It is incredibly exciting. In the lead up to this once in a lifetime opportunity, the performers and their families are embarking upon a fabulous fundraising campaign. Fundraising committees have formed in each of our centres and they are already hard at work. We have some sensational ideas that are going to prove to be loads of fun for everyone. We would appreciate any contribution anyone is willing to make. Your donations, ideas and support of our fundraising enterprises would be very much appreciated. Every little bit is going to help these kids reach for the stars!! Get ready for some good times and join in the fun. I hear that one of Dubbo's first projects is the DADS OF DANCE calendar. 2008 will not be complete without one of these on your walls. This calendar will feature dads in tribute to some of the greatest dance moments from stage and screen. If I was you I'd order your copy soon. These are going to be in demand. There will also be a LAUNCH NIGHT where the "celebrity " dads will be available to personally autograph your copy. This is just the beginning............................


CONCERT- Drum roll please. ………Our theme this year is UNDER THE BIG TOP! We will be delving into the entertaining world of the circus and carnivals to present you with the most spectacular Concert ever. Rehearsals will start Term 4. Costume measurements will take place in class from Monday, 24th September. Jazz students have paid a levy each term for their costume. Classical Ballet, Contemporary and tap students will need to bring a $20 deposit for each costume required in a clearly labeled envelope to class from Monday, 24th September. It is very important that deposits are paid and accounts are up to date to ensure that your child’s costume can be ordered and commenced. All payments are payable to our costume designer, Sonya O’Connor. Stepping Out will not take any responsibility for students who do not have costumes due to accounts being unpaid or deposits not paid. It is also important that students are in class during measurement week. Please`let the studio know in advance if your child will be absent. We also need to know in advance if your child will not be participating in our Concert. For new families, please be aware that our Concert is a very special experience for your child. We have fabulous costumes and employ the services of professional lighting technicians, sound engineers and backdrops to ensure a truly memorable day. A professional video/dvd is available of your child’s performance and we have a photographer at dress rehearsal to capture your child in costume. Colin Rouse will be doing both our photography and video/dvd this year.
TICKETS FOR CONCERT WILL GO ON SALE early December and we will give you plenty of notice of date and time. Please be aware that tickets sell out fast and that there is always a line up for the first day of ticket sales.
Our Concert will be held at the Dubbo Civic Centre on Saturday, December 22nd and will commence at 3pm. Our 2007 Presentation will be held after the Concert.
Dress Rehearsal & Photography will be held on;
Monday 10th December- Dubbo Civic Centre
Tuesday 11th December- Dubbo Civic Centre

(we will aim to have these rehearsals within normal class times but a timetable will be available closer to the event.)
COSTUME COLLECTION will be held on Sunday, 9th December.
Performance Students (eisteddfod groups) will be performing in the Orange Concert on Sunday, 16th December at the Orange Civic Theatre.

CLASSICAL BALLET EXAMINATIONS will be held at our Dubbo studio on Friday, 19th October. There will be classes during the holidays for all of our exam candidates. A separate note with all your exam information will be sent home to those involved with examinations.

NEW STUDENTS-we have welcomed lots of new students this term. Welcome everyone. If anyone knows anyone who is interested in joining us in 2007 please remind them that as we are about to commence Concert, we would like interested students to join up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 2008 enrolments are now open. We hope to have 2008 forms and timetables out before the end of the year.

DANCE SHOP-Our dance shop will be opened from the commencement of Term 4. Our stock is arriving daily and we have some fantastic dancewear on its way. We are now accepting orders so please chat to us about your needs so that we can help you. Our shop will stock all of your dance needs and there will be special discounts for Stepping Out students as well as VIP cards for loyal customers. We are very excited as we are able to bring to Dubbo some new and exciting brands and know as dancers and teachers exactly what the young dancer needs to feel and perform their very best.

ACCOUNTS- These are now well past their due date and late fees will be added. Please rectify any outstanding accounts immediately. It is very important in the lead up to Concert that all fees are up to date. Any changes to classes for Term 4 need to be made known to Gail now.

ORANGE WORKSHOP- Stepping Out has opened a studio in Orange this year and to celebrate we are conducting a workshop on the 7th October. The workshop will run from 9.15am- 4pm and will showcase Classical Ballet, Stretch, Contemporary, Jazz/ Musical Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, Break dancing and Creative Movement classes. There will be both a youth program (5 yrs- 18yrs) as well as a special Adult program. The entire day of classes is $55. If any of our Dubbo students are interested in doing something in the holidays, you are very welcome to attend. Please see Miss Rikki or Miss Leesa for more information or book in with Gail at reception. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!


DUBBO CONCERT- Saturday, 22nd December Dubbo Civic Centre 3pm

Dress Rehearsals- Monday, 10th December and Tuesday, 11th December Dubbo Civic Centre

ORANGE CONCERT- Sunday, 16th December Orange Civic Theatre

Dress Rehearsal- Wednesday, 12th December

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Information will be sent home soon about our Concerts, rehearsals and Costuming.......never fear, we run a fairly tight ship. We are still lamenting where 2007 is going but are certainly onto our Concert Season and already making plans for 2008. Yes, it promises to be even bigger and better than this year. i know, I know.....I can hear the cries of "but how??" Just so people remember Dubbo Concert is Saturday, 22nd December (hear those jingle bells....we had better be good!!) and Orange is Sunday, 16th December. Forbes, hang tight, we are still negotiating your dates with venues but we are thinking early December. (will let you know a.s.a.p) In other news, Miss Leesa and yours truly will be undertaking some master classes in Sydney next weekend in preparation for Concert. Stay tuned for Concert themes!! Stock has started to arrive for our shop (check out my new dance sneakers!!! pretty flash hey?) We just have to give our landlord the wriggle on. I can confidently predict that you all will be shopping by the start of Term 4. I wonder who will be the lucky recipients of our VIP cards?! We are overwhelmed by the response to the ORANGE WORKSHOP- so much so that we have opened up a special Adult Workshop so all the ladies and gents can get jiggy with it. I also heard that our Orange Adult class have been invited to perform in the Grand Concert!! The town has been all abuzz with news of their performance. Orange people, get in early to secure your place for the workshop. Places are filling fast and we are really hoping that we can get to meet as many people as possible in this special intensive day of Dance. Anyway, keep those emails and photos coming. it is always fantastic to hear from you. My computer (not the one I am on) is currently in hospital suffering from OVER-USE-ITIS! meanwhile, I am making do with Immy', I could be on Onny's Barbie laptop but just know my dedication to the blog will not falter.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Wow- what an incredible morning. Big thanks to the B BOYS for the awesome workshop this morning. Check out the pictures.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Brandi & Lissy -The Birthday Girls Miss Rikki celebrating too!!
PHOTOS SUPPLIED BY MELISSA (Lissy) and her new camera

I was busy doing some work (most mums know this can only happen once the kids go to bed and our children are notorious night owls) when David said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!" I had forgotten my own birthday as the clock ticked past midnight. What happened to the days when I would count down months ahead?? Anyway, how could I have truly forgotten? I will teach Tuesday night Charlotte Hoynes, Brandi McGuire & Melissa McDonald who all share a birthday with me. Party at 55 Wheelers Lane- I am just not sure I have the stamina to blow out my candles or whether I should just grab for the fire extinguisher. Anyway, Happy Birthday Girls and Happy Birthday Me!* UPDATE- Thankyou everyone for your birthday greetings. I am just home after sharing a celebration with Grade 4 Ballet and most notably, Melissa and Brandi who both celebrated their 11th Birthdays today. Brandi had cake and candles for us and a lovely gift for me. So spoilt. Instead of warm down,we warmed up with some pizza and cake. It was great fun. Gail surprised me with DREAM SKIRT!! I was beside myself (look out for me at Concert, dream skirt will be adorning me for sure!!) Then Sonya & Beanie did the nicest thing. They arrived with a dessert (very secret recipe) that my nanna used to make and that I haven't had in 26 years. My nanna was Vera May and she was incredibly special to me. (Immy is Imogen VeraMae) I always feel her with me but this sweet just brought her home. WHAT A BIRTHDAY!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


And the Trophy at Orange Eisteddfod goes to.................................

Miss Breanna Kingham. Jenny (Bre's mum) just sent me an update. Unreal! Here is Bre with her trophy. She has certainly picked up a swag of trophies this week.


Here is Jacinta, Breanna & Kirshiah! They have won the Open Trio at both Wellington & Orange Eisteddfods (the only two Eisteddfods entered by them this year!!) They dance to THE LAST POST/BETTER BE HOME SOON and it is one of my favourite routines ever. It makes me cry and a truly great performance should move you. Congratulations Girls!! They got 93 out of 100.


CYMS WON!!-We think our dancers were the real winners of the day though. We were blown away by your professionalism. The music was cued incorrectly by the sound engineer (these things happen) and yet our girls stayed in position like true professionals until it was corrected. Well done and let's face it, your audience wasn't exactly comprised of theatre-goers so you did so well to stay so cool, calm, classy and collected. Thankyou to the mums (our limo drivers) who drove us to the grounds in their 7 seaters. (Narelle, Regina & Sue-Ellen) All vehicles proved to me just how much I really need to clean out my car. And as for our girls well as the gatekeeper said, "alllright, whadda we have here, now here's some goodlooking sheilas!!" Thankyou to our celebrity snapper, Sonya"Redfox" O'Connor for this great photo.


Hi Everyone in Orange,

Thanks so much for all the great emails and enquiries for next year. It has been so fantastic to hear from you and we look forward to meeting you all. We have decided to hold a one day workshop in Orange in the hope that we can meet all these wonderful people and also spend some time on our existing Orange students. So here it is straight from our flyer;
STEPPING OUT DANCE FACTORY HAS OPENED IN ORANGE! Come and experience first hand what makes Stepping Out tuition so special in our first Orange Workshop. In an exciting and innovative day of dance you can meet the faculty of Stepping Out Dance Factory and discover their exciting Curriculum on offer for 2008. Classes will be offered to all ages and all levels in all styles.Only $55 for the whole day! Family discounts apply. Creative movement class only $10. Fully supervised lunch breaks. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL
Limited places available.Go to our website to book your place.SUNDAY 7th OCTOBER!Classical ballet, Musical TheatreJazzHip Hop/, Street dance, Drama, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, Stretch/ Pilates, Creative Movement for under 5’s
Miss Rikki, Miss Leesa & Miss Emma will be there! You can send us your payment to PO BOX 2796, Dubbo 2830 and be quick, places are going fast.


Just a reminder that the guys from the NBD Break team (Sydney) will be at our studio this Sunday 9th September for an exciting 2 hour workshop.

Time 11am- 1pm $15
Where: Stepping Out Dance Factory- 55 Wheelers Lane Dubbo
Studio 3- Juniors (12 yrs and under)
Studio 2- Seniors (13yrs and over)

Make sure you book and pay with Gail at reception before Sunday.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Here we see our resident Grandfather of Dance!! My dad Des O'Connor, he has two loves, his family and football (ok maybe a few other loves like a good yarn or a cold beer could be added to that too!)
Imagine how proud and happy he is that our Performance Team will be on the field dressed in Green & White (go CYMS!!) tomorrow dancing to cheer on the mighty CYMS!! I'm not much of a fan of football but I am a big fan of my DAD!! My dad has supported me and encouraged me and loved me like every little girl deserves to be loved. If I thought he was an amazing Dad he is an even more incredible Grandfather. Dad was in the original CYMS first grade team and scored the first try for CYMS ever. I know he will be cheering us on tomorrow and Leesa and I are so excited that our students can have this fabulous opportunity to perform before an anticipated crowd of 6,000 plus. Imagine the atmosphere!! GO CYMS! GO STEPPING OUT! and of course GO DES-O!!! From all at Stepping Out Dance Factory, we wish all the Dads and Pops and Grandpas the very happiest Fathers Day. You drive us crazy but we love you!