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The Teachers VIP Room!

Rather than attending as a chaperone, we understand that the Australian Dance Festival represents a fantastic opportunity to network and learn from your industry peers and leaders.

As an industry, dance studios and teachers have had to show a heroic amount of resilience and strength to pivot our businesses and teaching systems and adapt to Covid-19.  In 2022, the Teachers Room will be a place to share our experiences, heal our trauma, and gain knowledge and skills to adapt and prepare for the future.

We are working on the workshop schedule for the Teachers Room and aim to have it published by mid-late July.  Each session will be priced at approx $25-$30 with some special workshops priced at a higher price.

Anyone who has already purchased a Teachers Price prior to 22 June 2020 will have their pass converted to a Chaperone pass worth $90 and have the option of either a refund for the balance, or a credit for the individual workshop sessions.


See below the 2019 Teachers VIP room Schedule as a Reference. 
The 2022 schedule will be released in mid - late January



10am - 11.15am

Taking Dance In Your Primary / High School from Zero to HERO

If you are teaching dance in a primary or high school, and you want to get some ideas about how to grow the dance program and get the support of your school principal, then this workshop is for you.  

Katrina Cluff (Pymble Ladies College)
Kym Degenhart (Namadgi School)

11.30am - 12.45pm

Why & How Should I get VET accreditation for the dance programs at my school

VET in schools is now a growing trend.  In this must attend workshop you will:

- Find out exactly what it is
- Why these qualifications are important
- How offering them in your school or studio can build impact, credibility, quality and a strong succession for dance into the future

This discussion will open the lid on the potential of your dance program to produce incredible results.

Gabby Robinson (Empower Dance)
Nicole Wells (Dance Force)
Kym Deganhart (Bom Funk Dance Studio)

12.45pm - 1.15pm

Short Break For Lunch

Complimentary food and beverages will be available in the Teachers VIP room courtesy of Empower Dance

1.15pm - 2.00pm

Best Practices with Veteran Studio Owners

Your chance to ask successful and experienced Studio Owners in the room how to solve your biggest challenges.   One of the best things about the Australian Dance Festival is how it brings studio owners from all over the country (and also from NZ!) together.  This is an amazing opportunity to access the collective wisdom and experience in the Teachers VIP Room.

Michelle Heine (Legs Dance Studio, ACT)
Michelle Williams (House of Dance, TAS)
Abbe Bradbury (Dynamite Studios, QLD)

2.15pm - 3.15pm

Speed Dating: Studio Owners & Suppliers

Looking for reliable suppliers for your uniforms, footwear and costumes?  Want to get the inside info on how to get best prices and ensure that your order and delivery process are headache free? 

Come along to this valuable speed dating session where you might meet your prince charming of costumes, or your fairy god mother of uniforms!

3.15pm- 4.15pm

"Professional Time" - Bubbles & Games

It's time to have a few minutes away from the kids to have "Adult" time.  For teachers only!
One of last year’s favourite sessions!  Come join us for champagne, pr a non-alcoholic beverage Plus fun games and the opportunity to win prizes from some of our exhibitors.

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9:30am - 10:30am

How to access the best choreographers in the world for your dance studio!

Presented by Rick Tjia (via Skype)

This is a must attend for both choreographers and studio owners.  Imagine an "Amazon" for choreography where a choreographer can sell their choreographies to a world wide market, and where studio owners can now legally utilise the choreography of some of the best creatives in the world!  

In this session we will introduce you to Choreography Online - an online platform that sells performance rights for dance choreography on behalf of choreographers all over the world.

You will get to meet and speak to Rick Tjia, CEO and co-founder of Choreography Online.  Rick is an international choreographer and judge. He has a reputation of leading dance and theatre practice worldwide.

After an extensive career in dance and acting that includes performances with Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet and Delta Festival Ballet, as well as work in film and television in L.A. in jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, acting, and production (working with choreographers like Twyla Tharp, Joe Layton, and with film directors like Mark Rydell, and James Brooks), Rick joined La La La Human Steps in Montreal in 1993, with whom he danced and toured the world for 8 years.


Rick has performed in over 25 countries and 100 cities. Today, Rick also keeps a close eye on the artistic scene both at home and abroad in search of talent and inspiration through the Casting Department at Cirque du Soleil, where he has been as a Talent Scout for dancers in since 2004.

10:45am - 12noon

Pre-Schoolers Program, How to attract and retain your students from an early age.

Simone Cadell (Tiny Tutus)
Claire O'Connor (CEO of Baby Ballet)

Every dance studio should have a pre-schoolers program!  Why? Parents of pre-schoolers are actively looking for things to keep their tiny tots busy.  Get in early on this easy to attract target market, foster a love of dance before you have to compete with school programs, football, netball etc. and you’ll be guaranteeing the future enrolments of your school.

Simone’s dance studio (Tiny Tutus) specialises ONLY in tiny tots, teaching over 3,000 students every week.  She will give you her reasons why she only focuses on this market.

Not sure how to structure and deliver a great pre-school program that will retain your students? Claire O'Connor, Founder & CEO of Baby Ballet you will walk away with your own solution or a ready made solution.

12:30pm - 2:00pm

Lunch break (Q&A with Michael Dameski & Marko Panzic)

This will be in the Netball Centre (Courts 4/5).  Michael Dameski is the ultimate dance competitor and has been bringing attention to Australian Dancers by coming runner up in NBC's World of Dance.  What are the secrets to Michael's success, and what plans does he have for the future?  Find out what it takes to be the ultimate dance competitor!  Proudly sponsored by KAR Australia & Rainbow Australia

2:15pm - 3:15pm

“And 5,6,7,8” - Key numbers you need to be monitoring to ensure the success of your dance studio business

Presented by Angela Lau, director of the Australian Dance Festival & Ben Stokes (Studio Savvy)

Before establishing the ADF, Angela Lau was an accounting & marketing professional, and a certified Business Coach with the Better Business Institute.  In this fun and informative session, she will walk you through the key numbers you need to focus on to run a successful business. If you’ve ever wondered at how the ADF was built as a successful business and wish to experience the same success, then here’s your chance to find out!

Co-presented by Ben Stokes, Studio Savvy.  Ben has been in the business of running dance classes since the age of 15.  He has now established Studio Savvy to simplify the business of running a studio...but making it INCREDIBLE! 

.As a great compliment to Angela’s “fun numbers”, Ben will share his tried and true strategies for making the numbers manifest for your business.

This session will run for 2 hours with a 15 minute break in between

3.30pm - 4.30pm

How To Get Your Students Employed

In this session, we will explore 3 different perspectives on how to prepare your students to work in the dance industry.  Hear from an Agent, a dance teacher, and one of the most sought after working dancers in the USA on what it takes to be a successful professional in the dance industry.

Jenina Evans (Jenina's Dance Workshop, TAS)

Trish Squire-Rogers (Spectrum Talent Agency, VIC)
Mallauri Esquibel (NRG Australia)

Marko Panzic (Show Business)

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9:30am - 10:00am

Should You Have Acro in Your Studio?

Presented by Megan Bolton

More Info Coming Soon

10:15am - 11:15am

Stretching for Hypermobile bodies

More Info Coming Soon

11.30am - 12.30pm

Studio Culture, Leading from the Outside

Panel:  Rebecca Liu-Brennan, William Centurion, Marko Panzic

The people who teach for your studio and the students & parents who attend your studio are the living embodiment of your studio culture.  How they present, engage with each other and the wider community is at the very heart of your business.  

What is your studio culture and what is your role in shaping it?

This session will focus on how to set expectations and boundaries, foster a studio culture that you can be proud of and that will be more effective than any marketing campaign.  We will provide you with tools on how to communicate and give/receive feedback from all the stakeholders in your studio i.e. staff, students and parents.

2.45pm - 3.45pm

Engage Your Students More With Innovative Teaching Practices

Techniques to flip your classroom so that your students can experience a new way of learning.  This is an invaluable tool that will get your students to self-correct, improve and have the growth mind-set required to become the best dancers they can be.

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For profiles on all our amazing speakers, please click on the photo below

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Who's The Boss of the Teacher's VIP Room? Gabrielle Robinson!

We have appointed a very special person to champion our Teachers' Room.  We are proud to announce our partnership with Gabrielle Robinson from Empower Dance.  


Gabby positions herself in the Teacher's VIP Room as the facilitator who is curious about how we all contribute to the industry and how we can bring more impact. She brings a perspective that serves, supports and educates all who are present.  

Gabrielle is uniquely placed to champion the Teacher's VIP Room as she has the perspective and experience of being;

  • A Dance Teacher

  • A Full Time Studio Owner

  • A Business Coach

  • A NLP Practitioner

  • The Director of her own Registered Training Organisation

  • An Entrepreneur

Since being involved with the Australian Dance Festival in 2015, Gabrielle has expressed a passion for the event and has a vision for how the event can be used to help dance teachers.

"After being involved in these incredible dance teachers sessions last year,  it occurred to me that dance teachers from all genres, have very few opportunities to network, gather information and build their teachers tool kit.

It is becoming increasingly important for dance teachers to keep their finger on the pulse and be committed to their own continuous improvement.

It's the teachers that are present in these sessions, and spend time with prominent people in the industry, that are developing the new generation of dance brilliance and creating a strong shift for the future of the dance industry"
- Gabrielle Robinson

About Gabrielle Robinson:

With over 25 years of experience in the studio, Gabrielle Robinson has worked with companies, studios and in schools, dancing and running workshops, programs and classes.  

The extent of her knowledge far outreaches the two studio locations, 1200 students and 40 staff she coaches and employs.  Being the director of South Australia’s original self built Registered Training Organization, and the largest private provider of year 11 and 12 dance, Gabrielle takes pride in her ability to build culture and community around her.  A registered RAD teacher she also is a service provider for studios in need of support and has consulted for RAD regional advisory panel Ausdance SA.
As a side note… Gabrielle has extensive qualifications which she puts to good use with businesses needing developing and a fresh approach.  Business coaching, and health coaching brought together by her training in NLP has opened the space for her to create a dance specific APP, a practice companion for teachers, which is linked to a website for students to take home to practice with. Aside from the massive improvement in the quality of student work, the Buddy income generator is also a fantastic opportunity for studios to grow their profits.