In this 5 part series I will be discussing the top 5 Values of Port Macquarie Performing Arts and how these values shape your child’s dance education experience with us. So much of what we teach is not practical dance steps. Whilst there are a lot of those too, the real lessons your child learns in the PMPA dance studio will be shaping the person they are becoming not just in the studio, but in the world.

Equality… what does this mean to you?

Dance has a reputation for being an elitist sport. Classical Ballet started in the royal courts in Europe and was not danced by the peasants of the country… boy have we come a long way from there. Unfortunately dance still has a stigma attached to it, that dance is not for everybody. NOT AT PMPA.

At PMPA, we have deliberately curated a curriculum that caters for for all ages and all abilities. We have classes for anyone who wants to try dance, no matter their age or previous experience. 

Our Dance As Therapy program came about as a way of including young dancers who didn’t enjoy our mainstream classes due to the sensory overload these classes developed. 

We run classes for new mums, for babies, for toddlers, for young children, for teenagers and for adults. We run classes for just boys, for just girls, for all gender associations. We run classes in multiple genres in order to give dancers the chance to try new styles. We run classes after school for kids who attend mainstream education and classes during the day for homeschoolers.

And importantly, you will find that we do not audition our dancers for any of the classes we conduct. We do not audition our dancers for our performance programs. We want to give all dancers the opportunity to succeed in a dance class, to feel good about themselves and their training. As long as a dancer fits the age group and can master the techniques relevant for that level class by participating in the required classes (eg. 2x ballet classes/wk for performance classes), we welcome all dancers into our programs. 

In our performance classes, this sometimes means a challenge for our teachers who have to cater to a number of different learning styles. Our teachers are passionate, qualified and experienced in this and as a staff group we participate in constant professional development across a wide range of genres in order to stay as up to date with current trends and teaching styles as we can. It does mean though in our performance groups, we are not always the most competitive on stage. But part of our studio values is the fact that we value inclusivity over plastic trophies. You will see this in the way we rotate positions frequently in routines and that different dancers are featured in different styles. We want all dancers to feel they are being given the opportunity to show off their strengths and to work on their weaknesses. This is of great importance to us at PMPA.

This is why we find that dance families who are highly competitive, that want to create elite groups of dancers in order to win prizes at local competitions, don’t last long at PMPA. We are about teaching our dancers to be team players, to include their peers and to be motivated intrinsically to do better.

We want our dancers to be kind to each other, to make an effort to build up others, and to help each other become the best versions of themselves. Importantly, we do not play dancers off against each other just for the chance to win a prize. We are about something so much bigger than that.

At PMPA, we are breaking the mould of what dance was. Dance is for Everyone. We thank you for joining us in our quest to get everyone dancing.