Meet Deb Cantoni: THE SPACE

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Why do you love dance? What does it mean to you?

"Dance is an intrinsic part of the human psyche. Our ancestors danced to celebrate, to tell stories, and to pass knowledge from generation to generation. It is an innate need in so many of us, that without it, we feel that something is missing.

We all have the need to express ourselves creatively and spiritually and dance fulfils so many of these needs."

What kind of dancers could benefit from full time dance at The Space?

"Our full time course is geared towards mature, thinking dancers who want an exceptional dance education in addition to great dance training. Dancers who want to be industry leaders, dancers who want to choreograph and create their own work and dancers who have something to express. The course provides the tools to analyse work, and the guidance to learn how to make your own work."

When auditioning dancers for your course, what are you looking for?

"When we audition dancers, we are looking for potential; we are looking at where we can take the dancer over the two or three years they are with us. It's a long time and a lot can be achieved, but of course the basic foundations, and movement abilities and facilities need to be there for us to build on." 

How does The Space give dancers a safe space to grow and learn?
"For me, dance is a way to connect with people, express myself, listen to great music and forget the rest of the world for a while! Dance is not inherently competitive. Dance is about cooperation and expression; dance is an art form, and not a sport! When we opened The Space in 2001, we saw so many dance schools working from a place of harshness; trying to toughen up dancers and make them more "competitive", and breaking them in the process.

We had seen so many people that lost their love of dance as a result of the way they had been treated, that we decided we would never allow that to happen at The Space. The Space has always embodied a culture of respect. Respect for our staff, respect for our teachers, respect for students and respect for our society and environment. This results in a space where people can feel safe to try new things, to express who they really are and just love to dance!"

How do dancers feel when they graduate from The Space?

"Our graduates feel empowered to build their career - whether that is in dance performance or elsewhere. They have developed as people and dancers over their time at The Space and know that they always have the support of The Space as they begin their career. Graduates have found diverse pathways including Major Musicals, Backup Dancers for music artists, Commercial Dance Work, Dance Company Work, Cruise Ships, Teaching, Production Work, Dance Marketing and much more."

Elysia Baker