Catching up with Miss Tara from Bambino Ballet!

Catching up with Miss Tara from Bambino Ballet!

We love meeting our community, and furthermore, we delight in learning what passions they have, how they were discovered, and how it impacts others!

This month, we had the privilege of speaking with Miss Tara from Bambino Ballet. A mother, teacher, and creative - join us as we celebrate her talents and delve into her story.  

Backstage with Tara Greenway

(Backstage with Tara Greenway)

Tara, thank you for joining us! Can you tell us about your dance journey. Where did it start and how has it evolved over the years? 

My dance journey began when my dad's mum noticed my passion for movement. She suggested to my mum that I take classes and so I was enrolled in a school at the age of 4. 

The initial school wasn't a success, and so I was quickly moved to ‘Dubbo Ballet Studio’ - the love affair began there.

Miss Suzanne Duffy (nee Ramsay) was my first ballet teacher, and she was a goddess to me. She was so graceful and mesmerising and I don't think I would have welcomed ballet into my life as fervently as I did if it wasn't for my adoration of her. Besides ballet teaching, my teacher over the years also became mother to 7 children, she was a practicing painter and she did and still does make tutus from scratch!

Ballet was my absolute passion through childhood,  and movement generally keeps me grounded and sane. At 16 I was given the opportunity to apprentice alongside Miss Suzanne and gradually I was given small classes to teach in exchange for ballet lessons of my own. I fell into teaching quite easily and realised how much of a natural leader I was (teaching experience and being eldest to 6 children combined!).

Between finishing school and starting university I took a break from dancing and teaching all together. I guess I wanted to see whether there were other avenues to explore. During my years at the University of Sydney studying Fine Art, I taught ballet for a few dance schools to pay rent and one week into my Honours degree I realised  - ballet teaching was what made my heart sing! 

Tara and her students featured in the Donna Hay Magazine (2011)

      (Miss Tara and her students featured in Donna Hay Magazine 2011)

My own ballet school was brought to life in 2007 and it has been an uphill journey of love, passion, tears, frustration, learnings, disappointment, delirium, marriage, babies, loss, closure, readjustments and joy ever since. 

Wow, what an incredible path of discovery! What age groups do you teach, and how do you prepare for classes to create engagement and movement exploration? 

I have taught all age groups including antenatal and natal classes and my eldest students were in their late 70s. My focus however is on the preschool age group at the moment.

After specialising in teaching this age group for 17 years now, the lesson planning is down pat and the rhythm is intuitive. My inspiration for the classes are based upon a term theme which is adapted for age appropriate learning, and the music is very important to me because it is our storyteller. 

Students feel safe when they are familiar with a routine and so our opening and closings class circles are always the same format.

Engagement with students is, in my opinion what creates the fluidity of the class, my style is hands-on, comforting and personal. Remembering student names is the number one rule of engagement; they feel welcomed, loved and included. 

Tara in the studio teaching           
 (Miss Tara in studio)

The theme might follow an under sea adventure for example and within that we will explore all types of boisterous movements, fine motor skills, group learning, solo explorations, team work, muscle strengthening all intermingled with correct ballet terminology and posture building. At the core of it all is fun! 

As a teacher over the years, what have been some of your favourite highlights when working with students? 

I really love watching parent's faces when they've watched their child for weeks attempt to learn something new and then they finally do it! I love those proud little moments, the ones that create endeared memories.

Creating rituals and fun around events are also highlights, as well as bringing a show to life! It is unreal.

A couple of my students were also accepted into the Australian Ballet School ITP and they were momentous occasions.

But most of all, I love working one on one with students; so many beautiful student/teacher bonds were formed this way.

(Miss Tara teaching)

I can completely relate to those proud moments! When teaching young minds, in your opinion, how do they best connect with movement and music, and experience moments of wonderment? 

In my opinion and in my experience, by getting on their level and seeing the world they see. It's always about understanding what is important to them at the time; trivial or not. Once you remove yourself from the space and offer yourself to them as a space holder the magic happens. 

I love planting little seeds throughout the class and by the end of the lesson we have created a story together verbally and non verbally. 

Your interests and projects reflect that  of an enthusiast and multipotentialite - someone with many interests, skills, and creative pursuits. A multipotentialite is known for having 3 Superpowers: Idea SynthesisRapid Learning, and Adaptability. As a mother, a teacher, a film director, show producer and costume maker, how do you feel these powers come into play in all your roles?

Wow! I have never heard of this term before - thank you! I feel that being a mother encapsulates all of those superpowers, wouldn't you agree!?! 

In honesty I became a much calmer and empathic teacher once I became a mother, albeit busier; I evolved into a more relaxed version of my self. 

AND dance teaching is the amped up version of motherhood - you are literally adapting to all possible situations inside and outside the classroom, learning alongside each student and their unique capabilities and thinking on the spot!!! x50 x100 x150.

Tara Greenway
(Tara Greenway)

I absolutely agree! What else has been on your creative slate? 

Well, I had the honour of performing again last September! It was in a style totally out of my comfort zone, but that is all part of the learning. 

Of course there was an end of year showcase of sorts for the Bambino Ballerinas!

In 2023 Bambino Ballet classes will be on the road offering Pop-uo classes in and around the Mid North Coast and I will be realising my dream of a fully fledged and thriving adult ballet school! I will be also facilitating at the renowned Camp Creative Bellingen.

Tara, you are an absolute force, and we can’t wait to see what you do in 2023! Thank you for speaking with us!

 

 

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