The state of being strong and active; energy.

The Full Day Program will be announced soon, but here is your line-up of inspiring and powerful speakers. Keep tabs on this page, as more speakers and special guests are announced in the coming weeks....

VDF

TEACHER
DAY

Vitality
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TRAVIS WALL

sponsored by ENERGETIKS
& DANCE INFORMA

Travis Wall is a two-time Emmy winning choreographer best known for his award winning work on So You Think You Can Dance.
 

Travis has been dancing since he was 3 years old, training with his mother at Denise Wall Dance Energy. In his early years, Travis performed on the Showstopper American Dance Championships television show, where he, along with Dance Energy, won the competition. Travis first got his career started at nine where he was known as the "Dr. Pepper Boy" in their national TV commercial.  He made his Broadway debut in the 2001 revival of The Music Man, playing the roles of Eddie Mason and Barney Hix and understudying the young male lead, Winthrop. As a young dancer Travis won many regional and national dance titles, including Outstanding Male Teen Dancer (in 2003), and he was featured in the book Moving Still: A Live Performance, and later toured with the stage show of the same name.  He has also performed with the American Dance Artists Company. 
 

In 2006, he became the runner-up on So You Think You Can Dance USA, where he later toured with the top 10 dancers as the dance captain. Travis has since become a SYTYCD staple, choreographing for every season and being nominated for nine Emmy’s for his work, as well as choreographing for Dancing with the Stars and the Step Up movie franchise. Travis is in high-demand, working on projects like The Academy Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards and with companies and artists like Los Angeles Ballet, Florence and the Machine, Chelsea Handler, Eminem, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato and many more.
 

Travis had his own television series, All the Right Moves, where he formed a dance company with fellow artists Teddy Forance, Nick Lazarini and Kyle Robinson. That company, Shaping Sound, has since become widely popular and toured the US to sellout crowds.

 

Wall has stared in several films and even choreographed a floor exercise routine for Olympic All-Around Champion Nastia Liukin!

 

Working between LA and New York, Travis never stops creating. He can’t wait to be at VDF Melbourne thanks to Dance Informa and Energetiks.

Marie Walton-Mahon

Marie Walton-Mahon is the founder and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed Progressing Ballet Technique program which is in high demand in over 40 countries. She has trained PBT directors who are presenting workshops under the PBT banner in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Europe and Russia.

 

Marie comes to VDF with many tips, tricks and practical exercises to share with dance teachers for building strong students with efficient and safe technique, core strength, stability and balance.

 

“Marie Walton-Mahon has taught many of the world’s most accomplished dancers. It is wonderful that she is sharing her technique through this program to the wider dance community. It is a great tool for teachers and dancers alike.” David McAllister, Artistic Director, The Australian Ballet.

 

In 2016 the Progressing Ballet Technique membership online training portal for teachers was launched to enable teachers to become certified through the program, with already over 4000 members worldwide!

 

Marie was formerly an artist with “Les ballet de Marseille” under the direction of the late great Roland Petit. Since performing she has been known for her innovative teaching skills for over four decades and has trained many professional dancers enjoying careers all over the world. Marie has a Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management and is a life member of the Royal Academy of Dance. She has been a respected Royal Academy of Dance examiner for all levels including Solo Seal. She is also a tutor for the RAD having given courses for 15 years to teachers both Nationally and Internationally.

 

Marie commenced teaching in 1974 opening her school in Newcastle and remained Principal and Founder of the Marie Walton-Mahon Dance Academy for 38 years. In 2007 she founded the National College of Dance in Newcastle; a full-time course delivering a Certificate 111, IV and Diploma courses. Currently Marie is the Principal of the Tanya Pearson Academy’s part-time training school in Sydney.


Marie has so much to share and is delighted to speak at Vitality Teacher Day.

MATT LEE

sponsored by CAPEZIO

Matt Lee has just returned to Australia from travelling the UK in his Helpmann Award-winning role as Bert in Mary Poppins the Musical. The Motion Capture Artist for the lovable Mumble from Happy Feet, Matt Lee has a huge list of impressive stage credits including, Singin’ in the Rain, Miss Saigon, The Boy from Oz alongside Hugh Jackman, We Will Rock You, The Witches of Eastwick, Rent, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Grease the Arena Spectacular, Oh! What A Night…and the list goes on. 
 

Film credits include Happy Feet and Happy Feet 2, Scooby Doo and playing Johnno in Bootmen. 
 

Matt has choreographed for pop legends like Paula Abdul, Ricky Martin, Timomatic, Sister2Sister, Nathaniel Willemse and Hilary Duff, and for shows like Australia’s Got Talent, The Voice, The Logies, and Australian Idol, PLUS we all remember him as a judge and choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance Australia.


Now Matt will be at VDF for the very first time, thanks to Capezio!

jane grech

Jane Grech is the co-founder and Creative Director of ‘JG Creative’, an Australian company dedicated to the development and provision of high quality services to Dance and Education. Her brands include Jane Grech Dance Centre, Pirouettes Dancewear, Dance Studio Success with Jane Grech and DanceStep Student Teacher Education Program.

 

An author, speaker and sought after thought leader on the topics of dance education, entrepreneurship and leadership, Jane is passionate about engaging, motivating and inspiring others to lead significant and fulfilled lives.

 

Embracing opportunities to encourage and support dance studio owners Jane works as a Leadership and Studio Growth Coach with Dance Studio Owners Association and is a regular contributor to Dance Informa Magazine, Dance Studio Owners Association and her own blog, Dance Studio Success.


Jane has three children and runs JG Creative with her husband, Brian.

She is a passionate campaigner for cultivating a joy filled life.

chantelle bruinsma duffield

An acclaimed teacher, Chantelle Bruinsma [BMus (MusEd)] grew up performing in musicals before pursuing opera and later choral conducting as a passion. As an educator, Chantelle has sat on multiple Performing Arts Boards and acted as an Ambassador for national organisations such as Music Count Us In, ABC’s Sing Books, Schools Spectacular and The Arts Unit.


Whilst studying for her teaching degree, Chantelle founded a successful performing arts studio, which over four years spread to six venues across Sydney. With rapid growth, a team of 35 teachers and 1000+ students, it was not long before Chantelle was approached to share her strategies with other studio owners as a coach and mentor and quickly reached capacity with her Studio Expansion private clients.


Turning Studio Expansion into an online community in 2013 was the turning point in her reach and influence. Studios from every corner of the globe have attracted more students, boosted retention, built a loyal team and systemised their studios thanks to her online programs. Organisations such as Dance Informa Magazine, Kindermusik International and Jackrabbit Studio Management Software have engaged Chantelle to bring vision to their members.


Chantelle is on a mission to redefine studio business and help studio owners step into the next level of success in their studios, experiencing more passion, more profits and more purpose than ever before. The Studio Expansion community is a sanctuary for studio owners, giving them not only the practical resources and strategies to succeed, but also the supportive network that enables them to thrive.

 

When not travelling for speaking engagements or to work with her beloved clients, Chantelle lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband Travis and daughter Madeline. 

KATRINA RANK

Dr Katrina Rank is a practicing educator and dance artist, contributing to national and international dance education programs, in schools, the community and across all ages and abilities.
 

She graduated from the Australian Ballet School in 1984 and performed professionally in Australia and in the UK, with The Australian Ballet, The Dancers Company, Northern Ballet Theatre (UK) and Victorian State Opera as well as an independent contemporary dance artist on stage and in film. She continues to make and perform dance work, most recently for the BOLD Festival, Canberra (March 2017) and Mature Moves (October 2016).


Katrina is Director of Education and Lifelong Learning for Ausdance Victoria and is responsible for supporting teachers in their teaching practice, developing programs and resources and liaising with government and other agencies to improve dance education outcomes throughout Australia. Katrina is a registered teacher with a Bachelor of Education. She completed a PHD, Contemporary Arts (Dance) from Deakin University in 2001.

Her current dance work focuses on Dance across the lifespan, from early childhood to senior years. Her current teaching practice includes teaching in community with parents and bubs, delivering dance in primary schools, leading adult dance in community and in semi-professional contexts and within health programs such as Dance for Parkinson’s and in aged care settings.


Katrina has received numerous awards and opportunities including the Darebin Risk Residency (2018), the Caroline Plummer Fellowship (Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand), and Arts Victoria residencies (2007 and 2010). In 2018, she won the Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance Education.


Katrina comes to VDF Teacher Day thanks to the amazing support of Ausdance Victoria. www.ausdancevic.org.au

WILL CENTURION
We are so honoured to have WILL CENTURION with us at Melbourne Zoo for Teacher Day!

As a dancer, singer and actor in the music theatre industry, William Centurion has over 20 years of international experience. Will’s numerous Australian theatre credits include the national tours of A Chorus Line, West Side Story, The King and I, The Lion King, Aladdin and In The Heights. He also appeared as part of the Top 20 in So You Think You Can Dance Australia 2010.

After graduating from the Australian College of Applied Psychology, Will retired from performing to focus on integrating his stage experience and knowledge of Psychology, to create mental health services that target the needs of Australian performers. 

Using Solution-Focused Therapy, Positive Psychology and Therapeutic Life Coaching, Will is helping dancers navigate the many challenges of the industry including performance anxiety, self-confidence issues, negative self talk, goal setting and career transitioning.

Together with Performance Medicine in Melbourne, Will is providing a platform where performers can access the resources they need to enhance their psychological well-being and enjoy sustainable careers in the performing arts.

We can't wait to hear from Will!

EILIDH DRAGOVIC

Eilidh Dragovic was awarded a scholarship to study at London Contemporary Dance School, UK, where she completed her BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance in 2002.

Upon completing her studies she worked as the Youth Dance Development Officer for citymovesdancespace Aberdeen, Scotland and was also the Assistant Director of Elevate Youth Dance Company, Scotland’s leading touring youth dance company.
 

In 2008/2009 Eilidh was awarded an Artist in Schools grant by Arts Victoria to deliver a dance program at Port Phillip Specialist School in Melbourne. From 2009 – 2014 Eilidh was a key team member at Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance where she managed the Curriculum and Course Development of the Full Time Course. During this time Eilidh also established the Full Time Course as a nationally accredited institute of training delivering Certificate IV in Dance and Diploma in Dance (Elite Performance).

In 2012 Eilidh was on the board for the creation of Australia’s national qualification Certificate IV in Musical Theatre.

From 2014 – 2016 Eilidh was appointed as the Dance Lecturer for Federation University Arts Academy, Ballarat, where she lectured dance and coordinated all dance courses for both the BA Music Theatre and BA Acting programs. In 2015 Eilidh completed a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Training specializing in blended online learning in the performing arts sector. During 2015 Eilidh was awarded a substantial grant from Federation University to create and implement online learning resources for injury prevention.
 

Eilidh completed a Diploma in Remedial Massage in 2008 at the Australian College of Massage. As a Remedial Massage Therapist Eilidh’s specialty is injury prevention for dancers. In 2014 Eilidh was invited to join the Board of Ausdance Victoria as a specialist in dance education and completed her full 4 year term in 2018.
 

In July 2016 Eilidh accepted the opportunity to return to Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance as Director of Education and Business Development.

Eilidh Dragovic has so much knowledge to share!

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