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Our Story

Dragonfly Dance. Become yourself.

Welcome to Dragonfly Dance, the premier dance studio for adults in Adelaide.

Founded in 2004, we believe in lifelong dance, and offer dance classes and performance opportunities for adults of ALL ages.

Keep reading to discover more about our:

philosophy

origin story

name

Our philosophy

Dragonfly Dance is underpinned by the belief that dance is a fundamental part of being human, and that it doesn't matter way age you are, dance can enrich your life. We are dedicated to providing opportunities to dance for adults of all ages.  We take you seriously, regardless of how many years you've lived and whatever your starting point is.  We meet you where you are, and encourage you to spread your wings and fly.

Vision

A world where any adult who wants to can identify as a dancer, because they dance.

Mission

To create opportunities for adult dancers to pursue and fulfil their dance dreams and aspirations.

Purpose

To address the yearning to dance that many adults experience, and to do it in a way that makes them feel as if they have come home, as if they belong, as if dancing is a perfectly nature and legitimate thing for them to be doing.  To encourage them to have dreams and aspirations and to support them in fulfilling them, and to help break down the barriers that keep them from dancing.

Values

Belonging and connection

 

Kindness and encouragement

 

Acceptance/celebration of all bodies

 

Fun, laughter and play

 

Courage, imagination and creativity

 

Joy, happiness and wellbeing

Our origin story

from founder, Jo McDonald

Dragonfly Dance founder Jo McDonald as a teenager

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a professional dancer.  I started down that path, but got sidetracked by life.  I thought I had closed that door behind me, and could never open it again. But then I found a way back to dance. Now, my life's work is about holding that door open for others, whether they are just starting, continuing, or returning to dance.

After leaving the full time dance program at University of Adelaide (then the College of Advanced Education), I returned to a suburban dance school where I was able to finish my training in ballet and modern dance.  That was where I started my teacher training and came up with the idea of creating a performance group for adult dancers.

The performance group began in 2004 with eight dancers, and we called ourselves Move Through Life.  After our debut performance, we were addicted, and went on to create many more performance seasons for over a decade. Our class program began as one class - the company class - and then grew into several classes a week.

11 years of company performances
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In 2015, the performance group went on hiatus, and I focussed on growing the class program, which is now at over 30 classes a week.  For most of our existence, we were hiring halls and our classes were located over several locations (at one stage we had more than 10).

 

In 2022, we were finally able to lease our own premises, in the beautiful Roxy Theatre, which gave us room to grow, created a home for our community, and gave our dancers access to first rate facilities, including sprung floors, tarket, mirrors, barres, and so much more.

After several years, we re-introduced performance opportunities, starting with small, intimate performances for our students in the halls we hired.  In 2020, the performance company was relaunched, along with a second company offered for dancers aged over 50.  In 2021, we held our first Student Showcase held at Brighton Performing Arts Centre, and featuring over 80 of our students.

In 2022, when we moved into our new home, we also changed our name from Move Through Life to Dragonfly Dance.

Behind our name

Imagine spending most of your life underwater; waiting to surface, destined to fly. Now imagine the unfolding of wings. At last, you are ready. And flying is such joy.

 

For 17 years we were Move Through Life, now we are Dragonfly Dance. Why? Because, like our new namesake, we understand that the chance to fly is worth the wait. Just as the dragonfly’s story is one of remarkable transformation, so too is ours. Yours.

 

You thought you couldn’t. Too old, too young. Not good enough. Over it. Until, like the dragonfly, you found your wings. They were always there, waiting for you to catch up. Once, underwater, you could only dream of the sky. Now, in your mature form, the sky’s the limit.

 

Dragonfly Dance is for the dancer inside you. For the you inside you. The magical, whimsical, beautiful you. Grow into yourself, move into your body, find your true form. Stay fit and have fun. Connect and create. Flex, flourish and fly.

 

We know how good it feels to dance; and we know that it can feel like flying. So we look past the appearance and focus on the experience. You are already a dancer. Our job is to unclip your wings.

Welcome, dragonfly. You are hereby invited to the sky – where there is space for every dancer.

 

Dragonfly Dance. Become yourself.

Five ways that adult dancers are like dragonflies

1

 

Like adult dancers, the winged insect we call dragonflies are adults.  Before they become an adult, they are first an egg, then a larvae, or nymph

2

 

Dragonflies are a powerful symbol of change and transformation, and dance has the ability to transform people and their lives (as attested to by many of our members over the years)

3

 

Dragonflies move in all directions (up, down, forward, backward, around, sideways) and are agile and powerful hunters.  Dancers are also agile and powerful and have the ability to move in all directions

4

Dragonflies are graceful, as are dancers

5

 

Dragonflies are iridescent, changing colour when looked at from different angles, which is like adult dancers – to others, they might be a partner, parent, child, co-worker, friend, employee.  But they have more than one identity.  They are also dancers.  So they too change, depending on how you look at them.

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