Dance had made me feel so good in my life, that I want to make people to feel good too. Every time I teach a class, I feel a little bit lucky I still can do this
I started dancing, taken by hand by my mum to a local studio when I was a little girl. I fell in love with it. I also used to watch a lot of musical theatre with my parents. Influenced by that, by the age of 10, I decided to start to jazz and tap dance classes.
In my earlier days as a dancer, I thought I would never be a ballerina, but later I fell in love with ballet too and got hooked. To be honest, I fell in love with dance in general. I love everything. Dance as a discipline, as a social aspect, as a performance aspect. From that local school I kept dancing and never stopped.
The turning point to transform the passion of dance into something else was in high school. They created a careers event. I recall vividly reading a book when I first realised that being a dancer could a be professional path, and one I could possibly follow. Around that time I started full-time dance training at Sheila Laing Academy of Performing Arts in Adelaide.
In that period, I went hard and kept a routine between 6 to 8 hours a day, experimenting different styles of dance, such as ballet, Flamenco, commercial dance, and hip hop. Later I did another full-time course at Brent Street Performing Arts School in Sydney.
I also started to auditioning and performing, which lead to my Performance Diploma. One thing lead to another and I found myself fascinated with anatomy and how the body works, which lead me into fitness. I am a qualified Pilates instructor through Studio Pilates and a qualified personal trainer through The Australian Institute of Fitness.
Growing up in a large family with Italian background, I was always surrounded by music, dance and singing. All these facets of arts in my life made me love performing arts in all its forms and I believe they can uplift you and take you to another level like anything else.
I teach jazz and tap at Dragonfly Dance. I love dance because it´s fun. Also, it´s a physical activity where you also work out your brain, which can be so beneficial for someone´s mental health and can heal people. I find it amazing how the brain does a work-out while we´re dancing. It’s what leads the body to move. Especially when I’m tapping, no matter what it´s going on in my life, I’m 100% focused on the complexity of getting the rhythm to music, the steps and the movements.
I like the technicality and the athletically of jazz. I love how it´s such a broad style that you can go in so many directions. You can also develop a specific class just to explore the use of heels, which is an element of jazz. The fact that each style or jazz routine is a chance of put a character on and become someone else, like an actress that explore another version of you.
I love seeing the students coming out of their shells, because I was a shy kid when I was younger. Dance had made me feel so good in my life, and I want to make people to feel good too. Every time I teach a class, I feel a little bit lucky I still can do this.
Overall dance is great also because it´s creative and inclusive. You get to know new people and build a community around dance. Coming to a dance class enables you to listen to your favourite songs, dance along, and laugh at yourself. My biggest goal as a teacher is to pass on the knowledge that I have, develop new skills and share the passion for dance. Doing that, I hope I can help students feel more confident, not only about dance but about themselves in their lives.
Biography and qualifications
Qualified Personal Trainer with Cert 3 and 4, through the Australian Institute of fitness
Mat Pilates instructor, through Studio Pilates
Strength for Life instructor, through COTA SA
Commonwealth Society for Teachers of Dance (CSTD) Tap exams
Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet exams up to intermediate level
Performance dance certificate through Sheila Laing Academy of performing Arts
Performance certificate through Brent Street Studios Sydney.
Teacher training through the Dragonfly Dance teacher training course in 2022.
Diana Scalzi an Adelaide based performer, singer and dancer.
A producer in her own right, Diana has directed and performed in her own sell out shows, including Bacharach ‘n’ Tap, Midnight Soul and Diamond Lives Picture Books. Within these roles she has been nominated for Best Cabaret Fringe Performer in 2018 and performed at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Piano bar in 2015.
She has worked and toured with producer Brendan Fitzgerald, where she choreographed, danced, and sang in SWING - The Beat That Shook the World and Mojito. During these shows she worked alongside artists such as Nancy Ruth (Spain), Charmaine Jones (Adelaide Gospel singer), and Anita Wardell (London).
A songwriter who now has her debut pop album available on all streaming services using her stage name Dee Anna, featuring her hit song Follow. Her pop music debut featured Alexander Flood on drums and local rap artist NER$H, at Holden Street Theatres as part of the Umbrella Music Festival in 2021.
Other previous performance work has been with local entertainment company Ding and TDP Productions for various Fringe and corporate shows.
Diana is also a qualified Personal Trainer specialising in rehab and aged care; a qualified Strength for Life instructor, Pilates instructor and currently teaches tap and jazz dance classes.