Hikma has been dancing for six years at Merici College under the tutelage of Laura Pearce. Hikma loves to dance and finds that it frees her mind. Escalate has provided her with the opportunity to work with other young people from different dance genres.
'Being in Escalate is a big opportunity for me, to me it's not only about dancing but it's about feeling the music within you and moving your body to the beat of the music. It's also what you bring and what you make of it and shows your personality through dancing and the emotions that you are feeling. I have learnt a lot from just dancing with different people who move different to the way I move and who dance different styles of dances. There is so much to dance that I know that I didn't know before and it's the best feeling. The experience of the intensives and mentoring has been extremely useful and I have learnt so much already it's something that I will take with me into my future as a dancer. Escalate has taught me a lot of things like using my facial expressions when I am dancing. I am hoping that Escalate will help me to become more positive about my dance career in the future. '
Carol is a dancer from Canberra and has been dancing for 12 years and has trained in numerous styles including contemporary, jazz, lyrical and her favourite style, hip hop. She started hip hop dancing in 2015 at Bom Funk Dance Studio and commenced teaching there in 2017. Carol has competed in numerous competitions since she was young and still enjoys competing to this day. The Escalate project has enabled Carol to gain further insight into the Dance industry and the ability to refine her choreographic and performance techniques under the Ausdance mentors.
Escalate has been an opportunity for me to explore new choreography, interesting techniques and has been a chance to grow myself as a dancer. I find myself improving and growing with each mentoring session I attend and my mentors have been extremely supportive and committed to help me create/perform to the best of my abilities.
Tara Coughlan &
Sinead Skorka Brennan
Tara is an emerging professional dancer with disability based with Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre in Ballina NSW. She participated in the Accessible Arts Dancers with Disability training program from 2012-2016, including performances at Carriageworks and Critical Path, and has enjoyed private mentoring from Michael Hennessy (ex Sydney Dance Company) since 2014. This year she will tour to Brisbane, Adelaide, and Canberra, and will be Keynote Speaker/Performer in Melbourne. Her involvement in AusDance ACT Escalate program has led to a NSW Young Regional Artist Fellowship for further mentoring with Liz Lea. Tara loves fashion and movies and asks lots of difficult questions.
Sinead trained in contemporary and classical dance through Trevor Green’s studio in Brisbane. She currently dances with Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre and has featured in “Encounters” (a finalist in the Australian Dance Awards for outstanding community dance) and “SHARE HOUSE”, which opens in Brisbane later this month. Sinead choreographed her own solo to accompany her mother, a cellist with Queensland Symphony Orchestra. This is the second duet for Sinead and Tara: they took Michael Hennessy’s “Play” to NERAM in Armidale last year and will take “Gemini” to the World Dance Alliance in Adelaide in July.
As a young girl, Maheyrin was happy to dance in any style, but her mum Kaniz was keen to introduce her to various folk and classical South Asian dance forms to bring her closer to her cultural roots. Maheyrin’s first dance steps were learnt in preparation for a local Diwali festival – the festival of lights – in a small country town in Gippsland, Victoria. She was one of few South Asian children growing up there, so learning to dance broadened her cultural knowledge and allowed her to feel connected with her friends and peers from a common heritage. Maheyrin moved to Melbourne where she continued to learn Bharatnatyam (a classical South Indian dance form) under the tutelage of Mrs Sujatha Surrendran, Natya Kala Mandir. During this time, she learnt her mudras (hand gestures) and a repertoire of dances specific to the style. After moving to Canberra in 2015, Maheyrin became interested in the North Indian style of Kathak, which is now her favourite style. Maheyrin enjoys the elegance and lightness of the Kathak, although learning the chakars (spins) is extremely challenging! Maheyrin hopes to bring her combined knowledge and experience of these various forms to create something beautiful to share in the Escalate Program.
ENA HASKIC grew up in Canberra and has been dancing since the age of 9 in a variety of styles including Jazz, Hip Hop, JFH, Street Jam, Contemporary, Urban Contemporary, Tap and Ballet. Her initial dance training began at the Canberra Dance Development Centre and has continued there for 12 years. Throughout her training, Ena has competed in many competitions in the styles of Hip Hop and Jazz and has competed in both Canberra and Sydney. Outside of these shows with the dance school, Ena has participated in a handful of musicals and plays around Canberra as she also has a passion for acting and singing. These shows include High School Musical On Stage, Lend Me A Tenor, Xanadu and Cosi. This has helped her grow as a performer and an artist. Over the last 3 years, Ena has also begun teaching as well as continuing her dance education, teaching in the styles of Jazz, Hip Hop and JFH for the most part. This has also helped Ena grow as a performer and an artist and given her the opportunity to create pieces with her prior knowledge of dance. Beginning in 2017 Ena has begun dancing with Fresh Funk, which has given her another great opportunity to get onto the stage again and learn under some of the best.
I started dancing when I was 9 years old because a dance school was opened up in my town. Since then I have fallen in love with the art form and have now been dancing for 7 years. I am currently dancing at Dazzle Dance Academy and have experience with ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, and acrobatics. I was selected to be part of the senior troupe in 2012 and have been there since. I have competed at eisteddfods and am currently a student teacher at my dance school. I am delighted to have been selected for the ESCALATE programme, and thankful for the experiences that will come with it.
I have always been a dancer for as long as I can remember. I started dancing in Cowra doing tap. When I moveed to Cowra Ballet School I began to broaden my styles, doing ballet, contemporary, jazz with Hayley Barker from the first Escalate and danced with Junior and Senior Torsion with Cheryl Ansell. When I moved to Goulburn, I started dancing for my school’s Dance Ensemble and helped choreograph our works for the Youth Dance Festival which was co-ordinated by Ausdance. Last year I was part of QL2’s Connected and was lucky enough to work with Ruth Osbourne and Alison Plevey, and was part of the Youth Dance Festival’s Opening piece choreographed by Jamie Winbank for the last two years. This year I completed the HSC Dance course and created two works for my practical exams, my first work was about my great, great grandfather and the other was about separation.
My plan for the next year is to have a gap year dancing and being chosen to choreograph in Escalate III has just cemented this plan. I am excited to be involved and create more dance.