Why RIPE Dance was established

Why RIPE Dance? Well, keeping it short…I started teaching dance in 1978 aged 19 years and went on to teach primarily contemporary and jazz dance for almost 30 years in a range of contexts including: primary and high schools; universities; professional dance companies; private dance schools; and community. It was (and still is) my passion! It was my life!

From the early 1990’s I augmented my freelance dance income with arts and event management work until 2002 when I taught what was then my last dance class to wholly focus on my career in arts and event management. I missed my dance greatly but more importantly I needed to have dance in my life and producing or attending dance events just didn’t fill that need enough. Then in 2011 when I was no longer working in the arts in any capacity, I really needed to get dance back in my life. I desperately wanted and needed to dance and my lounge room just wasn’t big enough for me to be able to move in, around and across space the way I craved. Also there was a lack of quality dance classes specifically for adults and those like me with a mature body  where I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

I began having thoughts of starting up classes for me and for people like me. However, I had lost my confidence not having taught for those 9 years and was struggling to find a way to get something happening. This is where some wonderful friends come into the picture.  They encouraged me!  But fear, fear of failure, was gripping me.  I was still stuck and couldn’t find a way out of my ‘mud’ – who would come? where could I find a good venue? would I be capable of teaching again? The inner voices were battling – my cries of desire and need for dance were being discouraged by my insecurities and loss of confidence.

It wasn’t until I joined a local ‘Step’ aerobic class where I was one of the youngest and the other participants were all moving so well, – the penny dropped, the light went on – I had found a venue and potential class participants!  I approached the venue manager with my idea to run a class based in contemporary and jazz structured specially for the mature body – the over 50s.  Thankfully he saw the potential and that it was something different. So my first RIPE Dance class began on 6 July 2012 and my interest in leading dance for older people has grown significantly to cater for a range of older people with and without mobility issues.

And why the name RIPE Dance?  Well it’s a fun play on words with synonyms and anagrams – ‘ripe’ being a synonym for ‘mature’  and anagram for:

  •  Really Is Possible for Everyone; and
  • Repress Immobility with Pleasurable Exercise
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1 Response to Why RIPE Dance was established

  1. Evan Jones says:

    Great stuff, Gail.


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