“I have to dance! It’s my happy pill…it keeps me physically mobile, works my brain and feeds my soul. I was born to dance and teaching dance is what I do best…I love it.” Gail Hewton
About RIPE Dance
RIPE Dance was established in 2012 by Gail Hewton to share the joy and benefits of dance and focus on offering dance to cater for mature and older bodies. Read more...
RIPE Dance offers weekly classes for active and agile over 50s; active and ambulant over 60s; people living independently with mobility issues; and aged care residents.
From time to time RIPE Dance facilitates performance opportunities for both RIPE participants as well as general community members such as Noosa’s Biggest Seated Dance Class in 2016 and 2017and Noosa’s One Billion Rising 2015, 2014, 2013
About Gail’s dance career
Gail has almost 40 year’s professional experience as a dancer, choreographer, director, creative producer and educator within a broad context including substantial work in and with community.
Gail’s current focus is working with Seniors. She established RIPE Dance in 2012 and leads weekly classes for active and agile over 50s; active and ambulant over 60s; people living independently with mobility issues; and residents of an aged care facility.
In 2013 Gail completed introductory teacher training in Dance for PD® a program developed in the US specifically for people with Parkinson’s Disease and has been a relief team teacher for Queensland Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s program. In early 2013 Gail was lead artist for Body Stories – a Queensland University of Technology intergenerational artist-in-residence dance project working with students from Tullawong SHS and seniors from the Noosa region. In 2016 Gail presented a workshop on teaching dance to older people with mobility issues at the international Mature Moves (un)convention in Hobart. She also co-organised and co-facilitated the first Australian Advanced Training Workshop for teachers of Dance for Parkinson’s in Canberra. For Seniors Week 2016 & 2017, Gail instigated and lead the highly successful Noosa’s Biggest Seated Dance Class for older people with mobility issues held at and supported by The J – this was attended by over 100 local older people. Gail was recently invited by Queensland Performing Arts Centre to lead a Seated Dance session as part of its ‘Let’s Dance’ community program international series in conjunction with The Royal Ballet’s Brisbane season.
Gail holds a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) and a Diploma of Teaching (Secondary). Gail is a recent graduate of the Neuroscience Academy’s Brain Science and Wellness Education Program and successfully completed University of Tasmania’s Understanding Dementia and Preventing Dementia courses. Gail holds a current First Aid certificate including CPR.
In 2017, Gail was awarded the Ausdance Qld Robert Osmotherly Award for her contribution to dance education in Queensland and nationally.
In 2018, Gail will travel to the UK for 5 weeks through a grant from Arts Queensland (the stage government arts funding body) to meet with key organisations and leading practitioners working in dance for older people.
Prior to establishing RIPE Dance:
- Gail danced with Brisbane based, Expressions Dance Company and for numerous independent projects and corporate events.
- As one of Queensland’s dance education pioneers, Gail contributed significantly to dance curriculum development and teacher training for primary and high schools.
- Gail taught dance extensively in a broad range of contexts including:
- full-time high school teacher for 8 years and as a guest workshop facilitator in Queensland schools
- workshop facilitator for Education Queensland and Ausdance Queensland leading professional development programs for primary and high school teachers
- contemporary and jazz dance teacher at numerous private dance studios across Brisbane as well as running her own community dance classes.
- full-time dance lecturer at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for 2.5 years and a part-time/sessional lecturer for over 12 years – including teaching dance education to pre-service primary and high school teachers; technique for dance performance students; dance/movement to acting students; and guest lecturing on grant writing; contemporary performance; and dance for older people.
- company and community class teacher for Expressions Dance Company
- guest teacher at a number of summer schools in Queensland and New Zealand.
As a choreographer Gail created work for Expressions Dance Company, Ballet Theatre of Queensland, Queensland Dance School of Excellence, South Bank Parklands, Toadshow Productions and numerous corporate and community events. She also created a number of independent works as a member of The Cherry Herring (a Brisbane based collective of independent artists).
Gail’s work as a director includes:
- Co-director 1994 World Masters Games Welcome Ceremony involving 4000 community and professional performers
- Co-director IDEA (International Drama Educators Assoc) Conference Opening Ceremony at QPAC involving 400 students
- Artistic Director – Class Moves (Ausdance schools performance) at Queensland Performing Arts Centre; Celebration of Dance concerts and Christmas Parades at South Bank Parklands
As a Creative producer/programmer Gail has worked as Program Manager at Brisbane Powerhouse; Director of the Noosa Longweekend Festival; Producer for Brisbane Festival, Riverfestival, Ausdance Queensland, South Bank Parklands and Sunshine Coast Regional Council.