Dance has many benefits for children. It doesn’t just provide physical benefits, such as increased coordination or flexibility, but also helps young people learn to communicate and collaborate with each other.

Natalie Ayton is an internationally respected dancer, choreographer and teacher known for her ability to connect with her students and nurture their love of dance. Natalie will be teaching Sydney Dance Company’s new school holiday workshops for beginner dancers from 3 – 14 July, introducing young dancers to movement and encouraging them to explore their creativity.

In this interview, Natalie discusses her own love of dance, and reveals what students will learn in her beginner dance workshops.

  • When/how did you start dancing?

I started dancing when I was three years old. I used to dance around the house all the time, so my mum decided we should channel that energy into some lessons.  I started with Ballet and then when I was older trained at the Rambert School and London Dance College in England.

  • What’s your favourite dance memory?

My favourite memory is when I danced in the 2008 handover ceremony for the China to the London Olympics. I performed on the red bus which travelled around the stadium with members of the Royal Ballet, Can Do Co and Zoo Nation, dancing in front of thousands and televised across the world.

  • Why do children love to dance? And what are the benefits of dance for kids?

Children love to dance because it’s a real freedom of expression. Movement is inherent to human beings and children tap into that very naturally.  The benefits of dance are obviously the physical benefits – strength, flexibility and coordination. But also it is a lovely form of communication. It teaches children to learn by watching and listening. Children also develop collaboration skills as they share their own creative ideas with each other.

  • What will your Beginner Dance Workshops cover?

I will be teaching the Contemporary element of the Beginner dance workshops and we will be introducing young people to Contemporary dance.  Through a range of fun activities we will use our bodies and imagination to create new movement.

  • What’s one piece of advice you received that influenced your dancing?

Ignite your internal passion. Don’t always think about how you look but about how you feel. That advice really connected with me as it unlocked the meaning of dance for me personally.


School Holiday Workshops at Sydney Dance Company
3 – 14 July

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