Q: When did you start doing Physie?
A: I was 7 years old when I started Physie. I had tried the usual ballet, jazz and tap classes but never really loved them. In Melbourne Physie wasn’t well known at that time, but my mum saw a TV report about BJP’s 100 year celebration and found that one of the two Victorian clubs wasn’t far away and decided to take us along for a trial.
Q: What was your very first class like?
A: I remember my first class well. It was a really hot afternoon and I didn’t want to do the class. The teacher allowed me to sit and watch the class with my mum and when we left I remember saying to mum ‘I definitely want to go back next week and try it’. I didn’t know anyone that did Physie but I distinctly remember meeting some new friends and thinking they were really nice. I still do Physie with two of these friends today.
Q: Where is your club located?
A: Stonnington Club is located in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. We run classes in Malvern and Surrey Hills.
Q: When and why did you start your club?
A: My sister Tracey and I started Stonnington in 2014. After growing up doing Physie at Vermont South and teaching for many years there, we decided that we wanted to grow Physie in Melbourne and branched out on our own. It was really intimidating to do this as we were coming from an established club with over 120 members and to be completely honest it was really hard at first. I remember our very first class was with only one little girl who was 6 years old. But the next week she brought along a friend, who then brought along her sister and this is how we grew.
Q: What do you love most about teaching Physie?
A: The thing I love most about teaching Physie is that I am able to share my passion with all my students and now my two daughters. I have loved seeing girls who I taught as 7 year olds, now teaching and sharing their passion for Physie with their own students.
Q: What is your proudest physie moment?
A: As a teacher I have had numerous proud moments including girls placing, winning zone, the first team I ever put on the floor and watching my daughters perform. But as a Physie girl myself, the proudest would be when both my sister and I competed at Ladies Nationals (competing against each other) and representing the little club we had built together.
Q: Who inspires you the most?
A: While I think any Physie girl or lady who finds the confidence to perform on a competition floor is an inspiration, the ones who absolutely amaze me are the 6 year olds at Junior Nationals. Being a primary school teacher I often see kids who are reluctant to walk into classrooms each day and struggle to let go of mum’s hand, but these little physie girls just wave goodbye to their mums and go into an unknown environment with such poise and confidence. Then they blow us away with their talent and skills on the floor.
Q: Has Physie helped in other areas of your life?
A: Most definitely! Being a junior teacher at Physie is what lead me to my current career as a Primary School Teacher. I started helping out teaching Physie classes when I was about 12 years old and gradually learned how to teach Physie. This teaching experience helped me throughout my degree and I have been able to bring my dance teaching into the school where I work by choreographing school productions, graduation performances and running a dance club.
Q: What is your personal mantra?
A: “I am thankful for my struggles because without them, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.” As a junior I loved Physie and all the things that went with it. But I wouldn’t say I was the most successful in terms of placing or making nationals. But now I think this has made a positive contribution to me as a teacher and my later success. My struggles have taught me that persistence pays off, don’t be afraid to ask the silly questions, watch others and if plan A doesn’t work there are always 25 other letters of the alphabet!