Staff Spotlight – Meet Miss AstridNathan Barr
This week’s blog focuses on our resident trainee, Miss Astrid. Astrid Nicholls has been a Dance Sensations student for 15 years, halfway through 2015 she progressed to the teacher role, taking on some after school classes and is currently employed full time at Dance Sensations, completing her Certificate III in Sport and Recreation through TAFE NSW. On top of coaching our cheer classes and teaching acro and dance, Astrid is also a vital part of the DS Administration team, which is allowing her to learn valuable skills in the day to day running of a business. Her TAFE course is then enabling her to showcase what she is learning on the job and pick up some extra skills in the process as she works towards gaining her qualification.
In 2014, Astrid received the DS Spirit award which is given to only one student per year, and is awarded to those who demonstrate continued commitment, enthusiasm and to our best team players. She’s been a part of the DS family for a long time now but it’s the first year she’s taken on administration responsibilities and so many classes, read on to find out more about our born and bred DS star…
DS Staff Spotlight Questions
First of all, when did you start dancing?
- When I was two… that’s a long time!
Wow, yes it is! What style did you start with?
Of course you did! What’s the best and/or worst costume you’ve ever worn?
- A long-sleeved orange unitard with black diamantes… I was a tree! An orange tree for a school dance production
Obviously! And your favourite?
- The big red tutus that we wore for Pointe last year
They are such beautiful costumes – great choice! Do you have a favourite choreographer?
- Me! Actually, most likely Maree
[Maree Cronin was a dancer, teacher and choreographer with DS for over 15 years]
Who’s your favourite artist to dance to?
- Ed Sheeran
What’s your favourite style?
- Tap… or cheer!
They are such different styles! What made you pick them?
- Tap because I fell in love with it when I was young and that has stayed with me, and Cheer was an instant favourite when it was introduced at DS maybe because of Christine
[Christine Krstevski (Miss Monique’s older sister) was another dancer, teacher & cheer coach with DS for approximately 10 years]
What made you want to become a dance teacher?
- I’ve always just loved dancing so it seemed a logical progression. I definitely wanted to play a bigger role at DS
What’s the course you are doing at the moment?
- Certificate III in Sport & Recreation at TAFE
What are your responsibilities at DS?
- I process payments, uniform management, cheer training & costume organisation at this stage. As well as obviously teaching 21 classes a week and being the friendly receptionist when I’m not teaching. But there is a range of odd bits and pieces that go on at DS during the days that vary depending on the time of year.
So, what’s your favourite thing about teaching dance?
- Watching the kids have fun and the relationships you gain with the students
What do find yourself telling students all the time?
- Have fun, smile, point your toes, faces, SNAP!
Seems like a classic cheer teacher saying! What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting dancing?
- Do it – come join the fam!
From your experience, what do you think sets DS apart from other dance studios?
- The family!
Your favourite thing about dancing?
- Takes my mind off everything, you get to be in a different place. It just makes me happy
And finally, the big finale question, if you could be anyone in the world who would you be?
- Beyoncé. Or like some amazing cheerleader.
I feel like Beyoncé is going to be a common answer throughout these staff spotlights!
Thanks for sharing with us Miss Astrid… It would be amiss of me if I didn’t mention the amazing Kirsten Nicholls (Astrid’s mum) who is also a very important member of our DS family – you might not know Kirsten personally but I can guarantee that if you or your child has participated in an End of Year Concert with us they have been helped and had their lives made easier by this woman! We’re so lucky to have you both – DS STARS!