Dane Berry - Director
At 9 years old, Dane loved his first dance lesson so much that he spent the next five years amassing a shiny collection of trophies and promising himself he would never become a dance teacher.
It seems Fate had decided otherwise, but She's one sneaky operator.
Her first strategy was to gently nudge Dane into learning and loving music. He learned (and later forgot) how to play piano, flute, and drums. He seized every available opportunity to sing, and still does, although now mainly in the interests of irritating his colleagues. He learned to play guitar, and continues to play almost daily.
But a dance teacher needs more than music - a dance teacher needs MOVEMENT. So Mistress Fate refused to let Dane sit still. She bullied him into chasing basketballs, volleyballs, and soccer balls. She made him whack cricket balls, golf balls, tennis balls, ping pong balls, and baseballs. She made him whack hockey balls so much he made it into the regional team. When she couldn't find a ball for him to whack, she made him whack people instead and called it karate. And when that failed, she made him run and jump around on his own until he was representing regional New South Wales in athletics.
She made sure he developed a love of all performing arts. Dane found himself on stage in muscials and plays, and glowed with the experience. To seal it up, She even sent him to an acting course at NIDA. He loves being on the other side of the curtain, too, and spends a lot of time in audiences, especially as a subscriber to the Queensland Ballet.
There was one more essential item on Fate's agenda for Dane. He needed to realise that right at the very core of him was a teacher, someone who loved knowledge and loved sharing it, someone who was thrilled to see the growing understanding of another - and realise he did. Dane geared all of his secondary studies, teritiary studies, and work experience towards becoming a school teacher.
In 2001, the threads were at last woven together and Dane started teaching Ballroom and Latin Dance. He rapidly grew into the roles of senior instructor, staff trainer, and studio manager (not to mention father of the year, a title he has now held for ten years running!). Maybe She was underhanded, but Dane is pretty pleased that Fate managed to herd him into the best career in the world.