Sue Gillingham - DIRECTOR
Sue has been teaching people to dance since 1992. She loves it - loves the dancing, loves the teaching, loves the seeing other people grow to love it, loves choreography and performance, loves everything about her work. Okay, except the sore feet. She doesn't love them at all. But it's a tiny price to pay for looking forward to every working day.
Unbeknownst to her, Sue started dance lessons for therapeutic reasons. The young Sue Gillingham was so dramatically knock-kneed and pigeon-toed that she spent the majority of her school lunch hours having gravel picked out of her knees, palms and elbows, and wailing in unattractive self-pity. Her early childhood was one big sticky mess of grazes and tears. Finally, the family doctor laid down the law - Sue could have big clunky brown corrective boots, or she could have ballet lessons. Mercifully, her mother chose ballet, and Sue became a dancer.
Truth be told, she was pretty dreadful. Turned in legs and flat feet do not lend themselves well to balletic excellence, so to compensate, Sue became the best damned dancer in that class... from the hips up. Being a rotten ballet dancer was the best training she could have had. With no hope of technical proficiency, she made it through her exams by DANCING - she emoted, expressed the music, and made up for her recalcitrant legs with the most delicate graceful presentation she could manage.
Despite gravely mediocre results, Sue loved dance more and more as she went on, and experimented with whatever style of dance was available. She has taken classes in flamenco and in middle eastern dance. She represented Queensland twice in Rhythmic Gymnastics. And she's had a play with Thai dance, can-can, French provincial dance, circus, and a few other bits and pieces along the way.
She has choreographed for stage, musical theatre, film, and a band. She used to love singing in choirs. And, because she's a bit of a geek, she went to England to do post-graduate study in mathematics, and ended up representing the University of Oxford in their premiership-winning Dancesport Team.
Partner dancing was a revelation for Sue - a style in which her main weaknesses were virtually irrelevant, in which the strengths she'd already developed were valuable, and which offered the opportunity to develop a completely new set of skills. The magic of sharing dance with a partner, of spontaneously creating something structured and beautiful with another person, has never waned. Sue has never looked back.
When she's not engaged in anything dance-related, Sue's favourite things to do are cook, eat, drink, and talk, preferably all at once. Does sleeping in count as a hobby? Probably not, but she likes that, too.