Rhiannon Newman

Rhiannon Newman

As a Union Official, it’s not surprising that Rhiannon Newman’s hobbies include ‘smashing the patriarchy’ and ‘smacking down bad bosses’.

Her other hobbies include ‘purveyor of memes, sharks, parkrun, speed reading, travel’.

The best piece of advice she’s received is that ‘hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard – always important when you weren’t a “natural” dancer.’ – although one can certainly argue the point about whether she’s a natural dancer, since when she was only seven years old she realized she was picking up dance concepts more quickly than others in her class.

Find out more about Rhiannon – whimsical, determined, adventurous – in her answers to our Q&A below.

Tell us about your early dance journey?  Where did you start and what did you do as a child?

I started ballet when I was three years old in a very small dance school in Townsville. I danced until I was 21 and did ballet, Jazz, tap, contemporary and poorly attempted hip hop. I studied dance at school and was lucky enough to try many different dance styles as well.

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What is your earliest memory of dance?

My first ballet teacher was an old school man with a cane and I remember him whacking our legs when they weren’t straight! Also how exciting it was to get out of school for RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) exams. I remember the first time I realised I loved dance and it wasn’t a hobby when we learnt pas de chat when I was seven and I was the only one who got the concept straight away – it was like something switched on in my brain.

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Where have you trained and who were your teachers as a dancer?

I trained at ballet schools across Townsville, Melbourne, Toowoomba, Christchurch and finally at Turning Pointe in Adelaide, and now at Move Through Life.

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What is your favourite thing about dance?

How I feel when I’m moving, there is nothing else like it.

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What dance styles are you most drawn to?

Ballet and lyrical styles – but really it doesn’t matter as long as I’m moving

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What do you prefer – class, rehearsal, or performance, and why?

Class. The ritual of a dance class is almost like a structured meditation. I like the challenge of learning new exercises but within a framework that’s almost always been part of my life.

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What are your top three favourite dance movies?

All of them but Centre Stage and Dirty Dancing are clear top two!

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How many times a week do you dance? And what are they (eg class, rehearsals, where, with who?)

Rehearsals on Tuesday night, Ballet Class on Saturday with MTL. On Wednesday night I take whatever class is going this term with “That Dance Drop” where we learn dances from movies, or music clips in a really fun and supportive environment. Pre-COVID I could also be found on a club dance floor as often as humanely possible.

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Who inspires you (they can be dance or not dance related)

AOC!

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What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (again, it doesn’t have to be dance-related)

Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard – always important when you weren’t a “natural” dancer.

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Why did you decide to audition for the MTL Performing Company?

As a personal challenge to see whether I could make dance part of my life in a more tangible way again

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How did you hear about Move Through Life?

A friend of mine asked me to come and watch her dance in “Black Coffee” many years ago and I’ve been lightly stalking ever since.

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What hobbies do you have outside of dance?

Smashing the patriarchy, purveyor of memes, sharks, parkrun, smacking down bad bosses, speed reading, travel

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What is your ‘day job’? (could be working, studying, volunteering etc)

Union Official

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Describe your personality in three (or so) words

Whimsical, determined, adventurous