Shana Inge

Shana Inge

As a mother of two active boys aged under four years, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Shana Inge describes herself as a multi-tasker, perfectionist, organiser.  And that she treasures the time she spends each week in dance class or rehearsal.  Born in the US, Shana started ballet to reduce her clumsiness, and went on to dance with the San Fransisco Ballet and to develop a (so far) lifelong passion for ballet.

She runs her own marketing consultancy in her ‘non existent’ free time, and before that worked for 15 years in marketing and communications, and opened Twitter’s Australian office.

Find out more about Shana 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 always wanted to do ballet as a little girl but no one in my family had danced so I was encouraged to do sport, music and art instead. One day on a family hike I tripped over my own feet so my mom decided she would give in to my demands and let me take a ballet class so I could become better coordinated. Little did she know at that time I’d continue to pursue ballet seriously for many years to come.

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

I started dancing when I was five years old at a local ballet school called Pacific Ballet Academy (Mountain View, California). I auditioned for San Francisco Ballet School when I was 12 and trained there for five years. Teachers included: Irina Jacobson, Lola DeAvila, Jocelyn Vomar, Pascal Leroy, Ricardo Bustamante, Jorge Esquivel.

I did three summer intensive programs: Suzanne Farrell Workshop Rosella Hightower Centre De Dance Internationale (Cannes, France) Amerian Ballet Theatre (NYC)

I double majored at the University of California Santa Barbara (BA Dance, BA Communication) – Teachers included Nancy Colahan, Valerie Huston, Christopher Pilafian

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What have been some standout moments/achievements you’ve had with dance?

Performing with the San Francisco Ballet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Performing at summer intensives around the world – Cannes, NYC. Filming as an extra in the movie ‘Nnine Months’ and teaching Julianne Moore ballet so she could portray a dance teacher 🙂

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What is your favourite thing about dance?

Letting all emotions, worries, troubles, etc go and just enjoying the movement and the music. Dancing makes me feel calm after a busy day, as well as energised. The best “me time”!

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What is your favourite thing about performing?

Being able to share the joy I have for dance with others

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What dance styles are you most drawn to?

Ballet/balletic contemporary/lyrical

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

These days it’s probably class just because I don’t have the time to dedicate my body to dance every day. I used to prefer performance for the mixture of emotions it evoked in me – the thrill, excitement, joy, bliss… but it’s been so long since I’ve performed I’m honestly not sure how I’ll feel and I’m a bit nervous now too!

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What are your top three favourite dance movies?

Centerstage, Dirty Dancing, and a tie between Baryshnikov films ‘White Nights’ and ‘The Turning Point’

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Who are some of your favourite dancers or choreographers?

Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gonzalo Garcia – Principal NYC Ballet dancer (I grew up dancing with him at SF Ballet School), Misty Copeland, Gelsey Kirkland, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine

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What for you is the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of dance?

Dancing pushes me to keep progressing and improving mentally and physically.

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What training or practice do you do at home?

Not much for myself but I am teaching my active children (one and three years old) to enjoy moving to music. Dance parties!

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

Twice a week – Tuesday night rehearsal and Saturday ballet class

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

Dance like no one is watching – just let go and enjoy!

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What keeps you motivated when you are tired, discouraged, or down?

Music

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

I was enjoying taking dance classes at MTL but I’ve missed performing (it’s been nearly 15 years!).

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How did you hear about Move Through Life?

Nearly two years ago when we moved to Adelaide I was talking with family and friends about how I missed ballet but I needed a dance studio where I wouldn’t be judged for my level of skill after many years of not dancing. A family friend (Beth) suggested I try MTL.

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What is your favourite thing about being part of the MTL Performing Company?

I love the Jo’s mantra/values, the choreography, and the wonderful set of beautiful dancers I’ve had the opportunity to meet!

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

Currently CHO (Chief Household Officer) for my family. I manage finances and household maintenance whilst being a full-time mum to two active toddler boys under four. Occasionally I take on small marketing consultant gigs in my (non-existent) free time. 😉 Previously, I worked in various advertising and marketing roles (for nearly 15 years) and opened the Twitter office in Australia.

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Describe your personality in three (or so) words

Multi-tasker, perfectionist, organiser