When I was a teenager, my aspiration was to get into the Bachelor of Arts Dance program at the South Australian College of Advanced Education with David and Simi Roche, and from there to become a professional dancer.
I succeeded in the first part of this plan, but after 6 months, I decided it wasn’t for me. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was because my body ached all the time. Perhaps it was because I knew I didn’t have the talent or the personality to succeed as a performer. Perhaps it was just because I was 18 years old and wanted to get a job and move out of home. Regardless, once I’d done it, and a year had passed, I regretted the decision, and I thought I’d closed that door forever.
But then I started dancing again in my early 20s, at a suburban dance school, and loved it. I was lucky that there were a few others there who were around or near my age, so I didn’t feel too out of place. But after a few years, I was feeling frustrated. It was a childrens’ dance school after all, and we were just an add on. It was frustrating waiting years for an examiner from the UK to come out so I could complete my higher technical and teaching exam, and it was frustrating working on a wonderful dance and performing it only once at the end of year school concern. I started wanting more.
Jo McDonald, age 18 before auditioning for BA Dance