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As a child I learned creative dance, drama and gymnastics. But it wasn't until my early 20’s that I really fell in love with dance.
I travelled to Ghana and studied traditional drumming, dance and singing with the Kusun ensemble. The expression of joy and pure celebration of life that came through the dance was so infectious that I stayed in West Africa for a year, learning from teachers across 8 countries.
Back in Australia I began performing and teaching, collaborating with dancers and musicians from various genres. I completed a performing arts degree and worked in theatre, comedy, film and television, exploring women, sexuality and the evolution of dance.
I've presented my work in Vancouver, New York and San Francisco and independently studied hip hop, African, Krump, twerk, bounce, dancehall and Dunham technique, in the United States and here in Australia, as well as traditional dance in Cuba.
Over the years my West African dance classes combined with hip-hop moves to become Afro funk and then a few sexy moves came into the mix to create booty dance classes.
In 2015 I created Dee Street. My intention behind every class I teach is to encourage individual expression and female power through connection to music, movement and community.
My mother describes me as a child who could not help but dance anytime she heard music. Although my family moved frequently throughout my childhood, I always attended ballet and tap classes. Then, when I turned 10 years old, we moved from Australia to Texas.
In high school, I sucessfully auditioned for the dance team and spent every autumn jazz running and high-kicking across football fields. I loved getting glam in my cowgirl outfit and performing in front of crowds.
Come winter and spring, I enjoyed competing in lyrical, jazz, and modern dance. In summer we ran dance camps for younger girls and trained for the upcoming season. I really liked the discipline, teamwork, and leaving it “all on the floor.”
Dance was a major love in my life but eventually got pushed aside when I began university and work.
A decade later I returned to Melbourne and reconnected with a part of myself I'd forgotten. I began attending street dance and choreography classes to popular songs in the inner north.
The feeling I got from striking a power pose and bouncing to the beat was cathartic and helped me to relieve anxiety and increase my self-confidence.
Before too long I began teaching again. The best part of teaching is seeing people come as they are to express themselves, it really creates magic!
I love that Dee Street is a sisterhood and creates support for women to come as we are and have fun. I‘m so excited to continue to facilitating space for self-love, fun choreography, a sense of community with you. Let’s make some magic!
As a kid, I spent hours making up routines to Madonna and Michael Jackson. I remember begging my mum for dance classes and I started jazz ballet when I was about 12.
As much as I loved to dance, I felt so out of place. Most of the girls had been dancing since they were 4 and my body just wasn’t the right shape. So, I stopped going and restricted my dancing to my loungeroom and kitchen dancefloors at parties.
When I moved to Melbourne from Perth in 2002 I rediscovered my passion for dance at Dee Street’s very own Sarah Dee’s African dance class. I felt so at home with the style, I loved the rhythm, the movement and that the shape of my body didn't matter.
I began to understand the healing power of dance and started studying dance movement therapy. This led me to undertake a cultural study tour to Ghana in 2006, learning traditional dances and rhythms.
Back in Melbourne, I began teaching drum and dance workshops at African Drumming and performing with the African percussion band Ouga. I continued to learn from some of Melbourne’s best African dance teachers, including Mitzi McCrae and Lamine Sonko.
I'm excited to share my knowledge of the rhythm and movement that connects us through teaching at Dee Street. I love that this is a dance community that embraces women of all shapes and sizes and encourages self-expression in a supportive and super fun way.