AMPA Dance student Renelle Jones has danced since she was two years old. Renelle came into the public eye during 2014, coming fourth in So You Think You Can Dancae, Australia. Since then, the ever-smiling Renelle has continued dancing, studying and training, with her eyes firmly on the prize!
SYTYCDAU - Mr. Bojangles - Renelle and Eden - Broadway Jazz from Renelle Loretta Jones on Vimeo. VIDEO CREDIT: Shine Australia
Have you always known you wanted to be a dancer?
When I was younger I was absolutely certain I wanted to be a professional dancer. As I got older and the realities of life curbed my passion and I toyed with the idea of working in other professions. I even worked for various insurance companies for a few years while I took time off dance. However the pull towards dance was too strong and after four years off I came back.
What’s been the highlight of your dance career so far?
Definitely, being in the Top 4 Grand Finalist of SYTYCD 2015!
Tell me about your journey on SYTYCD.
I always dreamed of being on the show but never thought I would be good enough. My husband gave me a push to take a chance and audition, seeing that it was something I truly desired. Learning from the best choreographers, learning new dances and working my hardest towards improving every week was the highlighted points in the journey for me. I loved performing but honestly it's the process that I really thrived on. I learnt that if you work hard and you're really passionate about something, you can achieve it. I also learnt to accept myself and be proud of who I am with all my flaws and imperfections. I learnt not to compare my journey to anyone elses, but to be content with the knowledge that I'm doing the best I possibly can in my current situation and with my eccentric personality. As cliché as it sounds, it really is the ride not the destination that matters in the end!
What’s it like to study a Bachelor of Dance at AMPA?
I am learning how to align my passions, technical ability and creative ambitions with the reality of the dance industry. Learning practically how to do what I love, make it my livelihood, learn how to give myself financial security and widen my career options. So that I don't just have a job for the next five years, but how to expand my employability for when I can no longer perform, want to start a family or change direction.
At AMPA I’m equipping myself for the unforeseeable future, so I can be challenged, grow and find joy in my work life for the rest of my days. I'm cultivating an attitude of lifelong learning that I feel is necessary for a successful and happy life. So that no matter what circumstances I may find myself in, I have peace of mind knowing that I have great opportunities ahead of me, and great options to fall back on.
I love focusing a large quantity of my physical and mental attention and into dance study. When have so many things going on in your world it can be hard to give your passions the concentration they require to really excel. I love coming to school everyday with an empty basket just waiting to fill it with the things that interest and fascinate me. I also love the COMPLETELY non-competitive environment at AMPA. Everyone is for each other, we all help each there out, we all praise and affirm each other and we enjoy each others company. We are all work hard but don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s a comfortable, loving, happy learning environment to be apart of.
What (or who!) inspires you?
Artistically speaking the list is very, very, very long, I find inspiration in so many people’s work from dance legends like Fred Astaire, to modern dance pioneer Pina Bausch. They influence me in my art but people that influence me in my life on a daily basis, are great thinkers who devoted themselves to attaining a balance, fulfilment and peace like Marcus Aurelius and C.S. Lewis.
What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to be a dancer?
Whatever you want, go for it, don’t hold back! If things don’t work out then FAIL FAST and move on to the next thing. Life is an agility game. Learn how to bounce back and change directions fast so you don’t waste time doing the unnecessary and moving in the wrong direction. Most importantly, equip yourself for the future, don’t just focus on being the best dancer physically but learn to focus on growing your mind. You can achieve more through the power of the mind than you can through physically technical ability alone. Don’t be a dumb dancer. Learn to live in the present, content in the here and now but do not neglect your future. You don’t want to regret thoughtless actions that could have easily been prevented through a little foresight, smarter decisions, small sacrifices and careful planning.
To watch more of Renelle in action, visit her Vimeo page here: https://vimeo.com/search?q=Renelle%20jones
AMPA students Mariah Filoa, Keisha Fonua, Loma Schaaf and TJ Tanuvasa were invited to perform at the Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and Organisations Awards (SWECO), held by the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (ACLW).
The SWECO Award Ceremony was held on Friday 6 March 3pm in Parliament House Sydney. The Hon Catherine Cusack MLC hosted this Ceremony.
Congratulations on a brilliant performance, guys!
AMPA Bachelor of Dance students, Evie Morris and Kristin Martin, have been selected as mentors at the government-funded initiative, DanceOff!
Evie Morris in action at a previous DanceOff! Photo credit: DanceOff.com.au
DanceOff! is a three day camp directed by Kim Rhodes and Launce Roma. The camps have been operating since 2008 and were designed to inspire and engage gifted and talented dance students currently studying in primary and secondary school
Evie and Kristin will attend DanceOff! as mentors where they will lead, inspire and support young dancers, as well as gain insight into the management of a large -scale dance program.
Evie says, “
Our role will be to assist the teachers in their classes, help the camp run smoothly and be there for the students throughout the day and night and set an example for them so they can see where hard work and dedication can get you.
Kristin and I both participated throughout our high school years in the camps and were both selected to go to China with a group of selected students from the program for a cultural exchange- where we got to travel and perform around the country, meet with delegates and learn from other dancers there.”
To read more about DanceOff! please visit danceoff.com.au
Meet Mak, Shardyn and Tayzin from X-Factor phenomenon Brothers 3… The last year for the boys has been a whirlwind.
Before all of this began, the three Fahey-Leigh boys, who had all left high school early to study at university, split their time between the family home in Mudgee, and Sydney to study.
On top of this, the boys, all avid performers and creators, fulfilled hectic touring schedules around the state, winning country music awards as they went, attending class and completing assignments (two of the boys are studying music at AMPA), and maintained active social lives.
Life was busy enough.
And then, almost on a whim, the boys decided to enter the X Factor – Australia. With their breathtaking harmonies, obvious brotherly cohesion and impossible-not-to-like personalities, the boys, from the start, were a hit.
Since then, they’ve performed with Guy Sebastian, met Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, and were personally coached by Dannii Minogue. They’ve toured with Harrison Craig, and been featured in The Daily Telegraph, on Nova96.9 and on national breakfast television show, Sunrise. After consistent brilliant performances on X Factor, Brothers 3 made it through to the Grand Final of the show, and finished up third in the competition, behind winner Marlisa, and Dean Ray.
So who are the boys behind the music?
First, there’s Makirum – or Mak, as he is almost universally known. Mak, 16, the youngest of the three is loud, bubbly and the jokester of the family. Quick-witted and cheeky, Mak does most of the talking.
Second youngest is Tayzin. Tayzin is also an affable joker, and, with his messy mop of dark hair, cops a reasonable amount of friendly banter from the other two for being a little on the goofy side.
Finally, the oldest of the three is Shardyn. Shardyn, 18, is the thinker of the brothers, and shares lead-singing duties with Mak.
Mak and Shardyn are studying Contemporary Music Performance at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts (AMPA), and Tayzin has just finished a Film & TV degree.
The video for Brothers 3 latest single, “The Lucky Ones”, outcharted Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’ in late 2014.
The Lucky Ones, according to the boys: “it’s a happy, feel-good kinda song”. To check it out now for yourself, click here: http://bit.ly/Brothers3
So what’s next for the boys?
After an extensive tour of NSW over the summer, Mak and Shardyn have gone back to AMPA to finish their music degrees. Brothers 3 are continuing to write, tour and record. Stay tuned to ampa.edu.au and Facebook.com/TheAMPA and we’ll keep you posted.
Brothers 3 Social Media: