Read what our Dancers and Families have to say.....
Nadia is an epitome of caring and kindness. As the principal, she has visionary direction and effective managerial talent for her ballet school. But she is much more than the principal, she's hands on with all her students and she cares deeply about each individual student's physical growth as well as their mental wellbeing. She can always be counted on to notice a child's usual and unusual responses in class. She is quick to encourage/commend, willing to handle the unexpected challenges and does not shy away from conducting difficult conversations. She always sees the best in and finds joy in learning about each child's character. If you want to know why Yarra Valley Ballet is different, you need look no further than Nadia's serene excellency and vision for her school to be an uniquely supportive and safe community in order for each student to become the very best version of him/herself.
Where should one begin with Marika? At first, she may appear a mixture of contrasting quirky energy with elegance. She is both but she has many layers of gems to be discovered when you have the privilege of knowing her. She is loyal, kind, caring, relational, passionate, creative and has a lovely sense of humour. She takes each challenge in her stride and creates open channels of communication with both students and parents. She is always honest and welcoming; every conversation involves an invitation to understand each other at a deeper level. She's every student's best friend with generous giving of her time and sharing a good laugh. Yarra Valley Ballet will not be the same without her!
Miss Christina and Miss Teresa are friendly and always happy, I love dancing with them, and they’ve taught me things like “farm gate”, “pineapple” and “banana” which are all dance positions. I love using the scarves and pretending we’re all butterflies. We all pretend to be bubbles, then we do curtsies and say “Thank you Miss Christine and Miss Teresa” at the end of the lesson, it’s fun and it makes me feel happy. We learnt to do ballet points and stamps, which are great, in fact when Miss Nadia took our class, we had to teach her to do the ballet points! Sometimes I feel tired before ballet class but when I’m dancing, I forget being tired and just have fun.
Tilly, Aged 4
Miss Nadia, you are an amazing principal and teacher. I love it when you teach us brand new things. I love your ballet school because you help us on stage and keep us on track when we get lost. I am glad to have you as my teacher because of your wonderful attitude when you are facing new things. I really like the ice cream dance because of the amazing things we do in it and it includes some of the things we are doing in our exam. I love the parts when you help us in our class and you keep our bodies fit and strong. You were cheeky when you gave us lollies at the end of term two. Thank you for being such a wonderful, amazing, brilliant teacher.
Millie, Aged 7
My first ever ballet teacher and she made the whole process of starting ballet super easy. I feel a real sense of community and family when I attend classes and I love how passionate Nadia is about technique, but also, teaching dance to adults, not just young children. She is inclusive in her teaching and is an amazing principal of the school.
I love how bubbly Marika is in class and you can clearly see how passionate she is about sharing her skills in National Character with all of her students. She makes class exciting and rewarding as well as challenging. I love her little anecdotes to get us to dance or gaze in a particular way, they always make us smile.
Sam, Adult Student
An ABC Review of Yarra Valley Ballet Teachers!
We are very fortunate to have many of the Yarra Valley Ballet teachers (Miss Nadia, Miss Marika, Miss Teresa, Miss Christina, Miss Bianca and Miss Vivienne!), teaching our family across Ballet, Jazz and National Character. To us, they are all of these things: Amazing, Beautiful, Clever, Dedicated, Elegant, Friendly, Graceful, Hard-working, Intelligent, Jazzy, Knowledgeable, Lovely, Marvellous, Nice, Organised, Professional, Qualified, Respectful, Skilful, Talented, Unique, Valued,, Wonderful, Xcellent!, Youthful and Zestful.
Written by Ali, Emily (7) and Lucy (4)
They say that behind every dancer who believes in themself is a teacher who believed in them first.
Marika is that teacher.
She has embraced our daughter's passion for dance and has fuelled her desire to learn more.
Marika has not only shown our daughter how fun jazz can be, she has also convinced her classically minded parents that this a dance form worth pursuing. Under Marika's guidance, our daughter has learnt discipline, resilience and perseverance.
Marika embodies everything that YVB stands for. Creativity, professionalism, community, support...and stickers. Lots of stickers.
Thank you so much for what you do.
"I have been learning ballet since November 2018. I choose ballet because I love dancing. My teachers are Miss Teresa and Miss Christine. They are kind, friendly and helpful and they help me to do the step properly. I learn how to do bra bas, plie and tendu. My favourite part of the class is galloping on the toy horse because I love running. I look forward to ballet class every week because I love ballet."
James (Age 6)
Grace said to me at bedtime tonight, “she wishes she could do Monday all again, not the school bit, but going to Ballet!!” She says Marika reminds her to ‘lift your chin’ and thinks it’s funny when Marika, says ‘you know how that makes me feel?” when they don’t always listen or follow what she is asking the class to do!
Grace has been on a journey this year to build her confidence and belief in her ability. Building these skills is not only to help her with her ballet, be it preparation for exams or concerts, it’s also to help her grow as a young lady and equip her to be the best she can be at whatever she chooses to do. Grace has grown in so many ways through ballet, and it’s been a delight to witness her progress and inner beauty shine through. Nadia, Teresa and Marika have provided wonderful support to her along the way. Their encouragement and care for Grace has been beyond expectation. And for any mum, all you want is for your child to enjoy their time whilst learning new things, to have fun and be happy and this is has been our experience.
“I love it when Wednesday comes around and my Jazz class with Miss Marika is on. I really like it when we learn new Jazz moves, like when we learnt our lindys. She tells us to focus a lot because we sometimes don’t focus and it makes Miss Marika feel frustrated. I never really feel down at dancing because it makes me happy but if someone is feeling down, normally Miss Marika would tell us to quietly sit down and have a break. It's funny when she puts her really cold hands on our shoulders. Miss Marika and I both have crystal blue eyes. My least favourite bit of the class is when it ends.
Alice (Age 10)
When I enrolled my daughter in ballet class, she wanted to know why... she said she didn't want to be a ballerina. I responded "I don't expect you to be a ballerina. I want you to do ballet because it will help you build a strong body that will help you with any physical activity; it will help you learn to focus which will help you with your school work; it will teach you about commitment, discipline and working with others, which will help you with everything you do in life.'
So she went along on this understanding, and at the end of the class she said 'Mum, I want to be a ballerina!' I still don't expect her to be a ballerina, but I'm so glad she found enjoyment in the class and I can already see the change in her self confidence and self belief. She knows that even when things are hard, it's okay, and when she finally 'gets it' the reward is that much sweeter.