Featured post

Read, Write, Dance

Read, Write, Dance . Those three words could almost be my epitaph. Certainly (bearing and rearing children aside) they are the three activi...

About Me

My photo
I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

Follow me on Twitter

Share a link on Twitter

Follow by Email

My Blog List

Blog Archive

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

Search This Blog

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Dancing again


This morning, I attended a superb dance workshop with visiting American professor, Scott Putnam. I was too exhausted to stay for the afternoon session!

In fact, I must admit that I find contemporary dance heavy going - I only got through it at WAAPA by staying back to attend the evening classes for extra coaching, and I'm sure the examiners threw in a few charity marks so I at least got a pass in the exams.

It was lovely to watch all the keen young dancers (I was by far the oldest there!) and to see their inventive short choreographies. Professor Putnam is an excellent coach and I'm sure the dancers learned a great deal - as indeed I did, although whether or not I'll remember any of it this time next week is a moot point. The body feels worn out and I suspect the mind is heading in the same direction!

I was disappointed not to see more older teachers there. Perhaps Contemporary Dance is a young person's game. Classical ballet can also be exhausting, but at least you don't have to throw yourself onto the floor ten times a minute. (That's an exaggeration, but it does seem to be the default move when a contemporary dancer is wondering what to do next!)

As a young woman back in the late 1950s, I was deeply impressed by Contemporary Dance - it seemed so different from classical ballet, and so very modern. (Well, yes, Satima - that's why it's called Contemporary...) I first saw it when I attended a course of lectures by Beth Dean, an American dance ethnologist who had recently opened a school in Sydney. I was so impressed by this very new and different technique that I persuaded my mother to let me go to classes. It was an added expense for my parents - they were already paying for me to learn ballet at the Scully-Borovansky school, and piano, and singing, plus speech and drama, all at the Conservatorium.

But I enjoyed Miss Dean's classes, and started to take classical classes with her now and then. I eventually danced with her company, called Australian Dance Theatre. (It had no relationship to the later, Adelaide-based company of that name.) I am wont to boast about my appearance in a show before the Queen in 1963. I was dressed as  brolga, and while I'm sure the Queen wouldn't have noticed me as one of six people in brown all-overs with hoods, it was an experience to remember!

Dance has been my main love since I was four, when I saw the lovely pictures in a Ballet Annual owned by one of my sisters. However, I didn't start learning until I was eleven, and for the first year I had to pay for lessons out of my pocket money as my mother considered dancing to be a waste of time and money.

Then we moved house, and my new teacher, Joan Ashton, taught me free in return for helping with the junior classes. She even paid for me to have classes with her teacher, the late, great, Isobel Anderson. But young people don't always value or even see what people are doing for them, and I abandoned Miss Ashton and Miss Anderson to study at the more famous Scully-Borovansky school.

Somewhere about that time, I saw a performance by the Bodenwieser company at the Conservatorium. That means I must've seen the now centenarian Eileen Kramer!

Well, here I am sixty years later, loving dance as much as ever but unable to perform  many steps and exercises that at one time I would have done easily and with gusto. Tempus has fuggitted, and stolen just about all my flexibility and most of my strength as well! But I won't stop dancing until I become absolutely incapable of doing a plié!

Many thanks to Robyn Cooper and Angela Perry for their organisation of today's workshop. It was a joy to attend!

4 comments:

Keyle Rece said...

belly dance is my passion. I have performed numerous kinds of dance from ballet to square dance. really nice article.





Rachel Withers Ballet Instructor in UK | Certified ballet instructors in UK

Satima Flavell said...


A dancer must dance! Non-dancers can't understand our passion for movement, but other dancers always will. Carry on, Keyle!

Jo said...

Did a certain amount of dance at school but nothing concentrated. Always enjoyed dancing although don't do it at all any more, not even socially. I always joke that Matt quit dancing the day after we got married. I was more into theatricals but allowed my parents to convince me I wasn't any good. Pity really. But then the theatre is a hard life. Did you know Matt's granddaughter is the lead singer in We Will Rock You on a cruise ship working out of Jersey?

Satima Flavell said...


Many parents - my own included - want to see their offspring settled in well-payed jobs. But I reckon that if you don't follow your dreams you will always regret it. Better to try and fail than never have tried at all.

Entertaining on a cruise ship looks like great fun, Jo. I wish that market had been open when I was young!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...