Meet the Artist: Amy Donnelly
Welcome to Amy Donnelly, MascallDance intern, who joins us this week and introduces herself below:
“Australian born and raised, I have a life long, fire-burning passion for dance, fitness, being upside down and all things movement related. For 18 of my 21 years, I’ve lived, breathed and pursued the active lifestyle of Dancing, and additionally more recently, Personal Training. I began at a recreational level of dance and am now a professional, balancing multiple careers.
It all started with ballet. With shyness. My parents signed me up to give me a little push out of my bubble – and it worked! Over the next decade tap, jazz, acrobatics, contemporary, drama, a short period of Irish and Flamenco, and stretching were added to the mix, not to mention performing solos at competitions! Ballet was always my main focus. Being a ballerina was never in the cards, but from an early age, I was conscious that ballet improved all areas of dance; studying age 10 -16 Vaganova (Russian) style with the Australian Conservatory of Ballet (ACB) at Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy (ABDA) and then applying to professional contemporary training programs internationally.
I leapt at the opportunity to study at The School of Contemporary Dancers, affiliated with the University of Winnipeg. Little did my parents expect 14 years ago that I’d step out of my bubble, all the way to Canada! It required double the work load to complete my High School Certificate one term before graduation (with university entry level courses). With immense support from teachers, Principal and parents, I completed all assignments and exams and sat my state level testing days before leaving to commence full-time dance training in Winnipeg in September 2011.
Upon completing the School of Contemporary Dancer’s Senior Professional Program, I picked up part-time work as an Administrator’s Assistant at the school, and taught ballet, tap, jazz, stretch & strength and contemporary classes in the General School; at first I was a substitute teacher, but I’ve had classes of my own since 2013.
Since living in Canada, visits home have been annual; not only to catch up with friends and family, but to teach classes, private lessons and support the current generation of dancers going through exams and competitions. In December 2015, I was honoured to act as the M.C. for ABDA’s 10th anniversary concert, after being one of the school’s four original students.
I’ve had the privilege of working with and dancing works by some of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary dance choreographers, and the pleasure of working professionally outside of the regular school curriculum since my second year in the school. I’ve danced in the film, A Good Madness- The Dance of Rachel Browne (Rachel Browne’s Willow Island, filmed on Willow Island 2013), with Odette Heyn Projects in collaboration with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in their Christmas Concert (2013), with Stephanie Ballard and Dancers in Ottawa (2014) and at the opening of the Canadian Human Rights Museum (2014), in Tedd Robinson’s The 60 Dancer Project at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa (2014), Constance Cook’s Argon II (2014) and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers Verge (2015).
Following graduation in May 2015, I became certified in Personal Training, and commenced a new career at GoodLife (2015). I’ve also continued teaching recreational and semi-professional classes for the School of Contemporary Dancers and taking classes myself. I recently moved to Vancouver in time for a nine week internship with Mascall Dance.
Here, my duties include a little bit of everything that could possibly be involved in the production of a dance show as the company enters the final stages of Jennifer Mascall’s upcoming The Outliner; dancer, assistant administrator, understudy, rehearsal assistant, production assistant, and what ever else comes up during the adventure. I’m also currently undertaking two correspondence courses; Body Weight Strength Training Anatomy and Precision Nutrition – and I am thrilled to be immersed in such a variety of activities that I’m passionate about.