Classroom Spotlight

DEPA values our teachers and are proud to honour their experience and knowledge.
Here, we introduce a DEPA NSW member and take a peek inside their studio/classroom to learn more about our community, and consider best-practice pedagogy.

Erin Parrey-Harrington                     Kylie Croucher

Lauren Hickson                                 Danielle Bennie

Blake Fatouros

Carly loves to move and create, so she will spend as much time as she can in the studio with her mentors Brian Carbee and Dean Walsh, or on the Yoga mat practicing Synergy style. Travel and exploring the natural environment gives her great joy and happiness. Carly is dedicated to her family, friends and dogs.

Hi! I am: Carly Olander

I teach at: Bronte Public School

I’ve been here: Over 10 years as the K-6 creative arts teacher and extra curriculum dance coordinator and tutor.

I first began dancing: 14, at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts and as a member of The Arts Unit’s NSW Public Schools State Dance Ensemble.

I first began teaching: 16 years ago, at Woollahra Public School.

My favourite style to teach: Contemporary dance with integrated elements of improvisation/task-based composition.

The most special teaching memory of my career: Learning how to best support a student with particular access needs participate in dance studies Successfully, with the assistance of specialists.

The most ridiculous thing that has ever happened in my classroom: One of our chickens escapes it’s enclosure at Bronte Public and entered the classroom in the middle of our dance class.

The greatest teaching success I have enjoyed was: Supporting students on their dance journey and observing them as they achieved a position in major international ballet and contemporary dance companies.

My proudest teaching moment: Having past students return and express their gratitude for the role I played in their education, for providing them further learning and performing opportunities.

Pedagogically, I specialise in: Contemporary dance and a process called improvisation to composition. My method is to create a safe learning environment which allows me to guide students through creative movement experiences and ideas. I help set students a learning intention and achievable goal as part of this process. For me, this is important since it helps to make them accountable for their work.

One tip I’d give graduating dance teachers in their first year: I find that taking regular dance classes as a student inspires me personally and also gives me fresh ideas for teaching dance. Keep dancing!

A short learning experience, programming, administration or student-management trick which never fails: Invest time in building a strong rapport with your students.

My favourite aspect of teaching in a school is: Collaborating with students to produce a performance work. The focus is on the process, with much time dedicated to exploring ideas through various improvisation techniques.