Sue Cook Dance Studio is a happy place which has nurtured and inspired young dancers for years.
Story: Sandy Woods | Pictures: Sarah Orchard Photography
Sue Cook is passionate about her dancers’ journey. “It’s a privilege to watch their artistry, technique, and personal growth develop as they gain confidence and strength beyond the scope of movement,” she says.
Teaching in association with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Association of International Dance Teachers (AIDT), Sue trains aspirant dancers from the age of three.
“When building a technical dance grounding – through growing a child’s fine and gross motor skills, flexibility, co-ordination, focus, and musicality – a sound foundation is set for technique and strength,” explains Sue.
Sarah Shipley, Sue’s dance school partner, began her dance journey with the studio when she was in pre-school. After completing her teaching qualification, Sarah honed her passion and skill for choreography. Since 2013, the two internationally accredited teachers have inspired young ballerinas together. The duo’s priority is to offer a nurturing environment in which their students thrive.
“It’s beautiful work, as you get loved and hugged by children every day. You can’t ever be down when you have happy children with you,” smiles Sarah.
The legacy of the studio lies in relationships, built over 30 years of teaching in the Highway area.
“Many of my dancers are second-generation, whose parents trained with me. Our studio provides a ‘home away from home’ where students share experiences and form lifelong friendships,” says Sue.
The dance studio’s impact on students’ lives is felt far beyond the physical benefits. “In a fast-paced world, dance affords children the opportunity to develop perseverance, self-discipline, and determination to achieve a long-term goal. Today, this is an invaluable benefit,” says Sue.
Sarah believes the social aspects of a dancer’s education are critical. “Dance training is a wonderful way to make special friendships, as your group stays together all the way through. I met my dance friends when I was three, so we have 15 years of memories,” she says.
The studio is well known for its bi-annual stage performances held at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, which aims to provide students with an opportunity to develop their technique and ease when performing in front of large audiences. The 2023 showcase, planned to run from September 30 to October 8, promises to deliver the usual high standard of choreography and costumes.
“Confident children become confident adults. When a child is taught with imagination, creativity, a sound technical foundation, and an emphasis on fun, a lifelong passion for dance begins,” smiles Sue.
What does Sue Cook Dance Studio offer?
• A full schedule of ballet and modern exam classes.• A wide variety of dance styles – including ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and jazz.
• Classes from Monday to Thursday.
• Late afternoon classes for working parents.
• Kloof and New Germany venues, plus extramural classes at Highway schools.
• A bi-annual show season, concluding with performances at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.
FOR MORE INFO:
- 083 232 3110
- Insta: @suecookdancestudio