Cheer and dance leader on the value of treating yourself right

by frank-stuart

At 24 years of age, Ellie Shinas has already been dancing for more than 20 years. It was during a two-year break from dancing that Ellie realised she wanted to make dance education her career.

“I stopped dancing because I was working full-time as a personal assistant, organising events and supporting a board of directors. I was teaching dance classes, as well as dancing professionally,” Ellie said. “I gave up dancing to focus on work and it wasn’t the right move.”

Ellie credits ACPE’s Dance Education degree for getting her back on her feet. “I was looking for a degree that would set me up as a Dance teacher and a Physical and Health Education teacher,” she said. “ACPE seemed the best option, so I applied for a scholarship and here I am. I’m learning a lot from everyone, which says a lot about the college. There’s not one brilliant teacher, they are all brilliant and inspiring.”

On campus, Ellie is the ACPE Cheer and Dance Captain, heading up the college’s teams in the university competition. Right now, she’s choreographing the hip-hop team for a competition in a few weeks’ time. She is also the Cheer Leader Co-Captain at the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

“It’s so rewarding to support my team and to lead the crowd to do the same on game day,” Ellie said. “There is a lot of training and it’s hard work. Sometimes we do back-to-back games with new routines for every game of at least 30 choreographed blocks. But, you are really an ambassador for the club, representing the club at corporate, community and charity events,” Ellie said. “My work with the Bulldogs has led to other professional opportunities.”

Ellie is about to bring her two worlds (study and work) together. She has organised for the ACPE Cheer and Dance team to perform at half-time during a Bulldogs’ game. “You’ve got to make opportunities in every part of your life. You never know where it will take you.”

Ultimately, Ellie wants to work in a high school teaching dance and physical education, designing programs and curriculum. She’s already got her foot in the door. Even though Ellie is on campus four days per week and training twice a week for cheer and dance, she squeezes in work at her old high school, teaching dance ensembles and classes at a studio.

When asked how she manages her workload, Ellie said, “You have to look after yourself. Make sure you get enough sleep and eat well. Your body is your profession and the course is a very practical one. To make the most of it, you’ve got to treat yourself right.”

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