Sunday Staff Special – Dianne DeBattista
Hello Kindred Spirits! It’s Miss Alex here, bringing you Part 1 of the Diakosmos Dance Academy Term 1 blog! To write this blog I have interviewed Diakosmos Principal Dianne about her dance and performing arts journey. We discussed how Dianne began classes as a child, and followed her dancing adventures all the way through to adulthood.
How old was Dianne when she began dancing lessons?
Dianne had a creative mind from a very young age. She loved to play pretend and dress ups and she was always dancing and creating stories in the backyard.
She was just 3 years old when her mum enrolled her in dancing lessons! However, 3 year old Dianne threw a tantrum in class when the teacher asked to remove the bow off of her favorite dress. She was NOT going to let that happen! After that scene she was taken out of classes.
She returned to dance classes at 5 years old. Unfortunately, Dianne hadn’t learnt her lesson, she continued to cause trouble in class and was taken out again.
At 8 years old Dianne was allowed to go to dance classes again (yay!), on her parents’ condition that she be very well behaved. She kept her promise and was always well behaved and hard working in her classes.
What is Dianne’s fondest childhood memory of dancing?
“Just dancing, it always made me feel fantastic and happy”
Dianne couldn’t see herself doing anything else other than dancing – it is her passion, it just came so easily and naturally to her.
Another very fond memory of Dianne’s is travelling to New York and studying at the Martha Graham School. At the time she was in New York, the famous Martha Graham had recently passed away. Because of this, all of Graham’s students and followers returned to New York to teach and return to the pure Graham technique. Dianne studied at the school at such a rich important time in modern dance history.
One of the reasons that Dianne was so passionate about opening a dance school, was her obsession with the Graham dance technique. She believes that the codified technique offers a structured learning which is physically and artistically challenging and rich. It is such an expressive form but still so structured and challenging.
What is Dianne’s most embarrassing performance memory?
Dianne’s most embarrassing performance memory was performing a “chicken dance ballet” as a teenager. Her teacher at the time really liked to choreograph some wacky dances!
Dianne had to dance en pointe dressed as a red chicken covered in feathers! Unfortunately for us, there is no video footage of this dance (apparently!)
Another embarrassing memory of Dianne’s is when she was 9 years old. During a jazz performance her pants fell down! She bravely continued the rest of the number with her pants called down- just like a true professional. To make matters worse, Dianne’s dad caught the whole performance on film! Wouldn’t we all like to see that video!
If Dianne could give one piece of advice to her 10 year old self, what would it be?
“Just keep dancing”
“Follow your bliss”
Dianne would tell herself to have more confidence, and tell herself that you will make the right choice if you do what you love.
She would say “don’t listen too much to what other people say – just follow the bliss – follow what you love”.