The Ready Set Dance story began in 2014 when 5 Dance studio owners in Sydney began discussing preschool dance education. Our previous focus has been establishing our studios as the leading schools in Sydney. It was not until some of our team became mums and our own children were enrolled in our preschool dance classes that we realised how passionate we were about creating a brand new preschool program.
Our wealth of experience and creativity combined to create a program that preschoolers of today would love. Our one hour combo class would include jazz, tap,hip hop, singing, music and a whole lot of fun. The music was entirely original and written by music producers who also work on shows like, ‘Playschool’, ‘Giggle and Hoot’ and ‘Play Along With Sam’. The magic of the music was that it was designed around the choreography with key instructions for preschoolers to respond to. The whole program was also designed with a focus on making it appealing to both girls and boys. The READY SET DANCE class launched in our own studios in 2015 as a pilot program.
The magic of READY SET DANCE soon spread to our peers in the dance industry. In 2016 we were very excited to invite 20 schools to launch the program throughout NSW, QLD and the ACT. Experienced dance educators fell in love with the program and soon more and more studios were becoming a part of our team. In 2017 the program had spread to VIC, SA, WA and NZ. We had become the fastest growing preschool program in Australia and NZ. It was also an honour to be nominated as a finalist in the national awards for Best Preschool Activity for children aged 2-5 years old.
In 2017 we were also very excited to launch READY SET BALLET. This 30 minute introduction to ballet used the same magical formula as READY SET DANCE. The class can be taken in addition to READY SET DANCE or as a separate class.
MEET OUR TEAM
The directors are all dance studio owners, dance teachers and mums with a different story and skill set.
Jade Barnes is the owner of Planetdance in Menai in Sydney which has been established for 16 years. This studio actually won the title , ‘Australia’s Best Dance Studio’ on ‘ So You Think You Can Dance’. Her students have danced with superstars like Beyoncé, starred in musicals like ‘The Lion King’ and even become part of groups like ‘Hi-5’. Jade works as a resident choreographer with Nickelodeon on shows like ‘Play Along with Sam’ and ‘Slimefest’. She also works with Disney and the ABC casting children for shows like ‘Jay’s Jungle’ and ‘Hanging With’.
Her educational background included achieving honours in a Bachelor of Arts/ Laws from Sydney University.
Jade has a daughter Bronte who was in preschool when READY SET DANCE began its journey. She credits lots of her ability to engage preschoolers to the creative play and music she enjoyed with her daughter. As a mother of an only child she also understands the powerful role that a dance class can play developing in social skills and confidence.
Natalie Ettingshausen is the owner of Ettingshausens which is one of Sydney’s largest and most successful dance studios with a 12 studio complex and over 1000 students. She has nurtured students who have gone on to work in ballet companies, starred in major musicals like ‘Matilda’ and been finalists on, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.
Natalie began as a Primary School Teacher who later chose to specialise on dance education. She is now CEO of an RTO and has her TAE and Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management.
Natalie has two children who have shaped her philosophies on teaching and child development. Her daughter Tamika is now at uni studying design and creative intelligence. Proof that a great dance education builds a confidence and creativity that opens many career pathways. Her son Cody has performed in professional musical productions like Strictly Ballroom, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Matilda. Having a son in the performing arts has been a driving force for Natalie to make sure that READY SET DANCE is a great introduction to dance for boys.
BELINDA AGOSTINO and PRISCILLA SEVERINO
Belinda Agostino and Priscilla Severino are the owners of All Starz Performing Arts in Peakhurst, Sydney. They are grouped together here because they are always together as sisters who are very successful business partners. All Starz is recognised as an exceptional technical school producing great all round dancers. In fact, the top female dancer on, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ , Lauren Seymour is a well known graduate from the school. They have also successful produced dancers performing in ballet and dance companies around the world and within Australia. Belinda has a degree in Marketing and a professional resume as an International Singer. Priscilla has a degree in Engineering and Graphic Design.
Between them they have three young girls who were all preschoolers at the founding stages of READY SET DANCE. They attribute their passion for creating music and designing the READY SET DANCE brand to their most important role as mum to their daughters.
Glenda Yee was the studio owner of the Glenda Yee School of Dance in Prestons, Sydney for 33 years. She has produced talented performers who have made the top 20 in, ‘So you think you can Dance’, musical theatre performers who have won Australia’s most prestigious awards and is well known for her ability to create commercial dancers and pop stars like Nikki Webster. Glenda was also an examiner in all styles of Dance with the Australian Dance Association and is currently the president of Project Dance. She is also a qualified primary school teacher.
Glenda has two children who are excelling in their own fields. Her daughter Kaylie is currently performing in Las Vegas with Britney Spears and is considered one of Australia’s most successful commercial dancers. Her son Trent owns his own personal training business developing young elite athletes.