READY SET DANCE & READY SET BALLET
The READY SET DANCE story began in 2014 when 5 Dance studio owners in Sydney began discussing preschool dance education. Their previous focus had been establishing their studios as the leading schools in Sydney. It was not until some of the team became mums and their own children were enrolled in their preschool dance classes that they realised how passionate they were about creating a brand new preschool program.
Their wealth of experience and creativity combined to create a program that preschoolers of today love. The one hour combo class would be a combo class that includes JAZZ, TAP, HIP HOP, SINGING and MUSIC. The music was entirely original and 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 the Team was 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 the Ready Set Dance Network. In 2017 the program had spread to VIC, SA, WA and NZ. They had become the fastest growing preschool program in Australia and NZ. Also 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.
In 2017 It was also an honour to be nominated as a finalist in the national awards for Best Preschool Activity for pre-schoolers and then winning the same category in 2018!
Working alongside Nickelodeon the READY SET DANCE Team have been able to adapt their classroom-based program to deliver a story-driven dance series that is bursting with energy and encourages kids to get up and dance at home in their living rooms. The READY SET DANCE show is a daily show from 10AM until 12PM, airing periodically between popular Nick Jr. shows including PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and Nella the Princess Knight. Content will also be available in full on Nick Jr. Play, Foxtel On Demand and Fetch platforms.
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 is co owner of one of the leading dance schools in Sydney called All Starz Performing Arts in Peakhurst, with her sister Priscilla. 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.
All Starz has successfully produced dancers performing in ballet and dance companies around the world and within Australia. While she can claim various titles and choreography awards along the years what brings her the most joy is seeing each student learning and growing not only as a performer, but as a sincere individual with resilience and grit, values that she thinks are taught in dance class and by being part of a team.
Belinda has a degree in Marketing and a professional resume as an International Singer/songwriter. She also has an 8 year old daughter who was a preschooler at the founding stages of READY SET DANCE.
She became more in tune with what was happening on kids TV and what attracted her daughter to shows like Dora and the wiggles during her daughter’s early toddler years. Her daughter is her biggest inspiration for the songs and lyrics she’s written for the show!
Priscilla Severino is the co-owner of the award winning All Starz Performing Arts Studio with her sister Belinda. She loves everything about dance and anyone who knows her always describes her as very expressive and extremely passionate. Her expertise has always been training strong technical dancers and ensuring they learn the correct foundations of each style.
This has been a strong focus for her in the fundamental stages of planning for the Ready Set Dance classes. Her graduates are amongst some of Australia’s most successful and recognisable dancers and for Priscilla there is no better feeling than seeing a student she has taught since preschool years living their dream as a professional dancer.
Priscilla has a passion for graphic design and technology in general and is the tech head of the team without a doubt. This stems from her early uni days studying computer engineering.
This skill has come in handy especially for the early Ready Set Dance days as she has loved creating all the graphics and merchandise and she has continued to oversee this department to this day. Priscilla attributes her passion for designing the READY SET DANCE brand to her most important role as mum to her 2 young 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