Amy Maidment of Bundaberg Dance Academy has been named as one of eight finalists in this year's Ready Set Dance Teacher of the Year Awards.
Aimed to encourage young dancers between the ages of two and five, the program features combo classes of jazz, tap, ballet and more run throughout dance schools across Australia.
Ready Set Dance also collaborates with Nickelodeon, with their television show promoting the benefits of dance and helping to get the world moving one preschooler at a time.
As a Ready Set Dance program teacher in Bundaberg, Amy was nominated for the organisation's Teacher of the Year Award and was recently selected as a finalist out of 900 entrants.
“I was very surprised because this is the first year our studio has taken on the Ready Set Dance program so it's a massive achievement to be recognised,” she said.
The passionate dancer has been teaching for over a decade and said she loved to see the progress in her students from the start of each year to the end.
“I love when kids come to me for the first time and they are all shy, quiet and just want their parents,” she said.
“By the time our end-of-year performance comes around they have changed so much and they love everything about dance, they don’t think twice about mum and dad!”
Amy said her lessons helped to bring out confidence and creativity in her students while providing a place of fun and social activity.
“It’s such a social sport and the development that comes out of it is amazing,” she said.
“The children grow and learn so much, they build up their social skills and are really able to express their creativity.”
Ready Set Dance awards criteria
The results of the Ready Set Dance Teacher of the Year Award will be announced at an upcoming conference in Sydney with finalists judged on criteria including confidence in RSD program delivery, creativity and more.
Amy said whatever the outcome, she was honoured to have made the finals and to be involved in the program.
“Ready Set Dance has been studied by professionals in child development and is a nationally recognised program,” she said.
“It is a fantastic, structured program offering jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet and more and really helps children gain skills and confidence.”
- Other news: Pole dancer Angela has a passion for performing