celebrating 60 years of dance

Welcome to the Transformative Dance Podcast

Welcome to the Transformative Dance Podcast, where I explore the world of dance and its incredible ability to transform lives. My journey with dance began when I was a shy little girl, and it has profoundly and positively shaped who I am today. The camaraderie, the experiences—both good and challenging—and the incredible mentors I’ve encountered along the way have all left an indelible mark on my life. I am deeply grateful for these experiences, but I also recognize that not everyone’s dance journey is positive. This podcast is my way of exploring these varied experiences, shedding light on both the uplifting and the challenging aspects of dance. My personal motto is that we rise by lifting others, and I genuinely hope that these conversations contribute to our industry in a positive way.

My experience in the dance industry spans over 40 years, but really, that is just a drop in the ocean! Since the dawn of time, humans have used dance to communicate, express, and celebrate. It is a universal language that transcends cultures and has an unmatched capacity to help people connect, grow, and develop. My aim during each episode of this podcast is to delve into how dance can and is profoundly impacting lives. I will share firsthand accounts from individuals who have found resilience, creativity, and empathy through dance, illustrating how this art form can enrich every aspect of life. I aim to emphasize the importance of inclusivity and diversity, amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and advocating for inclusive spaces where everyone can thrive. Through these conversations, I advocate for dance as a lifelong journey of self-discovery and personal development.

My goal is to inspire educators, students, and parents by highlighting the numerous benefits and joys of dance education.

Subscribe now to join my journey and become part of a community that believes in the transformative power of dance.

Melanie Gard

About Our Host

As the Director of Peninsula School of Dance on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula in Australia, I have transformed a small ballet school into a vibrant performing arts hub that now serves over 300 students weekly. With over three decades of experience in dance education, I bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the podcast.

My Journey

My journey to becoming a respected dance educator and community leader is a testament to my dedication and love for dance. I hold a Licentiate with Cecchetti Ballet Australia, a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management, a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, and a Bachelor of Arts in Disability Studies from Deakin University. As an affiliate member of Australian Teachers of Dance (ATOD), Dance Arts Alliance Board member and a Cecchetti Ballet accredited teacher, I am committed to maintaining the highest standards in dance education.

A Vision for Inclusivity and Excellence

Beyond dance, my background in disability and community development provides me with unique insights into creating inclusive environments. This experience is evident in my leadership at Peninsula School of Dance, where our values of community and inclusion are at the forefront of all we do. My approach ensures that every student, regardless of ability, finds a welcoming and supportive space to thrive.

Advocacy and Community Engagement

I am a staunch advocate for the performing arts, playing significant roles in various advisory panels and organisations. Recently appointed as Chair of the Dance Arts Alliance (DAA), I actively work to unify and advocate for the Dance Arts industry in Victoria. I was also a long time member of the Arts and Culture advisory panel to our local shire council.

A Legacy of Transformation

Under my guidance, many students have achieved remarkable success, whether in professional dance careers or personal development. My greatest joy comes from seeing students of all abilities find their happy place in dance. I take pride in fostering a nurturing culture where personal growth and happiness are celebrated as the true measures of success.

A Personal Note from Me

“I am incredibly proud of the nurturing culture at Peninsula School of Dance. Our greatest achievements are not just the awards and professional successes, but the stories of personal growth and happiness. Dance is more than an art form; it’s a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.” – Miss Mel

Join us on the Transformative Dance Podcast as I bring my expertise, passion, and dedication to each episode, inspiring listeners to discover the life-changing magic of dance. Subscribe today and become part of our growing community.