“Because she points her toes” and “because she always has pink lipstick on” are just a couple of the reasons Miss Julie’s students love her. Beyond that she is described as a positive and inspiring role model who is kind, inclusive and supportive. It is no wonder that Julie Pringle has been nominated for Ready Set Ballet Teacher of the Year!
Miss Julie, as she is affectionately known in the Shire, has been teaching dance at Ettingshausens for more than 20 years. The last four have been as part of Ready Set Dance, an Australian/New Zealand structured and creative dance program for pre-schoolers. It teaches children to be imaginative using dancing, singing and musical instruments to build confidence and learn jazz, tap and ballet.
“I love teaching ballet.” Julie says. “The program is just wonderful. They come in here and they blossom. We notice a massive change from day one to when they’re about to do their concerts. It’s just character building for them.
“It’s such a head start to go to school,” she continues, “the transition from being babies to when they’re 5 years old going to school is so much easier being in this structured environment where they can learn from that.”
Before teaching, Julie was a dancer until she was 16 years old. Unfortunately, her career was sadly cut short when she had a kidney removed. Having taken a few years out made it difficult to return as a professional dancer. But in a turn of fortune, Natalie Ettingshausen approached her asking if she would be interested in teaching.
“I was absolutely rapt in that. I love it so much. It’s not just a job for me; I walk in the doors and even if I’m in the saddest of moods it makes me feel so happy. Once I see those children and their beautiful smiling faces, my whole world is turned.”
And over the past 20 years, Julie has seen lots of success stories. Many of her students have gone on to dance on cruise ships or travel overseas with companies, whilst others choose to follow in Miss Julie’s footsteps of teaching.
“There are so opportunities through dance, and I think that’s why I love it so much. You can take so much from it. You may not end up being the best ballerina in the world, but there’s so much more that you can take from dance by being in an actual class.”
The Ballet Teacher of the Year will be announced at Ready Set Dance’s annual conference at the end of September. For Julie it isn’t about the winning, but as a community, it is about recognising the influence she has had on dancers over the past 20 years and of what a fantastic job she does.
“It’s just such a passion for me. I want to say how thankful I am for being able to be part of such a wonderful program for children. I get a buzz from seeing the confidence in them as they grow up. I love the children so much and seeing them so happy means so much to me.”
Julie can be found most mornings at Ettingshausens in Kirrawee.
Find Ettingshausens on the Shire Talk Business Directory – https://shiretalk.com.au/business/australia/new-south-wales/kirrawee/ettingshausens-dance-theatre-martial-arts/