Sally Prendergast talks about her job like it is a daily present to herself.
For this determined teacher, dance is about much more than making bodies move in pretty ways.
Launching dance school DiLi – Dream It, Live It in 2016, Sally has seen a steady rise from 90 students at the end of 2016 to more than 300 students last term.
I try to change the inner voice from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I absolutely can’.Dance teacher Sally Prendergast
Her ethos is simple – empowering young minds and souls to believe in themselves, truly.
She schools everyone from tiny tots to adults, in classical ballet, jazz/funk, tap, contemporary and hip-hop.
Having begun her career in dance 25 years ago in Victoria, Sally has also worked extensively in film and television production and knows the power of confidence more than most.
“I don’t just teach kids, I try to instil self-belief and self-confidence, and change the inner voice from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I absolutely can’.
“I love that the most, that’s the most rewarding thing for me,” Sally said.
This year leaving a full-time job at Mount Isa Entertainment and Tourism Venues, Sally is throwing her heart into the passion project of a lifetime.
Any nerves about becoming fully self-employed were short-lived, Sally said.
“I’m in such a space now with the whole premise that you can do anything you dream of, you can do anything you want to do. That is really what I’m all about,” she said.
“So I had maybe half a day of ‘is this the right decision?’ and then I went “of course it is’, because if it doesn’t work I’ll do something else.”
“Life should be about being happy and doing what makes you feel good, and making sure that you’re fulfilling your dreams.”
The power of positivity seems to have seeped into her business plan and brought about a huge pupil base, far faster than Sally expected, she said.
“I want to dedicate more time to expanding it further.
“I believe in what I’m doing so much, and I’m getting such incredible quick growth because of what I do and how I do it,” Sally said.
Sally’s students have excelled in competitions such as Mount Isa Eisteddfod, but winning is not Sally’s focus.
A DiLi group performed in Isa’s Got Talent at Mount Isa Show last week, placing second.
"The first thing I said to them was ‘what are you going to be thinking about?”
“One of the girls piped up ‘Um, that we are all divas?’”
“I was like ‘Woah, where did that come from?! I just love that that self-belief is actually building within them. That’s the ultimate thing for me,” Sally said.