Dancers' world-class visitor

DESIRE TO DANCE: Former Australian ballet soloist Marc Cassidy.
DESIRE TO DANCE: Former Australian ballet soloist Marc Cassidy.

High-profile dancer Marc Cassidy, who was back in the south this month teaching students, says ballet stays with you for life.

Cassidy, a former Australian Ballet soloist and a Genee International Ballet Competition gold medallist, was in Invercargill tutoring classical ballet as part of the Dance Your Southern Sox Off workshops.

He retired from the Australian Ballet in 2009 and now works in Melbourne as a pilates instructor. However, he has remained involved with the Australian Ballet School, where he teaches a strength and conditioning programme.

Southern dancers looked great and were having lots of fun, he said.

Ballet was something that remained with you for life.

"It's one of those things – it's always there. You get into it because you love it."

He enjoyed tutoring workshops. "To be honest, the teachers do wonderfully, getting the kids up to speed."

Dance Your Southern Sox Off project manager Nikki Cunningham said it was an honour to have such a high-profile dancer tutoring at the workshops.

"He is iconic to dance in New Zealand. He is iconic to the dance world.

"This amazing guy is in little old Invercargill and helping teach the kids," she said.

Having a male tutor would be good for the girls, but for boys it would be even better, because they would see that Cassidy had come through Southland and Otago ballet competitions to become a famous dancer, she said.

The Southland Times