Meet Jacqueline Morales of Dance586 in Camberwell
Article posted: January 31, 2019
On the upper floor of the rather unassuming 586 Burke Rd in Camberwell, an eclectic mix of people are happily honing a skill, tentatively discovering a talent or building the foundations of a life-long love.
Doctors, lawyers, students, stay-at-home-mums, teachers and a whole range of people from many walks of life file through the doors every day for dance lessons.
Dance586 is a dance school for anyone with a yearning to learn. There are no competitions, just one- on-one classes and casual social events.
The studio is also a popular option for couples who want to learn a first dance for their wedding.
Co-director and dance teacher Jacqueline Morales said they’ve created a fun, peaceful environment where students learn at their own pace and in their own way.
“Patience is the key. We take it as slowly as the student wants and we adapt a teaching style to suit the individual,” she said.
“Some people work better with words, others with numbers.”
Creating community through dance
Ms Morales, who runs the school with co-director Sam Pappas, said anyone with a passion for dance or who thinks they can’t dance but have a desire to learn, is welcome.
“I have a student who has been coming for 12 years. We have an 82-year-old, and an 8-year-old boy who comes with his dad who was coming for years and decided to bring his son along,” she said.
“It’s for everyone and we often have people who come and say ‘I have two left feet’ and I assure them they do not and then we prove to them they have a left and a right and can make those feet dance.”
As well as the lessons, Dance586 runs social events so dancers can put into practice what they’ve learned and meet other students.
“The social evenings are great meet-up events and a time to put your skills to work.”
The whole ethos of the school is fun, fitness, self-improvement and the non-competitive, friendly environment has given some of the dance students a whole new social life.
“Some of the longer-term students have created a social circle and organise their own social outings. We also have started holding one fundraiser night a year in October. Last years’ event was very successful, and we hope for the same this year,” Ms Morales said.
“We not only raise money for a few charities but it’s a great way for students to get together and because we need items to auction, they bring things from their various businesses and so the others get to know their business and what they have to offer.
“It’s almost like a mini networking thing, which is good for the local area.”
A passionate local business
Ms Morales loves being in Camberwell.
“It is a fantastic area. The range of shops and cafes on Burke Rd is great,” she said.
“And we like to get involved with the community. Last year I got in touch with the Camberwell Association about becoming involved with things like prize giveaways. That is a good way to let people know we are here and what we offer.
“We offer a first lesson for free so that people can come along and decide if this is what they want.”
Ms Morales knows the love of dance and how it can grow. Even now the sound of rock and roll brings back memories of her mother encouraging her to dance.
“She would put on music, usually rock and roll, and get me to move to it. Eventually I started classes and I loved it,” she said.
And all these years on, she still loves dance and still loves to teach.
“No two days, no two students are the same. It never gets repetitive or boring,” she said.
So, next time you watch and episode of Dancing with the Stars and think ‘if she can do that, maybe I can’, think of Dance586.
“We will welcome you and show you that you really can do that,” Ms Morales said.
Visit the studio
Level 1, 586-590 Burke Rd, Camberwell
Phone: (03) 9191 7702.