From Batemans Bay to treading the boards

Breanna Aldridge danced for 11 years and stopped because there weren’t many opportunities to progress in her hometown of Batemans Bay.

This year, Breanna started at The McDonald College as a Year 11 boarder, specialising in Commercial Dance while working towards her HSC. She first heard about the College through her cousin, who is also boarding at the College. What drew Breanna to the College was the ability to do performing arts and academics at the same time “as not many schools offer this.”

Her favourite style is hip-hop – an energetic and dynamic form of dance that is constantly evolving. It covers a range of styles, including popping, locking, breaking, and krumping. It is characterised by rhythmic movements, with an emphasis on fluidity and individuality. It is a fun and exciting style of dance that encourages self-expression and creativity while building strength, flexibility, and stamina.

“Teachers at the College have their own style of teaching, which is great.” Breanna says her dance technique has improved dramatically since coming to the College. Breanna says that as a boarder at the College, she loves having more time as she doesn’t have to travel to and from the school.

She is learning to take more responsibility for herself. She has learnt some valuable life skills, such as the importance of preparation and sticking to a routine. She feels like she is becoming more independent as a result.

The McDonald College Performing Arts Primary and Secondary School in Sydney

She also speaks highly of the Head of Boarding, Ms Rogers, “she’s like a second mum to all of us, she treats us all the same way, she’s really lovely.” Between her and my mentor, Ms Lasora – I feel really supported. (All Senior students at The McDonald College receive a dedicated teacher mentor.)

When asked about her plans for the future, Breanna says for now she is just focused on completing Year 11 and improving her dance technique and artistry.

Breanna says she would highly recommend boarding at The McDonald College to anyone interested in combining performing arts and academics in one place.

“What makes the College so special is that everyone is so supportive of one another. People here are just kind. I really enjoy it here,” she says.