When Caitlyn Knight starts off the dancing year this week, she will be joining her dance school for a special year.
Studio Arc will be celebrating their 10th anniversary and Caitlyn is amongst the group of students who have been members since the very first class in 2007. Caitlyn holds the unique status of being the first student at Studio Arc to have progressed through every aged section, from Tinies to Sub-Juniors, Juniors, Intermediates and Seniors.
Caitlyn joined Studio Arc as a 6 year old. Her mother, Sue Smith, chose calisthenics as an after-school activity because of its diverse content. She says:
“There were lots of different dance styles being offered in Ballarat. Calisthenics was the most appealing because it included such a variety of elements – ballet, gymnastics, singing and theatrics. It means the girls are learning a range of skills, so class is always interesting”.
Over the years, Caitlyn’s favourite element has changed from free-exercise (gymnastics) to the more graceful style of aesthetics (ballet).
Caitlyn remembers her Nanna first asking her if she would like to try out a new dance school that was being opened by Jane Lovison. She was so excited that she danced around the house for the entire school holidays, just waiting for classes to begin.
From that point on, Caitlyn embraced calisthenics and has excelled at a personal level. She has performed in 9 concerts, undertaken 6 exams and competed in many solo items. One of her earliest memories is of receiving a 3rd place as a 7 year old for her ‘Prince Ali’ item in her very first solo competition. She also remembers being very nervous at her first graceful solo in 2013 where the result was a 2nd placing, just half a point behind 1st place.
The placings are nice, but are not the most important aspect for Caitlyn and her club. It is the team sport element that she enjoys the most. She has competed in country competitions, South Street Eisteddfods and State Titles with her team each season. As a new club on the scene, Studio Arc was initially placed in the lower divisions, and have worked their way up the ladder. Caitlyn is pleased to have played a role in that progression.
Through teamwork comes friendship. Caitlyn enjoys the social aspect of Studio Arc. She has friends who have been team mates since the beginning, as well as those who have joined the team over the years. She has respect and praise for the coaches who have helped her develop into the person she is today – confident, willing to try new things, and with the perseverance to practice to get things right. She herself will assist a class of younger girls this year, helping out the Junior team.
Caitlyn is looking forward to her first year as a Senior and her tenth year as a member of the Studio Arc Dance School.