Chloe Jolliffe, Michael Lane, Amy Lester, Sherie Baker, Jessica-Lee Baker and Nastasia Abnett performed a hip-hop routine at the Salvation Army Tom Quinn Centre.
Chloe Jolliffe, Michael Lane, Amy Lester, Sherie Baker, Jessica-Lee Baker and Nastasia Abnett performed a hip-hop routine at the Salvation Army Tom Quinn Centre. Mike Knott

Dance teacher steps up classes

A BELIEF in the transformative power of dance has led Sherie Baker to aim her own brand of hip-hop instruction at special needs children.

And since the NewsMail first reported on her activities back in May, her story has appeared in a national magazine and her dance school has grown from one venue to four.

Ms Baker has just completed a semester teaching hip-hop at Thabeban State Primary School and is hoping she can continue there.

But she also offers classes at the family community centre at the Showgrounds, at the Norville Hall on Maynard Street, and at the PCYC.

“I’ve got the four locations because otherwise a lot of the kids can’t get to me,” Ms Baker said.

She is under pressure to open another venue for her Raw Storm Dance Studios in Bundaberg east, but Ms Baker admits she has trouble paying the rent for all her locations.

“At the end of the day I would love to have my own place because all the money goes towards paying the rent,” she said.

Ms Baker said her Showgrounds studio was solely for young people who could not afford to pay for regular dance classes.

“We just ask for a gold coin donation,” she said.

Ms Baker said her focus on special needs children had seen her classes attended by kids with speech impairments and even one deaf girl.

“She can’t hear the music, but she just watches me,” she said.

Ms Baker also has a dance class aimed at children aged between two and five.

“We have qualified staff for that and some mums rostered on to help,” she said.

Ms Baker said she focused on building up the confidence of the people in her classes.

“In a lot of the classic dance classes, the kids who don’t perform well get put at the back of the class,” she said.



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