Choreographer Scott Elstermann Works with Senior Dance Troupe

Dancer and choreographer Scott Elstermann has been working with our Senior Dance Troupe, preparing them for the IGSSA Dance Festival.

How long have you been dancing, and what drew you to dance?

I started dancing at the age of 7 and trained in a range of styles, including jazz, tap, ballroom, classical ballet and contemporary dance. I was drawn to dance by the simple art of moving to music. Watching someone move to music never gets old, and I’m always surprised, excited and amazed when I see it done in such creative and unique ways.

What is your greatest achievement so far?

In 2018, I was fortunate to be the first Australian and youngest-ever international recipient of the prestigious Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance & Choreography. This opportunity allowed me to travel to Europe and gain access to a range of contemporary dance companies, opening my eyes to what is happening around the world and sparking an interest in choreography. Also, being the 2020 WA Young Achiever of the Year (Arts & Culture) was an incredibly humbling recognition.

What do you hope our dancers learned from you, in addition to your choreography?

My primary goal with any group of dancers I teach is to have fun! Dance has given me so much joy and a safe space to be creative, share, and laugh. I hope the dancers have enjoyed the process, experienced a different way of creating movement, felt comfortable being theatrical, and learned some new choreographic skills along the way.

What was the inspiration behind the Senior dance choreography?

When I was approached to make a piece for the Senior Dance group, Head of Dance & Drama, Jessica Wynn, mentioned that she was after a truly creative process and something to push the students out of the norm. The inspiration for the item was then born from a love of synchronised or artistic swimming. I have always been fascinated by these water dance ensembles and felt like now was the perfect opportunity to do it with the Tokyo Olympics on at the time. The piece, in turn, took the fast arm, leg and head movements, ever-changing formations, and strained facial expressions out of the water and onto the stage. The result is frantic, fun, and fabulous!

What did you enjoy most about your time at Santa Maria College?

The discipline of the students and their ability to give everything a go was impressive. I realise the piece we created was a new way of moving for most of the students, but they have worked hard to realise the vision. It’s one thing to do the steps but another to sell the story on top of that, which has taken the item to another level. Thank you to the Senior Dance group and Santa Maria College for having me!

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