When an audience watches a professional dancer perform, in whatever style from classical ballet to hip hop, what they are seeing is to a large extent a carefully crafted illusion.

The audience does not see the bruises and blisters, the muscle strains and pain. Nor are they aware of the hard, unremitting effort and determination over years of intensive training it takes to craft the illusion. Instead they see something magical: a seemingly effortless, gravity defying grace and ease of movement, balance, poise and musical expression.

And that is of course how it is meant to be, and what all the years of training have set out to achieve.

The grace, athleticism and technique seen in professional ballerinas comes from years of dedicated hard work. However the learning is far from merely physical: Apart from the technique, the choreography, the stagecraft, and the examinations to pass, there is a much deeper education: a learning about one's own body and mind, and their intricate connection.

DanceWorks was formed to encourage children to discover the joy of dancing; to work towards fulfilling their dreams, not only if professional dance is a future they see for themselves, but also for those who maybe dancing as a hobby, supporting their love of dance and desire for physical fitness along the way.

It is my wish to give my students a taste of the magic and the joy of dance performance and the Youth Dance Company gives its students a chance to perform on a professional stage, to experience the nerves, the rush of adrenaline, the delight when the audience applauds, and the pride and satisfaction gained from hard work as individuals and as part of a team.

It is a fantastic feeling being a part of something good, and being good on stage means working hard in the studio, committing to the training classes and attending rehearsals.

I believe that by teaching in this way and encouraging this level of dedication to something so enjoyable, the students will forever carry with them the sense of pride, achievement and self confidence we would all wish for our children.