Meet Miss Aleea Middling
When it comes to being an awesome dancer, there’s no such thing as taking shortcuts. Dancing takes discipline, hard work and determination.
Just ask ID’s resident “jack-of-all-trades” Miss Aleea, who has danced almost every day of her life, despite being born with a health condition that may have ruled out a dance career for most.
Miss Aleea has good advice for her beloved students – guidance in line with our Industry Dance motto to Dream. Believe. Succeed.
“Dream big,” she says.
“Set your goals higher than you ever imagined. Believe in yourself, you can make it happen. Succeed with hard work and patience. Dance is a discipline, you can’t take shortcuts,” she says.
Miss Aleea knows her stuff; she was born with a sickled right foot. Her parents put her into dancing classes at the age of two to help with treatment, little knowing she would go on to become a professional dancer.
“At two I was too young for the baby classes, so naturally my mother lied and told them I was three so I could join the next class up!” she says.
Miss Aleea danced almost every day up to the age of 17, training in every style as well as taking RAD ballet and AMEB vocal exams.
“When I was accepted into the Australian Dance Performance Institute at 16 I started student teaching. I knew I had a knack for it and really connected with the students. I started teaching full time at 19 and the rest is history,” she says.
Miss Aleea has danced all over the world professionally, in the US, Dubai in the UAE, the U.K and, of course Australia.
“My fondest dance memory would be my first ever paid gig as a 12 year old. I was a character suit dancer at the Goodwill games in Brisbane and when I cashed that first cheque I felt like a real professional.”
Miss Aleea taught at many different studios before bringing her impressive skill set to ID. She says the best thing about our studio is its strong “family vibe”.
“I love teaching in a studio where there aren't any unrealistic expectations put on the kids,” she says.
“It is important they are taught in a supportive, friendly environment. There are a range of abilities and experience in each class. I love the way ID students are so helpful toward each other, always inviting to new members. It's really nice to see.”
Miss Aleea calls herself a “jack-of-all-trade”s because she teaches students from kinder age to seniors in a wide range of genres including jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, song and dance and her fave – musical theatre. She also takes vocal private lessons and teaches ID’s cool company routines.
“I look forward to challenging the kids,” she says, I always have a goal for the end of each class and feel such a sense of accomplishment if even one student reaches that goal. I'm constantly setting individual challenges with incentives.”
Miss Aleea hopes to inspire her students in the same way she was inspired by her former dance teacher, who became a friend.
“She was tough as nails and I was always scared of her (in the best possible way), but my gosh was she talented. She turned me into a respectful, hard working dancer and I really have her to thank for never letting me get away with my cheekiness. I still catch up with her now as an adult, she is in her 70's now and we have some wonderful memories.”
When asked about her favourite dance production, Miss Aleea is almost stumped.
“That's a hard question as I've never seen a show I didn't love! But my number one musical of all time is definitely A Chorus Line, followed closely by Singin' in the Rain. You just can't beat the classics. My favourite performer will always be Gene Kelly.”
If dancing didn't work out for Miss Aleea, she says she would have been a midwife.
“It's a subject that fascinates me, especially since having my own baby a few months ago,” she says.
When Miss Aleea isn’t at the ID studio she’s spending time with her other family, at the beach with a good cup of coffee.
She says her ID students might be surprised to learn she can speak other languages. She picked up some Spanish after travelling in South America and German after living in the Austrian Alps for nine months.