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Sports, arts and activities

Inspiring students through movement

ACG Parnell College tutor Morgan Page is blessed with more than her fair share of physical prowess. The dynamic Middle School teacher leads our newly introduced dance programme and also teaches physical education to students from Year 7 to 10. Outside of school hours? You’ll find her at the gym pursuing her passion for Olympic Weightlifting.

Morgan joined the ACG family partway through 2019, after graduating as a qualified teacher. She was attracted by our students’ strong work ethic, an attribute she believes is vital for success, not only in the classroom, but in life generally.

“It’s an important attitude that can be instilled at a young age and it really benefits people’s futures,” says Morgan. “I also believe perseverance, excellence and teamwork are paramount as they strengthen and enhance wellbeing.”

As well as strong values, Morgan injects plenty of enthusiasm and flair into her classes. Her dance students for instance are enjoying everything from rock ‘n’ roll and salsa to hip hop.

“Like PE, the curriculum is kept quite broad. This is so students get the opportunity to experience a variety of dance styles across their Middle School years. Currently contemporary, jazz, Maori/hip hop fusion, and ballet/contemporary group dances are being taught. In each year level, the students will also have the opportunity to create and perform their own choreography piece that will be guided by the teacher.”

Dance classes are held in a specialised space, Movementum Dance Studio, located in nearby Morgan Street.

“This is an excellent space and we are very privileged to have the use of it. When dancing, it is vital that we have a suitable floor to avoid injuries, especially when we have students who are still growing and developing. Dancing and jumping on concrete can cause damage to bones and joints so you need a floor with enough spring to lessen the impact and provide the safest learning environment possible.”

Morgan works hard to ensure dance is fun and engaging for all students, no matter how much or how little previous experience they may have.

“Some students are initially a little self-conscious, but I stress to the class that everyone is a beginner and this is new to everyone. I don’t expect everything to be perfect, all I care about is that students are trying their best.”

The benefits are significant.

“I love how individuals can express themselves through dance. I also love giving students the opportunity to learn an art form that they may not get the chance to participate in outside of school. Dance can give students a sense of belonging and enhance all aspects of their hauora (physical, mental, social and spiritual needs).

“I enjoy seeing the students have their lightbulb moment when they understand a concept or task. It is so satisfying to see them feel proud of themselves for their learning.”

Just as she does herself, Morgan encourages her students to give their all in everything they do and is a strong believer in asking for help where needed.

“If you aren’t comfortable asking in front of the class, then pull the teacher aside at a quiet moment and ask. There is nothing worse than not asking for help and falling behind on classwork. Your teachers are always happy to provide support and assistance and will admire your initiative if you ask for help when you need it.”