How a dance teacher’s selfless actions are inspiring a community.
Words Sophie Baird, Natalie Cyra
Mila Barach may be passionate about dance, but she’s even more crazy about teaching it, to inspire youth and people of all ages in her community to follow their dreams.
For 10 years, Mila Barach has been operating a small family-friendly dance studio that fosters community spirit and helps young dancers achieve their dreams.
Located in the beachside suburb of Otumoetai in the Bay of Plenty, Inzpire Creative Arts Youth Trust and Dance Company knocks down the exclusiveness often associated with dance studios by offering a range of classes for those of any age and ability. Whether dancers are attending for fun or aiming to go on and have a full time career in dance and the arts, Barach goes above and beyond to secure opportunities for her students.
One of her projects over the last seven years has been to manage and choreograph the ‘Bayley’s Dancers’ – a group of dancers from studios all over the Bay of Plenty, who regularly perform in front of large audiences at local sporting events, Christmas parades and charity events. The group was set up in order to give these dancers a professional-level platform in which to perform. By volunteering her time to bring these dancers together, Barach believes it will show them that they can achieve anything from a young age, and provide their audiences – especially young girls watching in the crowds – with positive role models to look up to.
Whether you are dreaming of becoming a professional one day or you are just looking for a place to move, feel good and meet others, Inzpire welcomes everyone. Classes are available in all major styles, for all ages and abilities.
Barach also makes sure that Inzpire is accessible to all.
Aware of the financial pressures that may be faced regarding fees, she offers a ‘fee’s free’ scheme for those who demonstrate talent and commitment to dance, as well as providing partial scholarships to those who can only pay partial fees. This is a true testimony to her passion for fostering excellence and creating a community spirit within her business.
Since Inzpire’s inception, Barach has mentored and worked with 11 dancers who have been accepted into the best full-time performing arts courses in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S, with some then going on become professional dancers.
Aware that mental health issues are a serious concern in New Zealand for all age groups, Barach always goes above and beyond the duties of a normal community dance teacher to ensure her students are always well supported. Her mission statement is to teach and develop key skills, build physical and emotional strength, foster talent and creativity and ultimately prepare young dancers and performers for a successful full time professional career in the performing arts industry.
To vote for Mila Barach, winner of the Arts category, to be the People’s Choice winner, click here.
To learn more about Mila Barach and what Inzpire Creative Arts Youth Trust has to offer, head to inzpiredanceco.co.nz