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Branches Performing Arts

Posted by Team APATA | Aug 16, 2022

For this month’s APATA podcast episode we spoke with Branches Performing Arts Founder and Principal Amy Tinning.

Literally branching out across the outback Amy brings dance education to students in regional, rural and remote communities.

Along with Deputy Principal Tammy Gordon the pair cover a combined total of 2,000km every fortnight.

That is 300 students across seven towns. Hughenden, Richmond, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Winton, Longreach and Barcaldine.

Basically they teach a whopping 84 scheduled classes, and 80 private coaching sessions, to students in the Northern Territory, Outback Queensland and Northern New South Wales.


Distance Dance

Significantly Amy first began delivering Distance Dance, Branches’ online classes, well before Covid forced us all to transition to remote learning.

Subsequently Branches’ Distance Dance and has been a leader in the way they have supported students and families unable to attend in-person dance classes due to pure logistics.

But distance and dance has always gone hand-in-hand for Amy.

As a rural kid who begged her parents to let her attend dance classes Amy inevitably sees no geographical barriers when it comes to learning dance.

“Mum took me into town to see a Variety Night concert when I was about four years old and I just very vividly, remember seeing little girls in tap shoes and pink tutus and I was sold.” Amy recalls.

“For me the distances are all part of it and certainly have shaped my view on what I feel is possible and I will always challenge distance. I think that’s because of the way that my journey started as a young girl.”

Amy studied a Bachelor of Dance at WAAPA and joined the associated LINK Dance Company for a year afterward.

On her return to Julia Creek Amy’s dance training was the talk of the town and she was eventually persuaded to run a dance workshop which became, two workshops, then a term, then a year.

Seven and a half years later Branches has gained fellow teacher and Deputy Principal Tammy Gordon and a student teacher based in Sydney.

Distance Dance branching out & Deputy Principal Tammy Gordon.

Creating Community and Co Stars!

Branches Performing Arts is deeply rooted in connecting dance with kids and their communities, and we are in absolute awe of their dedication to helping outback dancers’ dreams come true.

Indeed that is part of the reason behind Amy branching out with her Co Stars Dance Company based in Mt Isa.

In this way Amy and Tammy are able to provide developing young artists with professional-level performance experience, and exposure to high-quality dance training and artistic processes.

The team attend comps, perform at various events and are able to experience the magic of performance, Amy’s first love.

“I have a major love for performing myself, but I think that my desire to teach is possibly stronger. I’ve always loved teaching and I think that’s shaped by having had brilliant teachers myself.”

“Those little kids that I teach right now, I was one of them. I do truly understand how important it is, and what it means to have access to dance when you live in a remote location. I believe talent has a home everywhere.”

Dirty Feet Outback Dance Festival

Branches Performing Arts


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