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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

50-years of dance: Chris Carey retires

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.

ARARAT dancing icon, Christine Carey, has retired from a 50-year career dedicated to teaching generations of local dancers.

PHOTO: Daina Jerram (right) presented Chris Carey with her plaque at the conclusion of the filmed concert. (Jack Ward/The Ararat Advocate)

The 70-year-old has rhythm and dance flowing through her veins but at the start of this year she decided it was time to hang up her ballet shoes.

Ms Carey started teaching at the age of 15 when her mother, Stella Rosengreen, owned the Rosengreen School of Dance.

“I taught through until the school celebrated 50-years. I stopped for about four years and when Donna (Ms Carey’s daughter) came back to the town, I helped her out,” she said.

“Mum had the school and I learnt off her. She had ballet teachers come in, Noelene Ahpee. I learnt the ballet side of it from Noelene and then she left so I kept up the ballet side of the school for Mum.”

For the past 12-years, Ms Carey has called Dynamic Dance home. Studio owner, Laura Cameron, said she had planned a farewell celebration for earlier in the year which was unable to go ahead.

Instead, a group of senior students and one of Ms Carey’s last classes acknowledged her contribution by presenting a plaque during their filmed 2020 dance concert on Monday.

“It was just beautiful - I got emotional actually, I had to keep the tears back,” Ms Carey said.

Ms Cameron paid tribute to the time, energy and effort Ms Carey has had for Dynamic Dance throughout the past 12-years, and for the dance community with prior studio owners over 50-years.

“She choreographs and creates routines that are just masterpieces. They always come from the heart, and they always have such strong meanings behind them,” Ms Cameron said.

“There are so many people who have just been so honoured to have worked with her, to have either danced beside her or honoured to have had her as a teacher. She has had a really big impact on the dance community.”

Ms Carey is glad she made the decision to retire at the start of the year, dodging the need to learn how to Zoom.

“All the technology was getting a bit much for me and I wouldn't have known how to do the Zoom and everything,” she said.

“Even the CDs, they were going on to USB sticks and I was getting stressed out, so it was probably a good time that the young ones take it on.”

Ms Carey said she is already missing her little dancers but knows the future is looking bright.

“There's two schools and they both seem to be doing quite good. All the little girls want to learn, at least for a little while,” she said.

“You get pleasure out of creating pieces and then getting the kids to perform it. It's just something that's in my blood and I have loved doing it.”

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