Cancer Council’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is an event Carol has supported from its inauguration.. many moons ago. A cure for cancer is one of her top priorities in life as she has lost three members of her family due to cancer.
1984 saw Carol establishing Pacific Dancentre, a Registered Training Facility with Dancesport Australia located at the Coffs Harbour Showgrounds, essentially to teach the art of Ballroom Dancing to the Coffs Harbour region.
Carol, Principal of Pacific Dancentre is an accredited coach and Licenced Adjudicator in the three styles of Modern Latin and New Vogue as well as teaching English Old Time. Carol is also a member of ADS (Australian Dancing Society), ANDA (Australian National Dance Association) and Dancesport Australia. Many Pacific Dancentre couples and individuals have seen great successes in the competitive arena of Dancesport across Australia.
Within dancing there are three pathways, competitive, medallist and social where most dancers are introduced to the sport. People as young as four and the young at heart at 90 years can enjoy this wonderful sport.
At only 17 years of age, Gemma Sarvari has been lucky to have had more national and international experience than many adults. Gemma commenced her love of dancing at 21/2 years of age.
Moving from Sydney to Coffs Harbour, Gemma opened her own Dance Studio called First Step Dance Academy Mid North Coast. This is a huge achievement for one so young.
Grateful to be able to share her knowledge, Gemma believes in teaching dance for the pure fun and enjoyment to young students from pre-school age to high school in a fun, family friendly and safe environment. This builds self-esteem, confidence and the ability to work within a team.
Gemma stated, “Cancer is such a common illness within society. It has not personally affected me or any of my family, however, I am honoured to support the Dance for Cancer Stars initiative.
To recognize those who have battled and are currently fighting cancer . . . that is enough for me to get up there, show appreciation and respect all affected by this illness.”
“The Stars of Coffs Coast Dance For Cancer is such a perfect event to bring together our community to raise money for such a great cause, and dancing brings so much light to everyone! And I enjoy sharing that,” stated Kym Ferrington.
Kym is not new to Stars of Coffs Coast having supported the event a few years ago.
She began her love of dancing when she was 9 years old. Dancing competitively for 10 years at the Nicole Shipman Academy of Dance in Grafton and at Corindi Dance School where she also taught dancing for 4 years.
Completing yearly exams with both R.A.D. and B.A.L, Kym has also attended workshops in both Brisbane and Sydney.
Over the years Kym has taught dancers from the age of 3 to those in their 50’s. In the last few years, she started a family and a full-time job which has kept her quite busy! However, Kym has continued teaching when she can, most recently being a Dance Teacher at Woolgoolga High School for year 7 sport.
Michele Warman grew up on the Coffs Coast where she learnt to dance. Moving to the Gold Coast she was employed as an entertainer at Movie World before commencing her own successful dance school in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Moving back home to Bellingen 3 years ago to be closer to her family, Michele continued to teach dance in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen; her dance school is named All 4 Dance Bellingen.
Michele now teaches dance to adults with disabilities while furthering her career as a Disability Support Worker.
Michele was honoured to be a part of Stars of Coffs Coast in 2017 which motivated her to raise money for such a worthy cause and be able to give back to the community. She is incredibly excited to be involved with?Stars of Coffs Coast Dance for Cancer again this year.
Brett Sprague was an Artillery Major in the Australian Regular Army with two deployments to Timor West. Prior to joining the Army, he was a self-employed Sports Chiropractor selected to join the Sydney 2000 International Olympic Committee’s Inaugural Chiropractic Team.
Completing a Master of Arts in Strategy and Security in December 2021, Brett is Chairman of both Coffs Harbour State Electoral Committee as well as the Coffs Harbour Branch NSW Nationals.
Brett is also President of Coffs Latin Rhythms, a not-for-profit organization run by a group of passionate people who love to dance. Bringing a very high standard of both Australian and International dancers to Coffs Harbour as guest instructors, thus affording participants the opportunity for personal tuition from world standard instructors. Brett has also taught Salsa beginners over several terms.
With his love of dance, Brett is keenly interested in supporting Cancer Council’s Stars of Coffs Coast Dance for Cancer. Aware this is a brilliant evening for such a worthy cause, Brett is looking forward to sharing his love of dance with his assigned ‘Star’ and delivering an entertaining performance for the night.
Music was in Debbie Sense’s blood from the time she came into the world in East Gippsland, with a musically gifted family, playing musical instruments or singing.
Her first introduction to ballroom dancing was when aged 17 the family visited Melbourne’s Hawthorn Town Hall. This experience so impressed Debbie she went on to do something she really loved . . . that was dancing.
Debbie has been since the mid 80’s a ‘Teacher’s Aide Special’ for children with disabilities.
Her diverse career included being a carer on the Maxi Taxi as well as teaching Ballroom, Old Time, Modern, Novelty and New Vogue dances for 25 years.
Debbie believes dancing at any level improves your health, enhances your social skills and is incredibly enjoyable. She also loves Dancing With The Stars and doing something she loves as a participant to help support Cancer Council is very rewarding.
Some of Debbie’s family have passed away from cancer along with some of her friends. “It’s a disease I wish they would find an answer to”, stated Debbie.
Since being introduced to Bollywood dancing in 2013 by the Bollywood Sisters at Bellingen’s Camp Creative, Nadira Perera has been involved with many Bollywood performances at various festivals and community events. Nadira’s busy life includes teaching non-profit dance classes to Bellingen locals and is keen to teach the community Bollywood Dancing.
Touring India in 2021 with the Bollywood Sisters, Nadira has learned many different dance skills and styles. Over the years she has also learned to dance Salsa, Modern Jazz, African, Hip Hop and Samba. She believes dance is healing, brings joy and happiness to the body, mind and spirit.
For over 10 years, Nadira, a passionate professional beauty therapist, proudly owns and runs Bellingen’s La Beaute du Monde Beauty Salon.
Having been born in Sri Lanka, Nadira emigrated to France after completing her studies where she lived for 20 years. Learning the French language, she obtained French qualifications as a Beauty Therapist which the Australian Government endorsed since emigrating to Australia. Nadira also successfully completed a Diploma of Beauty Therapy here in Australia.
Nadira is keen to support Cancer Council’s life-saving research, prevention, and supporting services. “I want to help people who have been affected by cancer and honour those who have left this world due to cancer, including my dearest family, friends, and clients,” Nadira stated.
Tegan Swan, in her first term as an elected Councillor for the City of Coffs Harbour, has served two years as Deputy Mayor. Also, Tegan is owner and director of YEP Careers, a registered and recognized Socially Responsible Enterprise.
In 2018 Tegan won the Ministers’ Award for Women in Local Government which celebrates the contribution of women to local councils and their communities, aiming to encourage more women to enter the local government sector in NSW.
Tegan lives in Woolgoolga with her family, including 3 children, a dog she regrets giving in to, and her beautiful rose garden.
The motivation and inspiration for Tegan’s involvement in Cancer Council’s Stars of Coffs Coast, the second time around, stems from her mother-in-law’s second bout of cancer which progressed to Chris’ lung after successfully overcoming breast cancer five years earlier.
"Currently facing her third and most difficult battle with this insidious disease having spread to her bones and organs, Chris was told in September last year she wouldn’t see Christmas 2020,” stated Tegan. “Chris is still with us, still fighting and still inspiring her family to never give up (and importantly, not listen to other people’s limiting beliefs on what we are all capable of).”
Both Tegan’s grandfathers who have both passed away from cancer are also her motivation to be involved with Stars of Coffs Coast. Tegan stated, “I am hoping my mother-in-law will be well enough to be in the audience again this time too.”
Debbie McWha fell in love with Line Dancing following her introduction to it in 2014 by Robyn Ward, founder and now honorary member of Holiday Coast Bootscooters. At the time Robyn, with a wealth of dancing experience behind her, ran Holiday Coast Bootscooters in Coffs Harbour which she has done successfully for over 25 years.
In 2019 Debbie proudly became the new owner and Dance Instructor of the Holiday Coast Bootscooters.
Debbie has since choreographed two dances – Never Look Back, which she choreographed with Wayne Beazley in 2020 along with a second dance – Take It Slow.
Passionate about Line Dancing, Debbie’s goal is to introduce her joy of Line Dancing to everyone from the young to the young at heart.
She believes Line Dancing is a great form of exercise as well as being good for the mind, body and spirit. Previous dance experience is not required as participants are taught in a graduated manner, scaled to their own ability. People are free to do as much or as little as they are comfortable with. New students commence with the basics while being encouraged to progress to make the most of this fun social activity.