Teacher I Moss Vale High School
Give a big welcome to, Victoria!
Victoria is a Learning and Support Teacher at Moss Vale High School. She has a passion for supporting students and is always at the ready, to offer an extra hand throughout their school day.
Whilst Victoria loves working with kids, in her spare time you’ll find her in the kitchen whipping up something delicious! Or busy writing her next creative masterpiece. Having successfully written and published a Self-Help book in 1992 and her first Cookbook in 2003 called ‘First Principles – The Basics Cooking Handbook’ Victoria is no stranger to putting herself out there and finding new and fun creative tasks to accomplish!
She also has a popular YouTube cooking channel "Victoria Hansen Food" which has over 3,000,000 views!
While Victoria is a busy lady, she is so excited to involved in Stars of the Highlands this year, to not only show her support for a great cause, but to meet new people, have fun and get her groove on!
“I am really looking forward to participating in Stars. I think it might just open up a whole new interest for me in dancing!”
Best of luck, Victoria!
Ray has been dancing since he was 6 yers old, firstly international ballroom and Latin, then moving over to the more social styles of partner dancing.
Dance Beat has been teaching in the Sutherland Shire for 31 years and are now starting classes in the southern highlands at Bowral. It is owned and operated by Ray Plumridge.
Specialising in American Social Style Ballroom, Latin and Rock "n' Roll, Rockabilly, Swing and West Coast Swing.
Eight Weeks to Go
This week we finalised the steps for our routine, although we do make small changes each time, as we see what fits best. The great thing about Ray’s teaching is that he’s teaching me how to dance, rather than teaching me a routine, and although we are working out specifics, because he is teaching me how to follow him, should anything go wrong, hopefully I will be able to just pick up his lead.
I am getting fitter, and losing a bit of weight, and my core strength has improved. I’ve noticed it most climbing stairs at school. I used to make it to the first landing and be out of breath, now I can climb both flights without breaking a sweat. Happy with that.
Still need practice though to start to incorporate my own style. I know the steps, but I really need to practice in a real environment to begin to develop my style. I’m sure it will come by Gala Night though. I am confident.
Still need to raise my fund raising though, so if you’re feeling generous, or maybe need to dispose of a few funds getting close to EOFY, I’ll gladly accept your donations. Thanks again to everyone who has donated so far, very appreciative.
Lessons 4, 5 & 6
The Pursuit of Perfection
Snippets of the last three lessons. Lots and lots of steps learnt, and starting to get a flow, although as Ray puts it, we are still in the vanilla mode, meaning I’ve learnt the steps and how to follow, not I need to start developing my own style that will also work with his style.
The hardest aspect of it all for me is not watching my feet, yet when I don’t watch, amazingly it all comes together, but old habits die hard.
The last few lessons I have begun to feel the pain, being quite sore and stiff afterwards. No pain no gain they say, so I guess I’m on the right track. Two lessons a week is essential albeit exhausting, especially if you’re not really fit. But, as I’ve been told, you can’t be fit for dancing unless you dance as the muscle groups you use aren’t necessarily the same as you might use in the gym or s spin class.
Nonetheless it is coming along and I’m feeling more and more confident. We have chosen a song and Ray is choreographing the routine, so hopefully the next lessons will be in pursuit of perfect of the final outcome. Stay tuned, more to come.
Just a reminder to support me in my fund raising if you feel so inclined. A worthy cause and every little bit helps.
Dance for Cancer - Stars of the Highlands - Lessons 2 & 3
A Step in Time
The last two lessons were learning some of the various steps in Swing. Whilst none of them hard, co-ordination is key, plus balance I have learned, and having a strong core if a definite essential. Unfortunately, I am sadly lacking in this department. But we press on.
Ray is an exceptional teacher and besides teaching the steps, he also extensively covers leading techniques and explains exactly what each hand hold and back support means and what I need to do when he does them. It makes it so much easier when you understand the mechanics of the process. As I have always been someone who wants to know why and how, he is my kind of teacher.
After three lessons I am getting the hang, it’s a matter of practice to achieve fluidity between steps, and of course build my core strength and balance in the process.
I am not much of an exerciser and this experience is revealing this reality, although Ray tells me the muscles you use for dance aren’t necessarily the same as those you use lifting weights at the gym. But perhaps a little more time spent in the pursuit of a toned body would have been a plus. Yoga and walking just don’t cut it in this instance. But alas, I press on.
Once I learn all the steps and how I can vary them, it’s time to work on form. Ray suggests I then start to add my own variations and style. I am not sure what that is and am hoping it reveals itself to me before the gala night!!!
Nevertheless, I am having fun and hopefully getting fitter, and of course increase the fund raising. If you haven’t already donated, I would be most appreciative if you did. I have a couple of raffles coming online in the next week, maybe that will entice some of you to participate, and hopefully give generously. I thank you in advance for your support.
Dance for Cancer - Stars of the Highlands - Lesson 1
Let the Journey Begin
It’s official, I’m a Star of the Highlands. Last night had my first lesson with Ray Plumridge, my dance teacher and partner.
It was a bit of a challenge getting into the SWING of things (pun intended as my genre is Swing), but by the end of the 90-minute lesson, we were swinging away. Still a long way to go though, we just covered the basic steps and moves, but I think we will get there.
Of course, it’s not just about the dancing, although that is already heaps of fun and a good workout, but it’s all about raising money for Cancer.
I’m sure we’ve all been touched by Cancer, be it a friend, family member, colleague or you’re living with it yourself, and no doubt many people have lost someone dear to them to this insidious disease. I tried to count all the friends I’ve lost to cancer to date, and those still living with it, and I lost count. I also lost my brother to liver cancer in 2020.
I am proud to have been asked to participate in the 2022 Dance for Cancer, and I hope to raise as much money as possible in the time frame allotted (about 11 weeks).
I would be so appreciative if you would follow my journey and donate if you can. All donations help. And if you’d like to be super generous, why not organise a table of 10 at the Gala Night on Saturday 14th May 2022 at the Mittagong RSL Club, when all the Stars will perform their dance routines to be judged. Your ticket sales also go towards my fund raising so why not contribute and have a great evening as well.
I will also be running a few raffles along the way, and my school is holding a fund raiser as well. It’s so exciting and so much fun. I am so looking forward to this journey.
If you’d like to donate, you can do so right here. Just click the DONATE button at the top right of the page.
And if you’d like to book a table, let me know as soon as possible. Places are limited but Stars get first preference. Contact me directly to book you in.
Thanks so much for reading my post and possibly supporting my journey for this worthy cause. I hope you enjoy the video posts of my lessons.
Thank you to my Sponsors
People's Choice Funds
Tracey Lee Cooper
Amanda And Bryce