Miss MARLENE O’BRIAN
5 years Gymnastics Training
10 years Calisthenics Training and Teaching
40 years Dance Training in Classical Ballet
Theatrical, Jazz Modern, Classical Ballet
Training endorsed by Royal Academy of Dance
Licensed Zumba Instructor
30+ years teaching experience across all genres
10 years Professional Dancing including theatre restaurants,floor show performer, television, corporate functions, dance ensembles, freelancedance instructor, children’s pantomime including Disney and Hanna Barbera
Produced and Directed over 42 original stage productionsand choreographed Trinity Secondary College’s “13 The Musical” and “Aida”, andColac Players “Aladdin The Rock Panto”
Miss Marlene’sdancing foundations were established in Colac, starting training at four yearsold in gymnastics, calisthenics, theatrical dance, jazz modern and the Royal Academyof Dance syllabus (an internationally recognized training program in Classical Ballet).
With naturaltalent, strong technical skills, and working with mentors such as Rilda Cowan (FormerAustralian Ballet Company dancer), Lionel Foster (Gymnastics and Calisthenics coach),Rubin Martinstein (RAD Classical Ballet examiner and Ballet Master), MissMarlene began teaching and choreographing at 12 years of age.
Aftercompleting her year 11 studies at Colac Technical School, Miss Marlene moved toMelbourne to pursue a career in dance.
In 1988, afterone year of a full time dance course at Melbourne’s “Dance Factory”, Miss Marlene was selected to perform with the Jodie GreenwoodDancers and to become a teacher for the Australian College of Entertainersunder the instruction of Bert Shaw.
MissMarlene had an exciting career spanning more than 10 years performing incorporate functions, television shows, major Disney and Hanna-Barbera children’spantomimes (including the role of the famous Mickey Mouse in several premiereevents), and dancing professionally at “The Swagman” Theatre restaurant,
In1997 Miss Marlene returned to Colac to start a normal life with her son Tyson, andwas immediately asked to open a dance school to fill a void left by the closureof other schools.
MissMarlene has produced and directed over 42 original stage productions.
In1998 Miss Marlene established Marlene’s “Jazz It Up” School of Dance Colac –now renamed as “Marlene’s School ofDance Colac” (MSOD) - with a vision to provide a safe and nurturing place wheredancers can aspire achieve their best. Miss Marlene created a teaching stylethat encourages high self-esteem in each of her students, understanding thatstudents who enjoy their environment will want to learn more, and that thelocal community needed a Dance School that would last the distance.
Theschool has produced professional teachers and dancers, gained recognition fromthe Australian Ballet, AUSPORT, VCE Dance Distance Education Victoria, theColac Otway Shire, and given its dancers opportunities to perform acrossVictoria.
MissMarlene has extended her choreographic talents by creating fully choreographedannual end of year productions that showcase the talent within the dance schoolcommunity and local primary andsecondary school productions.
MissMarlene was trained for live performance, and her love of performance shinesthrough her students. Each of her students are encouraged to participate intheir local communities in any way they can, whether in their schoolproductions or wider community events.
Miss Marleneremarried in 2007 and has two children aged 7 and 8 to husband Ken who assistswith the administration of the Dance School and provides technical support toall events.
In 2010 theschool was judged one of 10 finalists in the “Dance the Dream” Australian Balletcompetition sponsored by the National Australia Bank.
In 2011, MissMarlene was recognised by the Colac Otway Shire at their annual Australia Dayawards, thanking her for her strong commitment to the local community, and for theeducation she has provided to so many local students in encouraging them toalways achieve their best.
2012 to 2014again demonstrated that Marlene’s passion for community is the driving forcebehind the continued success of MSOD.
In 2013 MissMarlene choreographed The Colac Players’ production “Aladdin – The Rock Panto”,Trinity Secondary College’s production “13 – The Musical”, then Trinity’sproduction “Aida” in 2014.
In 2013 theschool reached out and provided weekly dance classes in Apollo Bay
MSOD studentsregularly demonstrate their talents through performing for the delight of manydifferent audiences at community events not only in Colac, but also in Lorne,Apollo Bay, Ballarat and Geelong; and in professional events in Melbourne.
In 2013, MissMarlene created the “Dance for a Dollar” workshop program offering Dance Educationto the entire Colac and surrounding districts dance communities at anaffordable cost with the emphasis on local business support and sponsorship.
Marlenebelieves that many hands make light work when it comes to supporting and educatingour children to give them the best opportunities and skills to succeed, so in2014 the MSOD Network was created to assist with such events in the future.
In 2015, MSODcollaborated with CircArts and KidsPlace Circus School to develop ongoing supportto other regional providers. We look forward to further collaborativeopportunities throughout 2016 and beyond.