Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, August 2 2011 - 19
Ruth Osborne, above, won the
Australian Dance Award for
Services to Dance and her
company QL2 won for Outstanding
Achievement in Youth or
Community Dance for its Hard
Artistic director recognised
RUTH Osborne fell in love with dance
when she was just eight years old.
She still remembers the first class
her mother took her to and how it
changed her life.
Since then Osborne has devoted her
life to the art form, first as a
professional dancer and later progress-
ing into teaching and choreographing.
Her dedication paid off during this
year's Australian Dance Awards at the
Queensland Performing Arts Centre,
where the now artistic director of QL2
Dance received the 2011 Award for
Services to Dance.
The national award recognised
Osborne for her "superlative teaching"
and wide-ranging services to dance for
more than four decades, for an out-
standing contribution to dance edu-
cation and to the development of youth
dance practice in Australia.
"It's been fantastic ... I've been
nominated and shortlisted before but I
never expected to actually win," she
QL2's 2010 junior youth dance
project Hard Yards was also recogn-
ised with the Award for Outstanding
Achievement in Youth or Community
"This was only the third year
they've actually had that category, so
we're very pleased because it shows
the increasing awareness and the value
of youth dance work done within the
community," Osborne said.
With a professional dance career
spanning more than 40 years, Osborne
has choreographed for television and
film, many large scale events and she
has served on many arts-related
She came to Canberra as manager of
Youth Dance Practice at The Aust-
ralian Choreographic Centre, where
she first established the Quantum Leap
youth choreographic ensemble.
Three years ago the centre shaped
into QL2, but the highly successful
Quantum Leap program -- now in its
13th year -- continues.
Despite being in the same job for
more than a decade, Osborne is still
enthusiastic about her work.
"It's a great pleasure to work with
motivated young people," she said.
She aims to teach students about
more than just dance, but instead about
confidence, strength and the ability to
collaborate and work in a team.
"Those are a lot of the same values
you need in life," she said.
"It's a different kind of youth dance
practice ... we're developing young
people in the art form of dance not just
the physical practice of dance."
Osborne says there is a growing
awareness for this sort of youth dance
practice across Australia.
"We work towards a performance
and in that we develop overarching
themes that are important to them," she
"I'm really keen that they get to
understand the topic, form and opinion
and develop ideas."
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