Video: Australian ballet dancers Amy Harris and Jarryd Madden visit Port Macquarie

PORT Macquarie Performing Arts (PMPA) centre played host to two of the finest ballet performers in the country during the Mid North Coast Festival of Dance.

On Friday (July 14) Amy Harris and her husband Jarryd Madden from the Australian Ballet gave lessons to students at the club’s new facility at the Port Macquarie Indoor Stadium.

Amy joined the Australian Ballet corps de ballet in 2002. She was appointed coryphée in 2007, soloist in 2011, and senior artist in 2012. 

She won the Telstra People's Choice Award in both 2008 and 2010 and the 2012 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award.

PMPA Principal Stacey Morgan said it was special to have amazing guests pass their knowledge to students.

“Jarryd is actually from Wauchope so while they’re home visiting family they are also spending time at PMPA teaching our gorgeous students,” Mrs Morgan said.

“Our students get not just the opportunity to take class with these incredible performers, but also the opportunity to sit in the dancers lounge, have lunch with them, ask them questions about their career and their experiences growing up.”

Jarryd remained in Wauchope until 2005 when, aged 16, he joined Melbourne’s National Theatre Ballet School. After a guest stint with The Australian Ballet during the 2007 season of Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker, Jarryd officially joined the company at the beginning of 2008 and was promoted to coryphée in 2011. 

Jarryd was one of six talented dancers from with The Australian Ballet to be nominated for the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award in its 14th year, but did not win.

The new PMPA facility has several classrooms, offices and a lunch lounge for students, parents and staff.

“With the new centre we are now able to facilitate bigger and better things. The students will benefit greatly,” she said.

“We are very luck to have such a gorgeous place for our dancers to perform and to train in.

“Now that we’re in the new facility we have the opportunity to not only put on classes for all ages and abilities, but the chance to host companies like the Melbourne City Ballet for example.”

Dance student Nicola Awad has been dancing since she was three years old and valued the chance to learn under someone of the calibre of Amy Harris.

“It has been amazing. She solidifying the basics, and just seeing how good she is was crazy. It’s crazy how easy they do things,” she said.

“It’s insane and gives us inspiration to get to their level. I love all of the different experiences I get to have at PMPA. 

“I get so much happiness and exercise and friendships out of it. It’s truly amazing.”