Tag: interview

Mother helps toddler do ballet in the lounge by watching a Ballet Time video on the TV

Learn to Dance at Home With Ballet Time

Ballet Time co-founders Ashlee Smale and Samantha Robinson originally launched Ballet Time in an effort to provide ballet lessons to students no matter where they were. The online classes help to make sure the benefits and pure enjoyment of dance can be shared with those who cannot access traditional in-person lessons, from toddlers to children who already practice dance.

With many online services booming during COVID-19, we asked Ashlee to break down what makes Ballet Time so fantastic and about her own love for dance. 

From the Start to Now

“We launched Ballet Time in 2019 to provide dance classes to little ones around the world that may not have access to standard dance classes, for an array of reasons. Ballet Time bridges this gap for many families because it’s an online subscription-based platform. We deliver 12 x 10 minute pre-recorded ballet lessons each month for children aged 2-6. And, our lessons are streamable on any smart device! How cool is that! 

Ballet Time was the first of its kind. The main difference between Ballet Time and ‘regular’ lessons is that we host all pre-recorded lessons in the form of a three-month long course. Our lessons are created by a team of dance and education professionals and are underpinned with an educational foundation. We have a well-thought out program that scaffolds students through the dance steps. Plus it has annotations that appear on the screen to aid in learning and movement. Our lessons are super engaging and super cool!

Although we were operating exactly the same in 2019, we have definitely become a lot busier since COVID-19. We were just so happy that we had a service that could serve to make people’s lives easier in this incredibly difficult time. And, we are incredibly grateful for the support that our students and their families have given us during this time.”

Why Try It?

“The benefits of ballet are so vast. The physical benefits are normally the ones we talk about when we speak about the reasons for our kids to engage in dance. There are so many of them, such as improving muscular strength, flexibility and motor fitness. It also facilitates coordination and balance while correcting poor alignment. However, dance also has a variety of educational, cognitive and emotional benefits too! Through movement and music, children enhance their sensory awareness and cognitive function, including attention, memory and learning. These are transferable skills that will benefit children in all areas of their lives.”

“Dance allows expressive movement and children to creatively express themselves.” 

Young girls at home in ballet costume follow Ballet Time lesson on TV

Ashlee’s Love for Dance

“For as long as I can remember my life has revolved around dancing! My mum was a ballet teacher. This means that all of the memories I have of my childhood involve dance somehow, whether it be dancing in the kitchen with her, being driven to dance class with my sisters, or actually doing classes and performances.”

“I always knew I would be in the dance world and it has given me some amazing experiences.” 

“I’ve always learnt every style of dance, but I have always been drawn to ballet and jazz. I find that as a teacher now they are also the styles that I love to choreograph to the most.

I started learning to work as a dance teacher when I was 18. I’m now 28, so have been working as a teacher for 10 years! In my early 20’s I worked around Australia, France and the USA as a dancer. Dance as a career is so amazing like that; it can take you to so many places.”

“Without a doubt, working in Disneyland was my favourite experience. I loved bringing characters to life and making magic.”

Teaching Students Lifelong Skills

“I ended up with a Bachelor’s degree in Education among many other dance teaching qualifications too, so I really have so much experience in both the dance and in the education world. Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world and I love that I am a part of that. Seeing my students learn and grow over the years is my favourite part. I know that the skills I am teaching them in dancing are skills that they will take with them throughout their life. The way in dance we learn to keep trying, to get back up if you fall down, and to strive to do something the best that you can, is so similar to life.

I think you should always follow what makes you happy. We will all work for such a long time and have so many careers. Why not (if you are inclined to do so) focus on dance first and revisit the other things you are passionate about later! If dance isn’t the right career path for you despite being a massive part of your life, that is okay too!”

“The things that the Arts teach our students are going to be paramount in this tech driven world.”

“We need people who think creatively and have the ability to have big picture ideas and think outside of the box. And that is one of the principal concepts in dance.”







Your Teenager’s First Job Interview

During adolescence, teenagers want to gain more and more independence. They start doing things like staying out later, sleeping over at their boyfriend or girlfriend’s house and learning to drive. It’s all part of the teenage experience and the preparation for adulthood. For many, this includes the desire to earn money. With this comes their first job interview, and probably more interviews after that too. 

Suitable First Jobs

The first job may not be the job of your teenager’s dreams. Not everyone is keen on spending a few hours after school mopping floors or frying food. But hey, everyone gets started somewhere. It’ll benefit your child greatly in the future (and maybe they’ll appreciate everything you do at home more!)

The first job, however unglamorous it may be, will give your teenager on the job experience, teach them life skills and also earn them some bucks. Additionally, many of these jobs offer the chance for them to get their first aid certificate or hospitality qualifications . They might even present the opportunity to move into supervisor or managing roles.

Setting Up a Resume

The first step to getting hired is having an awesome resume. However, what should they put on their resume if they have little (or no) working experience? Go beyond work history and write down any volunteer work, extracurricular activities and awards. If they have any other skills that may be useful in the workplace, write them down too (such as speaking a second language or babysitting younger siblings). Employers want to see that your teenager is hardworking, accountable and determined.

Applying for Jobs

There are a few ways they can go about applying for work, and it often depends on the workplace. Large retail or fast food chains will often get them to apply online via their website. Smaller or local businesses may prefer to accept applications via email or in person. Encourage your child to keep their eye on shop windows, Facebook and websites such as Seek and Indeed for businesses that are hiring. You can let your child know about opportunities, but their job hunt really should be something they are self-motivated to do.

It doesn’t hurt for them to print off a number of resumes and pop into businesses around the place; even if they’re not currently hiring. It’ll show how keen your teen is to get into the workforce, and they may choose to keep your resume on file. It’s quite character building to put yourself out there like that.

Hurray, You’ve Got an Interview!

Congratulations, your teen has landed their first job interview. As exciting as it is, it can also be nerve-wracking for both of you. This is your teen’s moment to prove to their potential employer just how awesome they are.

During the interview, the interviewer will ask them a number of questions, such as “tell me a little bit about yourself”, “why do you want to work for us?” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. Practicing some common questions with a parent will help them be prepared. So offer to help them.

Also hot tip, when preparing to drop off your teen for their interview, be sure they have dressed their best and they are presentable with clean teeth, brushed hair and ironed clothes (you’d be surprised that this is rare…). A button up shirt, blouse, pencil skirt or slacks are all ideal interview attire, they should always over dress than underdress. When going in for their interview, remind them to listen carefully, speak clearly, maintain eye contact and be professional and as confident as they can be.

At the end of the day, nerves show they care, and future employers understand that you’re new to the workforce. Being a little nervous  at a first job interview is completely normal.


Read more of our Tweens and Teens blogs here



Meet Mark Worthington from the Cairns Taipans

Mark “Wortho” Worthington may be new to the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans but he is certainly not new to the world of professional basketball. After playing professionally for eleven years in Melbourne, Germany, Serbia and the Gold Coast, Mark, his two cheeky boys, Taz and Axel and his beautiful wife, Andrea now call Cairns home.

PakMag was lucky enough to sit down with the new power forward for the Taipans, just before the season opener on 8 October.


My wife, Andrea is from Melbourne and I am originally from Western Australia. Our boys, Taz and Axel are five and four. Taz, who turns six in November, attends Trinity Beach State School.


You need to make time for both. Your job isn’t the be all and end all. I try to make time for my kids, for my wife and for my profession. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s so important.


Wrestle with my boys and spend time at the beach.


An AFL player! And, if I can’t play sport, then maybe a food critique. I’m great at critiquing my wife’s meals.


The Taipans did excellent last year and we are hoping to go one more step this year and win the community a championship.

Check out “Wortho” in the Taipans’ season opener at the Cairns Convention Centre on 8 October.

Get ready for another fast-paced season with the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans. Join the #orangeArmy with a season membership and save 15 per cent. Visit www.taipans.com to book your tickets and learn more about the Taipans.