kelley abbey



guest teaching

Of course, Kelley has taught many many dance classes throughout Australia, and continues to teach master classes and workshops when time allows ... her teaching has even taken her to China!

kelley says

In the late 80's I was invited to assist Ross Coleman on a Government Cultural Exchange to teach and demonstrate Western dance to Communist China. We taught a workshop with 200 students from all over China, even from as far away as Mongolia and Tibet.

We taught them Jazz and Tap of all different styles and eras. We used an interpreter to do this but actually became quite competent at teaching in broken Mandarin/English.

The students were so overwhelmed by this experience as it was the first time in their lives that they had travelled out of their city of birth, learnt western dance,and actually seen a white person in the flesh. They could not stop touching us and hugging us!

We auditioned and selected a cast of 20 and put together a show to tour around theatres throughout China to demonstrate what the students had learned. We also performed in this show as well.

I have a vivid memory of taking our bows at the end of a performance in Shanghai and the cast picking Ross and I up and throwing us up into the air and catching us. They were so overjoyed. We then all sat on the stage and ate mandarins.

There are two things I know from this trip. One: is that I still to this day remember how to count a timestep in Mandarin, and Two: Dance can break down all barriers and is a Universal language.

Teaching in China in the '80s - The sign on the back wall says 'Welcome Australian Experts'



Do you have stars in your eyes?

It's a tough road to the top in show biz. No-one knows that better than Australian dancer and actress Kelley Abbey.
"At 17, I left Inala and moved to Sydney to pursue my career. At that time I would have given anything to get involved in a program like Ipswich City Council's Master Classes to prepare me for what lay ahead."
Kelley rates the Master Classes as "a great opportunity for young performers who are serious about a career in the entertainment industry. Ipswich is the first place I know of that provides such a wonderful program. I was rapt to have been a part of it."
Satellite-Weekly Times - 19 June 1996

Artists hail classes

Our Master Classes have generated a lot of interest in performing arts circles around Australia. Many people spent a lot of time at the dance classes to watch former soapie star and West Side Story dancer Kelley Abbey in action.
Queensland Times - 1996

Ipswich City Council's Dance Master Class

Kelley undoubtedly brings a rich supply of expertise, experience and knowledge to the Master Classes and her proposed program is very exciting and innovative.
The program includes; the importance of being a triple threat ie. singer, actor and dancer, and the relevance of dance for different mediums. The classes will include auditioning skills, repertoire and commercial dance and will be jazz oriented with theatre and musicals and video clip choreography and style.
Ipswich City Council - 1996

Former soapie star dances into Ipswich

Former soapie star Kelley Abbey will dance her way into Ipswich tomorrow to help the region's best young dancers step into the big time.
Kelley, better known as the effervescent Jo Jo on the Ten Network's former soapie E Street, will take the dance classes under Ipswich City Council's Master Classes scheme this weekend.
Community and Cultural Services Committee chairperson Cr Pat Hayes said about 50 of the region's best performer artists had been handpicked to get specialised tutoring in dance, voice, instrument and performance.
Queensland Times - 4 November 1995

Musical's star dancers head west

Former E Street star Kelley Abbey returned to her former stomping ground recently to check out the local talent. The 29-year-old who is currently starring in West Side Story at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) visited students at Sumner Park along with one of the musical's principals Todd McKenney. The pair took a class of senior and junior dancers through some moves, including two of their West Side Story numbers, America and Cool.
Kelley hails from Inala where her parents Jill and Eric Abbey still live. She is a former Inala State School and Corinda State High School student and started her career at the studio of Inala teacher Sandra Breen.
In West Side Story, she plays one of the Shark's girls and is also an understudy for one of the principal roles. Kelley joined the show in Melbourne and returned to her role for the Brisbane season.
Away from the stage and acting, Kelley spends much of her time choreographing videos. She was responsible for the choreography work in Girlfriend's videos and is working at the moment with a yet-to-be-released male group. Kelley also has been working on a dance film which she is trying to secure investment for.
She said dancing was in her blood and had always been her life since she left home for Sydney at the age of 17. Kelley said her appearance in the soapie E Street came about when she was spotted in the David Atkins musical Dancin' Man.
Satellite-Weekly Times - 22 November 1995