New barres add twinkle
BALLET class students at Maryborough Special School won't be the only toes twinkling after receiving a generous donation.
Life Choices' The Shed facilitator Peter Kalbfell was contacted by the school arts program teacher Rose Wright to help build a ballet barre.
Rose, who was the Queensland Ballet ambassador last year, said it was something the students needed.
"The kids were doing their balance and support with chairs," she said.
"Our students benefit enormously from improvements to their gross motor skills and strength. These barres will provide more opportunities for that to happen."
School principal Sue Omar said when Rose first introduced the program, she had the Year 12 boys pirouetting around and they loved it.
"She helped Queensland Ballet with giving them a perspective and planned programs for people with disabilities," she said.
"The outcome for that was Queensland Ballet will be sending two of their people over to Brazil to learn how to cater for kids with disabilities.
"Coming back with that knowledge to work with the kids across our state, it will be the first time it will be included in the program, which is wonderful."
After speaking with Peter several times, Rose worked with him in making a design that would benefit not just the dancers.
"I wanted it to be adjustable for the other students who have walking- adaptive equipment and the few littlies in the earlier years who could use it," Rose said.
"Now we can use it as multipurpose equipment."
Peter said the group had never made ballet barres before but they were willing to give it a go.
"The shed is a fully functioning manufacturing workshop developing the skills of people with a disability through hands-on construction," he said.
"Participants plan, schedule and construct furniture using recycled timber pallets.
"Ballet barres were a first for our guys, but the end result was outstanding.
"We are always pleased to work with like-minded customers.
"It was a pleasure to assist Maryborough Special School with this project."