The New Zealand-born performer dances with Opera Australia … when they have gigs. Personal pirouetting has taken a back seat to saving the dance school she set up in 2016.

“We reno-ed an old warehouse and made it into a beautiful two-studio space. It’s been non-stop; I haven’t been making sour dough or macrame,” Francis says, then backtracks, “I’m not paying out on anyone!”

She retained nearly all her teachers under lockdown.

“Myself and my full-timer, Subashini, set up a big screen connected to our laptops so we could see all the kids and give them feedback.

“A lot of the time they want to see their teacher and their friends.” And pets. “My dog, Duggie, walked into shot. After that every week, we’d do meet-and-greets with people’s pets.”

One thing, though — who’s Lucky? “That’s my nephew. I wanted a cute name. He’s 14 now — time to put him to work.”

How you can help: Try upcoming school holiday classes covering ballet, musical theatre, drama, contemporary dance www.fairfielddance.com.au



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