News & Culture
THE IMPACT OF KB – INTERVIEW WITH KIEREN PHILLIPS
What classes do your kids take/do?
Both my boys currently take Ruby’s 5 – 8 year old Hip Hop class. Jimmy (James) is 8 (turning 9 at the end of June) and Harry (Harrison) is 6 and they absolutely adore her!
How do you feel this has impacted your children?
Both boys began in the 3-5yr Hip Hop class KB offered in Gungahlin. Jimmy has always been a fairly confident dancer, with extremely unique styling; we would affectionately dub it a combination of Peter Garrett and Usher…(J) KB was able to hone his uniqueness and give it some style. Harry is naturally a little more introverted than Jimmy, but watching his older brother for a few years meant there was little worry in jumping right in. However the real reason they had no fear and enjoyed Hip Hop from day one, was their teacher, James Ewens. He showed maturity beyond his years and struck an incredible balance of being a mentor and a disciplinarian. As a parent, you hope your child firstly enjoys their dancing but you also want value for money. James had the rare ability to provide both. To teach 3 year olds focus and learning is a very difficult thing to do. To keep them engaged but also to let them loose at the right times is almost impossible however James was able to do this with ease. There’s no doubt he was the reason parents brought their kids back year upon year.
He passed on the values KB taught him as a young student to each and every one of his pupils. Respect, courage, self-confidence, determination, continual learning, genuine care, style and importantly fun. Before he left to pursue his dancing dreams overseas, you can see inspired other teachers at KB; including his sister who now teaches my boys, Ruby and his good mate and another of my boys’ teachers, Sameer.
What is the one thing about KB that you enjoy/like the most – coming from a parent’s perspective?
I’m not sure there is just one thing I like and enjoy about KB, however if I had to sum it up in a phrase, perhaps it would be ‘The Kulture Break experience’. In my time at KB, I’ve witnessed all the teachers having the same tenacity, care and dedication for their dancing. You can see they genuinely love what they do and that has a flow on effect to the students. The administration staff go above and beyond to assist you over the phone. Every interaction I have had with them has been professional, patient, courteous and has resolved any queries I’ve had. Their website is modern, informative and easy to use and provides an excellent snapshot of what KB offers.
Concerts are a phenomenon! As a musician, I know the value of the difference between jamming and gigging. You can practice as much as you want, but the experience of performing live is invaluable. You learn that precision matters, timing is important and that bringing joy to an audience is infectious. But importantly you learn that mistakes don’t mean the end of the world! They happen in live performance and you learn from them. You can always strive for perfection, but you learn perfection is a myth and mostly audiences don’t even know half the time! The boys have benefited from their KB concerts and taken their learnings into everyday life.
It’s also at the concerts, parents learn the breadth of what KB does for the community. KB foster’s a spirit of building up someone’s confidence, inclusiveness and mateship.
Please, if you have any other thoughts or comments you’d like to share I am open to anything you have to suggest.
Now more than ever, it is important to support local business’. Francis and his team are an incredible institution here in Canberra. But like every small to medium business in the arts, they are suffering due to the restrictions imposed upon them due to the covid-19 outbreak. They have shown great adaptability in providing their service virtually during this period.
What KB does for the community can’t be summed up in a dollar value. It can’t necessarily be measured by metrics or KPI’s. Their worth is shown through the joy of expressing yourself, through learning more about yourself and having the confidence to tackle difficult times in a young person’s life. Everyone deserves to get the best out of their selves in life and KB provides the learning tools for people to be able to achieve that themselves. That is immeasurable.