Andrea and Kate
Our Story . . .
Andrea’s early struggles with a less than ideal ballet dancer's physique gave her not only an understanding, but an opportunity to discover a mentor & teacher who unlocked the power of her mind, connecting it to the body. Her total love of movement to music, made her passionate to dance at any cost, this unleashed not only an incredible determination & discipline, but also an understanding of her mind/body connection from a very early age, given she began her professional ballet career at 17 in the London Festival Ballet Company (now English National Ballet)
Her career back in Australia flowed into Music Theatre, choreography, Stage & Company Management, casting & Assistant Directing, she was in demand as an Opera & Music Theatre Stage Manager and it was during this time she met Brian Stacey (Musical Director & Conductor) and worked with him later on many productions including Phantom of the Opera as Stage Manager of the original Melbourne & Sydney Productions . . . all of which she loved.
Ultimately though, she felt a hankering to draw her worlds together to make a positive difference to other people's lives. Hence after having 2 sons & becoming a single Mum, Andrea did her Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness and Personal Training. In 2007 APT Personal Training was founded, even before she was formerly qualified, people caught her contagious enthusiasm for helping and improving other's health, fitness and lives, wanting to train with her.
Adding Pilates skills to this in 2010, Andrea began forming her own very unique style of training and after 6 years of Mobile training, she began studio based Personal Training, Pilates and Small Groups. She has trained an age range of 12 to 86, people living with challenging and difficult conditions to mentally ill male inmates at Port Phillip Prison. Her goal has, and will always be to help ‘extraordinary people do ordinary things better and feel fantastic in their own skin’. This means anyone from those challenged by physical concepts to the most brilliant academic, can become more aware and make simple, but significant positive changes to themselves, through straight forward well executed MINDful MOVEment, requiring minimal simple mobile, or no equipment.
Andrea believes passionately in the ‘joy of moving’ but this is only achievable when the mind, body & soul are fully connected. This is where bodyART so serendipitously slid into Andreas life and training. It embodies all she believes and cohesively creates an opportunity for her clients & classes to benefit and resync themselves so completely, as is ‘apt’ to every person.
bodyART challenges and enables every participant within their own level & choosing. A barefoot, intense, flowing mat workout, that moves through the five elements of Chinese medicine. bodyART seamlessly encompasses, strength & awareness, yoga inspired and therapy exercises, breathing, balance, flexibility, control & release, as well as elements of dance, martial arts, tai chi & pilates, with music that adds to the energy, atmosphere & flow. Designed to enable any age & level to move mindfully and improve. Something one can only understand fully by experiencing it.
When Kate was a kiddie she didn't really have much going for her, but she could sing.
Her mum, Pamela sang, always, anything, imagined, or a melody in her recollection, words or not, ready or not. Later, when she started teaching, trawling the various syllabi, finding songs which seemed familiar, Kate discovered that her mum was singing Schubert, Strauss (Richard and Johann) Verdi and Mozart.
That was when Pamela wasn't simply making it up!
Anyway, Kate sang and loved it, knowing that it was something she could just do.
Once a teenager, picking up the guitar as flower-power baby-boomers were wont to do, she turned her singing to gospel and folksong. She was sought after and she was good, holding audiences and congregations in the palm of her hand.
Heading off to London to study singing as a youngster just nudging seventeen, she soon learnt what she had been doing "wrong" and subsequently, couldn't really do a thing right! By the second year she had literally lost her voice! (Was the recurring laryngitis symptomatic of what was happening to her psychologically?) Four years later she left the hallowed halls of learning, believing that she couldn't sing a note, sliding into the background of the world of performance.
Oh my! How she struggled in those years!
Her twenties were such a mixed bag of petty miseries which ultimately found her swapping hemispheres to escape the gloom; gloom which for a couple of years still assailed her downunder.
However in those early years in Australia she learnt a lot about herself, about what she had to offer, met some special people who were to become lifelong friends, not least the wonderful Andrea, who now shares this vision of LifeArt and yes, she found her voice again!
Once in Melbourne turning 30, the sun came out & off she went on a wild ride of intoxicating life, singing all sorts, prancing about in frocks on stage, in smart ballrooms, and all the best venues in town. Serendipitously, in those early Melbourne days, she fell into voice teaching and that also lead to conducting choirs.
Life was full & busy & wonderful.
One of the crowd at this time was Brian Stacey, conductor, musical director, maestro extraordinaire, loved by all who knew him on stage, in the pit, or behind the scenes.
Andrea knew Stace before Kate did, but they were all part of the gang in those heady days of the Victoria State Opera's rise and rise. Stace & Kate became "an item" in 1986, so add that into the mix of a Kate's lucky life and you had a fairytale of champagne, opening nights and all things associated with what might be called glamourous!
But, in one awful week in October 1996, on the Monday the Victoria State Opera, foundering, merged with the Australian Opera, (the death knell for singers in Melbourne) and on the Friday, Stace was tragically killed in a hit and run accident whilst riding home on his motorcycle.
The curtains closed..................
Everything Kate had done thus far was all based on intuition. All of it. Voice, stagecraft, conducting, musicianship. Intuition and those early years of having a songbird for a mum.
A year after Stace died Kate came across the work of Jo Estill, when that great woman who spent decades studying the mechanics of the voice came to Melbourne in 1997.
Kate learnt the craft of singing back to front. "This is what I'm doing and what I'm teaching, but, ah-ha! this is why I'm instinctively teaching as I do." And then in 1999, Kate received one of the first scholarships offered for overseas study by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust and headed off to Canada to learn the craft of choral conducting with Dr Doreen Rao. Conducting had also only been executed from intuition and from watching her dad conducting Beethoven Symphonies with his vinyl recordings on the turntable and later conducting the local opera company in rural England. And from watching great conductors in the pit, Stace included of course.
The valuable year away from the scene of such deep grief was the beginning of a new life which turned into many things just as wonderful as what had gone before, but in a very different way.
Estill's body of work is all about the anatomical function of the voice. Whilst fascinated by this vital information, Kate was passionately interested in the language, both the literal language and the language of expression or artistry through song. So the things beyond the voice. The heart and soul of the song. And she discovered the well-being which was a consistent spin off from the act of singing, both for herself, and her singers regardless of their ability or age. And with the double barrel of new knowledge both in voice and conducting skills, things started to emerge that set her work apart.
The knowledge of Estill though remains very much the centre of all her vocal work whether with individuals or collectively. There's a vibrancy of tone that is exciting and engaging and that tone, with its vast palette of shade and dynamic possibility, becomes a valuable tool for expressing the intrinsic meaning or story in a song.
So with many, many years of experience behind her in all things singing and music and life's vicissitudes thrown into the mix, encountering another new era, VoiceArt as a title seemed to encapsulate the approach to all that she had been developing over the years.
Ironically, at this point Andrea discovered bodyART, quite independently of Kate consolidating her direction, and calling it VoiceArt.
And all this turned up as the Brian Stacey Memorial Trust was nearing it's end, which Andrea and Kate ran until the Stacey Trust closed its doors in 2016.
The long friendship, sharing the joys and sorrows every step of the way and the huge mutual and successful endeavour of keeping The Stacey Trust alive and well for its twenty year life, has created a bond and a shared core of massive and diverse experience which we feel, needs to be shaped and shared.
We believe the world will be a better place for a bit of LifeART in the scenery of busy, distracted, stressful lives.
Andrea Gaze & Kate Sadler 2017
Friendship - Love - Loss - MUSIC - Dance - passion
Stace | The Brian Stacey Story - The Documentary - Watch