Combining her passions for teaching and dance and being able to juggle overseas work and study was what attracted Tracey McKenzie to Excelsia College when she commenced her Master of Teaching (Secondary) in 2019.
‘I chose to study at Excelsia as it allowed me the flexibility of travelling and working overseas while completing my studies in my own time, with no locked in online weekly classes to attend and content delivered up front so you could work through the course at your own pace,’ explains Tracey. At the time she commenced her studies, Tracey was working as a professional dancer with contracts including Moulin Rouge in Paris, Benidorm Palace in Spain and Carnival Cruise Line, a role she had been doing for twenty years. ‘I didn’t always have a goal to work overseas, however getting paid to travel and do what I loved was a dream. I started studying for my degree while I was away on contracts as a plan for after my dancing career.’
Due to completing the course 100 per cent remotely, Tracey missed out on College experiences such as socialising with fellow classmates and teachers, attending Bible studies, chapel and onsite functions. Despite the distance, Tracey still found the College to be flexible, understanding and nurturing. ‘I always felt included as a valued student and part of the Excelsia community. I must give credit to all the teachers that checked in on me and took a genuine interest in my teaching specialty and professional career in dance. I could not have completed the course without their support,’ Tracey reflects.
Alongside her professional dance career, Tracey found content and coursework both relevant and relatable. ‘I was studying subjects such as “leadership, creativity and innovation” and “transformation in education”. In my first year of teaching, I found myself referring to teaching strategies and leadership tools I had learned during my time at Excelsia when I was managing casts of dancers and singers. These tools allowed me to successfully facilitate maximum growth of performers throughout the contracts and also ensured the cast stayed positive and motivated to achieve their own goals. Excelsia enabled me to see the value of my own skills I had acquired through dancing and apply them in an education setting, which is one of the greatest benefits I have found that assisted me through transitioning careers.’
Despite not coming from a Christian background, studying through a Christian framework at Excelsia College realigned Tracey with her core values in cultivating compassion and understanding, while also practising daily acts of gratitude. ‘I learned to trust not only in myself but the process, believing that the universe will provide me with the right tools in times of need and giving me purpose in my life once again,’ she explains.
Tracey completed her Master of Teaching (Secondary) in December 2021 and now teaches Dance at Strathmore Secondary College in Melbourne and works at The Australian Ballet.
If you want to study teaching in a supportive Christian environment and explore your faith, why not consider Excelsia’s Master of Teaching (Secondary)? You could combine your two passions just like Tracey has!