How well do you know the people around you? The people you see every day. The ones you pass in the street, notice in the supermarket, bump into as you go about your daily business?Each afternoon in our building many people come and go. Many greet me with a smile.

One smile in particular stands out every Tuesday and that one belongs to Tracey Evans.  I had the opportunity recently to grab a coffee with her.  Her cheery disposition is the first thing you notice but who is she really?

Tracey is the Studio Director/Teacher of Ceilidh Dance Studio Mackay, committed to teaching Highland and Irish Dancing to many students from around the Mackay Region.  Coming from an Irish background she wanted to start Irish dancing but unfortunately at the time there weren’t any Irish Dancing schools around. So with 6 years of age she started Highland dancing under the tuition of Cheryl Smyth at the Ceilidh Dance School Mackay.  At 15 years of age and taught by new school director Janelle Agius she, as well as continuing with her Highland dancing, started learning Irish dancing which she took to like a duck to water, completing all of her exams to a very high standard.

Aside from her Highland and Irish Dancing Tracey learned Jazz, Tap and Ballet, starting with Betty Meskell and finishing with L&R Dancing Academy which is now Leisa Payne School of Dancing. With a chuckle she said she was more of a tap dancer and enjoyed performing in the Tap Groups.  She also excelled at Basketball and coming from a Hockey playing family was naturally an excellent Hockey player. She played in the Rep team for Milton Street High School until she graduated.

There is however much, much more to this bubbly personality than dance and sports.  She is a trained Tourism Manager and travel agent, graduating from James Cook University with honours for her Bachelor Degree.  She is a mother of three (Lucas, Tamlyn and Bryce) and between nappies and pre-school, housework and husband she graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Primary Education.  Tracey also worked as administrator for a Painting and Decorating Company.  Currently, aside from her teaching, she works in the Reception at Gemini Homes, is a busy mum taking her children to after school activities such as dancing, hockey and futsal – by the way she also manages the futsal teams for her boys!

When asked what she loves about Studio 53, she replied that the intimate atmosphere of the Olivier Studio allows  for her to tap into the individual personalities of her students in a mindful way without distraction.  The pinnacle of her aspirations would be for her students to be a part of the OzScot Team that dances at celebrations all over the world including the infamous Edinburgh Tattoo.

Tracey loves to “keep traditions alive” and she lovingly does this as she passes on her broad knowledge and expertise to her talented students.  Perhaps there within the classroom is a future Director for the Ceilidh Dance Studio Mackay, started many years ago by Margaret Harvison.

Next time you see someone smile at you then don’t miss the chance to have a chat with them.   Who knows?  You may have more in common than you realise, perhaps you will be inspired. Either way it doesn’t matter…we are all so different and so gifted in many different ways…..the appreciation of our individuality is what counts in the end.