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Amanda O'Brien

A Perth native, Amanda was a relative latecomer to dancing, starting Ballroom dancing as a teenager. She achieved several grading medals and in 1994 gained a place in Wrightson's Dance Studio (Perth) Professional Teacher's Training course. Around that time she also started learning Rockabilly, Argentinean Tango and South American Latin going on to become a part of the Salsa Casino Latin Dance Troupe. As if that was not enough Amanda was also studying Classical Spanish and Flamenco dance at Danza Viva (Perth), completing two years of examinations. In 1994 Amanda discovered Bellydance and went on to become a professional Bellydance performer and teacher under the stage name “Saghirah” for 17 years in Perth (Belyssa Academy), Sydney (Terezka Academy of Danse Orientale) and Brisbane (Academy of Middle Eastern Dance).


Amanda discovered Swing/Lindy Hop in 2004 when she saw a swing demo at QUT’s orientation week and decided to join a casual class. In 2005 her teacher, Mark, decided to start his own dance school, “Gotta Swing”. Amanda quickly became part of the teaching and performance team as well as the School Administrator.


Mark and Amanda have taught regular classes and workshops in various locations for various events including a regular monthly “Swing at South Bank” event, having up to 400 members of the general public join them in the open air at the Suncorp Piazza. They have also previously been part of the annual South Bank Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations as well as South Bank’s annual “Dancing in the Street” event.


Mark and Amanda have taught many workshops for private and corporate functions. They have also taught workshops at the annual Wintersun & Cooly Rocks On Festivals since 2007. Between them they have also attended (or sponsored) workshops with various interstate and international teachers from the USA, France and Sweden.


Gotta Swing currently teaches regular week night classes for beginner and intermediate students in Brisbane (south side) and the Gold Coast.


While currently looking after a young family Amanda doesn't teach as often as she'd like but remains the School Administrator and Website Manager as well as Treasurer and Registration Officer for the Kooly Kat Dance Committee, assisting with hosting the annual Kooly Kat Dance Championships.

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