Gold Coast dance judge Desley Munroe says she is simply telling the truth.
Gold Coast dance judge Desley Munroe says she is simply telling the truth.

DANCE JUDGES HORRIBLE HISTORY

SAMANTHA TURNBULL

DANCE judge Desley Munroe has a history of giving offensive feedback, one of the country's top festival organisers has revealed.

Australian Dance Championship national director Peter Oxford said Ms Munroe had been kicked out of the Sydney Winter Dance Spectacular he organised in 1995.

"We flew her down from Brisbane and she was trouble from the start," he said.

"She was really demanding. She would ring her adjudicator's bell and ask us to make her a tea or coffee, so we took the bell from her.

"Then she told a dance teacher 'I don't know who told you that you could teach, because you can't'.

"She had been rubbishing%everyone all day. She wanted to keep talking so I turned off her microphone."

Mr Oxford then asked her to leave. He said he had her bags waiting at the door for her and paid for her taxi fare to the airport.

When asked by The Northern Star yesterday to respond to Mr Oxford's comments, Ms Munroe said: "You'd expect that from him."

Ms Munroe, a Gold Coast-based dance adjudicator, has come under fire from Northern Rivers parents and dance teachers for her harsh remarks directed at performers in the weekend North Coast Dance Festival at Byron Bay.

Her comments included telling teenage performers they would only qualify as 'pole dancers and strippers' and criticising entire troupes for 'dancing for pleasure'.

Ms Munroe had applied to adjudicate at the Lismore Musical Festival Society's dance competition from September 21, but her application has been rejected.

Society president Heather Sidney said there was 'no way' Ms Munroe would be judging in Lismore.

"What children need is encouragement. Even if they don't want to become professionals, performing is supposed to give them confidence," she said.

"Our most popular sections are jazz, modern dance and hip hop.

"You've got to keep up with modern times and she hasn't been keeping up with the times."

Ms Munroe should give up adjudicating, according to Suzanna Bowen, the owner of Dance Energy Studios.

"She was fine to my students, we actually won most entertaining group at the whole eisteddfod, but she was nasty to others," Ms Bowen said.

"I thought she was morally and ethically wrong.

Constructive criticism is great, but when it gets personal it's not right. How many lives has she touched over the years with what she has said?"

However, Ms Munroe stands her by her comments and told the Star yesterday at least half-a-dozen teachers had contacted her over the past 48 hours to congratulate her for 'telling the truth'.

"People who don't win get shitty," she said. "If they can't take it, they're not going to make it.



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