Inside Energetiks | Introducing Georgia Russell, Customer Service
The Inside Energetiks series introduces you to the people behind your favourite dancewear brand. Georgia Russell is part of our incredible Customer Service team in Melbourne, Victoria. Like most of us here at Energetiks, Georgia has a background in dance and a passion for all things dance related. We chatted to Georgia about her dance life and her role at Energetiks.
How did dance become a part of your life?
I got into dance when I was 13. One of my best friends at the time was a ballerina, and I had already tried every other hobby, so I decided I wanted to try ballet. I did one term, and after the term I knew I really liked it, so I said, 'Mum, can we go and get some dance stuff?' And we went to the old Energetiks outlet actually, and we got a leotard and shoes and things, and I’ve been doing it ever since! I started at Dance Precinct, in North Melbourne, and as I got older I moved over to Dance Partners in Albert Park. After I finished High School I went and did a year at Leeanne Rutherford’s Ballet Theatre Australia, and I realised I didn’t actually want to perform as a career; I enjoyed dance more as a hobby. So I left and went back to Dance Partners to do my RAD exams up to Advanced Foundation.
Did you find it challenging entering the dance world at a later stage than some dancers?
It was hard to pick up the little technique things that other people learnt growing up. I didn’t have that muscle memory from doing it since I was young. I’m fine now but when I was younger I struggled with it. I felt really behind. I was always the older one in my class and that was tough.
What styles of dance have you trained in?
I did jazz and contemporary all the way through my training, but I’ve always been a huge bunhead, and at Dance Partners/Precinct we did RAD. When I was at Leanne’s we did contemporary and Vaganova. I love RAD - it’s what I was brought up with, but Vaganova is more expressive, which I loved. And going back to RAD after Vaganova I kind of brought that with me, I was less robotic I think. We never did comps, our first two terms were prepping for an exam, then the second two terms were for end of year concert. We did do fetes and performances, but it was always very community based.
What do you love about dancing?
I find it really hard to express, but I think that because I started later and it was hard for me to catch up, I like that if you work hard you can see real improvement. Yes to a certain extent you have to have the facility, and natural talent, and there are lots of people who are beautiful and naturally talented, but hard work somehow beats that. So dance is for everyone.
What sort of dancing do you do now?
I do casual classes now, and I’m teaching at Dance Partners, and they’re like my second family. I’m thinking of going and doing some jazz classes, which is not really my forte, but my best friend has just gone to work at Disneyland so that’s inspired me! But I’ll probably always do ballet because that’s just who I am. I think dance is something that becomes so ingrained in you, that you don't ever really leave it. Even if you’re not dancing, you’re still in the dance headspace; talking about dance; thinking about dance; watching dance.
How did you start working for Energetiks?
I left Ballet Theatre Australia and decided that I needed a job if I wasn’t going to dance full time! I actually had another retail position, but I saw that Energetiks were hiring dancewear consultants, so I applied, had an interview and got the job! I started in retail at Essendon and also did some shifts at Ivanhoe, and after three months I came across to Head Office. A position had opened up in customer service, and I was brought in for a trial and ended up transferring across completely. I love working in the dance community, the people you meet are so great and so appreciative. You meet those people who are starting out and have no idea about dance, and you get to help them with what they need and educate them. I love being a part of that community even though I’m not dancing as a career; getting to liaise with teachers, dancers, parents.
What is your current role within the company?
I'm part of the Customer Service Team, dealing with online, wholesale and phone customers. A typical day goes like this: At 8.30am we print off the orders. We check our emails early in case there’s something in regards to an order that might affect it going out. Then we get the orders picked, and get onto the phones and emails. If there’s something going on, like an item is out of stock or there’s an issue, it comes back to me and I can call the customer and explain what’s happening and what I can do for them. If a wholesaler puts an order through via fax or email, they need to be entered into the system. Sometimes I do a little bit of warehouse or production assistance, but overall my job is very customer focused - once the orders are all prepared I spend the day responding to customer enquiries.
What is your favourite part of your role?
Probably the same thing I like about working in retail, the people. You get some really great customers who you might help with the tiniest thing and they email you back and they say 'thank you so much!' and you feel good because they are really appreciative of your help. It’s really nice when someone acknowledges you.
What are your favourite Energetiks products?
It's a lot of the Limited Edition Collections. I love Spot Me, especially the Coco Crop with the three straps, I love that! I love Atelier - I am a pink person, so the Atelier Dusty Rose is really nice. I really love the Oasis Collection. And the Marle Collection - I like the Chanel Crop Top in Black. At the warehouse sale, I got some Marle electric blue leggings and the fabric is so comfy. The CT30 Convertible Tights last for ages and don’t pill, and the AL108 Isabelle Leotard – I don’t have this but one of my students wore it the other night and it is so gorgeous!
Finally, what do you love about working for Energetiks?
Energetiks is a really nice environment to work in, I love it here, so I can definitely see myself being here for a long time. I know now that I'm not going to dance professionally, but I still get to be with teachers and dancers in the dance community, which is amazing.
Stay tuned to meet more awesome team members in future posts from the Inside Energetiks series.
Special thanks to the Dance Partners teachers and the students featured in the images. To visit the Dance Partners website, click here.
Interview by Emily Newton-Smith
Photographs by Elly Ford