WELCOME SMILE: New Coles Gatton employee Shandell Reisenleiter. Picture: Dominic Elsome
WELCOME SMILE: New Coles Gatton employee Shandell Reisenleiter. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Dance teacher twirls into new ‘essential’ job

A DANCE instructor who has been forced to temporarily close her business has found herself at the supermarket frontline as an essential worker.

Shandell Reisenleiter applied for a job with Coles Gatton when her family income was suddenly cut short amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Her resume reads dance, dance, dance, but it didn't stop the Gatton mum from stepping out of her comfort zone into something new.

"I'm just very grateful and appreciative I've got a job to relieve the financial stress on my family," she said

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"It is wonderful to wake up and go to a job because, emotionally, it's very hard on families."

Shandell has taught dance for the past 32 years, mostly at her studio Starlite Dancers.

She said the transition from dance to checkout chick wasn't as daunting as it sounded.

"I'm quite confident and happy to talk to the customers and make it an ease for them to shop," she said.

The Gatton Star was able to chat with Shandell on her first day on the job.

"The customers were lovely; they know they have to get in there and get their groceries and get out," she said.

With evolving safety measures in place daily, Shandell wasn't concerned about contracting coronavirus.

"There are safety precautions in place, I don't feel uneasy at all. I feel we are protected if everyone sticks by the rules," she said.

"I've been a shopper, I've got five children and I've always gone for groceries.

"At the moment everyone is stressed, so to be welcomed by a smile it does help."

Shandell hoped, once the pandemic subsided, she would continue working at Coles and running her studio.

"Hopefully, I can find a new balance with the teaching and my new role at Coles," she said.