Faculty

Melissa Mitchell (ARAD RAD RTS) - Principal - Ballet (RAD), Pre Elite Program, Performance Modern & Jazz

Melissa grew up in the beautiful leafy suburb of Bilgola Plateau beginning her dance journey at age 4 with Sydney Festival Dance Academy. The commitment towards her dance and natural ability lead to a move to Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy to pursue her career as a professional dancer. Melissa studied at the world renowned Zurich Ballet School, Switzerland, then travelled countries throughout Europe and USA dancing with Vienna Festival Ballet Company as a professional dancer and soloist.

It was only natural that life after dancing landed Melissa countless roles as a teacher and choreographer, continuing her passion for dance and bringing her much happiness and success. Esteemed roles include Head of Dance at Bilgola Plateau Primary School, a senior teaching position at Brigidine College, St Ives for the last 5 years & co-ordinator and principal teacher of Barrenjoey High School Dance Program, Avalon. More recently Melissa has taught at various Northern Beaches dance schools before being handpicked to run the Junior School at the prestigious Conlan College, Turramurra, one of Sydney’s leading schools in dance.

Melissa’s students achievements have been testament to the hard work and passion she shows for dance. Eisteddfod results in recent years have had many well respected choreographers commend her on her high levels of energy and imagination. Australia’s rock eisteddfod of 2008 saw Melissa’s entry of Pittwater High School receive many accolades and awards for it’s originality and creativeness.

Looking into the future Melissa is now focusing all the above mentioned knowledge and energy into Dynamite Premiere Academy to develop it as one of Northern Beaches leading dance schools. Melissa intends on maintaining the schools enjoyable and fun loving culture whilst offering the opportunity for dedicated dancers to also one day follow in her footsteps as a professional stage performer.

 


Julie - Anne Kerr (ARAD RTS, RAD Teachers Diploma)

Julie-Anne has been teaching Classical Ballet for over 30 years.

She was trained at an early age by Tanya Pearson and completed her fulltime training with Margaret Markham and Anne Fraser at McDonald College.

Julie- Anne moved to London to take up a place at the prestigious Royal Ballet Ballet School. It was there that Ms Barbara Fewster saw that Julie-Anne had a natural talent for teaching and she soon chose this as a career path.

Julie- Anne came back to Australia and danced with Sydney City Ballet Company before becoming a Registered Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance.

Her achievements include choreographing many ballet productions with overwhelming responses from audiences including Mary Poppins, Hansel and Gretel, Alice in Wonderland, Polar Express, Cinderella and The Nutcracker. She has also been dedicated to her students gaining 100% in RAD vocational exams and has choreographed solos with great achievement at local competitions.

In addition, she has travelled with students to competitions with success at the RAD Genee International, Alana Haines, Youth America Grand Prix, Prix de Lusanne and many more. She is proud to have volunteered her time on the RAD NSW Advisory Panel and has been Vice Chairperson for the past 2 years.

 

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Tonia Kelly (ARAD, DIP, TC DIST) - Ballet (RAD)

Tonia studied RAD Classical Ballet from age 4, achieving the award of Solo Seal at 17.


In 1978 Tonia was accepted into the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne under the direction of Dame Margaret Scott OBE and successfully graduated.


In 1980, Tonia began a full time contract with the world renowned Sydney Dance Company. She remained with the company, performing in all Graeme Murphy’s world premier works and toured extensively with the Company both nationally and internationally for 11 years. She had the opportunity of dancing many and varied leading roles during her time with the SDC. Highlights include creating the role of Ideal Love in Some Rooms, one of Graeme Murphy’s most popular works. Some Rooms was performed extensively around the world for 7 years. Other career highlights include the role of May the redhead match girl in Sirens  and Chloe in Daphnis and Chloe.


Upon retiring from her professional dancing career, Tonia began freelance teaching. In 1994 she achieved Distinction in the RAD Teaching Certificate. She recently became a mentor for the RAD CBTS (Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies).


Over the past two decades, Tonia has taught classical ballet for Darc Swan Company, Ecole Classique, Dynamite Studios (under the direction of David Atkins and Sheree da Costa), Rosalie Lane, Sydney Festival Ballet and Barker Dance Studio. Her choreographic achievements include a solo for Olivia Bell of the Australian Ballet Company, for the Prix de Lausanne. She also spent several years choreographing productions for the education sector. In addition to her freelance teaching, she has worked as an adjudicator on the eisteddfod circuit and also teaches ballet to mature age students.


Tonia has completed a triple Diploma in Interior and Colour Design at the International School of Colour and Design and runs a small interior styling business from home.


Tonia lives in Newport and has two children Brynn 21 and Evan 18.

 


Kelcy Meades - Ballet (RAD) & Jazz

From the young age of three, Kelcy began her love of classical ballet and has not stopped since. She trained at The Sydney Festival Ballet  with Janice Graham and Lisa Miles in RAD classical ballet, national character, contemporary, modern and jazz.

She then left school to pursue full time ballet at the prestigious Conlan College. Kelcy completed all her RAD ballet exams, achieving the highest possible results in the high distinctions throughout all of her exams, she was also a finalist in the Isobel Anderson Awards and competed in all Eisteddfods for many years accomplishing a placing in every solo and group performance. Along with The Conlan College winning the City Of Sydney Ballet Group Championship, Kelcy was given the opportunity to perform at the Sydney Opera House as a guest performer.


Kelcy was handpicked to be a student at The Australian Ballet School for many years where she gained much technical experience and intensive training.

Kelcy has proven to set the standard for a bright future in the dance industry and along side her immense passion for dancing, she can pass onto her students of all ages not only her experiences, but inspiration to reach their goals.


Mitchell Turnbull -  Senior Performance Jazz ,Modern & Ballet (RAD)

Mitchell began dancing at the tender age of 6 taking classes in Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Modern.


After graduating from Newtown High School Of The Performing Arts in 2004, Mitchell embarked on an International/National Career in commercial dance; performing in Europe, South America and the USA; which included contracts with Royal Caribbean Cruises, appearing in CBS ‘America’s Next Top Model’ alongside Tyra Banks, The Australian Club Entertainment Awards and MO Awards.

In 2009 was awarded a full scholarship with Ajkun Ballet Theatre in New York as a company trainee.  Mitchell was given the opportunity to perform as a featured artist, performing all over New York at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York City Centre and Riverfront Recapture in Hartford, this then lead to a position with Connecticut Ballet Company, USA.

Mitchell was contracted with MOD Dance Company in 2011 for their first national tour of Graeme Murphy's 'Suite Synergy’ as a featured artist.  In the same year he took part in a secondment with The Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide.

Sydney season 2012 of Aida with Opera Australia choreographed by Graeme Murphy.

In between the various dance contracts, Mitchell would always come back to pass on his knowledge and love of dance to students at numerous dance studios. This made him realise that he enjoys the challenge of teaching.

 


Hayden Campbell - Jazz and Modern

We provide the following classes taught by our experienced staff at our Newport studio, check out our classes page for full details:

Newport Ballet Classes
Newport Jazz Classes
Newport Modern Classes
Newport Elite Classes
Newport Limber Classes
Newport Junior Hip Hop Classes