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.

 


Hayden Campbell - Jazz and Modern

Miss Hayden has been teaching at DPA for a span of 10 years, a place she considers to be “a big part of her heart.” Growing up herself dancing at Dynamite PA, Miss Hayden has danced all over the world throughout her career. After studying at Brent Street to gain her Cert IV in performing arts, she was offered a contract to dance in many Bollywood Films in India. After this she then worked in Singapore, performing in cabarets, live corporate shows and night club productions.

Not long after completing this contract, Miss Hayden travelled to Europe to take up an offer performing with the cast of the cruise ship MSC Musica, dancing in many shows aboard the boat. Following this, Miss Hayden then returned to India for Bollywood once again, before signing a 14 month contract with Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey circus in the USA as a dancer and aerialist. This contract saw her working with well renowned choreographers Michael Schwandt, Preston Mui and Oskar Rodriguez, performing in over 50 different American cities in some of the biggest arenas and theaters in the country. Making several tv appearances for news stations and tv advertising, she also was given the opportunity to dance in the opening of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago.

Miss Hayden now divides her time between performing and teaching. She is a regular cast member for shows by Entertainment Works Australia and freelances doing music videos and live shows. Back to share her knowledge and passion with many students, Miss Hayden looks forward to giving the children inspiration and something to challenge them and help them grow. She believes in teaching a strong work ethic and feels it’s important to encourage creativity and the arts in young people, giving them a skill that can flow into so many other aspects of life.


Chavaugn Odendaal - Ballet and Jazz

Chavaugn began dancing at the age of 4, in Durban, South Africa. In 2000 Chavaugn moved to Australia where she trained in Ballet, Contemporary/Lyrical and Jazz at various dance schools across the Northern Beaches, completing her RAD intermediate in ballet. Chavaugn’s love of dance lead her to start her career in teaching, and in 2018 she will commence the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies course, with the Royal Academy of Dance.

 


Indigo Van Dijk - Junior Jazz

Indigo discovered her love for dance at the age of four. At the age of seven Indigo began training at Dynamite Premiere Academy, doing a range of classes including jazz, contemporary, lyrical and RAD ballet - completing her RAD intermediate ballet exam. Since leaving school Indigo has discovered her passion for teaching both dance and yoga, and has since completed her Vinyasa yoga teaching training in 2017

 

 

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