Meet The Team
At Brisbane Dance Theatre, we are lucky to have a team of wonderful dance teachers who have a passion for teaching children.
Sally has always had a passion for dance and a love of teaching children. After graduating from The Queensland Dance School of Excellence with a Diploma of Dance, Sally moved to Sydney to train at ED5 International in their Full-Time Course. This gave Sally the opportunity to work with Choreographers such as William Forsythe, Keith Hawley, Ross Coleman, Leslie Bell, Kelley Abbey, Gerry Symonds and Christine Denny.
Once completing her Certificate IV in Performing Arts, Sally started working as a professional dancer, performing at the 2006 MTV Music Video Awards with artists such as Ashlee Simpson, Snoop Dogg, The Darkness and The Rogue Traders. Sally also performed at the 2006 Mardi Gras, and in video clips with Guy Sebastian and Shannon Noll.
From there, life took Sally to the USA where she was a professional dancer on the Carnival Cruise Line ship, Carnival Paradise. Once back in Australia, Sally spent four years performing in the Wildlife Warrior Shows at Australia Zoo, where she got hands on experience with many animals while learning valuable performance lessons from Paul Guerin, Michael Balk, Natasha Zuvela and The Irwin Family.
Through all of this, Sally’s love of teaching dance to children has always shone through and has seen her teach at many dance schools around Brisbane. Her passion and guidance has inspired many of her students to become professional dancers, and Sally hopes that she can keep encouraging children to follow their dreams for many years to come.
After training with renowned teacher Tanya Pearson, Melissa was the recipient of many prestigious awards including, the SODA Professional Prize, the City of Sydney “Rothmans” Scholarship and was honoured with a Bronze Medal at the Adeline Genee Awards London. She then went on to study at the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet School.
Melissa has danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, Ballet D’Action Youth Dance Company, and was principal artist with Timothy Gordon’s Company Z.
She has taught Ballet in Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and on the Gold Coast for many years. She holds a Diploma of Dance Teaching and Management, a Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment and is a registered teacher of the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet, as well as a trainer and assessor for various VET Registered Training Organisations.
A mother of 3 children, Melissa has a keen interest in teaching children of kindergarten age.
Taylor loves to share her passion and dedication for dance with her students. Learning from the age of 3 and teaching for the past 4 years, Taylor holds the CSTD Teaching Diploma (Tapping) and is a registered Acrobatic Arts Module 1 teacher.
Taylor has great experience in all dance styles including Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Singing, Contemporary, Lyrical and Hip Hop which has presented many opportunities for her, in both the performing and teaching arena. Her performance credits include performing alongside stars including Taylor Henderson and Nathaniel.
Taylor loves to teach both children and adults to which she wishes to pass on her passion for dance by bringing fun, creativity and discipline to her lessons. Teaching across the Brisbane region, she enjoys building lasting impressions with her students by encouraging them to always do their best.
Elise begun full time dance training at the age of 15 on the Gold Coast with Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy. Here she studied the Vaganova method of classical ballet and contemporary dance, performed in many eisteddfods/events, and trained for the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Examinations, where she completed her final Excellence exam.
In 2015 Elise was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance Elite International Contemporary Course, where she trained full time for 6 months.
Since then Elise has taught dance whilst studying, and she has obtained a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management. She has also completed the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet teacher training for the ACB Vaganova Syllabus. Elise is very passionate about teaching and enjoys sharing her love, knowledge and passion for dance.
Abbie began dancing at the age of 3 and has studied Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Singing, Contemporary, Lyrical and Hip Hop, studying both the ACB and ATOD syllabi.
Abbie has performed in many corporate events and festivals including Anywhere Theatre Festival and Noosa Alive Festival.
Most recently, Abbie has collaborated with music artists in upcoming music videos and has also featured in numerous commercial videos including those for Flight Centre and Lite n’ Easy.
Abbie is currently studying a Bachelor of Medical Science and follows her passion dance through teaching and photographing.
John moved to Melbourne as a teenager to attend the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. He continued on to the Australian Ballet School receiving an Advanced Diploma of Dance. After graduating from the Australian Ballet School, John moved to Europe where he lived for 10 years, returning to Australia in 2011.
From 2000 – 2007 John lived in the Netherlands where he danced with the modern ballet company ‘Introdans’ performing works by choreographers such as: Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Mats Ek, Hans van Manen, and Nils Christe. He travelled extensively with Introdans to numerous countries around the world, including tours of Europe, Asia, and North America. A highlight of his career was dancing for Queen Beatrix and Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.
John moved to Munich, Germany in 2007 and joined the modern dance company ‘Staatstheater am Gartnerplatz/Tanz Theater Munchen’ where as a soloist he danced a wide repertoire of works by choreographers Marco Goeke, Hans Henning Par, Rui Horta, Stephan Thoss, Robert North, and Christian Spuck. This also included dancing roles in the musicals “La Cage aux Folles” and “My Fair Lady.”
Whilst in Munich, John attended the Munich University graduating with a Diploma Degree in Ballet Pedagogy in Vaganova Technique. John was the assistant choreographer for Loni Landon’s “Shortcuts” program in Munich and The Nikki Fischer Project’s movement workshop for Children for Gartenerplatz Theatre Munich, Germany. From here John was invited to Dancecyprus as a teacher, dancer and as an assistant to the director Carolina Constantinou in Limassol, Cyprus.
Since returning to Australia in 2011, John is a freelance teacher of ballet and contemporary for Brisbane Dance Theatre, Expressions Dance Company, QUT, Griffith University/Qld Conservatorium and Queensland Dance School of Excellence.
Student Teacher Mentor Program
In 2015 Brisbane Dance Theatre introduced a new student teach mentor program, designed for students aged 14 to 17 with a keen interest in dance, and in teaching children. Through this program, student teachers are guided through the fundamentals of teaching, including choreography, body mechanics & alignment, theory, technique, warm-up & cool-down techniques, management strategies and lesson planning through practical studies with qualified teachers.
Our student teachers will help teach and nurture younger students in a variety of dance styles and classes under the watchful eye of our wonderful Brisbane Dance staff.