Catherine trained in the Vaganova method of classical ballet from a young age with Patrina Coates at “The Ballet Studio” in Castlecrag. After attending full-time at Tanya Pearson’s Classical Coaching Academy she was accepted to study at the Hungarian National Dance Academy in Budapest where she continued her Vaganova ballet training. In 2013 she graduated with a BA majoring in Performance and Classical Ballet. Upon graduation she was accepted into various companies choosing the Miskolc Ballet where she performed in all the repertoire including Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, Nutcracker, The Great Gatsby, Paquita, Sylvia as well as modern pieces and Operas. In 2016 she returned home to Sydney. Catherine worked as an extra and the dance double for the leading actress "Tara" in the film “Dance Academy”. She is currently teaching and freelancing for short films and dance theatre projects while studying Medical Science at Macquarie University.
Zac Zainal Jaffar graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, Choreography and Musical Theatre from NYU - Tisch School of Performing Arts in 1987. He trained in all major dance styles: ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical and tap, and studied techniques such as Martha Graham and José Limon. Zac’s dance education was further enriched by his time as a student of Broadway Dance Centre, Steps on Broadway, Ailey School and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in the United States.
An accomplished dancer, singer and actor, Zac has extensive performance experience on an international level. Highlights from his career include working with artists Chaka Khan, Jimmy Barnes, John Paul Young, Dannii Minogue and Tina Arena; and on productions The King and ! (On Broadway), Grease the Arena Spectacular, Cats and Into the Woods. Television credits include The Young Lions and The Road To Cooran as dance supervisor.
Early in his career in Singapore, Zac was posted in the Singapore Arms Forces Music and Dance Company as part of duties in the National Service, where he became a founding member of the MRT dance troupe. Zac also trained at Singapore Ballet Academy under tuterlage by Mr Anthony Thn and later was given an apprenticeship to train at Singapore Dance Theatre and danced the company first full length performance of NUTCRACKER. He later became a member of SBC Dance Company. He has worked with highly regarded choreographers and he was appointed the role of dance captain for a tour of 2 musicals: Mortal Sins (SINGAPORE) and Maui (JAPAN). At the National University of Singapore to the Arts Faculty, Zac was invited to implement technique classes at an annual dance camp.
Since living in Australia in 1997, Zac has held a senior teaching position at Sydney Dance Company Studios. He has positively contributed to dance in Australia during his role teaching at the UNSW, UWS, Cecchetti Ballet of Australia, McDonald College, British Ballet Organization and dance studios nationally.
A highly regarded dancer, choreographer and dance teacher, Zac has been involved with creating works for inclusion in major events such as Mardi Gras, Diva Awards, Hand in Hand, Pride, Short & Sweet, Royal Caribbean Cruise Liner and Sydney Eisteddfod. He has collaborated and worked with notable choreographers including Graham Murphy, Kelly Abbey, William Forsythe (ED5), Ross Coleman, David Atkins, Virginia Ferris and Ramon Domingo.
A dedicated dance educator, Zac now focuses on delivering quality workshops and classes in Australasia and Europe. In 2016, he was invited to TRDO (SINGAPORE) for their first International Contemporary and Lyrical workshop and master classes as dance instructor and lecturer. And this year he will be traveling to New Caledonia to teach master classes at Ateliér 6 Centre De Danse and IMPEL 2017 Dance Convention in Singapore organized by Dancepointe Singapore.
Diploma in Dance Teaching & Management
Certificate 1V in Training & Assessment
Producer of the Progressing Ballet Technique Programs
Marie trained in Australia and after gaining her Solo Seal she began her professional career with Les Ballet de Marseille under the direction of Roland Petit. Her teaching career has spaned over 40 years firstly with the Marie Walton-Mahon Dance Academy and developing the National College of Dance where she wrote a diploma course for dance education. She is a highly respected teacher with over 42 years’ experience and she has trained many professional dancers and teachers worldwide.
Marie is currently a Royal Academy of Dance Vocational Graded Examiner, Registered Teacher and Life Member, a Continuing Professional Development Tutor for the Faculty of Education and she is on the Freelance Faculty for Student Courses, Classes and Events.
Marie has been recognised for her innovative teaching and in 2012 was encouraged by teachers to record and share her Progressing Ballet Technique Program. After the success of the original DVD she then created the Junior program and earlier this year the Advanced level. The programs that enhance posture, weight – placement and the muscle memory for ballet are now taught in 40 countries.
Marie is extremely pleased guest teach the students at Danceworks Sydney.
Alisha trained at Alegria Dance Studios in Sydney and completed her ARAD teachers certificate in 2004. She was awarded her Solo Seal in 2004. After a year dancing with Carnival Cruise Lines, Alisha began her professional dance career with the Queensland Ballet in the Professional Year Program. She then continued her career in Germany where she danced for 7 years in several ballet and contemporary companies, dancing several lead roles, and working with many world-renowned choreographers.
Upon returning to Australia, Alisha was engaged as a dancer with the prestigious Sydney Dance Company, performing numerous award-winning works with them until her retirement in 2013.
Alisha was in the first cohort of graduates from the Dance Movement Therapy course at Phoenix Institute of Australia in Melbourne, and since, has been developing dance therapy programs for all different community groups including people with special needs, the elderly, children in hospital settings, and has also developed workshops specifically for dancers.
Martin James, born in Christchurch 1961, graduate of the NZ School of Dance 1977. Principal dancer with the RNZ Ballet shortly after.
1985 joined English National Ballet. He was the company’s principal dancer 1987 - 1990. Principal with the Deutsche Opera Ballet (1990 – 94), Royal Danish Ballet 1994-2000 of which he received a Knighthood of service medal from the Danish Queen Margrethe II for his contribution to ballet and dance in Denmark.
After his retirement became Ballet Master for the Royal Danish Ballet and made the decision later to become a freelance guest teacher/ballet master with major ballet companies and institutions throughout Europe particularly and has been a regular teacher and coach with the NZ School of Dance and Royal NZ Ballet since his return.
Martins career took him as guest artist throughout the world. During his distinguished career he danced most of the principal roles in the classical and contemporary repertoires as well as having roles created especially for him. He partnered ballerinas including Natalia Makarova, Ekaterina Maximova, Lynn Seymore, Alessandra Ferri and Sylvie Guillem.
Martins most recent engagements have included Australian Ballet, teaching the company and coaching the principals with their production of La Sylphide, Tanya Pearson School, (Sydney), Prudence Bowen School, (Sunshine coast), Studiotibor, (Sydney) and various seminars in both New Zealand and Australia. He has also been guest teacher/coach at the School of Alberta Ballet, Canada to their full time school September 2014.
Martin has been adjudicator for the Alana Haines awards 2013 and hosted this same event this last Easter in Wellington NZ and will do so 2017.
He is also a celebrated painter and graphic artist, having had many exhibitions and commission work. He is intending on mounting his first showing in Australia when his time permits.
Jessica Hesketh studied classical ballet and contemporary dance full-time at the Brent Street Studios' Talent Development High School (Sydney, Australia) before furthering her studies at Ev and Bow Full-Time Dance Training Centre (Sydney, Australia).
Following her graduation in 2009 Jessica went on to train in New York with the Alvin Ailey School. On return to Australia she worked with a number of independent choreographers including Anton, Tim O'Donnell, Emma Sandall and Stephen Page. She was the runner up in the 2010 season of So You Think You Can Dance.
Since joining Australian Dance Theatre in 2010, Jessica has performed in the premieres of Worldhood (2011) and Proximity (2012), and Be Your Self at Sydney Theatre (2012). Jessica was also a part of the Australian tour of G (May-July 2013), and in Proximity at the Arts Centre Melbourne (August 2013), and the premiere of Daniel Jaber’s Nought (September 2013).
Jessica has toured internationally multiple times with the company, performing in Europe with Be Your Self (2011) and Proximity (2013, 2014).
Also working with Marko Panzic and Stephen Tannos, Jessica is a member of the Dream Dance Company, performing in the Sydney season of Genesis (May 2015). This went on to tour nationally with a return season in Sydney, followed by Gold Coast and Newcastle (September 2015).
Jessica is now working with Opera Australia, being a part of their touring production of Faust (2015) and Turandot on the Harbour (2016).
Teagan trained at The Australian Ballet School, where she completed her Certificate III & graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Dance. In 2005 Teagan was invited to join Sydney Dance Company (SDC) under the Artistic Direction of Graeme Murphy & Janet Vernon. Throughout Teagan’s years with SDC she performed much of Graeme Murphy’s repertoire (both Nationally & Internationally) as an ensemble & Principal Artist. Teagan’s position as a Principal Artist with SDC opened up wonderful opportunities for her to perform at International Galas, Festivals, The Australian Dance & Helpmann Awards, for blockbuster Movies & also TV Series. Teagan has worked and collaborated with a number of choreographers including Stephen Petronio, Narelle Benjamin, Meryl Tankard, Rafael Bonachela, Shaun Parker, Stephen Agisilaou, Aszure Barton, Natalie Weir & Stephen Baynes in a variety of contemporary & classical repertoire. In 2010 Teagan was appointed Associate Artistic Director of a newly formed Company – Mod Dance Company – a role that delved into the other side of theatre, management & staging, & allowed Teagan to advance her knowledge in all areas of Arts Management. In addition to her performance & directorial career Teagan has been a guest teacher, examiner and adjudicator throughout Australia & America. She has performed for as a guest Principal Artist for Melbourne based contemporary dance companies Liquid Skin and Vertical Shadows & from 2011 – 2013 was an Artist with The Australian Ballet Company. Teagan is currently dancing for Opera Australia as their Principal dancer & also holds the position of Dance Captain.
From childhood Angela had an interest in art and movement, starting with a passion for visual art, and her own self-directed hobby of lounge room based interpretive dance.
Later this grew into a serious pursuit when she started dance classes at Byron School of Dance, and continuing on to Newtown High School of Performing Arts.
Angela received her tertiary dance training from Brent Street, The National Theatre Ballet School and Ev and Bow.
Throughout the years Angela has had the privilege of training and working with companies and choreographers throughout Europe, UK and USA.
In 2011 Angela founded Twisted Element. Between 2011-13 she created four full-length works as well as commissioned short works.
In 2014 Angela moved to the UK to further develop her artistic practice, Here she began working as an art, fashion and specialist dance model, eventually touring nationally and internationally. In 2015, she was invited to present workshops teaching photographers dance aesthetics for the camera with renowned photography trainer Andrew Appleton. This also saw the pair being invited to The Johannesburg Photo and Film Expo where Angela delivered a stage presentation.
In London, she was cast in the multimedia symphony ‘The Infinite Bridge’ with Director Peter Cox in its world premiere. During this period Angela also worked with Hack Ballet under the directorship of Briar Adams.
In 2015, she was commissioned to choreograph her piece ‘Bird Woman’ for Transform Dance Company in London.
Angela also toured the UK teaching workshops in dance colleges, was guest teacher for the Cecchetti Associate Program at The Rambert School and presented her own creative professional workshops ‘Speaking Movement’ at Islington Arts Centre.
Since moving back to Australia, Angela is excited to be making work again, relaunching Twisted Element with her bizarre and dazzling new immersive and interactive work ‘Opus’.
In 2018, Angela is excited to be launching a Youth Company Program called ‘Wild Hearts’, equipping the next generation of dance artists with ingenuity, innovativeness and tenacity to thrive in the future dance world.
B Sc Arch (Hons), B Arch (Hons)
Wanda has a uniquely broad range of knowledge in National and Character Dance, has more than 25 years teaching experience, and has directed major dance events for over 10 years at the Sydney Opera House as Assistant Director of the National Folkloric Festival and Artistic Director of the Festival of Cultures.
Her education was grounded in the Russian Moiseyev style, and most of her teachers came through its rigorous training and tradition. She has undertaken intensive study periods both in Australia and Moscow, learning from the very best National and Character Dance specialists. Her five visits to Moscow included extended study at the Dance Academy of the University of Natalia Nesterova (under the direction of Prof. Anatoly Borzov), the Moiseyev School, and a full scholarship at The State A.V Lunacharsky Institute of Theatrical Arts (GITIS) where she studied the teaching methodology of Character Stage Dance.
In addition to this, Wanda has attained her Advanced Certificate from the Spanish Dance Society and has studied Cuban dance in Havana and Sydney. She has performed for many years with various dance ensembles, where the repertoire included dances from Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, the Philippines, Mexico, and Cuba.
She has taught extensively in ballet schools, tertiary institutions and for performance groups, and has had guest engagements for WAAPA, the Royal Academy of Dance, the Cecchetti Society, Ausdance, NIDA, and the University of Natalia Nesterova (Moscow). She has choreographed for productions by Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image and Sport for Jove. Wanda was a regular adjudicator of the World Dance sections for Sydney Eisteddfod and is a Trustee of the Guillermo Keys-Arenas Dance Trust.