Rise Dance teachers

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Teacher Profiles:

Carla:
I started ballet when I was four - my experience was not a positive one.  The teacher was unfriendly and stern and had a cane for tapping bottoms and tummies that weren’t doing as they should.  I remember feeling a bit nervous from the sound of the ballet teacher's shoes clopping on the cold wooden floor.

Needless to say I didn’t last long!  I continued to dance at home by myself dreaming of one day becoming a ballerina (as many young girls do!).

I had a 6 month stint of jazz dancing but had to stop as my mother could no longer afford the lessons.

When I was 9 I started gymnastics which blew me away.  I loved it so much and competed at a national level.

When I left school I joined a performing arts group – ‘Nga Mahi a Rehia’.  We toured New Zealand and Japan performing Kapa Haka.

I then studied at the BOP Academy of Performing Arts directed by Peter & Yvonne Edwards.

I was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington in 1996.  It wasn’t for me.  It was (and of course should have been) quite structured and I disliked the competitiveness of it.  It made me realise I didn't want to dance as a career but rather wanted to dance for the pure pleasure of it - however and whenever I felt like it.

I decided to travel the world and had the most incredible experiences along the way.  I lived in the UK and the States and travelled to over 20 countries.

I settled with my kiwi husband in Sydney where we had our two children.  It was there that I worked for a dance school teaching children.  I also studied fitness and small business management and taught yoga.

When we arrived back in Tauranga in 2006 I saw the need for a dance school that offered a more relaxed approach, without the seriousness and expense of more traditional dance schools.  In 2008 ‘Rhythm Kids’ was born (now Rise Dance Co) and, as they say, the rest is history!

Kirsten:
I've had a huge passion for dance for as long as I can remember. When I was 8 years old, I started Hip Hop. The following year I started jazz and then the following year I added contemporary to the mix. I started teaching jazz and hip hop at the age of 14 at my dance school and fell in love with the teaching aspect. The feeling of inspiring people and assisting them to reach their full potential made me so happy.

I attended the annual Phoenix dance workshops held in Hamilton 5 years in a row and received a return scholarship every year. In 2013 I received the most prestigious award, the L.A scholarship that only 2 dancers are fortunate enough to receive.

In 2013 I played the role of Mona, one of the cell block girls in the Rotorua musical "CHICAGO". To wrap 2013 up, after the advanced/distinction dancing, teaching, choreographing and professional gigs at the end of year concert I was awarded the most outstanding achievement in dance.

In 2015 I was accepted into Urban Dance Centre in Sydney, Australia for a full-time Diploma in musical theatre in central Sydney Australia. I discovered a voice I didn't know I had, I grew confident as an actress and expanded my dance skills across a broader range of genres. I was also involved with a dance agency and did many gigs.

Dance is my life and will forever be my passion. I’m so looking forward to dancing with you all!

Molly:
Hi, I’m Molly.  I moved to New Zealand 5 years ago from England and saw a completely new and different side of dance compared to what I had learnt in the UK.  I have had a passion and desire to dance ever since I was three.  I started out as a ballet, jazz and modern dancer with strict technique.  When I turned 8 I found hip hop / street dance.  I fell in love with the music, diversity, attitude and style.  I’d finally found a genre of dance that I could truly be myself with.  I could be whoever and whatever I wanted, I could be girly, gangsta, fun – anything! After a while with an open mind and imagination I become more creative, and began choreographing my own pieces, I LOVE to choreograph.

New Zealand was a big move. We settled in Papamoa where I found a competitive dance crew.  We competed in various hip hop competitions around NZ and from these competitions I found an Auckland crew of women that amazed and inspired me to be able to dance like them one day.  Request Dance Crew and The Royal Family was created by an amazing woman named Parris Goebel. My ambition from then was to one day dance with them.  After finishing school I auditioned for a mixed teens Royal Family crew.  To my surprise I was chosen out of the hundreds that auditioned, it was the happiest day of my life!  While there I learnt so much - how to understand my body and push myself far beyond my limits. Our crew placed 1st in the Waikato regionals and 2nd in the NZ Hip Hop Championships.  Our next stop was the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas but unfortunately we were unable to raise the funds for our team to attend.

I feel so privileged to be working with Rise Dance Co.  I am hoping to learn all I can from the other teachers and of course the children.  There is nothing more rewarding than being able to see students progressing from passing on your knowledge and passion for dance.

Tina:
My dance journey began in Taupo, when I was six.  I went to ballet in the local church hall and fell deeply in love with dance. Unfortunately, my mum and dad couldn't sustain paying fees, so I had to stop.  My Grandad saw my love of dance and performance, and alongside my sisters and youngest aunt, created a group called the Galaxy Girls.  We would dance for local Church groups, and for rest homes and my grandad would compere!  He even made tickets to our shows, and would award us with certificates.

Up until the end of high school I would always dance, and choreograph school productions -  I immersed myself in as much dance as I possibly could.  I then got a job and could pay for fees myself, so, I went along to ballet and jazz, sat some exams and performed more..

Then, I discovered a full time pre-tertiary dance training course run by a wonderful woman and dancer named Sheryl Robinson.  Sheryl was classically and contemporary trained at The NZ School of Dance, and sadly passed away in 2010.  She saw my passion, nutured it with everything she knew and prepared me to audition for the New Zealand School of Dance and Unitec. I was fortunate enough to be successful in both auditions, and chose the hard rigid life at the NZ School of Dance, truly, to follow in Sheryl's footsteps.  I learnt a great deal there about myself, and where I was headed career wise.  I lasted 1.5 years of the three at NZSD, then headed back to Christchurch where I taught in many schools, freelanced, and worked every dancer job there is!  I have cheerleaded for the Canterbury Crusaders, danced in five Bollywood films, danced for the Silver Ferns, performed in local contemporary dance collectives, competed in competitions in South Africa and more.. I have been really lucky to have such a vivid dance journey and I am extremely excited to share the next steps of it with students at Rise Dance.

In addition to being a dancer and teacher, I work as a fitness instructor at Adventure Health and Fitness/ Ngati Awa Social and Health Services in beautiful Whakatane.  Dance has, and always will be my number one passion.  My other number one passion ( I know, I know..) is helping other dancers understand  their potential, and watching them grow into confident artists with their own story, just like me x

Cara:
I began ballet at four years old and jazz at 8. I had a personality that leant towards being 'shy' and dancing in front of anyone freaked me out. Thanks to the firm but encouraging push from my mother who saw potential, I kept going. Fast forward a few years and I was a different child. I gained confidence and passion which made me come alive.  I loved the challenge of learning new movements as I got older and particularly enjoyed the end of year dance shows. 

I completed Advanced and a Solo Performance Diploma in NZAMD Jazz in my late teen years while teaching dance in Papamoa/Te Puke. I also trained under Debbie Gooch in contemporary dance at Dance Education Centre and I fell in love with this style.
I later went on to many different travel/work adventures around the world where I eventually realised I missed dance way too much, which resulted in a desire to pick up adult classes here in Tauranga.
Thanks to the encouragement and guidance from my ballet teacher I recently completed a Diploma in Vocational Graded Examination in Dance: RAD Adv 2 Ballet. I can hardly believe I was back en pointe all those years later!  I'm a true believer that you're never too old to dance or start dancing.
I have been privileged to have been exposed to a variety of different dance styles, in choreographing, teaching and performing. I love being on stage and communicating more than just movements when I dance. Dance is really powerful and I love watching people come alive when they dance.

Tai:
I began dancing with Rise Dance Co when they first started out in Tauranga in 2008.  My passion has always been Hip Hop but last year I took contemporary dance classes as a way of extending myself as a dancer which I really enjoyed.  For the last 4 years I have been a member of Rise Dance Companys Hip Hop competition crews.   We have had many successes over the years both Nationally and Internationally and I’ll continue to compete for as long as possible.  I love to keep myself dance fit, versatile and flexible by also playing soccer, volley ball, touch rugby and skiing.

I’m really excited to be joining Rise as a teacher and can’t wait to share my energy and enthusiasm for dance with others.

 

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