My dance journey began in Taupo when I was just six years old, where I went to ballet class 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. However, 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 which we loved! 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! As I had such a passion for dancing I decided I would get a job so I could pay for my own dance tuition and that’s just what I did, going along to ballet and jazz classes. I even sat some dance exams and got to perform 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 dancer at The NZ School of Dance, and sadly passed away in 2010. Sheryl saw my passion, nurtured 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 I was accepted into the NZ School of Dance, truly, to follow in Sheryl’s footsteps who had inspired me so much! I learnt a great deal there about myself and where I was headed career-wise deciding I wanted to teach dance. I lasted 1.5 years out 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 been in a cheerleading team 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! Dance has and always will be my number one passion! My other number one passion is helping other dancers understand their potential and watching them grow into confident artists with their own story, just like me!
With 10 years experience as a freelance dance teacher, I have found myself connecting and interacting with people from all walks of life. My journey thus far has been varied but I consider dance a grounding point & have gained a clearer, stronger energy and renewed approach since coming back to it.
I started my classical training at the tender age of 4 and over time developed a love and passion for numerous styles. My training includes Ballet, Modern dance, American jazz, Contemporary & Hip Hop.
I have been a part of various performance groups and companies over the years – these are as follows: Paul Kelly Dancers (Crusader Cheerleaders) – dancer 2004 & 05, choreographer 2007 & 08, Zion Dance Crew, Swarm Dance Crew (original member), Chant et Danse (cabaret company), Hip Hop Nation 2009 & The Dynasty Dancers 2010-12.
With having founded ‘The Dynasty Dancers’ in 2010 and being Creative Director of this all female performance group – I feel a sense of pride in knowing what we achieved. Our hard work and passion enabled us to create ample opportunities for ourselves as a team and for the wider community!
I have taught for numerous schools, studios and companies throughout the Canterbury region and in Australia. I believe that teaching isn’t JUST about dance and I realise the importance movement has for our health and wellbeing. If I can connect with and help to improve just one student’s way of life through dance then I’m happy! I feel grateful always for the opportunities I’ve been given through this platform and I aim to give back by sharing my knowledge, passion and energy with others.
I’m excited to be moving to such a beautiful part of this country to join the Rise Dance family and I so look forward to meeting you all in 2019!
Hi, I’m Molly! I have had a passion and desire to dance ever since I was just three years old and I started out as a ballet, jazz and modern dancer! When I turned 8 I found hip hop/street dance and 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 became more creative and began choreographing my own pieces, I LOVE to choreograph!
I moved to New Zealand 7 years ago from England and saw a completely new and different side of dance compared to what I had learnt in the UK which expanded my love of dance even more! New Zealand was a big move for us and 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 and my ambition from then on 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 one of the happiest days of my life! While I was part of the crew 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 but I am inspired and really hoping to get one of our Rise Hip Hop Crews to Worlds. Rise! I feel so privileged to be working with Rise Dance Company! There is nothing more rewarding than being able to see students progressing from passing on your knowledge and passion for dance!
Dani grew up in Auckland where she trained at Nicola Wheeler’s Dance Academy. After finishing her schooling she completed a Bachelor of Dance and then a Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching. During her studies Dani performed for the NZ Breakers, Auckland Blues and Vodafone Warriors, she travelled NZ as a back up dancer for Basshunter, choreographed entertainment for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Fan Trail and won NRL Cheergirl of the Year. After her studies Dani moved to Sydney where she worked alongside choreographer Dale Pope, taught dance in local private schools and for Mosman Dance Academy. On returning to NZ Dani moved to Mt Maunganui where she ran Bay of Plenty Performing Arts for 6 years and has choreographed for Tauranga Musical Theatre, including being nominated for the Best Choreography Zony Award.
Hey guys, I’m Brooke!
I am a third generation dance teacher and choreographer, it’s in the blood!
I began dancing extremely young and made my first stage debut in a Tap competition at the tender age of 2!
In 1992 I was awarded the world’s youngest BBO candidate to pass an examination and over the decade following, continued my training in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.
I am a qualified teacher and have attained diplomas in Solo dancing in both Tap and Jazz and have over 15 years’ experience as a dance educator for pre-schoolers to adults.
After running my Auckland based dance studio for several years, in 2016, hubby and I decided it was time for a life style change and we along with our two young children (Oscar and Sydney) made the move to the BEAUTIFUL Bay of Plenty. We have not looked back since!
I have since been working as a freelance choreographer, training students in all aspects of Dance and Performing Arts specialising in Tap, Jazz and competitive dance.
Every dancer has a unique personality and style and as a Dance Educator it is my mission to ensure each student reaches their full potential in a friendly, encouraging atmosphere.
I am SO excited to join the RISE family in 2020 and look forward to getting to know you all. See you on the dance floor!!
Laikin began dancing when she was three years old, her majors included Ballet and Modern Dance. Her love for ballet grew as she danced with Sue Cook from the Royal Academy of Dance in South Africa. Over the many years of working with young children, she has formed a wonderful love for teaching them and seeing their development. She is very excited to unlock the potential in the next generation of dancers and watch them grow in RISE/BoPPA.
Kelsie has been dancing since age 4 where she found an instant love. Trained in multiple styles, Kelsie’s true love was always tap. She has completed her NZAMD solo diploma in Tap. Kelsie was also nominated for the New Zealand Young Performer Award in 2014. Since then she can be seen at Tauranga Musical Theatre, both performing the dance she loves or working the costumes to create the final image. Kelsie is excited to be working with RISE/BoPPA and developing the continuation of the tap art from.
Hi guys. I’m Christian Pene. My friends in Hip-Hop call me KP, short for my known Maori name Karaitiana. I am 17 years old and have been dancing in Rise Dance Co for 9 years, including 6 years of competitive dancing from regionals to nationals to worlds. Personally, I find teaching enjoyable and thought it would be a great idea to teach others at something I really like doing. If you are considering to do my classes, I’ll be very thankful and will do my best to make it fun.
Hi I’m Emillie, I’ve been a part of Rise Dance Company since 2016. My dance journey began when I was just 5 years old, I started with ballet and as I grew older immersed into other dance styles such as jazz, acro and eventually hip hop. Currently my sole passion is hip hop and I’ve been a member of both 9 man crews and a mega crew with Rise. The competitions I’ve taken part in have allowed me to grow not only as a dancer but as a performer and a team member. I have competed both Nationally and Internationally with Rise and in 2018 I competed with Gfunk at World Supremacy Battlegrounds in Sydney (the largest competition in the Southern Hemisphere) where we placed 5th. I am so excited to be teaching at Rise this year and sharing my love of dance with my students.
Australian Dance Theatre Professional Dancer
Matte developed his passion for dance at the Cowra Ballet School in Cowra, NSW. In 2005 he entered into the Torsion Youth Dance Ensemble, setting in motion his ambition to become a professional dancer. He was part of Quantum Leaps Recovery Project (2005), touring through ACT and NSW. In 2007 he attended the Australian Talented Youth Program.
Matte furthered his training at Ev & Bow in NSW. In 2010 he was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance, where he performed in numerous choreographic and graduation shows by choreographers including Jiří Kylián, Ross McCormack and Lina Limosani. At the 2011 Sydney Festival he performed in the Inside Out Triple bill with youMOVE’s Thinking about Forever, directed by Kay Armstrong.
Matte graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2012 and joined Australian Dance Theatre’s ensemble in November 2012.
In 2013 Matte performed in the three-month European tour of Proximity, the Australian tour of G, Proximity at the Arts Centre Melbourne and the premiere of Daniel Jaber’s Nought.
In 2014 Matte performed in ADT’s European tour of Proximity, the world premiere season of Multiverse and return Adelaide season of Proximity.
In 2015 he travelled with the company to France and Spain, performing in the European premiere tour of Multiverse. He joined the company on subsequent Mulitverse tours to Europe later in 2015 to France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. He also performed in the Australian national tour of Be Your Self.
In 2016 Matte performed in the world premiere seasons of Habitus at the Adelaide Festival of Arts and The Beginning of Nature at WOMADelaide. Later that year he performed in the Australian premiere season of Objekt and was a featured choreographer and dancer in ADT’s return season of Ignition. His piece WOOLF! was inspired by the film Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (1966), directed by Mike Nichols, originally based on the 1962 play by Edward Albee.
In 2017 Matte performed in Garry Stewart’s Doppelganger, a piece featured as part of the exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia – Versus Rodin: bodies across space and time, followed by the Melbourne Premiere season of Garry Stewart’s Be Your Self and the Australian national tour of Be Your Self Redux throughout VIC, NSW and QLD. Later that year he performed in the premiere season of The Beginning of Nature in Colombia, South America.
In 2018, Matte performed in the Australian national tour of The Beginning of Nature, across SA, NT, WA, NSW and TAS and international tour throughout Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.
In 2019, Matte travelled to New York to perform The beginning of Nature at the joyce theatre, and was apart of Jacobs Pillow residence for Supernature. Matte also performed in the world premiere of North/ South a double bill Choreographed by Garry Stewart, and Ina Christel johannese in September
Maree grew up in South Africa and started ballet when she was two years old. She trained in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus and reached and completed her Advanced 1 level exam. After finishing school, Maree first went on to complete her Bachelor of Commerce with specialization in Statistics at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, before completing her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies through the Royal Academy of Dance distance learning program. She has since successfully run her own ballet studio teaching children from ages 2 through 20. She is now a proud mom of two children and recently moved to New Zealand. Her passion is teaching young children not only ballet, but instilling confidence in each child with fun at the core of every lesson.