Rise Dance Teachers

Get to know the team at Rise Dance Company

Tina

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!

Gabriel

Hi there, my is Gabriel Sutton. I have been dancing since the age of four, mainly specialising in Hip Hop and Tap. I have been involved in the Hip Hop community for many years now where I have competed with several different crews nationally and internationally and in 2015/2016 picked up back to back gold medals in the adult division at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in Las Vegas and San Diego. I have also featured on the American reality TV show ‘World Of Dance’, hosted by Jennifer Lopez, with my crew, The Bradas, where we competed against the world’s best soloists and groups from all around the world. I teach to pass on my knowledge and passion for dance in the hope of inspiring and motivating my students to work hard and achieve their personal goals.

Emma

My name is Emma Wildman, I am 21 years old and I love everything about DANCE! 

I first started my dancing journey at age 5, I trained in ballet for 10 years, then quickly fell in love with HipHop/Urban culture and choreography. In 2013 I became a member of an all girls varsity HipHop crew called “The Lost Boys” Between 2013 – 2016 I danced and competed Nationally & Internationally in ‘The Generals’, M.Eye.A’ & ‘The 112’. 

I have been a member of Identity Dance Company since 2016 and I have travelled and competed with the adult mega crew IDCO across U.S.A, Mexico and Australia at competitions such as the World HipHop Championships, Dancers Paradise and Upgrade Dance Competition. 

I began teaching HipHop at age 17 in Auckland, New Zealand. I have taught all ages of HipHop from pre-school all the way through to adults. I have been choreographing and mentoring competitive HipHop crews for 5 years now, and have taken a varsity and junior crew to compete at the World HipHop Championships in U.S.A 

My passion runs deep for teaching dancers the value remaining true to themselves. It gives me the most joy when I see students successfully ‘win-within’ their heart and having fun before anything else. I take pride in knowing that I can make an impact on dancers lives in a positive & encouraging way. I LOVE to see dancers find confidence within themselves they never knew they had through the art form of dance. 

I am excited to share my passion and enthusiasm for dance with Rise Dance Company and grow together as ONE! 

Summer

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!

Molly

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

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.

Brooke

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

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

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.

KP

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.

Emillie

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.