Rise Dance Teachers

Get to know the team at Rise Dance Company
Molly Taylor

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!

Ellie Rostron
Ellie’s love for dancing began at the age of 3 years old when her mum put her into her first ballet classes. This love turned into a huge passion which led Ellie to move to Australia at the age of 18 to train full time at a ballet school.
Ellie loves sharing her knowledge and experience with her students whilst watching them grow and develop new skills each week during lessons.
Ellie is very excited to be teaching at Rise and is looking forward to the year ahead.
Emily Wiese
Emily started dancing at Rise when she was 8 years old and has been growing and learning so much ever since.
She joined G Funk in 2015 and was in the crew for 4 years. Emily got to experience going overseas and competing many times and placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd!
In 2019, she moved up to Auckland and danced with Identity Dance Company and was lucky enough to go to HHI (Hip Hop International) in Phoenix, Arizona where she placed 3rd with Masque Dance Crew.
Emily has grown up in Tauranga and always had a huge passion for dance! She is super excited to be teaching so that she can share her passion and experience with others and learn some things along the way herself.
Matte Roffe

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

Tina Halliwell

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!

Nicki Fraser
Emillie York

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.

Brad Pitman
Brad started his dance career in 2006 at Hardcore Dance Company in Whangarei with Hayden and Annalise Wood, which saw him progress from a dancer to choreographer over a 5-year period
After a year travelling to Auckland to dance at the Palace Dance Studio with Parris Goebel, Brad moved down to Wellington and danced at The Company NZ with Ben Uili. These people have all helped to shape Brad’s high attention to detail, intricate musicality, and choreography style.
His competition accolades include the following;
2007 World Hip Hop Championships – Dancer (Encore)
2009 World Hip Hop Championships – Co-Choreographer (Kani Krew)
2010 FISAF Nationals Championships Winner – Dancer & Choreographer (Encore)
2010 FISAF World Championships – Co-Choreographer (Kani Krew)
2011 World Hip Hop Championships – Dancer (The Company NZ)
2012 National Hip Hop Championships 3rd Place – Choreographer (Future Crew)
2012 World Hip Hop Championships – Choreographer (Future Crew)
Brad had taken a break from dance before returning to Rise Dance Company in 2020. He is heavily involved in other sports around the community and has a passion for high performance and development programs.
“Being at Rise Dance Company has given me an awesome opportunity to get back into the dance community and to develop our dancers to be the best they can”
He is excited to be working with the hip hop classes and competition crews in 2021 and will be choreographing and coaching the new Varsity Elite Crew – Villains.
Karaitiana (KP) Pene

Hi guys. I’m Christian Pene. My friends in Hip-Hop call me KP, short for my known Maori name Karaitiana. I am 18 years old and have been dancing in Rise Dance Co for 10 years, including 7 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.

Brooke Smith

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!!

Chloe Thompson
Chloe grew up in England where she began dancing at the age of 4 focusing on Ballet and Tap later finding a love for Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Commercial and Hip Hop.
Throughout school, Chloe was a Cheerleader for the Bay of Plenty Steamers and Magic’s Netball Team, as well as competing at PACANZ, DanceNZmade and regular regional competitions.
After finishing school, Chloe went on to complete her Bachelor of Creativity majoring in Commercial Dance at Te Auaha/Whitireia in Wellington, where she grew her passion for choreographing and developed a love for a wider variety of genres.
Chloe says she can’t wait to share my experiences and have fun with those that she has the pleasure to teach!
Cameron Smith

Bachelor of Performing Arts (Majoring in Dance & Drama), NZAMD Solo Seal

A bundle of energy is the best way to describe me. My classes are loud and energy + + +. By creating a hype in a controlled learning environment allows my students to dance to their full potential. Don’t be fooled by all my noise as my first priority is to ensure you will be learning up to the minute modern choreography and be taught how to deliver this in your performance with excellent execution whilst ensuring you are using the correct technique.

I have a love for all things dance but my passion lies in the Hip Hop/Street Dance Genre where I am a fulltime working Tutor and Choreographer for various leading studios around New Zealand.
Some of my success to date:
• Hip Hop International – BEAST, BOSS. 2017-2020 Regional & National Winners.
• World Supremacy Battlegrounds Competition – 2nd Place International 2018.

To be able to teach the best I have to learn from the best. I have had extensive training working with the likes of:
• Mari & Keone Madrid – Cookies Dance Crew, San Diego
• Academy of Villians, Los Angeles
• Praise Team – Brotherhood, Canada
• The Place Dance Studio/Parris Goebel – Royal Family, Auckland

As an industry professional I have previously been in:
• Feature Movie Born to Dance – Dancer
• Television Commercials for: The Project, Vodafone, Sky Sport
• Television 1 Mini Series
• Dance NZ Made – Regional Tutor & Adjudicatior
• Corporate Dancer for Sky City Dance Team, Westfield

If I can get you sweating and laughing at my lame jokes then it’s been a good class!

Mylinda Reid
Mylinda began to dance at age 5 with Faye Harbottle in Matamata but studied predominantly at The Dance Education Centre in Tauranga, gaining her Advanced in RAD ballet. She placed second in the Young Performer of the Year and won the Jonathan Logan Award.
Mylinda was invited to train at a full-time ballet school, Christine Walsh Dance Centre in Melbourne where she gained a Certificate in Classical Ballet. She then went on to complete with Honours an Associate Degree in Dance at the Queensland University of Technology.
After returning to New Zealand she worked and performed with Black Grace Contemporary Dance Company on their NZ tour of “Amata” before successfully auditioning for Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. She has travelled, performed and taught in many dance genres for over 7 years on various Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Since returning home Mylinda has developed her own Barre fitness classes and has guest tutored on MSC Cruise lines. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and love for dance.
Kirsty Dalton
Kirsty grew up here in Tauranga, training in competitive gymnastics before heading to dance school in Wellington.
From there she worked as a performer on Royal Caribbean Cruise line for 4 years.
Kirsty has also spent time in London training at circus school full time.
Now she is so happy to be back in her home town, teaching acro here at Rise.
Dani Archer

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.

Laikin Cathey

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 at RISE