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SHONA BENNETT - CICB (Licentiate) CBA, Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management, Advanced 1 Cecchetti, NZ Assoc. Modern Dance Intermediate, Registered teacher of Jazz Dance NZ
I started my training in Dunedin at the age of six with Helen Bray and then went on to study at the NZ School of Dance as a teacher trainee, withdrawing from the course due to serious injury. Once recovered and still with the passion to teach, I trained under Helen Bray to sit my first teaching exam. In 1994 I started the Bennett School of Ballet & Jazz with one class and have continued to grow the school during this time with the philosophy that all children and adults should enjoy the world of dance and how it can benefit our lives.
AMBER SWANEY - Cecchetti Advanced 1 Ballet, JDNZ Advanced 2
I have been with the Bennett school for 18 years and looking forward to another fantastic year! Currently I am working full time at Deloitte doing payroll for clients. I have had so many great memories with BSBJ and I love the spirit and warmth of the school. This year I am really looking forward to teaching jazz and sharing my love of dance.
JEMMA DOUGHERTY - Cecchetti Advanced 1 Ballet
I’ve been dancing at Bennett School of Ballet and Jazz for 10 years and teaching here for 2½. I am currently in my 2nd year of attending Otago Polytechnic studying Fashion Design. Once I finish my degree I hope to move into the costume area of fashion. I’m excited to continue teaching this year and see my students through their exams and the end of year concert. I hope to have another great year and learn more of the Cecchetti syllabus in preparation for the teaching exams I will sit in the future
MARY CLARK - Cecchetti Advanced 1 Ballet, JDNZ Advanced 1
I have been attending the Bennett School of Ballet and Jazz for 4 years. I am originally English, and have grown up learning ballet since I was 3 years old. Dance has always been a huge part of my life, and I have enjoyed dancing many different styles, including Jazz and Hip Hop. I have completed my own dance exams up to Advanced 1 level. I started off as a teaching helper at the Bennett School of Ballet and Jazz while also attending classes, and it’s a privilege to now be teaching my own lessons here. I am currently studying a BA in Psychology and English at the University of Otago. I look forward to sharing the joy of dance with you all this year.
Growing up in Kawerau, I studied dance and performed end of year shows with the Ruby Conway School of Dance. I then went on to study fulltime in Auckland at The New Zealand Dance Centre directed by Russell Kerr and Basil Pattison, followed by study at The Bodenwieser Dance Center in Sydney, Australia & modern dance at The Merce Cunningham School in New York, New York, performing in both those cities. Returning to Auckland in the late 1970's I became a founding member of Movement Theatre in Education & then The Limbs Dance Company. I returned to Sydney in 1983 and joined Darc Swan directed by Chris Jannides who also founded Limbs. In 1989 I returned to New Zealand to become a founding member of The Douglas Wright Dance Company then freelanced as a performer/teacher of dance in and around New Zealand. Based in Wellington, I taught contemporary dance at The Wellington Performing Arts Center. I was also co-director & co-choreographed works with Lyne Pringle as part of Bipeds. I then moved to Dunedin where I have been since 2006. I am about to return to the stage (after a total right hip replacement) with Douglas Wright in his latest work 'A Kiss Inside' at the International Arts Festival in Wellington in March. I am looking forward to returning to Bennett School of Ballet & Jazz to teach contemporary.
ELIZABETH EATHORNE-GOULD - Cecchetti Advanced 1
I have been dancing at the Bennett School of Ballet and Jazz for 17 years, and teaching here for 2 years. I continue to enjoy attending Advanced 1 and Advanced 2 classes in my spare time. I am currently studying Early Childhood Education at The University of Otago. I am looking forward to another year of teaching and dancing, and I am very excited to see returning students, and to meet the new students and parents of 2016.
EMMA HOLLOWAY - Advanced 2 BBO, BBO Advanced 1 Jazz, Advanced 1 UK Tap
I am a Sydney born dancer, trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Character, Contemporary and Hip Hop. I started working as a dancer at the age of 17 and completed numerous overseas contracts in India and Taiwan as well as performing throughout Sydney and around NSW. I began teaching in Sydney, taking Jazz and Hip Hop classes at ‘Macquarie Dancers’ and ‘All Stars’ dance studios. I started attending classes at Bennett School of Ballet and Jazz in 2008 when I moved to Dunedin. In 2011 I began teaching a Tap class at the school and Musical Theatre in 2012 and 2013. I also started teaching Jazz in 2013, preparing students for their exams and the end of year concert. Since being in Dunedin I have also performed in the Big Night In production at the Stadium in 2011 and been a part of the Otago Dancers since 2012 dancing at various Rugby, Cricket and Basketball games including the NZ Breakers and the All Blacks. In 2015 I flew over to Los Angeles to perform our show at Disneyland. I’m really looking forward to the year ahead at Bennett School of Ballet and Jazz, I'm can't wait to see the returning students and meet the new ones and look forward to getting started on their new grade work.
Back left to right Anastasia Smith, Libby Bloem
Front left to right: Emily Finnie, Meredith Walker