Ms Caroline Vandersee A.R.A.D. RAD RTS MSFD

RAD Grades and Majors

Caroline Vandersee RAD RTS MSFD has been teaching at Dance Central since opening in February 2002. Her main focus is classical ballet and jazz but she also teaches junior contemporary.

Caroline lived in Argentina for 12 months where she attended a full-time dance school and had the opportunity of studying various different dance styles including Argentinian Folkloric Dance and performed with the graduating class. She has also performed in a number of Toowoomba Choral Society Productions including West Side Story and Oklahoma.

In 2004 Caroline completed her RAD Advanced 2 Exam. She has completed her Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance and also her Jazz Teacher’s Certificate with Southern Federation of Dance and enters children annually for these examinations.

Ms Jenny Young RAD RTS RAD Life member

RAD Grades and Majors
Preschool Dance

Jenny Young began her teaching career in Dalby in 1974, encouraged by her mentor Mrs Ailsa Hunter, a founding member of QDSE in Brisbane.  She continued as principal of the Dalby School until 1985 during which time she also opened a studio in Toowoomba (The Young School of Ballet). Upon retiring in 1995, she was invited to guest teach for studios in Brisbane, Toowoomba and Longreach.

Mrs Young has been awarded a life membership of the Royal Academy of Dance in recognition of her 50+ year association with the RAD as a student and teacher.

Prior to Dance Central’s opening in 2001, Mrs Young and Miss Vallette conducted a ballet coaching studio in Toowoomba.  Mrs Young loves her teaching and takes great pleasure and pride in encouraging students to follow their dancing dreams.  Dance Central is privileged to have a teacher of Jenny Young’s calibre on their faculty, who is able to pass on a wealth of knowledge and love of dance to our students.

Ms Jen Murray

Contemporary

Jen Murray is a professional dance artist, teacher and choreographer originally from Calgary, Canada. She is a scholarship graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and has performed with a wide array of contemporary dance companies in Vancouver, touring across Canada and into the United States. Jen was a guest teacher/ choreographer at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre in Lismore, NSW in 03/04. Currently Jen teaches in Brisbane at a full-time dance program, as well as offering her popular ‘Flow Yoga’ classes in Toowoomba. She is frequently commissioned to set her unique choreography on students throughout QLD and northern NSW.

Ms Benita Whalley

Elite Program

Born in Townsville North Queensland, Benita commenced dancing at 4 years of age and trained in classical ballet, highland dancing, character, tap and jazz. Benita sat for all of the RAD examinations, participated in most of the North Queensland Eisteddfoddau and at the age of 15 became the Queensland Intermediate Highland Champion.

At 17, Benita joined the Perth City Ballet Company touring Western Australia before joining the West Australian Ballet Company. During her five years with this company, Benita worked her way up to Principal roles and performed at the Sydney Opera House.

Benita then joined an American Touring Company performing in “The Flintstones” touring around Asia for 6 months before returning to join the Queensland Ballet Company. She was quickly promoted to a Featured Artist in the Company and enjoyed dancing many principal roles and working again with some of Australia’s great choreographers.

Due to a spinal injury Benita stopped dancing and began teaching while undergoing medical treatment and after some years returned to the stage to dance charter roles, coach and assist with rehearsals with the Queensland Ballet until 1997. Benita has been teaching for the Queensland Dance School of Excellence for the past 26 years as well as freelance teaching around Australia and New Zealand.

Benita was formerly a Vocational Graded Examiner with the Royal Academy of Dance and travelled Australia and the world examining dance students. Now living in Toowoomba, Benita works with small Elite groups of students who enjoy Classical Ballet and want to pursue a career in this field. Benita continues to freelance in teaching, choreography, reproducing ballets and cleaning technique around Australia and Asia.

Miss Kerri Hodgson RAD RTS

Classical Ballet teacher

Kerri developed her love of dance under the enthusiastic instruction of Mrs Young. A love of fitness and movement led to Kerri’s extensive experience as a Fitness and Pilates Instructor. Her continued love of dance motivated Kerri to join Dance Central in 2004. After a few years of immersion in the RAD curriculum, Kerri undertook training towards a RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies completed in 2010. Since joining the teaching staff at Dance Central, Kerri has been able to combine her skills as a class teacher, with a long term love of ballet, to develop new generations of classical ballet students.

Miss Rebecca Lewis MSFD

SFD Jazz and Junior Company Manager

Miss Bec is a Dance Central trained teacher, who is also one the studio’s first students way back in 2002.  Miss Bec gained her Southern Federation of Dance Jazz teachers certificate in 2010, and has been teaching with the studio since 2009.  She is also the coordinator of Velocity. Miss Bec is currently studying Psychology at USQ.

Mr Marcus Osborne

Senior Drama

Miss Katelyn Berry

Music Theatre Vocals

Katelyn began her love for theatre in high school. She has completed her 6th Grade AMEB singing exams and 5th Grade AMEB in Theory. She has also been a part of the ‘Helen Earley Ensemble’ and the Philharmonic ‘Voices’. Katelyn has performed in many musicals ranging from ensemble roles in ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘High School Musical’, ‘Oliver’ and ‘Evita’ to the lead role of Aida in ‘Aida’, Narrator in ‘Joseph at the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ and the role of Mrs Potts in Dance Central’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’. She has been apart of Dance Central for 4 years learning Music Theatre, Ballet and Jazz under the supervision of her amazing teachers. Katelyn hopes that she can share her love of theatre to those around her and to inspire others to sing and dance their heart out, just as she does.

Miss Phoebe Williams MSFD

SFD Tap

Miss Phoebe began her love for Dance at the age of 5 at a local dance school in Roma, participating in Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop classes. She then moved to Toowoomba in 2005 and joined the Dance Central in 2006, taking Tap, Jazz and Contemporary classes. She started assisting in Tap classes in 2012 and began teaching in 2013 teaching levels 1 and 2. Miss Phoebe was the Dance Captain at St Ursula’s College in 2013 and was also Friar Tuck in Dance Central’s ‘Robin Hood’. She is currently living in Brisbane and studying Primary School Education at Queensland University of Technology.

Miss Elissa Finlay A.R.A.D RAD RTS Solo Seal Dip Dance

RAD classical ballet

Elissa began ballet in Sydney at age 7 with Aina Reega and then Prudence Bowen , achieving Advanced and Solo Seal at 15. She then competed at the Genee Competion and the Prix de Lausanne before joining the Australian Ballet School for 3 years after which she joined the Australian Opera Ballet and completed my Diploma of teaching with the RAD ( Dist.)

Elissa  has taught RAD Ballet in Sydney, Brisbane , Gold Coast, Stanthorpe , Armidale, Moree and Toowoomba  and teaches from Preschool through to adult ballet.

“I feel it is a privilege to teach at such an amazing school as Dance Central, with such great staff and exceptional facilities.”

Miss Sarah Hatcher

Primary Drama

Miss Lucinda Panitz

SFD Jazz, Tap and Junior Contemporary

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