LA Dance

Our Teachers

We have a strong teaching staff who have been trained both overseas and at home, with some growing up through the dance school.

We support them to continue developing their craft in advanced classes, choreographing show items and attending workshops.

Lynley Anne Ward - Director

Lynley Anne’s mother was too busy to take her daughter to dance lessons – but nothing stops a determined West Coast six-year-old. Lynley Anne got the number of the local school from a friend and phoned up to enrol herself, and made her way with the $2.00 fee to class in the lounge of the teacher’s house. (The teacher’s husband eventually cleared half his billiard shed for the lessons.) Coming home after her first lesson, she proudly demonstrated changements to her three older brothers who likened her to a baby elephant!

Undeterred, Lynley Anne persevered and at 16 a visiting English examiner invited her to attend her dance school in Somerset. The family didn’t have the money to send Lynley Anne, so she danced at Rotary, Lions and other events to fundraise. (She was a finalist for the Young Achiever of the Year – but the title went to a rugby league player.) In an early instance of crowdfunding, the Building Society set up a fundraising thermometer to help fund her way to England.

After doing her exams Lynley Anne completed her training at Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden. She did teacher training in Sydney before coming back to start her own school in 1989 with twenty-odd students.

Lynley Anne continues to teach jazz and ballet to all ages. You might also spot her at the airport now and again off to be an external examiner for AJDA.

Kay Harrison

KayHarrisonCo creator and examiner AJDA tap syllabus, FISTD and ATCL (speech and drama)

Starting dancing classes at the age of 6 Kay has not stopped since – so yes there have been many many years of dance.

Brought up in Masterton Kay attended the Geraldine Inder School of Dance where she was introduced to many forms of dance and also learnt speech and drama. She went on to become a teacher at the dance school before going on her OE.

Kay was lucky to be given the opportunity to teach dance in parts of Italy even though she could not speak the language – showing dance is truly a universal language.

On moving to the UK Kay immediately found work teaching dance through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance having studied their syllabus in NZ.

Kay met her husband in the UK and so her OE became rather permanent. Kay and her husband decided to move to NZ in 1996 to bring up their son and also they decided they could not grow old in that climate.

On her return to NZ Kay was approached by the American Jazz Dance Affiliation to be part of a team to create a modern style tap dance syllabus. Kay mentors and tutors students and teachers throughout NZ as well as examining the syllabus.

Throughout her career Kay has choreographed danced and managed many different shows and events.

Kay still enjoys sharing her experience and love of dance with her students while helping them achieve their potential in a fun and caring way.

‘Dance continues to be my life and my passion’

Brooke Candy

Brooke (She/her) is a 20 year old dancer and performer based in Wellington. She has trained predominantly in ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip hop making her a very versatile dancer. She is currently in her 3rd year training full time at Te Auaha Institute of Creativity, studying towards her Diploma in Commercial dance. She hasbeen a part of LA Dance since a very young age and has been teaching since the age of 14. Brooke is very passionate, hard working and dedicated and always strives to be the best dancer and teacher that she can be.

Aylish Marshall

Aylish Marshall began her dance training at the age of three in South Australia and has trained in all styles of dance whilst also completing up to advanced 2 in AICD classical and Advanced in ATOD jazz and tap examinations. As well as completing all examinations, Aylish was a competitive dancer where she travelled nationally to partake in many well known Australian championships. Her other training in Adelaide included being a part of the Australian Dance Theatre Youth Ensemble for four years, under the direction of Garry Stewart.

In 2023, Aylish moved to New Zealand where she began her full time dance training at the New Zealand School of Dance majoring in contemporary. As well as having a deep passion for contemporary dance she loves teaching, choreographing and nurturing students so they can achieve their goals.

Molly Schaefer

Molly is the head Ready Set Dance teacher at LA dance and holds a gold qualification in Ready Set Dance. She has been dancing at LA dance since she was 5 years old and has done classes and trained in lots of dance styles such as Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro and Contemporary. Molly has done multiple dance exams within these styles achieving high marks including the top of New Zealand. She loves teaching and loves being able to share her love of dance with the younger students at LA dance. 

Assistant Teachers

Lucy Hansen has been a part of the LA Dance family since she was just 4 years old, and her love for dance has only grownsince. She has taken part in many AJDA and BBO exams, earning her some of the top marks in the country, and in 2018 she danced as a child extra with the Royal New Zealand Ballet in their production, The Nutcracker. Lucy has received multiple BBO Excellence Awards for her ballet syllabus, and was a recipient of the Brent Street Golden Ticket, where she had the privilege of being taught by some incredible Australian choreographers at their Wellington workshop. Lucy loves to dance, choreograph, and teach, and loves even more that she gets to do it with her LA Dance fam.

Zara Robertson has been an assistant teacher for 2 years and has been dancing at LA Dance since she was 4 years old, making great new memories and experiences throughout her time here. Zara achieved the top jazz mark in New Zealand for her age group and in 2022 earned the top 3 mark in jazz for her age group. Zara has been awarded gold medals for the numerous solos and duets she has competed as well as completing her BBO ballet and AJDA jazz exams with distinction. Zara has had the honour to learn from many specialised contemporary choreographers at several different workshops earning herself a photoshoot from a phenomenal photographer. Zara loves being part of the LA dance family and loves sharing her passion for dancing with others and several students to come.