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 school from a friend and phoned up to enrol herself, and made her way with the two dollar 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 an 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 the 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 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.
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’
She has completed her advance exams in AJDA jazz and BBO ballet, and has attained her AJDA Junior Jazz Teachers Certificate. She started classes with Lynley Anne when she moved from Napier in 2005 and has been teaching since 2008. Along with classes, the school’s annual shows are still a key highlight of her year!
Gina Andrews began dancing in her hometown of Nelson. As well as completing her technical examinations, she achieved IDTA Associated level teaching qualification in ballet and modern jazz.
In 2007 Gina moved to Wellington to study at the New Zealand School of Dance as a contemporary major and was awarded the Katrina Todd Scholarship in her second year. Since graduating in 2009 she has freelanced as a dancer/performer around New Zealand, working with an inspiring range of creative artists and performers.
More recently Gina has been working in the health and fitness industry was a barre fitness instructor and club manager, and teaches at a handful of Wellington dance schools. Gina applies technique principals, strength and conditioning work and mindful analysis to her classes in order for students to expand their understanding.
Danielle began dancing with Lynley Anne at the tender age of 8. After joyfully growing up through the dance school she continued tertiary training at the New Zealand School of Dance. In 2010 she graduated with an Advanced Diploma in dance performance majoring in contemporary dance and a contract with Footnote Dance Company. For the next few years she was a freelance contractor dancing with the likes of Footnote Dance Company, Java Dance Company, Biped Productions and the World of Wearable Arts. Danielle enjoyed several stints overseas dancing in workshops in Amsterdam, Austria, Belgium, UK and multiple trips to Australia for secondments.
She began teaching with Lynley Anne in 2005 and has continued whenever she has been based in Wellington. Danielle has a BSc Hons in geology; bringing both her skill sets together helps her to balance gracefully on precarious rocks while studying them.
Rebecca began dancing with Lynley Anne when she was five, starting with ballet and later joining jazz, tap and contemporary. She loves sharing her passion for dance with the students and feels honoured to be able to encourage and support them.