OUR TEACHERS

Alison Nestor

ALISON NESTOR - PRINCIPAL

A.R.A.D. – E.D.T.A. – ADV I.S.T.D. – CECCHETTI

Alison Nestor was born into a family of professional dancers and musicians. Alison’s mother was a professional ballerina / soloist for the Australian Ballet Company , then known as the Borovansky Ballet. More recently her mother was invited to perform as a guest artist with the Australian Ballet Company in Graeme Murphy’s production of the Nutcracker. Alison’s father is an internationally acclaimed MD ( musical director ) who has worked personally with Dame Margot Fonteyn, one of the most famous ballerinas of our time. He is also famous for his numerous television scores which he has written, to include the incidental music for Doctor Who, which he wrote for over 30 years. It was a natural progression for Alison to persue a career within the same industry under the guidance of her parents. 

Alison Nestor was a ROYAL ACADEMY OF DANCING SCHOLAR in London for 6 consecutive years. Scholars were selected by the Royal Academy and used to set the standard for all other students taking examinations. Scholars were re assessed each year and for the last two years of her training Alison was the only scholar representing her age in London. On completing her scholarship, Alison was one of few students accepted to study at the ROYAL BALLET SCHOOL where she studied full time and graduated with a DIPLOMA IN CLASSICAL BALLET. She performed on numerous occasions with the Royal Ballet Company at Covent Garden, the London Colliseum, and also performing for her Majesty the Queen, Prince Charles and Lady Diana in the ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE. Alison was also awarded the IMPERIAL SOCIETY of TEACHERS of DANCING CLASSICAL BALLET CHAMPIONSHIP. Alison passes on knowledge to her students which she herself has gained from leading teachers from around the world, through her own diligent training.

Alison has over 20 years teaching experience and most recently became involved in the television industry, choreographing for PAY T.V and CHANNEL 7 * DISNEY PLAYHOUSE* and has worked with many children’s entertainers in the past few years, to include THE HOOLEY DOOLEYS and MONICA TRAPAGA ( from Play School and Better Homes and Gardens ). Alison worked alongside Monica Trapaga , choreographing and incorporating her dance students in shows all around Sydney to include NEW YEARS EVE FOR KIDS, HYDE PARK / OLYMPIC TORCH CEREMONY , MAITLAND / THE LORD MAYOR’S CELEBRATIONS, THE DOMAIN / TEDDY BEARS PICNIC, RANDWICK. Alison has given her students opportunities as performers and also as actors in the DISNEY PLAYHOUSE SERIES. Alison’s students can be seen in the cooking segment of the show, and Alison’s name can be seen on the credits.

Zoe Ioannou

ZOE IOANNOU

DIPLOMA OF MUSICAL THEATRE / NIDA
STUDIO A CHOREOGRAPHER / MUSICAL THEATRE

Zoe can be seen on the ABC TV Series ‘Dance Academy’ acting the role of Paige . She performed in the professional production of ‘Annie’ at the Lyric Theatre starring Anthony Warlow and Julie Goodwin. Zoe played the role of Pepper. Her cast was used for the Sony recording of Annie the Musical.  Zoe has been a member of the Talent Development Program which has exposed her to numerous high profile identities in the industry. Zoe has had the privilege of singing recently with James Morrison and Emma Pask. She was also a backing vocalist for Sarah De Bono on The Voice 2012.

Other credits to date include the following; Talent Development Project Graduation Concert 2012 – Backing Vocalist Parkinsons Charity Concert 2012 – Talent Development Project – Performer Political.

Celebratory Event 2013 – Le Montage – Solo Performer International Womens Day Gala Ball 2014 – Western Hotel – Solo Performer Penrith Panther’s Corporate Event 2014 – Corporate Event – Solo Performer . Zoe’s television credits to date include Telstra TVC Feature with Jessica Mauboy, St George bank Feature, Target Feature, Quakers Oats , Uncle Toby’s, Playhouse Disney .

Dance credits include Olymic Torch Ceremony performer, New Years Eve at Hyde Park performer, New Years Eve at the Domain performer, Disney’s Teddy Bear’s Picnic performer, The Lord mayors Picnic performer.

MIA IOANNOU

MIA IOANNOU

STUDIO A CHOREOGRAPHER / SHOW SQUAD CO ORDINATOR

Mia has been a dancer and teacher of Studio A School of Performing Arts since its opening in 2006. She has been dancing since the age of two and has always had a passion for choreography and extending her knowledge to students. Mia has trained in ballet, jazz, musical theatre, tap, lyrical, contemporary, singing and acting. From a young age, Mia has been a passionate performer, to include dancing at the Olympic Torch Ceremony, Lord Mayor’s Picnic, State Dance Festival, School Spectacular and Sydney Region Dance Festival. Mia has also appeared in numerous television commercials to include Telstra, ft. Jessica Mauboy, KFC and McDonalds. She’s also appeared in the television serious Tricky Business and the movie Around The Block. Mia completed her HSC dance where she received a high Band 6 and nominations for ‘Callback’. Mia is currently studying a Bachelor of Law/Arts at the University of Wollongong.

JOANNE NEALE

JOANNE NEALE

Ms Joanne Neale is a teacher/ choreographer of Classical Ballet for over 25 years.

Jo owned the successful dance school; Atelier School For Classical Ballet in Bowral for 10 years. Currently a high percentage of her students are working as professional dancers in Europe, America and Asia.

Presently she is employed by the Royal Academy of Dance (London) as a Mentor to train student teachers in the RAD method and Jo completed her advanced teacher training with Hilary Kaplan (Alegria-Sydney).

Jo has a background in Psychology (UOW) and is a qualified APMA level 4 clinical / rehab Pilates Instructor.

For the past 20 years Jo has been employed by the Department of Education as School Learning Support Officer at Bowral Public School.

Seven years of commuting to and teaching in the Menai/Shire area has seen many of her students successfully achieve excellent results in RAD Ballet exams, eisteddfods, productions and auditions.

Joanne is thrilled to join Studio A and bring her expertise to the next generation of great dancers.

JOANNE ANSELL

JOANNE ANSELL

Joanne Ansell trained in RAD ballet Advanced Level with lsobel Anderson and Monica Halliday and achieved her RAD Teachers certificate with distinction. ln Australia she studied contemporary dance under Margaret Chappele and KeithBain and in New York with Alvin Alley Dance School (1981), Kathryn Dunham (1996)and Martha Grahame (1997) and American Dance Studies in California (1997). Joanne also completed all studies in the American Tap Syllabus.

ln the entertainment industry Joanne worked as a dancer, singer, actress and choreographer. She performed at Menzies Theatre Restaurant and then on Bandstand, Channel 9 and in the Athol Guy and Frank lfield Shows, Channel 7. She was a contemporary dancer in Australian Opera televised performances. She was in many TV commercials, documentaries and was the lead dancer in an ABC television production ;’Hector and Millie”. Joanne performed in ballet performances “Hansel and Gretel”, “Giselle”, “Copellia” and “Nutcracker”.

Joanne choreographed works for Channel 7, Channel 2 and the NSW Dance Company as well as items for the 1998 School Spectacular, the “American Legends” Basketball Tour of Australia, the Jubilee 2000 Catholic Schools Spectacular and an ARL Grand Final Opening Ceremony. Awards for choreography include 3 times Australian Mo Award winner.

As a teacher, lecturer or dance director Joanne has worked at The Conservatorium of NSW (1988-L994), Talent Development Project, University of NSW (!997 -2OO1-), New Zealand National Contemporary and Classical Awards, Pan Pacific Dance Camps (1985 -1996), Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy, SCEGGS Redlands and Canberra City Youth Company. However her highest teaching achievement was as the Principal of Ansell Academy of Dance for 30 years.

ln 2006 Joanne joined EDA as the Head of Classical. She teaches and coordinates all classes from Pre Primary to Advanced Classical.

DJ JAZZY

DJ JAZZY

AS SEEN ON THE DISNEY CHANEL

DJ Jazzy is the new face and sound of kids music. She is a DJ, Producer, Singer, Songwriter, Dancer, Photographer, Filmmaker, technology Wiz with a passion for young people and teaching her HIP HOP style at Studio A.

DJ Jazzy is passionate about empowering young people to stay positive and to follow their dreams using her music to deliver the message. She is an ambassador for todays children and reminds them of their unique skills, talents, strengths and focuses on all of the positive and wonderful qualities they possess. DJ Jazzy strives to be a role model promoting her ethics of team spirit and hard work.

DJ Jazzy writes and produces all of her own music and is motivated by inspiration. Her songs which our STUDIO A dancers are fortunate enough to be able to dance to are uplifting and catchy making you want to sing and dance and most importantly they make you feel good, something to empower young minds. STUDIO A students are fortunate enough to be able to perform in DJ Jazzy’s live shows around Sydney.

BREE HERMAN

BREE HERRMANN

TAP / JUNIOR STREAM LEADER AND CHOREOGRAPHER

Bree began dancing at the age of two training in various styles of dance including jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary/lyrical and musical theatre. As a young performer Bree competed in many solo and troupe competitions, in addition to performing at many events including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, NSW Schools Spectacular, Sea World and Dreamworld (Gold Coast) and Shopping Centre Christmas Parades across NSW.

Bree was fortunate enough to have trained under the guidance of many well-known teachers and choreographers, as well as travel to the United States where she performed at Disneyland, California. In 2009, Bree performed as a member of the child ensemble in the ‘Kermond Entertainment’ production of ‘Candy Man’ at the Theatre Royal. Bree can also be spotted in the 2007 film ‘Razzle Dazzle’ which played in cinemas across Australia.

Bree completed her HSC Dance examinations in 2013 where she was nominated for ‘Callback’ and awarded a Band 6, placing her in the top 5% of NSW students. Bree has completed her Glenn Wood Tap examinations from levels 3 to 10 achieving ‘Gold’ awards with 100% scores. From 2010 to 2012 Bree was also selected as a featured artist in the NSW Schools Spectacular Tap Ensemble.

Bree is currently studying a ‘Bachelor of Primary Education’ at the University of Wollongong and endeavors to continue sharing her love of performing arts through teaching.

AMELIA WEST

AMELIA WEST

ACTORS STUDIO

Bachelor of Arts/Sydney University/Double Major in English and Film Masters of Teaching/Sydney University English/Drama Amelia has worked with drama classes and group ensembles in both schools and private studios, and has experience acting in plays, performing in musicals and appearing in television advertisements. As well as being a passionate actor, Amelia is also trained in musical theatre singing and piano.
2016 – Reefer Madness – Roxy 2015- Hairspray – Gym Teacher/The Warden/ Vicki 2014 – Footloose – Betty – The Producers – Shirley/ Usherette/ Ugly Showgirl 2013 – Urinetown – Ensemble 2011 – Singing My Sister Down – Rachel- Les Belles Soeurs – Angelique 2010 – Antigone – Chorus We are thrilled to have Amelia join our team and work with our actors at STUDIO A

NEALE WHITTAKER

NEALE WHITTAKER

GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER

Neale began to develop his own unique brand of movement, fusing contemporary and hip hop, two styles he enjoys performing. This unique style led him to the top 40 competitors of the hit TV show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ in 2010, a program for which he had been assisting Sarah Boulter with since 2008.

His TV credits continued when he was cast in the ABC3 TV series Dance Academy also in 2010, an experience that broadened his stylistic experience to classical ballet.

In 2011 Neale toured throughout Australia with contemporary based show ‘Shorter and Sweeter Dance’ gaining performance experience and insight from noted Australian choreographers such as Travers Ross who Neale collaborated with later in 2012 for the ARIAs, co-choreographing and dancing in a routine for artist ‘360’.

In 2014 Neale attended Urban Dance Camp in Germany with the most prestigious choreographers in the world. Being selected to not only learn their world class choreography but also perform the routines on YouTube and in class.  Neale’s talent for Hip hop led him to become Co-Director of hip hop comedy group ‘Phly Crew’, who successfully made it to the semi-finals of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ in 2012.

CAITLIN WATSON

CAITLIN WATSON

SENIOR STREAM LEADER AND CHOREOGRAPHER

Caitlin has been dancing her whole life. Caitlin’s major composition for HSC dance received a callback and was performed in the Board of Studies Showcase earlier in 2014. Caitlin has also had vocal training, with her current teacher being the well renowned Michael Smith.
Caitlin has been an avid performer throughout her dance career winning the senior song and dance category at the prestigious Mcdonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod multiple years in a row. Other credits include The AACTA awards, features on SYTYCD and Christine Anu’s latest film clip, ‘Beat of Your Heart’.
Caitlin holds a Certificate IV in Dance, attained at Brent Street Studios. Caitlin currently teaches the targeted sports program for dance at Endeavour Sports High School, as well as teaching at various studios and guest working with students around NSW for dance composition for HSC dance.

JENNY GREIN

JENNY GREIN AND CARINA MARSDAN

SHOOTING STARS / RISING STARS ( UNDER 5’S )

Both Jenny and Carina have trained with Miss Alison since they were babies and have now returned to teach at STUDIO A. Carina is a qualified pre school Teacher and Jenny holds her Bachelor of Dance education. Both Jenny and Carina share a great passion for helping children learn and succeed and have coordinated school dance programs within their schools. Carina and Jenny have performed under Miss Alison’s direction for Playhouse Disney, the Olympics opening and closing ceremonys and with Monica Trapaga on Playhouse Disney’s Flapjack Wrap.

KIRSTEN MALONEY

KIRSTEN MALONEY

SENIOR ACRO

Kirsten has had a love for gymnastics and acrobatics since she could walk. During her childhood she trained in artistic gymnastics and later moved to acrobatic gymnastics where she has represented Gymnastics New South Wales numerous times and won medals on a state and national level. It was during this time she placed first in the whole of Australia competing in a level 9 women’s trio.

In 2013 Kirsten represented Gymnastics Australia Internationally, where she performed in Denmark at the DGI Landsstaevne festival.

Kirsten has been coaching acrobatics for 15 years and holds qualifications in both coaching and judging. Her love for children and her passion for teaching is what she prides herself on. Her favourite thing about teaching and performing is the way it empowers people to do things they always thought impossible, but had just never tried.

RENEE BLAKE

RENEE BLAKE

JUNIOR ACRO

“Renee our junior acrobatics teacher has been involved in sports acrobatics her whole life. She competed for 10 years, making it to the national championships 8 times and taking away gold 6 of those times. She also went on to represent Australia at the world championships twice of which the second time she was a finalist. She now hopes to pass her knowledge onto the kids she teaches!”

CEILIA MOORE

CEILI MOORE

IRISH DANCING

Ceili Moore from Sydney, Australia began dancing at the age of 3 under the guidance of Geraldine French, Fiona-Gaye Moore and Bernadette Langshaw-Clarke. Having studied a variety of dance styles along with music and drama, she attended Newtown Performing Arts High School, and underwent fulltime dance at Ettingshausens. During her teenage years she competed internationally for Irish Dancing and following this began touring at the age of 18.

During her competitive Irish dance career she was crowned Australian National, North American National, All Ireland, and World Champion. Ceili has performed in shows such as Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home and Footstorm. She has toured across 17 countries, with her highlight being her performances of the lead role of ‘Morrighan’ both alongside Michael Flatley, and in her hometown, as well as playing the little spirit. 

Some of her other career highlights consist of her appearances on Good Morning America, the Graham Norton show, BBC Proms in the Park, Dancing Down Under, Orange the film, The Wiggles videos and Candyman the Musical. Ceili is an Ambassador for the Peter “Bullfrog” Moore Foundation which is dedicated to supporting young Sportspeople and Performers in achieving their dreams.

The Fiona-Gaye Moore Academy, is one of Australia’s leading Irish dance studios.

STUDENT TEACHERS

MADI LAWDOR

MADI LAWDOR

KIRSTEN TSOLTOUDIS

KIRSTEN TSOLTOUDIS