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Jo McKinley

Director

Jo has trained from a very young age in RAD Classical Ballet, Jazz, Music Theatre, Tap, Contemporary, Scottish and National Character dance. She has also studied Acting, Contemporary Singing and Public Speaking and holds a Bachelor of Communication.

After completing her training in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, Jo passed her teaching examination with a high distinction. She has coached students who are now in professional dance training institutions and companies all over the world.

Jo’s music theatre credits include: The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line and Chicago to name a few. Jo has choreographed a multitude of award winning pieces and continues to stage new work each year.

Jo launched the Gungahlin Dance Academy (now GDANCE) in 2002. She has enjoyed exceptional results with her students during this time with her dedication to the students' technical and artistic training in classical ballet.

Jo has carefully crafted the Dance. Play. Grow.™pre-school dance curriculum, an innovative and refreshing approach to children's pre-school dance education which launched nationwide in 2019.

Jo has a passion for ethics and social justice and strives to lead GDANCE with kindness and integrity. She believes that an outstanding work ethic, commitment to excellence and being a supportive, encouraging and positive team member are 3 of the greatest lessons she can pass on to her students.

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IsabellA Rodrigues

Senior RAD Classical Ballet & Performing Arts Teacher

Isabella graduated in classical ballet at age 17 by The Brazilian Conservatory of Ballet. She worked as a professional dancer for six years in several companies including São Paolo Company of Dance, Brazilian Company of Ballet and Brazilian Company of Classical Dance.

Isabella is a qualified Royal Academy of Dance teacher and has worked in the Raça Center of Artes Sao Paolo, Brazil, as teacher and coordinator of classical ballet for more than 5 years and has been the representative for Capezio Brazil, one of the biggest brands of dance clothing.

Isabella's highlights as a ballerina include principal roles in works like Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire and Giselle.

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Alana Beaton

RAD Classical Ballet & Performing Arts

Alana has trained extensively in classical ballet (RAD Syllabus), tap and modern (FATD and ISTD Syllabi), as well as contemporary and jazz. Alana gained entry into the Australian International Ballet Academy at the McDonald College in Sydney in 2010.

Alana appeared on the TV series Dance Boss in 2018 and wowed audiences with her dance talents. She is an ambassador for the dancewear line, Collections by Claudia (Claudia Dean).

Alana has a true passion for teaching, and is the third RAD teacher to be joining the GDANCE faculty next year, joining Miss Jo & Miss Isabella. She is due to graduate her CBTS from the RAD in 2019.

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Nadine Alston

Head of Dance. Play. Grow.™ Pre-School Dance

Nadine began dancing at the age of 5 after her Mum put her in classes to help give her confidence. She fell completely in love with dance and has been dancing ever since. Nadine has danced both competitively and recreationally, training in a wide range of styles including tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, classical ballet and pointe. She took a particular interest in Classical Ballet, undertaking both ATOD and RAD Examinations and has also been involved in numerous local and regional level eisteddfods.

Nadine has a passion for everything creative and performing arts, and apart from dance she also has had experience in Acting, Cheerleading, Acrobatics and Gymnastics. 

Nadine has a passion for teaching children and is committed to helping students grow as dancers. She loves to see her students improve throughout the years and gain confidence. Nadine is originally from the South Coast of NSW and is now in Canberra studying a Bachelor of Criminology.

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Will Tran

Hip Hop

Some of Will’s work includes the following:

  • Head Choreographer – Spin Centenary Canberra Celebration

  • Dancer - Stan Walker

  • Artistic Director – Flow City with Jesse Rasmussen

  • Justin Bieber and Movement Lifestyle Australia Tour, Shaun Evaristo, Jon Boogie, Nick Demoura and Johnny Erasme Workshop Tour Manager

  • Brian Puspos and Pat Lam Australian Workshop Organizer

  • Emilio Dosal Australian Workshop Organizer

  • Australian Dance Convention Director, Mike Song, Chachi Gonzales and Lyle Beniga

  • So You Think You Can Dance Top 80

  • Assistant Teacher to Ellen Kim - Urban Dance Camp

  • International Choreographer – European Workshop Tour 2014-2015

  • Choreographer/Dancer – Ánders – You Didn’t Need My Love Official Music Video

  • Signed Talent – WhoGotSkillz and StarMoves in Germany,

  • International Workshops including; Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Greece, London and Paris

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Leisa Keen

Vocal

Leisa has been working in the Australian music industry for over 25 years, in both jazz and musical theatre/cabaret. Since 1990, Leisa has musically directed and performed in over 150 shows, including "Beauty and the Beast", "Chess", "A Chorus Line", "Little Shop of Horrors", "West Side Story", "Jesus Christ Superstar", “Phantom Of The Opera”, “Cats” and many others.
After training in classical piano for 12 years, Leisa then went on to study jazz vocals at the Canberra School of Music, under the direction of Gery Scott, for 6 years. It was here that she also gained the valuable writing and arranging skills that have assisted in her musical direction and performance, making her one of Canberra's, Sydney’s and the Gold Coast's most sought-after accompanists and musical directors.
Leisa has shared the stage with artists such as internationally acclaimed jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Todd McKenney, Toni Lamond, Noni Hazelhurst, Amanda Muggleton, John Foreman, and many other talented entertainers.
In 2013, Leisa was awarded a Canberra Critics Circle Award for her services to music in Canberra, as well as a CAT Award as “Best Musical Director” for Freerain Theatre Company’s production of “Cats”.


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Bernadette Matthew

RAD Classical Ballet

Bernadette Matthew found her love of teaching young and now has over 25 years experience. In addition to developing dancers in RAD ballet, she has had success at the competitive level in the areas of ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theatre. Bernadette holds membership with the Royal Academy of Dance and the Checcetti Society of Ballet, Affiliate Membership with the Australian Teachers of Dance and holds her Associates with the Scottish Dance Alliance.

Bernadette's past students have gone on to train, perform and teach with the Banff Centre of the Arts, BC Provincial Festival of the Arts, The National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Coastal City Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Joffery Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, McDonald College in Sydney, Grant MacEwon College, The University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University, Fiji Dance Company, cruise ships, Disney in California and Japan, television, commercials, music videos, movies, independent dance companies, and more.

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Kylie Murray

Stretch & Conditioning

 

Kylie completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2008. She began her ballet at the age of four and went on to work and train with many Australian independent contemporary dance artists and dance companies including Sydney Dance Company, TasDance, and local dance and arial company -JAAD. Unfortunately, due to recurrent injury Kylie had to cease dancing full time and follow another career pathway.  She went on to study and complete her Masters of Physiotherapy and works full time at local clinic – Sportstec clinic.

 

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Kelly Nuttall

Operations Leader

Kelly has extensive experience in customer service and administration and providing a positive customer experience in various environments.

Throughout her career, she has also enjoyed working with children in a care based role.

Kelly enjoys reading, music and yoga and loves being a part of the GDANCE team.