Our Teachers

The mediocre teacher tells, The good teacher explains, The superior teacher demonstrates, The great teacher inspires. William Arthur Ward

KATE BEHREND R.A.D rts - Artistic Director

KATE BEHREND R.A.DKate was four years old when she began dancing at the Tessa Maunder Ballet School in Newcastle. By six years of age she was performing regularly in competitions and events, both as a soloist and as a troupe member. At fourteen, Kate’s talent for dance was recognised when she was accepted into full time training at the Marie Walton Academy of Dance and then the Natasha Nobel Dance School. During her time at the Marie Walton Academy, Kate continued to excel as a dancer, performing with the Australian Ballet Company in their rendition of “Swan Lake", and embarking on a two year contract dancing with the World’s Biggest Disco, as well as studying singing and acting, and taking on a range of other dance, acting and modelling jobs. At the same time, Kate began her formalised dance teacher training through the Royal Academy of Dance, graduating three years later with distinction.

These years were pivotal for Kate. Determined to understand the connection between mind, body and spirit, and the role it plays in the life of a dancer, Kate studied numerous methodologies and philosophies, and incorporated her knowledge and experience into her teaching. She developed courses with a focus on meditation and performance dynamics and taught these to fulltime dance students as a way of helping them cope with the rigors of dance. She understood the pressures – both physical and emotional – faced by elite dancers, and she worked hard to develop teaching techniques that would inspire and support her students. Crucial to this time was Kate’s discovery that her passion for dance was only eclipsed by her love of teaching.

In 2000, Kate moved to Byron Bay where she established Byron Dance Dynamics. Since then, the school has gone from strength to strength with graduates being accepted as fulltime students into illustrious city-based dance schools (such as Brent Street in Sydney) and moving on to careers as professional dancers and qualified teachers.

As well as being a qualified dance teacher with over sixteen years teaching experience, Kate Histon is also a dancer, a certified Demartini Facilitator and Neuro Linguistic Programming coach, a regular consultant to dancers and dance schools (both locally and interstate), and a frequent contributor to “Dance life Australia”. Somewhere among that myriad of commitments, Kate also finds time to be a wife and mum.

 

ERIN WADDELL - Reception & Admin

Erin will most often be the first point of contact when you visit, call or email Dance Dynamics. In her early years Erin competed in competition dance in both Tap and Jazz from 4 years old and this experience in the industry means she has a thorough understanding of our clients needs.

Erin has spent the last 10 plus years working in the Wedding and Events industry, she has a diverse background in Communications, Journalism and Events and brings her fun loving, highly organised personality to the front of house at Byron Dance Dynamics HQ. Drop and say hi!!!!

 

ALANA PRICE - Ballet & Contemporary Teacher

ALANA PRICE Originally from Adelaide, Alana moved to Melbourne at the age of 15, when she was accepted into the Australian Ballet School to train professionally. After three years of intense training at an elite level, Alana decided to explore the aspects of contemporary dance and was accepted into the dance programme at The Victorian College of the Arts. During her first year of training, she was awarded the Ag McMillen Arts Trust Scholarship for Dance.

Alana worked with some of Australia's most renowned choreographers during this time including Larissa McGowan and Lina Limosani from Australian Dance Theatre, Gideon Obaznek of Chunky Move, and internationally renowned Pru Lang.

In her final year Alana was asked to perform in Singapore at YFest, a youth arts festival for dance and arts alike. Upon graduating, Alana received her Bachelor of Dance degree going on to work and train with such companies as Sydney Dance Company and Daniel Jaber Dancers.    

Alana travelled to Europe in 2013 to attend ImpulsTanz, a major dance festival in Vienna, Austria and numerous workshops in Berlin, Germany.
Once back in Australia, Alana decided to study Yoga and Pilates, as a core for strength in dance and specialises in bring higher levels of dance excellence to our students.

 Alana has been a teacher at Dance Dynamics since 2015 and gives her heart and soul to her students!

 

MEGAN WERNER - Head Reps Teacher

MEGAN WERNEROriginally from North Queensland, Megan began dancing at the age of three in Classical Ballet, Tap and Jazz. By the age of five, Megan began her formal Ballet examinations through the Royal Academy of Dance and was competing regularly as a soloist. It was during these foundation years that Megan broadened her dance training to embrace a wider range of styles including Contemporary, Lyrical, Novelty and Hip Hop.

For seven consecutive years, Megan was selected to represent the Far North Coast in various ensembles that performed in Sydney. She continued to compete regularly and began teaching as an assistant at the age of 16. In her senior years of schooling, Megan delved into the art of choreography and coaching. In her HSC Dance, Megan ranked 1st in her year, received a ‘call back’ for her performance piece and was the recipient of the 2009 Creative and Performing Arts award.

In 2010, Megan began teaching classes at Dance Dynamics. During this time, Megan taught a range of genres, prepared students for examinations and, with her background in competitive dance, prepared groups for eisteddfods.

As Megan’s love for dance continued to flourish, so did her love of teaching. In 2014 Megan graduated University with a strong passion for teaching and a Bachelor of Education (Primary). Megan’s capacity as a teacher was formally recognised in 2016 when she received the Northern New South Wales ‘Excellence in Education’ award as an Early Career Teacher.

Megan believes that teaching is a creative process that nurtures and guides students toward being masters of their craft. She hopes to instil within her dancers the values of perseverance and discipline in an encouraging environment that fosters a life-long love of dance.

 

LIESEL FITZGERALD - Classical Ballet Teacher

LIESEL FITZGERALDWe are thrilled to welcome back to Dance Dynamics, Miss Leisel!

Leisel has taught at the school over the past seven years and has achieved high levels of success with her students in RAD exam study and REPS Eisteddfod. Leisel is proud of the Dd alumni she has taught, with some students going on to professional dance careers.

Having over 25 years experience in the dance industry, Leisel's professional career included TV appearances, commercial modelling and overseas dance contracts.

Leisels foundations began in RAD classical ballet training, later developing skills in contemporary, jazz, national character and modern dance theatre. Her aim as a teacher is to assist students to find fun and self expression within the discipline of classical ballet. What motivates and excites her is when a dancer experiences the moment of realising a potential within themselves that they never knew existed.

Her other industry qualifications are Diploma in Remedial Massage Therapy, Cert III in Aged Care and is currently studying Cert III in Fitness Leader Instruction. She hopes to bring all of her learning and life experience together to create a holistic approach to her love of dance and teaching.

 

KIM KOSIC - Hip Hop Teacher

IMG KIM KOSICKim is a professional dancer and choreographer from Slovenia - the land of love.

She started dancing at six and after high school, attended university, graduating in Physical Education & Sport Science. She also competed throughout Europe for the International Dance Organisation with her troop winning several World & European championships between 2004 and 2013. She regularly visited New York and Los Angeles, training with renowned choreographers and dancers.

Since Kim's graduation, her main focus has been on educating dancers in all of her learnt styles, and to share her love of Hip Hop with children and adults of all ages.

 

 

 

 

 

CHLOE POWELL - Ballet Junior School Teacher

CHLOE POWELLChloe was raised on the Gold Coast and began her dancing journey when she was four years old. In her later school years, Chloe was accepted into the Junior Extension Program at Queensland Ballet, where she was chosen to dance in numerous productions as a junior cast member. She was also accepted into the Ballet Theatre of Queensland for three straight seasons, dancing lead roles each year and learning the art of stage production.

Once she graduated from high school, Chloe moved to Sydney where she was accepted into Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy and Sydney City Youth Ballet. There, she was given the opportunity to train under the guidance of Lucinda Dunn, Paul Boyd, and other world-renowned teachers who furthered her love and appreciation for the art. During her time in Sydney, Chloe was fortunate enough to be selected to perform at the Sydney Eisteddfod finals at the Sydney Opera House, and danced leading roles in the Sydney City Youth Ballet's productions, accompanied by guest artists of the Australian Ballet.

After two years of studying both full-time dance and a degree in Naturopathy in Sydney, Chloe moved back to Brisbane and began teaching primary ballet where she fell in love with passing on what she had learned through her years of studying. She now calls the Northern Rivers home and loves teaching dancers of all ages. She particularly enjoys teaching classical and contemporary work, and looks forward to helping young and aspiring dancers reach their goals.

 

JOEL THOMAS - Guest Teacher

Joel Edward Thomas is a dancer, actor, aerialist and teacher, enjoying a career all areas of dance and theatre. Joel studied at QUT (B. Arts Dance Performance) and Brent Street School of Performing Arts (Cert IV Perf. Arts). Additionally, he trained under well-known teachers such as Sue-Ellen Chester, Robert Sturrock, Jane Beckett and John Noble at On Camera Connections.

Joel was a member of the original cast of Disney's The Lion King, and performed for years in Mystic Rhythms at Tokyo Disney Sea. In addition to corporate and television credits locally and internationally, Joel has danced regularly with Opera Australia since 2001 and is a regular teacher for Syndey Dance Company's education outreach program. Productions include The Pearlfishers, Graham Murphy’s Turandot, Salome, Love for Three Oranges, Alcina and Baz Luhrman's production of A Midsummer Nights' Dream.

 

ZIGGY BOUNCE - Acro Teacher

CHLOE POWELLHailing from France, Ziggy is a talented international gymnastics coach who has enjoyed a very successful career in Australia. Ziggy has always been a part of the artistic world and has a particular love of break dancing and circus arts.

In recent years he has collaborated with The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, (Australia’s most esteemed national youth circus), Spaghetti Circus and Circus Arts.

Ziggy is now applying his extensive skills and experience in tumbling and acrobatics as a teacher at Dance Dynamics.

 

 

 

 

 

SASS GLAESNER -Adult Programme Coordinator

Although a self confessed non-dancer having only taken up dancing for the first time a year ago, Sass has always participated in physical activity and is a passionate and committed participant.

Her positive energy and natural organisational and leadership skills have seen her become an integral part of the Adult Programme.

In her professional life, Sass is a Content Creator and Social Media Coach who also has extensive experience in management having worked with several major retail brands in Australia, Denmark and New Zealand.

Sass believes a love of movement, connection and self expression is a fundamental commitment to health and wellbeing which should be encouraged and nurtured throughout a person’s lifetime. There is no such thing as ‘too busy’ to look after yourself!

 

LEANA RACK -Adult Barre Instructor

CHLOE POWELLLeana completed her Barre Attack certification in Sydney in 2018 and has found the “Barre Attack” method the perfect integration of classical ballet, yoga and fitness!

Introduced to dance at the age of 8, Leana spent her early years in life studying R.A.D classical ballet and dance, completing her Intermediate level exams. She spent 8 months at the age of 17 at the London School of Contemporary dance before heading back to Australia commence and completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance / Drama) at Deakin University Melbourne.

Leana was introduced to yoga at 19 years old and spent the last 20 years committed to the practice. Since arriving in Byron Bay 10 years ago, she has practiced classical Mysore Ashtanga under the guidance of Dena Kinsberg. Completing 200 hours in India in 2006. Leana has also completed her Reiki 1 & 2 healing levels.

Leana brings a personal care and warmth to her classes combined with her extensive knowledge of the body and mind from her ballet and yoga background.

 

 

LANA PARKES - Guest Teacher (Jazz/Funk, Hip Hop, Acro, Adults)

ByronDanceDYNAMICS SHOOT1 102A true local girl, Lana was born in Byron Bay and grew up dancing in the Shire since the age of 5. She has trained in all styles of dance including; Jazz Hiphop, Contemporary, Cheerleading, Musical Theatre and Ballet.

In 2012 Lana auditioned and was accepted to train full-time at a professional level in Sydney at The Village Performing Arts School where she gained her Certificate IV in dance. In 2018 Lana also attained both her Cert IV in fitness and became a qualified Barre Attack instructor. She has been a teacher at Dance Dynamics Byron Bay since 2014.

Lana strives to make her classes warm, happy and inclusive.

 

 

 

RENATA OGAYER - Guest Teacher (Classical Ballet, Adults)

ByronDanceDYNAMICS SHOOT1 63Renata was training as a synchronised swimmer when she was first introduced to dancing at the age of 11. When she found that the movements she learnt in the studio were restricted upside underwater, she turned down an invitation to train for the 2000 Olympic team in favour of pursing dance.

At the age of 14, she was accepted into fulltime training at Ecole Ballet Studios in Sydney. During this time of elite classical and contemporary training, Renata continued with RAD Exams, toured with productions, and attended various summer schools and competitions.

At the age of 17, Renata received a scholarship to Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden, Germany, where she excelled in her classical training. Upon her return to Sydney she pursued teaching for all ages and all styles of dance, including: Lyrical Jazz, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Salsa, Tango, Capoeira, Bollywood and Zumba and explored the creative side of dance and choreography.

In 2005 she moved to Guatemala and Co-Founded Estudio 5 and was a guest teacher and choreographer at the National Ballet of Guatemala and various other studios.

Renata holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Masters of International Relations and is currently a Producer and contributing journalist for DanceInforma Magazine, having interviewed stars from The American Ballet Theatre and the ABC’s Dance Academy.

Renata values Excellence, Intellectual and Artistic Curiosity and aims to bring artistry, anatomical and technical understanding to her classes for the growth of each dancer.

 

SAMI MAHONEY - Adult program, Barre Classes

ByronDanceDYNAMICS SHOOT1 67Sami is incredibly passionate about health, wellbeing and fitness. Her philosophy "your body is the one vessel you get to live in... nurture it and it will reward you" is her life motto!

An infectious smile, Sami is skilled at mitivating our participants in Barre class. Having been a group fitness instructor, specialing in HIIT, barre and circuit training, Sami will work you to work that little bit harder each time.

Sami also has a long history in the dance industry and on special occasions, she will bust out a move!

Sami and her partner Dan are expecting their little bundle of joy in July! We are so thrilled for them!

 

 

 

"I have been a student of Dance Dynamics now for 3yrs. When I first arrived I was impressed with the welcoming nature, warmth and professionalism of the school. Dance Dynamics teachers are of the highest quality and not only does the school teach dance and theatre, they also develop teachers such as myself- This has been the most growing and fulfilling experience!"

Bo Daly
Bangalow

"Dance Dynamics has been a home for Sachi in the most meaningful way sense of the word. She has been noticed, validated & treasured & for this we thank you with all our hearts"

Kerryn Florance
Lismore

"My daughters attended Dance Dynamics Byron Bay for 10 years, both flourished in terms of their dance as well as within themselves. Their teachers were amazing, generous women and under their guidance and within the communities of their classes, our girls have blossomed. We thank all of the teachers for their generosity and grace and especially Kate for her vision."

Sibony Duff
Bangalow

"I am delighted with the wonderful support and excellent teaching offered by Dance Dynamics. Not only are the teachers brilliant - they are also very nurturing of their students.
I am also most impressed with the great mental and emotional preparation that is given to the students for performances. The girls are all very supportive of each other and always come home with huge smiles and great enthusiasm for their dance."

Arleen Hanks
Bangalow

"Dear Kate,
Thank you for providing such a wonderful dance school in Byron Bay. Dance Dynamics has brought out the best in our daughter, not only in the dance arena, but in other areas including her school work as she has become more disciplined. She looks forward to dance classes every day, and always leaves on a high, which is a credit to you and the teachers. Thank you Dance Dynamics,"

Anita Wolf
Byron Bay