Melissa Prentice
Melissa Prentice
Carolina De Mattos Rocha
Carolina De Mattos Rocha
Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Emily Walker
Emily Walker
Lauren Thompson
Lauren Thompson
Sarah Ryan
Sarah Ryan
Emma Rawnsley
Emma Rawnsley
Tess Speidel Connolly
Tess Speidel Connolly
Jacqui Harvey
Jacqui Harvey

Meet Our Teachers

Melissa Prentice

PRINCIPAL/Dance Teacher (ARAD RTS)

Inspired by her ballet teachers and older sister, Melissa was quick to develop a love for dance and a desire to learn more and try different styles of dance. Having completed all Royal Academy of Dance Examinations with the amazing Jane Stanley and completing her HSC with marks in the top 10% of the state Melissa went on to achieve her Certificate IV in Performing Arts as a full time student at Brent Street Performing Arts school where she worked with renown teachers and choreographers, such as Jason Coloman, Jackie Howard, Roy Dudley, Kim Traynor, Jane Beckett, Cameron Mittchell, Daren Disney.On Completion of her Certificate Melissa danced professionally in Sydney with the Detour Performance Agency, whilst teaching the dance program for Manly Council and at Brigidine College at St Ives.

Melissa completed her Teachers Certificate with the Royal Academy of Dance London and became a registered teacher with the RAD and Glenn Wood Tap. After teaching baby ballet for Manly Council from 1999, Melissa established The Dance House in 2002 as a respected reputable Dance School on the Northern Beaches. Melissa believes she blessed with the ‘best job in the world’. She takes great pride in her school and her students and devotes her life to seeing the joy of dance in the eyes of others no matter their age. Melissa believes that dance is an expression of who we are and that there is a freedom within every form of dance.

More info about me

Age I Started Dancing:
4

Favourite Genre of Dance:
Ballet and Tap

Other Hobbies and Interests:
Going to the beach, hiking, camping, sewing, Meals on Wheels

Favourite Music/Song:
Janet Jackson’s ‘Runaway’


Carolina De Mattos Rocha

Dance Instructor

Carolina is originally from Brazil where she was taught by the fabulous Claudia Araujo before moving on to dance with the Municipal Theatre of Rio De Janeiro performing great ballets such at Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Le Corsaire. She then went on to teach Ballet at the WM dance School in and Julia Moreira Dance Centre, both in Rio. Since moving to Australia with her Husband, Carolina has taught ballet on Sydney ’s Northern beaches for a number of year as well as worked at a local child care centre. With Bachelor Degree in Physiotherapy and Certificate in Children’s Services Carolina brings with her a wealth of knowledge. Carolina ’s love for children and the wonderful experience she brings with her, gives the Dance House students a wonderfully caring and passionate ballet teacher.

More info about me

Age I Started Dancing:
3 years old as a student and  16 years old as a professional - Classic Ballet

Favourite Genre of Dance:
Classic Ballet

Other Hobbies and Interests:
Gym, Traveling, Nature and Theatre

Favourite Music/Song:
Don't stop till you get enough - Michael Jackson


Ashley Smith 

At age 2 and a half Ashley started ballet and fell in love with it immediately and danced all the way through till she was 18 gaining  all the way to Advanced 2 RAD.

After completing her University Degree, she lived and travelled around Europe before she came back to her home turf (Manly) and began teaching ballet for The Dance House, sharing her joy of ballet and extensive knowledge to the students.

Ashley is also a qualified Pilates Mat Instructor, Xtend Barre Instructor and Personal Trainer specializing in Group Fitness. 


 

 

  

More info about me

Age I Started Dancing:
2.5

Favourite Genre of Dance:
Ballet and Character

Other Hobbies and Interests:
Shopping, Beach, Gym, Music Festivals

Favourite Music/Song:
Michael Jackson and Imogen Heap's 'Hide and Seek'

 


Emily is an energetic and versatile teacher, choreographer and creative artist who started dancing at the age of four in Scotland. She trained in jazz, tap, ballet, and contemporary through her teenage years, gaining a place at Scotland's only venue to offer a BA(Hons) in Dance. She then furthered her professional training at 'London Contemporary Dance School', Europe's leading dance centre.

In the UK, Emily worked for 'Active Schools', teaching dance to encourage fitness and creativity in young dancers. She has taught and travelled extensively, gaining experience and influences from a multitude of dance styles and cultures.  Emily was twice selected as the Dance Director at a New York summer camp. She is also a senior Xtend Barre instructor.

 

Emily has over 10 years experience of dance teaching and has been bringing her boundless energy to The Dance House for the past four years. Her classes are fun and often fully booked!

 

As a teacher, Emily creates a safe and nurturing environment for your young dancers to discover their potential. As a choreographer, she develops unique and entertaining works that break boundaries of dance forms. Her love and passion for dance fills the studio and you can't help but leave her classes smiling!


Lauren Thompson

 

I have been studying dance since the age of 4 years old, enjoying all styles. I have completed All RAD exams successfully from pre primary to Advanced 2. I attended Brigidine College St Ives and during my last year I was elected the Dance Club Captain which was a great honour. Since completing my HSC I have completed a Full-time Ballet/Contemporary Course at "Ev and Bow Full-time Training Centre" in the Sutherland Shire, run by "So You Think You Can Dance's" Sarah Boulter and many other industry professionals. I am currently studying at the Australian College of Physical Education doing a Bachelor of Dance and Physical Education. I have worked on So You Think You Can Dance and many other professional photo shoots and dance jobs. I look forward to sharing my love of Dance with the students of the Dance House! 



Emma Rawnsley started dancing at the age of 5. Growing up learning all styles of dance from Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip-hop, Musical Theatre and Lyrical. She then went to Wollongong High school of the Performing Arts, where she was always performing in selected Company groups for Southern Stars, Dance Festival and the Illawarra Performing Ensemble that travelled around the South Coast and travelled to Malaysia. 

Graduating from ED5INTERNATIONAL in 2011 with a Diploma in Dance Emma has performed at Luna Park, "12 Lives" a lyrical based company and flash mobs. She then moved over to London to learn and gain more skills as a dancer. 

She loves teaching and watching the kids grow as dancers.


In the past eight years I have gained extensive dance training in the areas of classical ballet, character, contemporary dance and jazz with some of Australia’s leading, selective dance institutions such as the Australian Ballet School and the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.

My passion, dedication and commitment have resulted with the privilege to collaborate with renowned choreographers such as Graeme Murphy and Tim Harbour and to perform in both a professional and semi-professional environment.

Teaching has allowed me to share my love and skill for dance with others. I have come to learn that working with youngsters is not only rewarding but a great joy.



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