Zoe Westh has been the Principal of Brisbane Academy of Dance (BAD) for more than 13 years, after taking on the studio in 2004. Studying classical ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and musical theatre from the early age of four, Zoe lives for her passion of the performing arts and passing her vast knowledge of dance onto the younger generations. After studying musical theatre and commercial dance in Sydney and Brisbane, Zoe became the Principal of B.A.D, striving to produce a positive and nurturing environment for her students to grow and develop their talents in all genres of dance.
Zoe is a qualified registered teacher and member of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD;RTS) and the Australasian Dance Association certified with an Advanced Diploma in jazz, tap & classical ballet. Zoe also holds a Diploma in Musical Theatre and Commercial Dance.
Zoe is currently a probationary examiner with the Australasian Dance Association.
Jo Gordon has over 25 years dance teaching experience. Jo is a qualified registered teacher with the Australasian Dance Association (ADA), holding an Intermediate Diploma in Jazz and Tap. She is also a member of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). Jo completed a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at QUT majoring in choreography and Contemporary Dance.
Jo became Principal of the Enoggera Dancing School in 1993 and then moved to New Zealand where she taught in various schools passing on her knowledge and experience in dance.
At Brisbane Academy of Dance, Jo develops the minds and skills of our contemporary dance students. She teaches all our Contemporary Classes and at times our ADA jazz and tap syllabus classes.
Jo has also completed a Dance Teachers Pilates course with the Pilates Institute of Qld. She is an Affiliate member with ATOD and also CSTD where she specializes in the Jason Winter’s Contemporary Technique syllabus.
Karissa Jones started dancing at 5 years of age and became a student of the Brisbane Academy of Dance at the age of 12. After being accepted into the Queensland Dance School of Excellence (QDSE), Karissa commenced full time dance training and graduated in 2006. She was then accepted into the prestigious Ed5 International on a full scholarship, Brent Street Performing Arts and Dance World Studios. However, decided to commence her teaching career and share her knowledge and love for dance. She joined the Brisbane Academy of Dance faculty where she has taught Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop!
Karissa has experienced a variety of performance dancing including the Goodwill Games opening and closing ceremonies, Creative Generations, various eisteddfods and end of year performances as well as a showgirl contract in India. She has also worked for the well known programs Physi Kids and Cheeky Monkey both of which are educational children’s programs developing creativity through dance and fitness. She has also taught at several Primary schools in Brisbane and Kelvin Grove State College’s Track Dance and Dance Excellence program.
Karissa is a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD;RTS), a member of the South Queensland R.A.D. panel and has received her ARAD in Classical Ballet. She is also a registered teacher of the Australasian Dance Association (ADA), holding her Advanced Diploma in Jazz and Elementary Diploma in Classical Ballet and Tap. In the past, she has been an affiliate member with Australian Teachers of Dance (ATOD) and also The Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (CSTD). She is a current member (and has been since 2012) of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) and also holds a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management. In 2015 Karissa commenced a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) at Australian Catholic University (ACU) to complement her passion for dance education of young people.
Karissa has been teaching for over 10 years (specialising in Classical Ballet) and teaches a variety of our Pre-primary through to Advanced Two Classical Ballet classes as well as all of our classical performance team groups. She is a wonderful mentor to all her students, aiming to instil a sense of fun, discipline and love of dance in all her students whilst refining technique and enhancing artistry of each and every individual. Her philosophy is “Everyone deserves the opportunity to dance”.
Amanda is a registered Australasian Dance Association (ADA) Jazz & Tap Teacher, holding her Advanced Diploma in jazz and tap with 30 years experience. While pursuing her dance career Amanda also had a successful career as a Chartered Accountant with some of the largest accounting firms in Australia.
Amanda started as a freelance teacher and choreographer in Townsville and for 10 years worked with various local media organisations and agencies including Extensions – the youth company of Dance North. She was the artistic director of “Radio 4T0, Big Rooster, Stars on Stage”, a youth song and dance group who toured North Queensland for 5 years. Following this Amanda worked in Mt Isa with two local dance schools, often travelling to Cloncurry and Julia Creek to bring dance to children in remote communities. Moving to Cairns, Amanda was head jazz & tap teacher for Turning Pointe Dance Studios for 10 years. After moving to Brisbane in 2009 she then began teaching at Brisbane Academy of Dance, taking many of our ADA jazz and tap syllabus classes, open classes and adult classes.
Specialising in tap, Amanda’s focus is to provide the best possible dance training with a holistic approach that balances the pursuit of technique and artistry with each student’s personal needs.
Amanda is currently a probationary examiner with the Australasian Dance Association.
Janet began dancing at an early age and received training in a variety of dance forms including ballet, jazz, tap, folk dance and contemporary. Over her career Janet has taught both locally and overseas, during which time she has been invited as a guest teacher, lectured in the History of Ballet and conducted Teachers’ Courses. She has gained a lot of experience in performing and choreography with several dance companies as a dancer, rehearsal director and choreographer. Whilst teaching in Hong Kong Janet choreographed for the FIVB World Volleyball Championships, as well as many dance competitions. She has also undertaken the role of adjudicator for the Hong Kong Schools Dance Festival.
She has attained a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) Degree from the Queensland University of Technology and a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. In addition she has Teaching Diplomas from RAD and CSTD. Janet is a registered RAD teacher and a member of the RAD Panel Qld.
Melinda Gatti began dancing at an early age, receiving training in a variety of dance forms including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip hop. Melinda is a registered teacher of A.D.A. in jazz and tap, holding her Advanced Diploma, and is a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD;RTS) and has received her ARAD in classical ballet. She has also received her Bachelor in Primary Education HPE from QUT.
Moving to Brisbane from Cairns in 2011, Melinda taught tap and jazz at a local dance school before coming to dance and teach at Brisbane Academy of Dance.
Natalie Orola is a fully qualified and registered teacher of the Australasian Dance Association (A.D.A.) in Jazz & Tap, holding over 10 years of dance teaching experience throughout Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane. Natalie is also an Affiliate Member of The Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (C.S.T.D.) and trained in the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D) ballet syllabus.
Natalie’s dance journey began at the early age of five and she is equipped with years of comprehensive training in many styles of dance, including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop. Natalie brings decades of experience within the dance industry to share her passion for dance with the students at the Brisbane Academy of Dance in a safe and enjoyable manner. When not working as a full time lawyer, Natalie adopts a balanced approach in preparing dancers for exams, assisting dancers in open class work in a variety of dance styles, and privately coaching and mentoring students for competition work and general dance technique.
Kyra Kennedy has been a student and starting her dance training at the Brisbane Academy of Dance from the age of three. Whilst studying dance at the Brisbane Academy of Dance, Kyra has excelled in contemporary, jazz, tap, classical ballet, hip hop, lyrical & acrobatics. Kyra has been involved in many group and solo performances throughout Brisbane and has been a member of BADANCE from its launch in 2014. Kyra is a registered teacher with the Australasian Dance Association holding her Intermediate Diploma in jazz and her Elementary Diploma in tap. Kyra is currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) at Australian Catholic University (ACU).
Known to all as Miss N, Naomi has been teaching dance & coaching gymnastics for over 20 years. After having a long professional dance career in musical stage shows such as Sweet Charity, Crazy for You, Funny Girl, Mack and Mabel & more, Naomi retired as a professional dancer to focus on her teaching and paths on her love for Jazz, Neo-classical, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics & Cheerleading. Miss N is our acrobatics teacher training our students’ in expressive acrobatical tricks to enhance their dancing.
Katie is a Brisbane based jazz vocalist with strong roots in the Commercial Contemporary Music (CCM) genre. She is a passionate vocal teachr and is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and experience with students of all ages. In 2014, Katie completed her Masters in Vocal Pedagogy at the Queensland Conservatorium.
She believes that everybody is innately musical and that it is the role of the teacher to help the student recognise their talent and potential musical paths.
Lucie is proudly the longest student at Brisbane Academy of Dance being a B.A.D girl for 22 years and part of our teaching faculty for the last ten years. Graduating with a Special Education degree from Griffith University, Lucie has taught at two different special schools over the last four years. Lucie main love was musical theatre, but also loved all forms of dance and went on to attain her A.D.A Intermediate diploma in jazz and her Elementary diploma in tap. Lucie’s philosophy is that dance is the art form, which is the most organic to the human body and for the kinaesthetic learner a creative way to engage with their body and others whilst exploring communication, emotions and physically making connections to these two crucial elements of life.
Emma was born in Australia and began dancing at the age of five in Dubai with Leslie Shearer, International Graded Examiner of the Royal Academy of Dance. She has travelled extensively, receiving training in Australia and the UK. She trained in a variety of dance forms including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and folk dance.
Emma achieved excellence in all dance related academic studies and won numerous awards and scholarships in competitions throughout Australia. She was awarded the Associate in ballet of the Royal Academy of Dance with Distinction, and was accepted straight into the final year of the English National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Canada and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Emma has danced professionally with Ballet Manila and the Hong Kong Ballet. She performed in many ballets including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire and Don Quixote, as well as numerous contemporary pieces and with Cirque De Soleil. She began teaching ballet in Hong Kong in 2004 at Jean M. Wong School of Ballet, one of the finest and most prestigious schools in the Asia-Pacific region. She also coached students of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Emma has extensive experience with choreography, having choreographed for the Cathay Pacific International Night Parade held in Hong Kong for five consecutive years, the Hong Kong Star Awards Ballet Competition and other gala events and performances.
Trained in BBO, RAD and ATOD syllabus as well as engagement in other syllabi such as Glenwood, CSTD and Acrobatique, Miss Maddi’s versatility is her strength. After finishing high school Maddison studied full-time Musical Theatre and Commercial Dance at the Australian Dance Performance Institute which kick-started her performance opportunities and opened doors for further teaching expectations.
Maddison is trained and passionate in all genres, recently focusing around Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Lyrical styles. Whilst also being trained in Music, Vocal, Ballet, Tap, Acrobatics and Acting. Continuously engaging in workshops with prestigious choreographers and performing in a variety of professional work, Maddison believes in a hard working and positive environment, maintain this and encourage it upon the talented students she teaches. Maddison is eager to mentor students to improve and encourage self- motivation in a classroom atmosphere and beyond.
Growing up surrounded by dance, Jasmine began at a very young age and developed a strong love for all styles of dance. Originally starting dance in Townsville, Jasmine began a student of the Brisbane Academy of Dance when her family moved to Brisbane in 2009 where she studied all forms of dance but has a passion for tap, jazz, classical ballet and lyrical. Jasmine holds her Elementary Diploma in Jazz & tap with the Australasian Dance Association and also has a Certificate III in Child Care. Jasmine is currently studying a Bachelor of Primary Education at QUT.
Anabeth Philip began dancing at the age of 3 and received training in a variety of dance forms including tap, jazz, ballet and hip-hop. Since moving to become a student at Brisbane Academy of Dance in 2011, Anabeth was a student at a local dance school in Bundaberg. Anabeth is a registered teacher with the Australasian Dance Association receiving her Elementary Diploma in tap and jazz. Since finishing school in 2013, Anabeth found a love for travelling, however, enjoys imparting her knowledge of dance and sharing her passion with students.
Joy has been associated with Brisbane Academy of Dance for over 14 years as a mother and receptionist and is delighted to be a member of our unique community.
Joy’s background includes administration, marketing, inventory, distribution and business strategies. Joy holds multiple diplomas in business management; business & analysis; operations management; web design & technology; customer service & customer care; purchase management, inventory control & analysis, and logistics (importing and exporting). Joy also holds a Teachers certificate in AMEB speech & drama and a Teaching Diploma in Speech & Drama & Communication Skills (TCL) & a higher certificate in phonetics and phonology.
Before becoming a member of the Brisbane Academy of Dance team, Joy operated her own distribution and importing company for many years and branded her own product line both in the local & global markets. Previous to this, held management positions in both retail and wholesale companies as well as working in law firms. An integral key component throughout these experiences is the development of her passion for customer service. Joy is delighted to be able to assist clientele in all facets of administration and queries regarding our wonderful studio and its classes.
Julieann is another friendly face you may see at reception and has been a part of the B.A.D. family for over 16 years. Julieann has loved growing up in the studio environment learning and fuelling her passion for dance. Julieann obtained her Pre Elementary certificate in Jazz & Tap with the A.D.A and still tries to participate in as many dance classes in a variety of genres as much as time permits. Julieann did two years of a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy when I realised her passion was in teaching and is now fulfilling this dream by currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary).
Julieann has also had experience in working both administration and warehouse duties in a local Brisbane firm and continues to offer one-on-one & group tutoring for both primary and high school students as well as assisting families by offering child minding and house sitting. She also has a strong sense of community and continues to support and assist with fundraising efforts for our B.A.D. Students. Julieann looks forward to assisting you with any enquiries at Brisbane Academy of Dance.