Dance Teachers 2017
Thanks for taking the time to check out our team, I'm Dean and it gives me great pleasure to introduce my teaching team to you. Never have I had such a strong teaching team. I have always maintained as the Danceman, a personal and professional passion and energy for dance - I am now privileged to have a team who do the same, proven through the hours and hours they have clocked up at our studios, in the community and nationally, learning and teaching dance.
In the office:
Renee Ball and Frankie Curd looking forward to meeting you and taking care of you preparing you for all you'll need to make the most of your classes.
On the dance floor:
Our AMAZING hip-hop, tap (and everything else!) teacher! Bio to come...
Cara Hesselin has an enery none of us can keep up with. According to many an audience member she's been a starring chorus member/dancer in all the big shows produced locally and is making her mark as a choreographer through her position as resident choreographer for the annual Boys High productions. Cara's workshops throughout the country, through events such as Dance your Sox off and DanceNZmade, are well-loved by students and teachers alike. With a first passion for Hip Hop her energy expands across all dance genre.
Alex Hughes returns to the team and is well established on the dance scene, particularly at Girls High as a choreographer and assistant to Head of Department. A high level of energy combined with beautiful strength and line make her a stand out performer and students will learn much just from watching. Passionate about the opportunity to teach she will have very lucky students.
Kate Martin is an experienced and qualified dance teacher with 13 years of teaching experience. She now runs her own dance school in Levin with a growing roll of 180 students. She first trained in Palmerston North with Michelle Robinson Dance Studio from the age of 7 to 18 training in ISTD and IDTA Ballet and Modern Dance. Kate represented Manawatu for PACANZ in 1999 and in the same year gained the highest mark for IDTA Advanced 2 Ballet. She holds a Diploma in Performing Arts from Whiteria in Wellington majoring in Commercial Dance where she studied Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Contemporary Dance full time for 2 years under the tuition of Leigh Evans and Ann Gare and then a Contemporary Dance Degree from Unitec in Auckland under the tuition of Micheal Parmenter. She also holds the ISTD Intermediate jazz qualification and American Jazz Advanced one and two qualification. In between extensive dance studies Kate worked for Camp America in New York teaching dance and being a high ropes course instructor and also taught the YMCA gymnastics program for 2 years in Palmerston North. She has spent the last 14 years performing locally and all around New Zealand.
As well as many dance recitals, music videos, corporate events and freelance contemporary dance performances, her highlights include touring a piece choreographed by Michael Parameter. dancing for WOW(World of Wearable Arts), staring as Miss Martini in Ian Harman’s Boom Boom Room and loved being a Hurricanes Cheerleader. Kate also gained overseas professional dance work in Spain and China. Kate is now the busy Mum of 2 boys as well as the Director of her own dance school Kate Martin Dance and enjoys every second of it. Teaching dance is a dream Job! I love every second of it and want my students to make every class count, every step, every beat!
Renee Ball started performing and dancing at a young age doing lyrical, jazz, hip-hop, rhythmic gymnastics, contemporary and hip-hop through Tapac, Auckland Academy of dance, indepenDance and Voice dance. She was a member of New Zealand Young Performers and Voice Dance productions and during her school years choreographed winning stage challenge performances and school musicals. She then went on to study for a Bachelor of Dance Studies from the University of Auckland, where she achieved top of choreography in every year of her study. She has performed with Black Grace in 2010 season of 'You Better Run Boy', has worked with Touch Compass as a rehearsal director, tutor and performer and worked with other NZ and international choreographers. Renee has taught dance in schools and studios, and is specialised in the areas of contemporary and integrated (disability) dance. To sum it up- Renee lives for dance and loves to see her students develop their passion! Check out this dance film for a bit more of Renee's story: https://vimeo.com/164196905
Laura Wedlock started dancing at a young age and has danced with Kate Martin Dance throughout her years at college. Now in Palmerston North to Study a BSc at Massey University she's ready to start something new in her dancing journey. Laura has been an assistant teacher at Kate Martin Dance helping teach IDTA ballet and jazz and has thoroughly enjoyed inspiring young dancers to reach their potential. Laura is very excited to have this opportunity to teach at Dean McKerras School of Dance.Chantelle Christensen bio to come...
Cyan Smith bio to come...
Dean Mckerras, Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education, half a lifetime of dance!
A passion and energy for dance makes this Danceman unique.
The Dean Mckerras School of Dance has 450 students passing through its doors each week- doors to the largest studio complex Palmie has to offer. For the past twenty plus years Dean has contracted himself out to schools with his Dance in Education programme, which he has shared with over 60,000 school children.
A love of Musical Theatre has seen him touring, producing, directing and /or choreographing shows such as Rocky Horror Show, Joseph, Chess, Chicago, 42nd Street, Beauty & the Beast and many more, working with stars such as Michael Barrymore, Richard Long, Tina Cross and Jackie Clark.
Dean toured professionally with the 1995 cast of Cats playing Tumblebrutus and Mungojerrie and has since Directed and Choreographed his all time favourite show for Palmerston North, Rotorua and now Whakatane. He recently returned to Rotorua to direct and choreograph a hugely successful season of Mamma Mia and has just completed Auditions for Beauty and the Beast in Whakatane onstage this October.
Dean is creator and director of his branding DanceNZmade - New Zealand's own Interschool and Interstudio training and competition events, which also offers 'Performance and Hip Hop Levels' - a performance based syllabus.
Dean's greatest production is his family thanks to an international romantic storyline that rivals all the great musical theatre plots and sees him marry Liette with the arrival of the very handsome Sam and Benjamin and the gorgeous Princess Amelia in the second act!
Dean believes two things.
1. Nothing is possible without a loving and supportive family.
2. Celebrating and encouraging the development of the arts in any form is one of life's pleasures!