KARLIE GRACE JOHNSON

OWNER & PRINCIPAL

"Karlie has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for dance, her mission is to pass on this love of dance and skills to a new generation of young performers"....

 

QUALIFICATIONS: Certificate IV & Diploma of Arts (Dance & Performance), D.F.T.A (Dance Factory Teacher's Academy). A(DIP)C.B.A -C.I.C.B Cecchetti Ballet Australia. Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management. Winner of the 2012 Maestro Enrico Cecchetti Advanced 2 scholarship. 

 

Karlie began dancing at the young age of five in all facets of dance and performance and has studied full-time at the renowned Dance Factory in Richmond on a coveted scholarship for two consecutive years. It is here Karlie first gained her professional and accredited teaching qualifications.

 

Karlie has had many years of teaching experience, having taught throughout Melbourne, regional areas, interstate in Australia and overseas, including specialised full-time performing arts schools and some of the most well-known and respected dance schools throughout Melbourne. Karlie has choreographed many award-winning routines at some of the most strongest and prestegious dance competitions throughout the state.

 

Karlie is also a professional dancer with many years in the performing arts industry, including various work within all major television networks. This has resulted in the privelidge of being able to perform alongside some of Australia's most well-recognised celebrities and singers. Not to mention, Karlie has also been trained by some of Melbourne's leading teachers and choreographers and has then gone on to work alongside some of Australia's leading choreographers and companies, which has led to offers from Jean Ann Ryan Productions, Princess Cruises and the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Some of her credits include; The Singing Bee television show (role of 'Honeybee') - Channel Nine, The Footy Show - Channel Nine, Mornings with Kerri-Anne - Channel Nine, The Today Show - Channel Nine, Australia's Funniest Home Videos - Channel Nine, It Takes Two - Channel Seven, Neighbours - Channel Ten, The Ultimate High School Musical - Foxtel, Salaam Namaste - Bollywood Film, L'Oreal Fashion Parades, Luxe Accessories Parades, Myer Fashion Parades, back-up dancer to Danii Minogue and Rhonda Burchmore, Back-up dancer for Irene Cara at the AFL Grand Final - MCG, Just Jeans, National Bank, Goulburn Valley Television Commericals, Various dance shows at Crown Casino, corporate events throughout Melbourne, interstate and overseas, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Cheerleader for the Dubai Rugby 7's, Cheerleader for the NBL South Dragons, The Merry Widow with the Melbourne City Opera Company, Children's work with Showtime Attractions and Entertainment Store, various work with Joanne Adderley promotions, Kerrie-Hayes Productions, Adrenalin Events, Grayboy Entertainment, Gr8 Eventz, FX Entertainment and dancer onboard the Tahitian Princess with Princess Cruises. 

Following a successfull career in the industry, it was then that Karlie decided to open her very own school to pass on her passion and love for dance in her own nurturing environment. With classes starting only one night a week in 2010 at the local 'Harkaway Hall', soon-after in 2011 saw the opening of 'Karlie Grace Dancers'. Classes proved to be so popular, 2013 saw the school re-locating to their very own larger purpose-built studios in Berwick, which sees the school still thriving in full-force today, fastly becoming one of the leading up-and- coming schools in Melbourne's south-east.

 

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GRACI-MARIE SIMMS

Graci-Marie specializes in Classical Ballet with a history within the art form for the last 11 years and her qualifications display this. She has performed various ballets throughout her career with the National Theatre Ballet School and possesses a passionate love for the art of Ballet. She has completed her Associate Diploma, A.C.B.A (Dip)-C.I.C.B (Cecchetti Ballet Australia), and has also completed her Cert I.V in Dance teaching and management and Cert IV in Pilates last year. Graci-Marie has trained and completed Cert IV in Classical Ballet at the National Theatre Ballet School. Graci-Marie performed the productions Carmen, Le Sylphide and Coppelia under the direction of Beverly Jane Fry, Director of the National Theatre Ballet School. Additionally during her time here, she was offered a place within various Contemporary pieces choreographed by Matthew Thomson.

 

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GEORGIA FRASER

Once upon a time a student first at KGD, the past number of years have seen Georgia blossom into not only a gifted  acrobatic / contortionist performer, but excel with her teacher training to now come full circle to teach her own Acrobatic classes at KGD. Certified in the world renowned Acrobatic Arts (Teacher Training Course) and many years experience in dance, acrobatics and Calisthenics at a competitive level 2020 will see great things unfold for our eager acrobatic students, as we implement the assessment system for the Acrobatique Arts examinations into our classes at KGD. Georgia is fondly looked up to by all students and looks forward to imparting further knowledge with them this year.

 

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SARAH MLAKAR

QUALIFICATIONS: Sarah studied Contemporary Dance at Deakin University. Bachelor of Education at Deakin University. 

 

Sarah is a hip hop dancer, performer and choreographer. Sarah began dancing at age 10 in all styles.

She has 7 years teaching experience in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and competition work at many different schools across Melbourne’s south east. Sarah has performed and choreographed for some of the best hip-hop crews in Melbourne and has won 1st place at a variety of Melbourne’s biggest competitions such as Step Off, Battlegrounds, Australian Hip-Hop Championships and more. She has years’ experience performing in gigs, show cases, fashion shows, concerts, competitions and even had the opportunity to dance at the World Hip-hop Champions World Tour in 2012 alongside the best dancers & choreographers from around the world. Sarah has been competing in Hip-Hop crews for 10 years and now wants to give her students the opportunity to do so too. Sarah has had the privilege to dance with some amazing choreographers who have worked for Brittney Spears, JLO, Beyoncé, Rhianna, Katy Perry & Pink. 

 

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LISA FURZE

Graduate of Spectrum Dance Full-Time Performing Arts course, Professional Dancer; Michael Jackson Tribute, Corporate events for K-mart Crown Casino, Masters of Choreography, Showtime Attractions, Winter Sound System, Coles Television Commercial, AFL Grand Final Footy Show. Associate Teachers with Cecchetti Ballet – Passed with Honors.

 

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BRETT FISHER

Brett is a graduate of the Musical Theatre Course directed by Andrew Hallsworth at Patrick Studios Australia. Brett has featured in many corporate events and shows in many Melbourne venues as well as dancing and singing at the Rob Guest Endowment with Christie Whelan-Browne and Twisted Broadway with Tim Campbell. Brett was a Dancer in Michael Ralph's debut production “Now & Then”, a dancer for “Grease The Musical” Promotional Tour launch, performed in Looney Tunes Live: Classroom Capers (Jim The Host) at the Royal Melbourne Show, The Wild Party (Burrs) directed by Andrew Hallsworth, was Associate Choreographer for Godspell as part of the Stephen Schwartz Triptych by Magnormos Productions and then went on to Direct ‘Namaste The Cabaret’ written and performed by Adam Porter. Brett performed in Lifelike Touring’s production of ‘Peppa Pig Live: Treasure Hunt’ (George Pig/Pedro Pony) which toured Australia and New Zealand. He directed ‘The Gathering’ as part of MUDfest, and was also in a sellout season of ‘Avenue Q’ (Bad Idea Bear/Ensemble) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He also wrote and starred in his own cabaret 'What’s He Building In There?' which he performed at Chapel off Chapel as part of The Cabaret Showcases. Brett made his professional music theatre debut playing the title role of 'The Fiddler' in ‘Fiddler On The Roof’, and performed in ‘Curtains’ (ensemble) with The Production Company and has just returned from overseas performing on ‘Voyager of the Seas’ and ‘Rhapsody of the Seas’ for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

 

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MEGAN O'KANE

F.C.B.A - C.I.C.B, Certificate IV in Teaching Cecchetti Classical Ballet, Enrico Cecchetti Diploma Holder and Cecchetti Ballet Examiner. Megan was born in New Zealand but started her training in Perth, WA with Madame Kira Bousloff (founder of the WA Ballet Company and former Ballet Russe Dancer) and Shelley Rae. In Perth she did all of her Cecchetti dancing exams to Advanced (now Advanced
1). She was also fortunate enough to study with Lucette Aldous at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts as part of a special program. In 1993 she moved to Melbourne

and taught for Lorraine Blackbourn (OAM and Senior Cecchetti Examiner) until 2013. During this time Megan completed all of the Cecchetti status exams up to and including Fellowship and in 2016 was appointed an Examiner with Cecchetti Ballet Australia.

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EMMA MCDONNELL

After completing her Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet exams until age 14, Emma was introduced to Cecchetti ballet for her Grade 6 exam when she fell in love with the new, exciting style. In 2010, Emma was accepted into the full time ballet and contemporary program at The Legat School of Dance in Sussex, England. Emma progressed tremendously during this time absorbing all that she could from the new teachers and guest teachers the school kindly selected to broaden the students’ horizons. In 2012, Emma returned to Sydney to complete high school, where she attended Redlands Ballet and Dance Academy, and was taught by highly regarded teachers, including Kim Trainor and Joshua Consandine, and completed Contemporary dance for the HSC exam. In 2014, Emma proceeded onto University completing a Bachelor of Event Management. During this time she began her Cecchetti Associate studies, completing her Status exam in September 2018. Emma has been honoured to implement the Cecchetti Ballet syllabus into 2 dance schools in 2017 and 2018, one of which was the initiation of ballet into the timetable.

 

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BRIGETTE RANKIN

C.I.C.B (Cecchetti International – Classical Ballet)

Brigette has attained a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1990, majoring in dance education in classical and contemporary dance. Over the years she has consolidated this experience with a number of teaching positions, including Head Dance Teacher at Presbyterian Ladies College and at various private ballet schools. Brigette has since continued her professional development in teaching over the years. In 2003 she attained her Licentiate in Dance Teaching (classical ballet). She has completed the current government accreditation in Certificate IV for Assessment and Workplace Training. Brigette also has her Level 2 in First Aid Training. Brigette’s performing experience began with receiving an overseas scholarship to study various forms of dance in New York. Since her time in New York she has performed with both Contemporary and Dance in Education companies, including various productions in primary schools throughout Victoria.

OUR GUEST TEACHERS

Professional performing contacts amoungst our teachers follow seamlessly through to teaching connections,

thus providing KGD with frequent access to a wide array of higly acclaimed guest teachers.

 

MEET OUR PAST AND PRESENT GUEST TEACHERS:

SUSAN SARGISON

BRIANNA ANDERSON

CAROLINE PAIS

LUCA DINARDO

NARELLE FORBES

ADRIAN RICKS

EMANUEL CARELLA

ANDREA ARENA

ARNA SINGLETON

LUKE ALLEVA

BRITTANY PAGE

ROBYN BEGG

SUZIE MELLOY

PENNY HIGGS

JASON COLEMAN

YVETTE LEE

NATHAN SHEENS

ETIENNE KHOO

PHIL HADDAD

MICHELLE THEUNISSEN

FREYA LIST

ANNE BUTLER

JUSTIN ANDERSON

LUCY ELLIS

PAUL MALEK