Claire van Niekerk

Claire has a degree in Speech and Drama, majoring in movement studies from the University of KZN and has 20 years of dance, theatre and choreographic experience, ranging from musicals to corporate and industrial theatre.

Claire has always had a passion for dance and worked with Jazzart and The North West Arts Council Dance Company. Her freelance career took her to more than 15 different countries around the world where she performed in international festivals and on cruise lines as well as locally in various musicals and revues.

Claire is a consummate choreographer and coached young adults in drama and performance technique at matric level. Claire has choreographed many shows and launches for brands for her own promotional events and Entertainment Company called The Workzone.

Her musical theatre choreography credits include FANGS, for Tim Plewman and Bill Flynn, Laaities and Ladies for Steve Hofmeyr and the Hannah and Miley Show for Showtime Australia. Claire choreographed the 2010 pantomime Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates and Michael Jackson History - This Is It - at The Joburg Theatre.

Claire has been teaching dance at St Mary’s for 3 years and is enjoying nurturing the talent and enthusiasm that the girls have for dance.

TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS IN DANCE AND MOVEMENT:

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN SPEECH AND DRAMA MAJORING IN MOVEMENT - University of Natal, Durban ADVANCED R.A.D BALLET, HIGHEST DIPLOMAS IN MODERN AND TAP. OTHER STYLES INCLUDE: JAZZ, CONTEMPORARY AND ZULU TRADITIONAL.

Kyle De Boer

Kyle studied at Rhodes University where he obtained a master's Degree in Drama in 2010. He is one of the founders of the performance art company Stash the Suitcase Collective and he practices as a multi-disciplined performer and artist.

He lectured at Rhodes University, University of Pretoria, Tshwane University of Technology and the University of the Witwatersrand, between 2009 and 2014. He currently works part-time at Wits teaching movement studies.

In his spare time, Kyle is part of a satirical rap performance group called The STASH Crew. He also performs alongside a performance art band, The Brother Moves On and has participated at events such as The Design Indaba 2013, Bushfire Swaziland 2013 and Oppikoppi 2012.

Kyle has been teaching drama at St John's College Pre-Preparatory School as well as St Mary's for the past 3 years.

He really enjoys working with young creative minds and the tons of energy they bring to class. He finds pleasure in watching them grow in confidence as they hone their performance and creative skills.

Meg Walker

Meg is currently a Latin American and Ballroom Championship competitive dancer. She represented South Africa in the Dutch Open 2013 which was held in De Bonte Wever, Assen, Holland.

Meg and her partner were the top SA couple in the Rising Star Latin section. In 2012, she won the Adult Rising Star Ballroom at the SADTA South African Championships.

She has been dancing for 15 years and her repertoire includes Balet, Contemporary, Latin American, Ballroom and Solo Latin.

She teaches, competes in, and does show work predominantly in Latin American.

It is her passion to inspire and encourage young South Africans to discover their dance potential and to develop their talent in dance.

Michelle Emslie

Michelle gained her Ballet Teaching Qualification through the University of Cape Town Ballet School where she studied for 3 years and gained her Ballet Teaching Diploma in 1996. Whilst at UCT she also passed her Advanced RAD ballet exam. She is also a qualified Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Teacher and holds a full registered teacher status.

After qualifying as a ballet teacher, she taught ballet for 2 years before travelling to London where she lived for 6 years. While living in London she worked at the Royal Academy of Dance Headquarters, in Battersea, London, and was in charge of the Dance School there as well as teaching ballet part-time.

Michelle is also a qualified Pilates instructor and feels that the 2 disciplines work well together.

On returning from the UK, Michelle has taught ballet at St. Mary’s school for the past 6 years and is passionate about dance and working with children.

She believes all children can benefit from dance and likes to encourage them to develop their own potential.

Willemien Jerling

Willemien obtained a National Diploma in Musical Theatre cum laude from the Tshwane University of Technology in 2013 where she studied Jazz, Tap and Ballet as well as singing and acting. She is also a Qualified Modern Dance teacher through the AIDT.

She has danced for corporate events and worked as a professional dancer at Gold Reef City. She also acted in the Hooked on Books nursery show travelling from school to school in Johannesburg and developing her love for children.

Her first dance teacher made such a big and positive impact on her, that dancing became her life. She hopes to carry the same love and passion forward onto her students as well.

Leanne Vermaak

Leanne has been dancing since the age of 4 which is where her passion for dance was ignited.

Throughout her dance career she has been affiliated with numerous dance associations, such as SADTA and DASA, and currently has her teaching certificate in Modern dance through ADA.

She has participated in championship competitions as well as in several dance festivals.

During her dance training and education, Leanne received numerous awards and a lot of acknowledgement of potential.

For 3 years she was a cabaret dancer participating in a number of corporate shows and events for clients such as Sun International, Momentum, SAP, IPL cricket league etc.

Leanne loves working with children and is excited to conquer new challenges at St.Mary’s.

Deidre Viljoen

As a little girl, all I wanted to do is dance! I wanted what most girls wanted! I wanted to BE a princess. Being a ballerina was the next best thing and made me FEEL like princess. When I started walking, I kept falling over my own turned in feet. Doctors said I would need surgery, but my mother thought ballet would help. From the first ballet class at the age of 3 and my first pair of ballet shoes and leotard and huge bun in my hair, I WAS HOOKED! I was looking forward to the next lesson as soon as I was done with the previous one! Ballet was fast becoming a huge passion and my parents knew it would stay that way for the rest of my life!

I started my training in the RAD method and went over to Cecchetti in my early teenage years after we moved to a different town. My love for ballet ignited with this change! The change of Ballet Method opened my eyes and mind to become a better dancer than before. Both Methods are highly recognised internationally and in professional dance companies. But for me, Cecchetti taught me discipline, strong ballet technique, the awareness of music and the enjoyment of movement. I moved to Johannesburg in 2007 and started my training to become a teacher. I trained with one of the best teachers in our country, Ms. José Pretorius and qualified as an Associate Teacher in the Cecchetti method.

I had many years of experience at various nursery schools as well as co-teaching with teachers in the Cecchetti society, until I opened my own studio in 2013. The Cecchetti method of training is part of the internationally recognised society: The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Ballet has taught me many things in life! Through dance, I have learnt that nothing comes without your willingness to succeed. It has taught me incredible patience with myself and the capabilities of my mind and body. Thankfully I also never needed surgery, as my hips and feet came right due to my posture that improved as well as muscles around my hip joints that became stronger and corrected my turned in feet! To me ballet is a way of life! I look forward to every lesson and to see the smiles of the children I teach. I would not give it up for the world! I am privileged to be part of their journey to discovering their passion for dance!

My qualification: ISTD Associate Cecchetti Method

Michèle le Roux

Michèle is an independent Classical Ballet practitioner at Sacred Heart College, teaching the Grade 1 to Grade 12 phase. She has 38 years’ experience teaching the Imperial Society’s Cecchetti Classical Ballet Syllabus. Michèle holds teaching qualifications in Cecchetti Ballet (1978), Associate Diploma (2007) and Related Subjects Anatomy and Physiology (Canada, 2011, 98%), Scottish Dance Teachers’ Alliance Highland Branch (1976), Association of International Dance Teachers Modern Section (1982) and what was then The South African Academy of Drama and Ballet, under the auspices of University of Natal (Durban) Drama Department, Licentiate Diploma (1980). Credit is to be given to Michèle’s teachers who were doyennes in ballet history both in South Africa and internationally for laying a superb foundation: Joy Shearer, Rosemary Brandt with the addition at tertiary level of Faith de Villiers and Eileen Keegan.

She was Chairperson of the East Rand Region of the Cecchetti Society for five years and a long standing member of the Val Whyte Bursary Performance Committee. `

Michèle was Natal Senior Highland dancing Champion (1975 & 1977), Durban Caledonian Society Champion (1977) and South African Pre-Champion (1977).

She performed in the Durban Theatre Workshop Company ballets, University of Natal Contemporary Dance programmes, Durban Arts ’82 & ‘83, Highland Dance in the Durban Military Tattoos and Spanish with Ballet Español Natalia. In 1988 Michèle danced at the Binyanei Ha Uma Auditorium in Jerusalem, in the Feast of Tabernacles Pageant.

Michèle has taught all levels from beginners and Pre School to Pre Professional. Her school has achieved many accolades including: Winner Gauteng Cecchetti Vocational training Awards Advanced 1 (2015 with 96%), bursary recipient for the American Academy of Ballet Summer Intensive in New York and many qualifiers for Cecchetti Award competitions and showcases, including two runners up awards. Most years, Michèle achieves 100% qualifiers for the East Rand Dance Encore awards. Pupils have been selected to perform with the Val Whyte Children’s ballet, the Ovation Youth Dance Company, Ballet Bugs Junior Ballet Company and Joburg Ballet’s Academy including several professional performances with the company.

Michèle’s teaching includes a deep understanding of child development and an impartial commitment to every child.

Jaydene Adolph

Jaydene is a dedicated wife, mother and teacher. She comes with a wealth of knowledge and passion for both children and dance.

Jaydene has been dancing since the age of 5. She graduated with a national Diploma in Dance in 2010 and has since seasonally taught Ballroom and Latin.

She is aldo a freelance coach for Impact 29 Kids at Acts Christian Church.

Content for Accordion Panel 10