Meet our Team!

Kindy Dance Time takes great pride in our carefully selected teachers, who are not only highly experienced, but also possess a more important quality – the unconditional love of children.  Our teachers regularly attend Professional Development workshops in the areas of Creative Dance, Music, Drama, Teaching Methodology and Early Childhood Development to update their knowledge and to provide the best tuition for your child.

Lara began her dance training with her mother, Terri Charlesworth OAM, CitWA, and from a young age she travelled extensively studying at many major dance institutions throughout the world. In 1981 Lara successfully auditioned for the Victorian College of the Arts, where she trained for two years. Later at age 15 she was accepted into the Australian Ballet School where she once again trained under Terri. In 1985 she was awarded a scholarship to attend L’Academie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo, studying under Marika Besobrasova and many other world-renowned dance teachers.

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Jude Harris – Teacher

FB137A73-4900-43AD-A155-3F3626288B5CJude began her dance training at six years of age, studying many varied styles including Classical Ballet, Jazz and Tap dance. Her love of children led her into a career in early childhood. With a Diploma in Social Science obtained from Meeralinga, Jude has worked with young children for over 30 years. She incorporated her love of performing arts by creating and implementing dance and music sessions for children aged 2-6 years in weekly developmental programmes. She has also enhanced her education in early childhood development attending a variety of courses on growth and play, learning, and music.

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Nel Williams – Manager

Nel began her dance training at a young age studying Classical Ballet, Tap and Modern techniques and continued through her university years in the UK. During this time she performed in many dance productions and was the recipient of several dance awards, including the Bishop Prize for Dance at the University of Bath. Nel also studied piano and violin, undertaking Royal Academy of Music performance and theory exams, orchestral percussion, and has been involved in various choirs and choral societies as a soloist and group singer.

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Lauren Kelly – Teacher

Lauren has had a passion for dance since she was very young and at age six began her dance training with Brian Hewitt, ARAD. M.B.B.O. Adv. Dip PDTC. She then continued her ballet classes with Kim Baker at the Terri Charlesworth School of Ballet.

Being exceptionally talented she was accepted into the elite full-time programme of the Graduate College of Dance at Swanbourne SHS at 12 years of age. Under the Direction of Terri Charlesworth, OAM. CitWA, Lauren was taught by Lara Gandini, Beth James, Joan Pope OAM, Luba Nikonorenko from the Kirov ballet and many other leading dance tutors. Her studies encompassed many styles including Classical Ballet, Character Dance, Contemporary and many theoretical dance subjects.

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Andrea Ponga – Teacher

Born into a family of dancers, Andrea commenced dance classes at a young age and at the age of 10 she began to concentrate on the ISTD syllabus, studying Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary, and also hip hop and funk.  In 2001, Andrea graduated from the Specialist Dance Program at John Curtin College of the Arts with Honours. She then continued her studies in teacher training and completed her Associate degree in ISTD – Modern Theatre.

Andrea has worked extensively throughout Perth as a dance teacher, both in school environments, and also running her own dance studio for six years. Throughout this period she attended many courses including those offered by Nappy Tabs and Marko Panzic. She is currently a Classical ballet teacher for the Charlesworth Ballet School.

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Rachel Grainger – Teacher

Our gorgeous Miss Rachel commenced dancing at a young age and it has been a major part of her life ever since. She trained in Jazz, Tap & Classical ballet in the RAD and CSTD Syllabus achieving high grades in her examinations.

Rachel competed in dance competitions in her teenage years receiving many awards. She also completed and passed her student teacher’s exam.

After completing Year 12, Rachel attended a short course with the Victorian Theatre Company. She then travelled extensively, obtaining many international dancing contracts throughout the world.

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Zeffie Maynard – Teacher

Zeffie commenced Classical Ballet under the instruction of Terri Charlesworth OAM, CitWA. During her training at Ms Charlesworth’s ballet college, Zeffie was also taught by many international world renowned teachers, including Yuri Vasilkov and Lubov Nikonorenko from the Kirov Vaganova Ballet in Russia, Terri Charlesworth and Kindy Dance Time’s very own Director, Lara Gandini.

A very talented dancer, Zeffie later furthered her dance training by successfully being accepted into the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Advanced Diploma in Dance course. She was chosen by her peers as the most improved student in her graduating year and she continued to study at the academy for another year to successfully complete her Bachelor of Arts. She was taught by many international choreographers and teachers including Kim McCarthy, Diana De Vos, Andries Weidmann, Sue Peacock and Justin Rutzou. During her studies, she was also exposed to numerous styles of dance including Contemporary, Spanish, Character and Improvisation.

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Later, Zeffie danced professionally with the West Australian Ballet in their productions of Giselle, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. She has also performed and helped to create Ashleigh Berry’s 2012 Fringe Festival dance production “Occupied”.

After taking an interest in fitness, Zeffie studied to become a personal trainer completing her Certificate 3 and 4 in Personal Training. She was training over 35 clients a week and taking group fitness classes but dance has always been her passion.

With 10 years teaching experience at different dance schools and high schools across Perth, Zeffie now has two young children of her own. She is an enthusiastic, fun and popular teacher who is thrilled to be able to share her passion for dance with our Kindy Dance Timers!

Shonty Callisto – Teacher

Shonty started commenced dancing as a young child and it has been an important part of her life ever since. She trained in various dance styles, developing a love in particular for Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Acro and Hip Hop.

Shonty participated in numerous dance competitions in and around Perth, while also successfully completing her CSTD and RAD examinations, and continued dancing into her adult years. Her love of working with children lead her to obtain her Cert III and IV in Education Assistance, before beginning her studies at university for her Bachelor of Education degree.

Now married with three beautiful children ages 10, 7 and 3, who all share the same passion and love for dance, Shonty is excited to combine her great passion for education with her love for all aspects of dance as part of the Kindy Dance Time team. We are sure that, with her joy and enthusiasm for dance, Shonty will engage our little dancers and ignite their excitement at exploring the world of dance. We are thrilled to have Shonty join our team, teaching from Term 1 2020!

Kirsty Mead – Teacher

Kirsty fell in love with dancing at a young age. Her Scottish heritage saw her start with Highland Dancing, and later she began training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern through the ISTD Syllabus, achieving Honours in many of her dance examinations and receiving studio awards for Tap. She later moved on to focus on Hip Hop and Contemporary.

As a child Kirsty was selected for elite performance groups and excelled in singing, acting, and musical theatre, alongside her dance training. In her teens she was invited to become a Junior Teacher, following which she spent seven years teaching full-time at various large performance companies and attended University.

Kirsty has a Batchelor of Social Work and specialises in youth and family counselling. Her love for the stage has been fulfilled for the last 12 years fronting popular cover band FLYTE who held residencies at many of Perth’s largest live music venues.

Now a mum of two beautiful babies, her passion for facilitating a love for the arts in children has grown, and she is thrilled to be part of the Kindy Dance Time Team. We are so excited to have Kirsty join our team and we know that our little ones are going to have a ball with her!

Louise Formentin – Teacher

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