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.
From 1986 Lara was chosen to perform professionally with the Ballet de Monte Carlo and L’Opera de Monte Carlo, performing throughout France and Italy. After settling back in Perth, Lara performed in numerous guest performances in WA, however her dancing career was cut short due to major back injury.
It was a natural progression for Lara to follow in her mother’s footsteps and embark on a dance teaching career. After teaching Classical Ballet to younger age children, she was quickly promoted to Senior Classical Ballet Teacher for elite training programmes including the Graduate College of Dance and later the Junior Professional Course, Charlesworth Ballet Institute and Youth Ballet WA. From 1991 to 1996 Lara was also Assistant Director of the Terri Charlesworth Ballet Centre where she managed the ballet school and expanded it to 12 locations. To this day Lara is a Senior Classical Ballet teacher and examiner for the Charlesworth Ballet Institute and Youth Ballet WA.
With over 25 years of dance teaching experience to children of all ages, Lara has worked very closely alongside her mother Terri. She has had extensive professional development training in Classical Ballet teaching, specialising in the Vaganova method, including international teacher training tours of the Vaganova (Kirov) Ballet Academy in St Petersburg, GITIS Teacher training school in Moscow with Evgeny Valukin, the Hamburg Staatsoper Ballettschule and other leading dance schools throughout Europe. Lara has also attended numerous Vaganova based teacher training courses in Australia including those conducted by Irina Kolpakova and Lubov Nikonenko. Her dance studies have also included teaching methodology, Dalcroze, anatomy studies, music theory, dance history, Laban Movement Analysis, contemporary and creative dance, prevention and care of injuries, and much more.
In 2002, with two young pre-schoolers of her own and recognising her passion for a quality dance programme suited to the early childhood years, Lara undertook the intricate development of the Kindy Dance Time programme and commenced teaching it in WA. In 2004, with a passion to provide a quality dance programme for children aged under five, she became Director. Lara has striven continually to maintain the relevance and wholly intrinsic value of all Kindy Dance Time classes which she passes on to all of the current employed Kindy Dance Time teachers and Franchisees in regular training sessions.
In 2012, Lara welcomed her third child – a daughter – into the world. She continues a teaching role as Senior Classical Ballet for Elite Students at the Charlesworth Ballet Institite and is the Franchisor of Kindy Dance Time. In 2016 Lara was named a finalist in the National AusMumpreneur Awards for Service Business.
Lara shares her joy and passion for the world of dance every week with our little ones at our classes in Mount Hawthorn (Wednesday).
Michelle began dancing as a young child and developed a great love and passion for Jazz, Ballet, Tap dance and music appreciation. She continued to dance for many years and to this day Michelle participates in adult dance classes, recently developing her skills in Zumba, Hip-hop and Latin dance. Her love of the arts also led her to learn and become an accomplished player of the piano and drums. She has performed musically and dramatically throughout the years.
Since joining our team in Victoria in May 2011, Michelle has obtained the Certificate III in Children’s Services and gained valuable experience working as a coordinator/educator of children’s services and supervisor of one Victoria’s largest holiday programmes. She is also currently studying an Applied Science Dip.Ed. (PE Teacher) with a sub-major in Dance and the Performing Arts.
Michelle is a fun loving and energetic person whose love for dance, music, drama and children led her into her dream job of a Kindy Dance Time teacher and now our first franchisee. She has seen first-hand the amazing effect this programme has had on her beautiful daughter and is overjoyed to share the magic with our Kindy Dance Timers! Indeed Michelle has many students who adore her warm and caring personality and her love of teaching. She currently teaches at our Point Cook branch. We love having Michelle as part of our team!
Debbie has danced for most of her life commencing at age six studying Jazz, Classical Ballet and Tap. She continued into adult years performing locally in Victoria. Later, she studied Psychology and obtained her Masters degree.
Debbie comes from a large family and now has four children of her own aged from 8 to 16 years old. Over the years she has attended many and varied dance and music classes as a mother with her own children, which has re-kindled her passion for teaching dance to young children!
Bringing with her a wealth of experience in teaching dance to little ones, Debbie joined the Kindy Dance Time team in 2013 and became our second Victorian franchisee in 2016. Debbie teaches at our Mitcham branch. We are extremely excited to have Debbie as part of the team, sharing both of her passions – children and dance!
Jude 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.
In recent years, Jude developed her dance, music and teaching skills attending Dalcroze workshops taught by, amongst others, Joan Pope OAM. She has extended her repertoire in working with children to include animating children’s parties based around dance, music and fun! Jude also holds a Diploma in Nutrition and is a mother of two grown-up children. Our most experienced teacher, Jude began teaching for Kindy Dance Time in 2005 teaching six days a week and endearing herself to thousands of students. After spending a year off, Jude returned to Kindy Dance Time’s wide-open arms in 2017 and teaches at our Applecross, Floreat, Scarborough, Swanbourne and Hamersley branches!
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, undertaking Royal Academy of Music performance and theory exams to Grade 5 level, orchestral percussion, and has been involved in various choirs and choral societies as a soloist and group singer.
Establishing her career as a Professional Linguist at the Foreign Office in London, Nel also maintained her passion for dance and endeavoured to keep dance as a part of her adult life, regularly attending classes at Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden. Now as a mother of two and having settled in Perth in 2010, she taught and facilitated music sessions for 0-5 year olds, proving to be very popular with children and parents alike, and joined the teaching team of the Charlesworth Ballet School in 2013. We were thrilled to announce in November 2011 that Miss Nel was joining our Kindy Dance Time team. With her warm and engaging personality and oodles of enthusiasm to share her wonderful knowledge and passion for dance and music, she continues to capture the hearts of our gorgeous Kindy Dance Timers at our Maylands and Mt Lawley-Perth College locations!
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 Australian Ballet School. 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.
During her training there in the mid 1990’s Lauren was also selected to perform in many productions including Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and the spectacular Gala performance “Stars of World Ballet” at the Burswood Theatre. She was very fortunate to perform alongside and learn from ballet principals such as Sian Stokes, Steven Heathcote, Jacinta Ross, Alan Alder and Jayne Smeulders.
Lauren’s dance teaching experience spans a varied age group from two to 18 years of age and she also currently teaches for the Charlesworth Ballet School. With two young children of her own Lauren began teaching for Kindy Dance Time in 2012. She has established herself as a very popular teacher, currently at our Bassendean and Kensington branches in WA, and we are so delighted to have Lauren and all of her wonderful experience, passion and dedication on our team.
Born into a family of dancers, Andrea commenced her dance training at the age of 4. At the age of 10, she concentrated 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.
Recently Andrea has taken some time out to experience life as a stay-at-home parent of two young pre-school aged children. This has allowed her to reignite her love of dance and the enjoyment of passing this love onto others. She is energetic, warm and bubbly, and is extremely excited to be a part of the Kindy Dance Time team at our Melville, Canning Vale (Thursday), and Bibra Lake (Friday) locations!
Our gorgeous Miss Rachel commenced dancing when she was just two 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.
In between dancing contracts she worked professionally as a dancer and dance teacher in Perth and performed in corporate and stage shows, major A list events, cabaret and fashion, including being contracted as a West Coast Eagles and Perth Wildcats dancer for over 10 seasons. Rachel has also experienced much work in modelling for TV commercials, print and mixed media shoots.
Now with two young pre-schoolers of her own, Rachel is absolutely thrilled to join the Kindy Dance Time team and share her love and passion for dance with our little ones at Victoria Park, South Perth and Darlington!
Zeffie commenced Classical Ballet under the instruction of Terri Charlesworth OAM, CitWA. Here she was taught by many international world renown 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 Western 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.
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 preschoolers of her own. She is an enthusiastic and fun teacher who can not wait to share her passion of dance with our Kindy Dance Timers! We are so excited to welcome Zeffie on board our team at our East Fremantle branch!
Zita began her dance training as young as 3-years old studying Classical Ballet and hasn’t stopped dancing ever since. She has studied many varied styles including Modern Ballet, Flamenco, Folklore and Argentine Tango. Zita was part of several productions and was asked to perform tango on the famous Plaza Dorrego Square by local musicians. She has just come back from a 3-month sabbatical in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she trained as a tango dancer and teacher.
Zita’s love for children has grown since she had her two boys Alex and Max. She has been active in organising events at their kindergartens and schools, like the annual disco and presentations on cultural events. She has worked as a Personal Assistant after finishing her two masters in languages and has now decided to follow her passion and teach dance full-time. “Teaching children is so rewarding, as you really see the enjoyment and growth in kindergarten-aged kids”, she says. We couldn’t agree more and are so excited to have Zita join our team. She will be sharing her passion for dance with our families at the Doncaster, Balwyn and Doncaster East locations and from Term 1 2020 at our new Canterbury and Kew locations!
Marnie began dancing at the age of 3, with Calisthenics a major personal focus in her younger years. She competed at Championship level for 10 years and also represented her State in the sport. She gradually moved into other forms of dance – initially ballet and jazz classes were just intended to support her Calisthenics training, however, she soon discovered a love and talent for classical ballet in particular.
Over the past 10 years Marnie has been in and out of the ballet studio, balancing a new career as a primary school teacher with family life, but the last 3 years have seen her make a commitment to ballet training at a leading suburban ballet school, and she recently obtained her Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Intermediate certificate. Marnie continues to attend ballet classes each week and enjoys Yoga and Pilates for body conditioning. She works casually as a primary school teacher in special needs settings and enjoys caring for her family, her husband and two children aged 11 and 9.
Since becoming a mother herself, Marnie has delighted in passing on a love of dance and music to her own children, as well as the special needs students she teaches. She is very excited about watching the growth and development of our Kindy Dance Timers as they explore and have fun within the wonderful world of dance at Malvern, Beaumaris and Brighton in 2020!
Shonty started dancing when she was just two years old 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 at our Duncraig and Helena Valley locations.
Kirsty fell in love with dancing at the age of three. Her Scottish heritage saw her start with Highland Dancing, then at age four 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 at our Mount Hawthorn (Monday) & North Perth (Thursday & Saturday) locations!
Chrissie’s love for dancing began when she was teeny tiny, dancing around in the living room at home. At the age of five she started her ballet training and then later moved into jazz and contemporary. Originally from Hobart, she performed in many concerts and eisteddfods all over Tasmania and that is where her passion for the arts grew. In 2009 she graduated from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Musical Theatre and then moved to Sydney to pursue more opportunities. She has worked in television, film and theatre all over Australia and the UK. She is also a children’s entertainer and performs regularly with the children’s music group, The Party Pirates.
Most recently she has been living in the UK, where she was working in London and Manchester performing in the immersive theatre production, Dinosaurs in the Wild. She is back in Australia now and very excited to start teaching with Kindy Dance Time. Chrissie adores working with children and is looking forward to sharing the joy of dance with you all. We’re thrilled to have Chrissie join our team at our Essendon – St John’s and Caroline Springs locations.
Pic & bio coming soon!