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 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 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 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 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.
Courtney de Meillon
I started ballet classes when I was 6 years old and attained my Advanced 2 Certificate before moving on to receive my Ballet Teaching Certificate through the Royal Academy of Dance, based in London.
I received bronze and silver medals in Latin American exams and moved on to focus on ballroom.
My ballroom dance partner and I have been dancing together for 2 years and we are currently working towards entering competitions at a professional level. We have worked through all the medal exams and we are now able to start competing professionally.
I have qualified numerous times in international dance competitions in various dance styles including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz and show dance.
I represented South Africa at the 2015 Dance World Cup held in Romania where I was placed in ballet and jazz.
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.
Quaid "Flip" Jones
Quaid "Flip" Jones epitomises the spontaneous and creative B-boy.
His specialty focuses on becoming the most sought after B-boy Instructor and Choreographer, since 2007.
His talents extend beyond dance. He is a also a Designer, Videographer, Photographer and Illustrator.
His work includes competing nationally and internationally, teaching and training, as well as choreographing various performances & showcases.
Meegan was born and raised in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa.
She has been dancing since the age of 6 and achieved her Bachelor's in Theology as well as Dance Associate in Hip Hop. She also trained in ISTD ballet, modern, jazz and tap.
She had the wonderful opportunity of being trained by industry professionals such as Pat Gush, Rudi Smit and ‘Twitch’, just to name a few.
Meegan is very passionate about teaching the next generation of dancers and has a unique eye for excellence in her art.
Gemma is the International Dance Organisation's National and International dance champion and title holder in tap, jazz, contemporary, show dance and ballet.
She attended the Russian Ballet Academy of South Africa as well as the Russian School of Ballet trained in the Vaganova ballet technique. She is also an AMTC graduate in the performing arts for acting, singing, dancing and modeling.
Gemma has worked and traveled to Germany and Poland for IDO, India as a dancer for the Indian Premier League IPL and the USA, Orlando Florida to showcase talent for top Hollywood agents, managers and talent scouts.
She says: "My love and passion lies in the entertainment industry and I want to share that fire with the youth of our country as a way to express and succeed in whatever their dreams may be no matter their circumstances or background. A dream to see the Arts defying all odds and traversing race; gender and stereotypical stigmas."