Primary Mentors


Douglas Amarfio

Douglas has worked for some of Australia’s leading performing arts companies including Bangarra Dance Theatre, Opera Australia, Australian Dance Theatre, Queensland Arts Council and Darc Swan. See more...

Working with these companies has offered him an enriched and diverse artistic and cultural experience. In recent years his life has been full of teaching, learning and exploring.
Over recent months Douglas has been tracking his childhood experiences in Canberra and piecing together cultural trails. This journey has enriched his connection to Canberra and provided insights on the workings of cultural practice that is connected to a healthier heritage. As well as the role arts played in connecting society to the land and each other. The indigenous cultural sites around Canberra have been significantly undervalued by the community at large over many decades.
The overwhelming realisation is that we have limited cultural experiences or connections and have surrounded ourselves with resources, rather than enriching our culture and identity by utilising those experiences in relation to the surrounding environment. Engaging with the land cannot be undervalued and should never be overlooked, especially when educating our young. See less...

 


Natalie Ayton

Natalie Ayton has been living and working in Australia since 2011, currently working on the DanceED team for Sydney Dance Company running working shops and classes all over Australia. See more...

She also teaches on the Pre-Professional Year course at SDC and most recently worked as Rehearsal Director for their Kids show Crazy Times. Natalie has a passion for contemporary dance and physical theatre drawing from her twenty plus years experience to guide and develop inspiring young artists and dancers.
Credits include: Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures - Swan Lake - World tour, roles include The Girlfriend and Spanish Princess, Retina Dance Company, Random Dance Company, Candoco Dance Company and five years with physical theatre company GECKO. See less...

 


Liz Lea

Liz Lea is a performer, choreographer and producer based in Canberra and NSW after 20 years in Europe, touring internationally. Her speciality is working with classical Indian dance and martial arts. See more...

She has worked with Ranjabati Sircar, Mavin Khoo, the Royal Opera House and English Bach Festival and been commissioned in India, UK, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and USA.
Under her company, Liz Lea Dance, she has created and toured a dozen shows including ‘120 Birds’, ‘Magnificus Magnificus’ inspired by the red tailed black cockatoo for Indigenous dancer Tammi Gissell and ‘Kapture’, inspired by the South African freedom fighter, Ahmed Kathrada.
Liz works with Ausdance ACT a Project Manager for their Escalate and Connexions mentoring programs, both of which launched in 2017. In 2017 she also this year she premiered a new children’s work, Reef UP! at the Canberra Theatre Centre and toured the work in regional Queensland with the Queensland Music Festival. She is also touring to Indonesia and has residencies in Launceston with Tasdance and NSW with Ausdance NSW.
Liz was awarded a 2017 Australian Dance Award for her direction of Great Sport! for Canberra Dance Theatre. As Artistic Director she established the GOLD over 55’s dance company, commissioning 14 internationally recognised choreographers and developing collaborations with major cultural institutions.
Liz runs two Festivals - DANscienCE where dance and science meet and BOLD, celebrating the legacy of dance. She is currently working on two new projects; The Galaxy Project and a one woman show, RED in collaboration with Martin del Amo, Brian Lucas and Vicki van Hout. Forthcoming projects include TRIP and DAIR residencies with Tasdance and Ausdance NSW. RED is due for premier in 2018.
DANscienCE; Moving Well runs between the 31st May – 2nd June, presented by FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres. See less...

 


Caroline Wall

Caroline ‘Leena’ Wall is the Artistic Director of Fresh Funk, Canberra’s original and leading urban dance program, part of the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. See more...

Leena has been dancing and performing for over 25 years. She has a background in classical ballet, jazz and contemporary dance, and was the first to introduce “urban” dance to Canberra, with Fresh Funk offering a fusion of hip-hop, street funk and contemporary dance since its inception in 2000.
Leena has completed an Honours degree in English and Theatre Studies at the ANU as well as her professional Certification in Dance Teaching and Safe Dance Practices from Queensland University of Technology. She has travelled interstate and internationally as a dancer and teacher, training annually in Los Angeles with the biggest names in the urban dance world, such as Matt Steffanina, Willdabeast, Andre Fuentes, and Kyle Hanagami.
Leena also has a long history of involvement with Ausdance, the Australian Choreographic Centre, and Quantum Leap Youth Dance Ensemble. She is an award-winning dancer and tutor, who was nominated for Young Australian of the Year. She is dedicated to providing a supportive and positive experience for dancers, and to her teaching and mentoring. See less...

 

Interstate and International Mentors


Marc Brew


Victoria Chiu


Matt Cornell


Tammi Gissell


Catherine Goss


Paul Knobloch


Fearghus Ó Conchúir


Seeta Patel


Jack Webb