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...

 


Catherine Goss

Catherine is currently an independent teacher, rehearsal director, mentor and movement coach, based in Sydney. See more...

Prior to 2013 Catherine held Artistic positions with a variety of Companies. Catherine was Associate Artistic Director of West Australian Ballet from 2005-2007. As Rehearsal Director, she has worked with Bangarra Dance Theatre (2003–2004 and again from 2009–2012: including Bush, Fire, About, ID, Spirit,Warumuk, with Australian Ballet, and Terrain), TasDance, Sydney Dance Company (Underland/Mercury/2 One Another) and Tanja Liedtke’s Construct for the 2009 tour. She also held the position of Assistant to the Director of Australian Dance Theatre (2002). Before returning to Australia in February 2009, she was interim Ballet Mistress for Introdans in The Netherlands.
Catherine’s performance career include Soloist with Royal New Zealand Ballet, Graeme Murphy’s Sydney Dance Company (1991-1993 and 1996-1999), Reflexdansgezelschap (Netherlands) and choreographic developments at The Chorographic Centre (Canberra) with Cheryl Haezelwood and Liz Lea. She also performed and collaborated in numerous projects in the UK and Netherlands. Catherine’s formative years of dance training were in Canberra under the guidance of Janet Karin and Bryan Lawrence. She graduated from Victorian College of the Arts in 1986 with a Diploma of Performing Arts under the guidance of Anne Woolams.
Catherine has been guest teacher for a number of companies both nationally and internationally, including Royal New Zealand Ballet, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Introdans and many training institutions and schools throughout Australia. She was a panel member on the WA Ausdance committee and has held positions on both the Australian Dance Awards (curatorial panel and voting member) and is Deputy Chair of Dance and Physical Theatre panel of the Helpmann Awards.
She holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110). She is a regular teacher at Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Dance Company. Catherine also teaches at a variety of training institutions around Sydney including Sydney Dance Company Open Classes, Village on Broadway, UNSW and Studio Tibor. She also currently teaches Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease) under the banner of Mark Morris Dance Company (USA).
Catherine was awarded the Centenary Federation Medal for Services to Dance in 2003. She was the recipient of an Australia Council Grant for Skills and Development in 2008 and traveled throughout Europe. See less...

 


Liz Lea

Liz Lea is a performer, choreographer and producer based in Canberra and NSW. Based in Europe for 20 years Liz worked for the Royal Opera House, Ranjabati Sircar, Imlata, Sankalpam, English National Opera and English Bach Festival. See more...

Her speciality is working with classical Indian dance and martial arts as a solo practitioner. She has been commissioned in India, UK, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and USA. Under her company, Liz Lea Dance, she has created ‘120 Birds’, ‘Magnificus Magnificus’, ‘Kapture’ and ‘InFlight’.
From her residency with CSIRO, she inaugurated the DANscienCE Festival (Canberra 2013), a meeting of thought leaders across the dance and science communities. The Festival was picked up by QUT (Brisbane 2015) and a host venue will soon be announced for 2017. Liz directed Canberra Dance Theatre for 7 years, commissioning 14 internationally recognised choreographers and developing collaborations with major cultural institutions including the NLA, NFSA, NPG, NMA and NGA.
Liz has over 20 years experience working with dancers with Special Needs and is keen to develop equal opportunities for dancers of all abilities. Most recently she worked with Canberra Dance Theatre’s CDTeens, commissioning four different international artists to work with them. She is also working on Belconnen Arts Centre’s forthcoming Ignite Program, teaches for their Room To Move and Feel the Music programs.
In 2016 Lea has undertaken a Responsive Residency with Critical Path, created a film with SCREEN ACT funding, curated Ausdance ACT’s Dance Week Festival participated in ‘Strange Attractor’, performed with the Australian Dance Party and Canberra Symphony Orchestra and toured her two children’s science and dance shows to Queensland.
Liz is currently developing two new projects; ‘The Galaxy Project’ with Mt Stromlo Observatory and ANU and ‘RED’, a one-woman show with solos commissioned from Martin del Amo, Kate Denborough, Vicki van Hout, and Brian Lucas. 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


Paul Knobloch


Fearghus Ó Conchúir


Seeta Patel


Jack Webb