Teachers / Creators
KJ Studios searches far and wide to find the best teachers, choreographers and creators to lead the way and facilitate a safe and naturing platform for the performing arts.
Kelsey has a huge passion for all things creative...Movement has always been a big part of her life and something she believes is very important throughout all walks of the world.
Growing up in New Zealand, Kelsey danced from a very young age and moved to Australia in 2011 to pursue her love of dance. After completing her two year full time course—and gaining a scholarship in her second year—Kelsey went on to sign with a Melbourne Agency and begin dancing on various international tours, performing and travelling around the world for 4 years, living in Mexico, America and the Caribbean (just to name a few) during this time.
Kelsey has a passion for choreography, and in between tours in 2013 she choreographed ‘Seussical the Musical’ for ‘OCPAC Theatre company’ in Melbourne. Seussical did a repeat season for the ‘Melbourne International Comedy Festival’ in 2014, gaining her a nomination for the Melbourne ‘Lyrebird awards’ for her Choreography. Kelsey also Choreographed the Tauranga stage show of the NZ regional tour of 'Mamma Mia!' in 2016, and Co-Choreographed 'Rock of Ages' in 2017 for Tauranga Musical Theatre.
Kelsey believes in the world of Dance and creative arts and the opportunities to make a professional career within this sector. She is passionate about teaching, choreography and sharing the arts with as many people as she can. She immerses herself in all things creative arts to keep herself inspired, current, innovate and artistic, she likes to encourage her Students to find what is unique about them and their style and to empower creativity and individuality within her classes.
Hannah - Musical Theatre & Tap
Hannah Spedding holds a Bachelor of Arts in musical theatre after graduating the National Academy of Dramatic Art, (NASDA) in 2013.
Since graduating, she has been working professionally in the industry working for various different theatre companies including The Court Theatre, (Christchurch), and Ben McDonald productions. Some credits include: The Mikado, Mary Poppins, Waiora, (the Court Theatre), South Pacific, HMS Pinafore, Grease, (Ben McDonald).
Her career highlight would be playing the role of Sandy in the National Tour of Grease late last year. She has always had a passion for dance since she began when she was 4. She loves to teach and is loving her current job of choreographing Tauranga Musical Theatre production of Mary Poppins.
Kaya - Ballet
Raised in the Bay of Plenty, Kaya started dancing at the age of seven. Her passion for dance grew and for several years competed in competitions. She continued to dance through her schooling years, completed her solo seal exam in both Ballet and Jazz.
Kaya started teaching dance classes while still at school. The passion for seeing young children grow and work towards their full potential is what keeps Kaya inspired and motivated to teach. This passion for seeing children’s potential continued as she went on to complete her Bachelor degree of Education in Early Childhood Education.
Dance is a way of expressing oneself though movement and actions rather than words, she hopes that she can share her love and knowledge of dance with many student in the years to come.
Michelle - Ballet
Dance has been a part of Michelle's life for the past 35 years. She started ballet at aged 7 in Auckland and worked her way though her Royal Academy of Dance examinations, also successfully dancing at competitions during this time. After a few years back in her late teens she realised dance was such a huge part of her life that she couldn't be without it a started jazz classes, successfully gaining her higher levels of JDNZ- all with distinction!
After teaching for a large Auckland based dance school for 10 years the opportunity rose fo Michelle to purchase a small, existing dance school- an opportunity she jumped at! To be able to share her knowledge and passion with her own students was just amazing and after 2 years Michelle Lucca School of Dance had grown and was offering classes in most dance Genres and competition work!
2 years ago Michelle and her family made the decision for a 'change of pace' and moved down to Tauranga- which KJ Studios is very happy about! Michelle is throughly enjoying teaching again and feels the most gratifying part of teaching dance is seeing the smiles on students faces and guiding students to set goals, work to attain them all while building self confidence in knowing they can achieve anything they set their minds to. We are very lucky to have Michelle and her amazing knowledge and expertise in Ballet on our teaching staff!
Jess - PBT Ballet
Jess has been dancing since the age of 3 and has been passionate about the art of movement ever since. With 17 years of dance education under her belt, she has studied a wide variety of genres including ballet, hip hop, jazz, and national character and in her earlier years competed at a high level throughout the North Island.
After completing her Advanced exams, Jess went on to gain her qualification in Sports Massage Therapy, with a focus on human anatomy. She then took up a post teaching a range of dance styles, putting her multidisciplinary education to use for 5 years before taking a break to start a family. Now back in the dance industry, she is more passionate about dance than ever.
Jess’ most satisfying moment as a teacher is watching her students finally accomplish something they have been working hard at. She also makes a particular effort to ensure they understand the muscular biomechanics of dance. She loves using dance to create a story through movement and using this to connect emotionally with an audience. Jess is excited to see what her future with KJ Studios will bring!
Nicky - Acro, Hip Hop & Commercial.
Nicky has been dancing from the age of 12 and though it just started as a hobby it quickly turned into a love a lifelong pursuit for her. Nicky competed in many regional and national competitions and was nominated for PACZNA Young Performer of the Year award. She also spent some time on the find as a Bay of Plenty steamers cheerleader. Nicky travel to America to compete in the Nationals ‘Starpower’ competition in which she gain insightful experience into the big world of dance overseas. She continued her dance career and moved to Melbourne (Australia) learning and living for two years whilst completing her degree in Dance & Performing Arts. Nicky is now the proud Mum of a little baby girl and loves to share her experience from within the arts to her students. She is a skilled Acro teacher and also loves choreographing Hip Hop, Jazz and Contemporary styles.
Claire - Contemporary
Claire was born and raised in Tauranga, New Zealand where she studied dance from a young age. In her final year of high school, she passed her RAD advanced two ballet exam with distinction, received scholarship nominations in both her NZAMD Contemporary and Jazz exams and performed in Auckland as part of The New Zealand Dance company’s youth company. In 2012, Claire moved to Wellington and studied full time as a contemporary dance major at the New Zealand school of dance. During this time she trained under local and international choreographers including: Ross McCormack, Sarah-foster Sproull and Claire O’Neil. Following this, Claire moved to Auckland where she trained to be a speech-language therapist while continuing to teach dance, take classes and preform as a freelance dancer. In her spare time Claire takes an interest in dance film and has produced experimental dance films which have been screened in galleries overseas and in New Zealand. Claire has been lucky enough to previously teach at KJ as a guest and is now super excited to be coming on board as a permanent teacher!
Summer - Hip Hop & Junior Jazz
Summer started as a student at the Dance house at 15 years old, coming to a Hip Hop class once a week. After winning the Dance House award and being put onto a scholarship she decided to start taking on more classes, and now we are lucky enough to have Summer with us as a teacher!
She is a creative choreographer and dancer, with her incredible musicality and work ethic. She has taken the time to discover her own unique style- Making sharp and stylish dances is Summers forte. You'll always catch Summer in the studios coming up with new and inspirational choreography!
Summer enjoys teaching all age groups and loves seeing students get excited about dancing and having fun in class! Moving and creating has always been a major part of her life and she can’t imagine her life without Dance!