Our Rock Star Team

Simone Mann

Simone Mann

Artistic Director

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Tonia Kelly

Tonia Kelly

Head Ballet Teacher

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Justin Mann

Justin Mann

Co Director/Head of Admin

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Tennealle Johnson-Roll

Tennealle Johnson-Roll

RAD Ballet Teacher

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Adele Kahler

Adele Kahler

Teacher/Choreographer

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Courtney Riddle

Courtney Riddle

Head Preschool Program Team Leader

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Chloe King

Chloe King

Head Acrobatics & Tumbling Coach

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Chelsea Pearson

Chelsea Pearson

Dramatic Arts Head Teacher

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Haley Hawkins

Haley Hawkins

Ready Set Dance Teacher

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Hayden-Cambpell

Hayden Campbell

Head of Tap Department

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Karen-Ann Thomas

Karen-Ann Thomas

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Simone Mann

Simone Mann

Artistic Director

My story, my journey

I started dancing at the age of 2 and by 4 years old I was hooked. All I ever spoke about was dancing, how much I loved to dance and the love I had for my teachers. That's when I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I wanted to teach the art of dance and be the very best teacher I could ever be.

In 1991 Simone’s School of Performing Arts was born and that passion for dance still lives with in me today. The passion of wanting to teach children to be the very best they can be, the passion to see our studio always performing at number one and the passion and joy on our students faces when they achieve a step they have been working so hard on.

I created Simone’s School of Performing Arts because I wanted to make a strong impact on the dance world. I wanted to show my love of dance not only in teaching but teaching great and unique choreography to children of all ages and levels.

I feel like I have been so blessed to be a part of so many amazing, beautiful children’s lives.

I was so lucky to grow up in an amazing studio myself, with my training and mentors being none other than Glenda Yee and Lee Windon, these two extraordinary dance coaches inspired me to be the very best I could be and still do to this day. I trained in every style of dance and the performing arts including singing and drama. Qualified and trained in the syllabus of R.A.D, F.A.T.D & A.T.O.D. learning Jazz, Broadway Jazz, Commercial Jazz, Hip Hop, Funk, Tap, Street Tap, Classical Ballet, Lyrical and Contemporary.

I have won over 65 choreography awards and worked with music producers in America, choreographing and training the all-girls band the “Six Flavours”.

My extent of training has lead me to train and grow very successful dancers in my own studio.

Simone’s School of Performing Arts is recognised for their love and passion in the dance world.

This studio is my life, my baby, my everything.

Simone Mann xx

Tonia Kelly

Tonia Kelly

Head Ballet Teacher

Profile

Tonia has an extensive background in the dance industry which spans over 3 decades.

After graduating from the Australian Ballet School, she spent 11 years with the Sydney Dance Company under the direction of Graeme Murphy AM.

Following an extensive performing career, Tonia has spent the past 25 years coaching vocational and recreational students in classical ballet, choreographing producing and directing productions for many dance schools and for the education sector.

Tonia is a registered RAD teacher and Mentor for the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies. She is also involved in teaching ballet to mature age students from beginner to intermediate level with her classes ‘Inner Ballerina’.

Qualifications

  • Principal Dancer, Sydney Dance Company
  • Diploma Australian Ballet School
  • ARAD Solo Seal
  • RAD RTS ( Dist )
  • RAD CBTS Mentor
  • Cert IV, Visual Arts
  • Diploma, Creative Visual Arts - Interior Design

Experience

Graduate Australian Ballet School - 1979
Sydney Dance Company - 1980-1991
Classical Ballet Company Class - Darc Swan Dance Company Sydney - 1991-1993
Classical Ballet Teacher Rosalie Lane Studio - 1991-1993
Classical Ballet Teacher and Choreographer Dynamite Dance Studio (David Atkins and Sheree Da Costa) - 1991-1996
Choreographer various school musicals Loquat Valley Preparatory School Bayview - 2000-2005
Classical Ballet Teacher Sydney Festival Ballet - 2004-2007
Classical Ballet Teacher Barker Dance Studio - 2011-2017
Classical Ballet Teacher Lamont Dance Theatre - 2012-2014
Classical Ballet Teacher Dynamite Premiere Academy - 2014-present
Inner Ballerina adult ballet classes Newport - 2012-present

Chloe King

Chloe King

Head Acrobatics & Tumbling Coach

Chloe has been training in dance since the age of 3 and fell in love with Acrobatics and Tumbling at the age of 12. She has completed 3 years of Full-time study completing her Cert III, IV and Diploma of Dance. Chloe recently completed her Cert III in Fitness and is now currently a Trainer at All Sorts Fitness Wyong. Chloe has been a successful soloist since the age of 8 years old and has grown to achieve many accomplishments including but not limited to;

  • Featured Aerialist for the launch of the new Porsche Panamera in Singapore
  • Featured Aerialist on New Year's Eve for the Lord Mayors Ball at the Sydney Opera House
  • Performed at Disneyland and Universal Studios USA
  • Dance and Acrobatics performances at the Central Coast Mariners Soccer games
  • Awards in Dance Eisteddfods for both groups and solos
  • Dance Performances at the Sydney Opera house
  • Professionally trained by a Russian Olympic coach - Vadzim Paliashchuk

Quote “I’m looking forward to working with you all and cannot wait to be a part of your growth and success as a performer”

Adele Kahler

Adele Kahler

Teacher/Choreographer

Adele Kahler joined the SSOPA team in Feb 2017 after moving to the Central Coast from Sydney and she couldn’t be happier! From her first class at SSOPA the student’s work ethic and commitment to dance completely blew her away. She knew she had to work with these kids! Not only are the SSOPA students fierce, young dancers with superb training, they are also some of the nicest kids on the coast. Adele loves being welcomed each week by their contagious energy and charisma. She loves that they can work incredibly hard as a team yet they each have something unique to bring to the studio.

At 27 years of age Adele has lived and breathed dance all her life. With her creative flare, fine eye for detail and her many years of experience to back her, she is a choreographer/teacher not to be missed. Adele has successfully choreographed many winning pieces for competitive dance studios, fulltime courses and high schools all over Sydney and the Central Coast.

Before delving into the teaching/choreography side of things Adele enjoyed a very successful career as a dancer. She completed all her training at Brent Street Performing Arts where she studied all styles of dance, singing and acting. Her high school years were completed through Brent Street’s selective performing arts high school. Adele then went on to fulltime completing Brent Streets Fulltime classical/contemporary course mentored by Sarah Boulter. To finish off her training Adele successfully received her certificate 5 in performing arts. After graduating in 2008 Adele was lucky enough to work and perform alongside some industry greats such as: Macy Gray, Kaz James, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Tina Arena, Kelly Rowland, Toni Lamond, John Paul Young, Guy Sebastion, Paulini and Olivia Newton John. Adele has appeared on various television shows, video clips, movies, charity events and corporate functions. She also performed numerous times on the Kerri Anne Kennelly Morning Show, Sunrise, MTV, Nickelodeon and FOX 8. In 2012 Adele spread her wings into the contemporary world where she worked with some renowned Australian contemporary choreographers including: Narrelle Benjamin, Mike Van Loon, Kay Armstrong, Marnie Palomares and Anton. In 2016 Adele wished to broaden her knowledge of the mind and body by completing her yoga teacher training through ‘Santosha yoga’ in Indonesia.

On her return she launched her business ‘Lokah Creative’ with a vision to inspire and empower young people going through difficult times through a creative blend of dance, yoga, mindfulness and creative projects. Adele’s latest project saw her direct, choreograph and dance in the film clip ‘Demons’ by one of Central Coast’s leading bands The Sea Gypsies. Adele was featured in Dolly magazine in a yoga role model for teen’s series which focused on mental, physical health and body issues faced by young girls. As a qualified yoga practitioner Adele has introduced yoga in the workplace to many businesses and is grateful to be Central Coast Council’s go to yoga teacher.

With her colourful background Adele makes for an amazing teacher and mentor for the students of SSOPA. She is not only passionate about educating her students in quality dance training, she also genuinely cares about each child’s personal development not just as dancers but as a people. She hopes to empower her students and teach them lessons to carry on throughout life and not just on stage.

Courtney Riddle

Courtney Riddle

Head Preschool Program Team Leader

Courtney is highly experienced in teaching our littlest performers, her bubbly, exciting personality is contagious and the kids enjoy every class. Courtney herself started dancing at Simone’s School of Performing Arts at a very young age, she is a mummy of 2 and a local primary school teacher where she also teaches in the school dance program. Her extensive experience in teaching and junior interaction is what makes our “Ready Set Dance” program so much fun and a great starting block for any dance journey. Courtney’s experience allows her to recognise the individual growth of each child ensuring that all students get the most out of their classes and no student is left behind.

Haley Hawkins

Haley Hawkins

Ready Set Dance Teacher

Haley encourages and inspires her students in a nurturing and fun environment. Haley is a mother of 3 and has many years of dance teaching experience, she understands that all children progress and evolve in many different ways.

Haley’s classes are educational, energetic and LOTS of fun!

The most rewarding part for Haley is when the students accomplish that little step they have been trying so hard to get right, she enjoys watching the progression of her dancers each week.

Haley has been a member of Simone’s School of Performing Arts for over 14 years and together with both her daughters they continue to train with their large dance family at the studio they love!

Justin Mann

Justin Mann

Co Director/Head of Admin

Justin has been a big part of Simone's School of Performing Arts since 2000. With extensive experience in business management Justin is instrumental in the day to day running of the studio and "behind the scenes" operations such as organising costumes, uniforms, music, programming, ensuring all students are well looked after and so much more. His passion for Dance and The Performing Arts is easy to see and his support for the students, their families and staff is second to none. Our beautiful studios, our sprung floors, our sound proof vocal room and waiting areas were all built by Justin. Simone's School of Performing Arts is a well-oiled machine thanks to the organised mind of Justin Mann, another reason SSOPA is "The Place to Dance"

Tennealle Johnson-Roll

Tennealle Johnson-Roll

RAD Ballet Teacher

Tennealle Johnson-Roll began her dance training at the young age of 3. Her love of dance soon blossomed under the training at Warringah Performing Arts School where she learnt all styles of dance from ballet to contemporary and jazz through to acrobatics and musical theatre.

She began her full time training in classical ballet in 2007 at Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy before gaining a Diploma in Dance Performance in 2008 at the National College of Dance under the direction of Marie Walton-Mahon.

In 2009 Tennealle moved overseas to further her studies in Contemporary Dance. She gained a Bachelor of Dance Performance (Honours) in 2011 at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and was lucky enough to be able to tour new contemporary dance pieces choreographed by Tom Dale, Joan Cleville and Gary Clarke around the UK. She also performed with Underhand Dance Theatre at Dublin Dance Festival in Ireland and on the BBC as part of a TV series ‘Dannsa Beo’.

That same year she received a full scholarship to attend the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Over the course of a year she worked on a thesis regarding pre-performance rituals and their effects on performance- experimenting on a group of dancers on the physical and psychological benefits and restrictions of having a specific warm up routine. She obtained her Masters in Dance Performance in 2012.

Tennealle was chosen to be one of 12 dancers in Transitions Dance Company, which during 2012 travelling through the UK and Europe performing new works created by Martin Nachbar, Shang-Chi Sun and Hubert Essakow. During this time the company facilitated many workshops with dance students during their tour, which sparked Tennealle’s interest in dance teaching. She also had the pleasure of touring around venues in London as part of Tom Bowes Dance Company.

She moved back to Sydney in 2013 and began teaching RAD Ballet and Contemporary full-time to both part-time and full-time students. She has choreographed works for both national and international competitions, helped in the creation of national and international audition reels and taken many students through their RAD Ballet Exams since being back in Australia. Having attained up to and including her own Advanced 2 RAD Ballet examinations, it is a pleasure for her to teach many RAD levels from Pre-Primary up to and including Advanced 2.

She has also been fortunate enough to work with adult students at college level- choreographing and facilitating both ballet and contemporary assessments for Certificate 3, Certificate 4 and Advanced Diploma level students.

In 2015 she was commissioned to choreograph a contemporary dance piece titled ‘That Dog’ on dancers of the Stella Maris Dance Company in Sydney.

Since stumbling upon teaching in 2012, Tennealle has fallen in love with helping students to acquire new skills as well as raise their belief in themselves. There is nothing better for her than coaching students both physically and mentally to reach their goals and seeing their improvement. Tennealle has a vast experience in teaching students from the ages of 3 to mid-twenties and everything in between. She would love to mentor your child to reach their full potential!

Chelsea Pearson

Chelsea Pearson

Dramatic Arts Head Teacher

Chelsea has been singing with Gail Beaman for 10 years. She completed her HSC at St Peters Catholic College, doing three majors music, dance and drama, placing first in music and second in drama. In 2016 Chelsea placed 1st in both the Musical Theatre and Pop Vocal sections at the Central Coast Singing Eisteddfod. She was awarded the “Senior Singer of the Year” for 2016 at the “Gail Beaman Showcase” and completed her Musical Theatre singing exam with exceptional results. Chelsea has been doing drama since she was 4 years old. She was at Xtract Wyong drama group for 4 years and has also done 2 years of drama training with Celeste Barber and Pippa Grandison. Chelsea did Drama at school for 4 years with Ruth Crawley, coming first with her Year 11 Drama Monologue that she then performed in the “Youth in Performing Arts” (YIPA) in 2016, she also performed Pop Vocal in 2017 at YIPA.

Chelsea has been involved with commercials and was an extra in a movie. Musical theatre is Chelsea’s thing, she has been involved in 26 musicals at Gosford Musical Society and Laycock Street (GMS) and 4 outside of GMS, performing in 17 shows and working backstage for 13. Chelsea has played roles such as "Skylar" in “Bring it On” 2017, "Audrey" in “Little Shop of Horrors” 2017, "Lena Marelli" in “Bugsy Malone” 2011 and was “Dance Captain” in “Footloose” 2015. Chelsea was Assistant Stage Manager for “Peter Pan” 2017 and received her Cert III in Entertainment through her school.

Chelsea has been involved in many styles of dance since the age of 2 such as; Tap, Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Broadway Jazz, Musical Theatre, Cheerleading, Acrobatics and Breakdancing. Chelsea loves the performing arts and is extremely excited to be able to teach her passion and knowledge for musical theatre, singing and acting to her students and allow them to become a step closer to achieving their dreams.

hayden-campbell

Hayden Campbell

Head of Tap Department

Hayden Campbell has been teaching all over Sydney for ten years, constantly striving to give her students everything they need for a career in the performing arts.

Growing up herself dancing at Dynamite PA in Newport, Hayden has danced all over the world throughout her career.

After studying at Brent Street to gain her Cert IV in performing arts, she was offered a contract to dance in many Bollywood Films in India. After this she then worked in Singapore, performing in cabarets, live corporate shows and night club productions.

Not long after completing this contract, Hayden travelled to Europe to take up an offer performing with the cast of the cruise ship MSC Musica, dancing in many shows aboard the boat.

Following this, Hayden then returned to India for Bollywood once again, before signing a 14-month contract with Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey circus in the USA as a dancer and aerialist. This contract saw her working with well renowned choreographers Michael Schwandt, Preston Mui and Oskar Rodriguez, performing in over 50 different American cities in some of the biggest arenas and theatres in the country.

Making several tv appearances for news stations and tv advertising, she also was given the opportunity to dance in the opening of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago.

Hayden now divides her time between performing and teaching. She is a regular cast member for shows by Entertainment Works Australia and freelances doing music videos and live shows.

Hayden is back to share her knowledge and passion with many students, Hayden looks forward to giving the children inspiration and something to challenge them and help them grow.

She believes in teaching a strong work ethic and feels it’s important to encourage creativity and the arts in young people, giving them a skill that can flow into so many other aspects of life.

Karen-Ann Thomas

Karen-Ann Thomas

Karen—Ann began her dance training at age 2 1/2 and during her formative years trained in Classical ballet, Jazz and Musical Theatre, Tap, Contemporary, Highland and Irish dance as well as Vocal and Speech. Completing exams in B.B.O ballet, jazz and tap as well as same in E.D.T.A (Education in Dance and Theatre Arts), Karen– Ann then moved to Newcastle from regional N.S.W to complete her R.A.D ballet (Advanced 2) and D.E.S National Character Exams under the full– time supervision of the renowned Tess Maunder O.A.M. She then moved on to be coached for Solo Seal by Marie Walton-Mahon R.A.D examiner, founder Progressing Classical Technique.

After a professional career, which spanned dance companies including Sydney City Ballet, Tas Dance, and the West End Dance Co– where she had several lead roles; Prelude in Les Sylphides as well as soloist roles created on her by prestigious choreographers of the time, including the ‘Soothsayer’ in Cleopatra. Karen-Ann returned to Sydney/ Newcastle where she founded her first dance studio –Dance Image Studios, as well as a Cabaret production show– ‘Shattered Image”, to great success.

Karen-Ann then went on to open another studio—Kicks—and continued her freelance choreographic career with both professional theatre productions and workshops for other dance studios within N.S.W and Q.L.D. In 2009 Karen-Ann bought Belmont Dance Centre in partnership, where she continued to teach, choreograph and foster new talent.

Former students-have been accepted into Australian Ballet School, WAPPA, NIDA, (Musical Theatre), London Studio Centre as well as various other full time dance courses. She has had finalists in both the McDonald’s Ballet Scholarship and the Adeline Genee Awards. Her students have gained contracts with Queensland Ballet, Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company and Houston Ballet. Karen-Ann has also trained and produced students that have performed in the West End productions of Mary Poppins, We Will Rock You, Wicked and West Side Story. In the Australian productions of Bring It On, Matilda and Priscilla, as well as the Broadway production of Wicked, in 2017. One of her former students was the lead in the West End Production of Jersey Boys, another- one of the four original Billy Elliots in the Australian production of the same name. She has had several students gain contracts with Moulin Rouge, Paris, as well as one who was a lead dancer in Baz Luhrmann’s movie –Moulin Rouge. Former students have had successful careers in theatre and cabaret productions in Japan, Barcelona, Monaco, China and Singapore as well as on cruise ship lines such as Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Holland- American. They have also enjoyed dance contracts in both Paris and Tokyo Disney (2017 and 2018) and Shanghai and Hong Kong Disney (2018-2019. (All student’s names supplied upon request).

Karen-Ann’s current students enjoy ongoing success at many dance competitions, consistently winning solo sections, championships and scholarships as well as troupe awards. Belmont Dance Centre is one of the Hunter regions most successful studios within the competitive arena, consistently winning Best Troupe awards for mini, small and large troupes as well as Best choreography, costume or “Ultimate” troupe. Three times Karen-Ann’s troupes have received a perfect 100% mark.

Karen-Ann looks forward to watching and encouraging all the many young and talented dancers at this Dance challenge!

“The role of competition is not to win a prize or beat a rival but to pace one another along the road to perfection”

This is a place to be motivated to achieve your goals, to strive for excellence, to make friends forever and always call SSOPA your family.

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