Thames Hauraki Dance Theatre (THDT)
Director – Sarah Fitzsimons ARAD, Ad Dip ABS PDTC and Registered teacher with the RAD, Rambert Grades and NZAMD.

Welcome to Thames Hauraki Dance Theatre – A place for creativity, movement, encouragement and connection, drawing a strong focus to providing an honest and positive environment for children and adults. At THDT we strive to make dance fun, rewarding and a total mind and body experience. Dance classes will focus on improving posture, technique, co-ordination, confidence, musicality, flexibility and strength.


Sarah Fitzsimons ARAD, Ad Dip ABS PDTC and Registered teacher with the RAD and NZAMD Ex Dancer with the Royal Ballet Company in London. My passion is teaching dance in a safe, fun and holistic way. After 12 years as a professional dancer, I have been teaching since 2001 and love to keep learning. My teaching methodology is based on anatomical principles I have learnt through Pilates and GYROTONIC® training as well as 20 years on the staff at the New Zealand School of Dance. A mother of two, I am also trained in massage and Reiki.



Classical Ballet classes follow the Royal Academy Of Dance syllabus from Pre-Primary to Solo Seal. Examinations are optional.

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The Rambert Grades syllabus offers students the opportunity to develop lifelong skills. Rambert Grades encourages young people to own their individuality, be playful, work in a present manner, think independently, relate with others and have confidence in decision making while learning and embodying our three strands, Technique, Performance and Creative.

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Hip Hop is a street style dance originating from the Bronx in New York City in the 1970s. Constantly evolving, it is a free, funky and soulful expression of movement.

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Sarah Fitzsimons ARAD, Ad Dip ABS PDTC

Sarah originally trained in Sydney with Wendy Fallon, Christine Keith, Kim Traynor and Lois Strike before going to the Royal Ballet School in London. An RAD Genée Finalist , she was then offered a place with the Royal Ballet Company at Covent Garden.

Michael McPhee ANZAMD SPD

Michael started learning Ballet and Tap at Draper Academy of Dance at the age of 5, and later also took up Jazz. He now has over 22 years of dance experience and has been teaching for more than 9 years at Draper Academy of Dance, as well as having taught at other dance schools. 

I’had the privilege of being taught by Sarah throughout my three years as a classical ballet major at the New Zealand School of Dance. Sarah is an incredible tutor who cares deeply about each student, and is willing to do whatever she can to help them succeed. She possesses the ability to create a safe space where students feel able to explore their ability and push their limits. Her immense wealth of knowledge from her professional dancing career and extensive teaching experience in combination with her passion for Pilates means she is committed to producing dancers with a strong understanding of correct and safe technique. My time training with Sarah equipped me with the tools to turn my passion and potential into making ballet my career, and I will always regard her as one of the most influential tutors I had in my dance education. I truly believe that the knowledge Sarah shared made all the difference in allowing me to achieve my goal of dancing professionally, and any dancer who is lucky enough to be taught by her will reap the benefits, regardless of whether they want to dance professionally or whether they dance simply for the love of it.

Tessa Karle
Royal New Zealand Ballet

I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Sarah over the past 20 years in her capacity as a Classical Dance Teacher and Pilates/Movement Specialist. She brings her intelligent, knowledgeable, holistic and intuitive skills to these practises.A fantastic team player but also very confident to work independently. Sarah draws from her unique experiences in dance and movement to curate and deliver an exceptional experience. I cannot recommend anyone more highly than her.

Susan Simpson Physiotherapist
NZRPNZ School of Dance Physiotherapist

It’s safe to say my ballet career would have never been possible without Sarah Fitzsimons. Her incredible depth of knowledge in classical technique paired with her understanding of biomechanics/anatomy through dance and pilates creates a safe, educational and inspiring environment for any budding young ballerina/dansuer. Her warmth, vibrant energy and kindness have led to some of my favourite experiences in a ballet studio and I would encourage anyone with a love of ballet and a passion for dance to enrol into a class with her.

Luke Cooper
Royal New Zealand Ballet

Sarah Fitzsimons was my classical ballet and conditioning tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance. She made a huge impression on me due to the way she incorporated anatomical knowledge into her technique classes, her kind and gentle nature and also the way she encouraged a global joy of movement in her teaching.

Sophie Ryan
Dance-Specific Physiotherapist:BHSc (Phty), NZRP, Cred. MDT, Nat. Dip.Dance, Pilates Instructor, CertifiedPBT

I can’t thank Sarah enough for everything she has done for me, from ballet to Gyrotonics/Pilates lessons. She has always had my best interest at heart and has taught me so many things in the past two years that I spent training with her.

Sarah is a caring, passionate, one of a kind teacher who uses her understanding of the human anatomy to help dancers improve safely without risking injury. She inspires everyone around her to dance with her gentle tone and positive attitude.

Annabelle McCarthy