ARAD, Ad Dip ABS PDTC, Registered teacher with the RAD and NZAMD, Ex Dancer 

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. She performed in works by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir David Bintley, Sir Frederick Ashton and many other prolific choreographers, as well as touring throughout the UK and the United States.

She later moved in to contemporary dance with Darc Swan Dance Company and then to musical theatre as a cast member of the Australian production of “Phantom of the Opera” and as Assistant Choreographer for the South African production.

A passion for teaching led her to complete the Australian Ballet School’s Advanced Diploma of Teaching and receive RAD teacher registration. Sarah taught in Sydney at the McDonald College and Brent Street Studios before becoming a full time classical tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance. To complement her teaching, Sarah trained as a Pilates instructor and also became a Licensed GYROTONIC® Trainer.

During her 20 years at the school, Sarah taught classical technique, Pointe, Repertoire, bio-mechanical coaching, injury rehabilitation, rehearsed Graduation pieces and coached students for competitions. She has provided rehabilitation for the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, conducted highly successful “Tools for Teachers” Seminars throughout NZ and has taught many dancers who have gone on to successful careers both here in NZ and overseas.

Since 2020 Sarah has also been a faculty member of Chilton Ballet Academy inWellington assisting the majority of students to be accepted in to full-time dance training both here in NZ and overseas.



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. In 2019 he took over the LeeJarvis School of Dance (now Attitude NZ School of Dance) in Paeroa and has been working closely with the Thames Hauraki Ballet Theatre since 2020.

Michael has been very fortunate to lean from and work with many experianced dancers and dance teachers. Some of these include Heida Yarr, Sonia & Leon Draper, Monique Chappell, Kirsty Hill, Anne Ditchburn, Martin James, Pauline Germon and Sarah Fitzsimons. He has also attended Master Classes with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company and worked on choreography for competitions and Musical Theatre productions.

In 2015 Michael achieved his Level 4 Diploma in Imperial Classical Ballet through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and in 2019 he achieved a Gold Award for Level 13 in the Glenn Wood Tap syllabus. Michael became an Associate of the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance in 2017 after gaining his Advanced Two Diploma in American Jazz and then gained a Solo Performance Diploma forJazz in 2018. He is now also a Registered Teacher of NZAMD.


ARAD (Solo Seal) 

Former Principal Dancer Royal NZ Ballet.  Registered teacher RAD and NZAMD.

Former tutor NZ School of Dance, Mt Eden Ballet Academy, Auckland Academy of Dance and 22 years as Director of Thames Hauraki Ballet Theatre.  Classical Coaching Tutor and Adjudicator.


Renee has loved dancing since she could walk, starting formal lessons at the age of 4 in Ballet. Quickly extending those to include Tap and Jazz. She then spent the next 16 years performing, entering competitions and sitting exams to Advanced level. Renee went on to teach Tap dancing for 3 years while completing her Bachelors of Education. 

She has since spent the past 20 or so years teaching in primary schools in New Zealand and the UK. Dance however was always part of her life, be it through teaching creative dance in the classroom or training dance groups in her lunchtimes to compete at school competitions. In more recent years Renee has spent time learning Ballroom dance and Hip Hop while raising her two children (Charlie 9 and Chloe 13). She has enjoyed teaching Hip Hop in Thames for the past 2 and a half years and is very excited to be joining THDT and be able to continue offering children a chance to give dance a go in a relaxed, supportive environment.