Tonia’s love of dance stems from watching Musical theatre productions in her hometown of Ballarat. She commenced Jazz ballet classes at the age of 10 and went on to learn Classical Ballet (RAD), contemporary and tap from age 13. Throughout her high school years she performed in school and community productions, as well as competing in eisteddfods and completing VCE dance. After moving to Melbourne in 2003 to attend La Trobe University, Tonia searched for a way to continue her love of dancing. In 2007 she started Street & Ballroom Latin tuition, learning the basics in a range of Latin styles. Her focus has since been on learning and performing Latin dance styles whenever time permits! Her favourite Latin styles are Salsa (L.A. & Cali styles) and Reggaeton (Latin hip hop), though she has learnt Zouk Lambada, Cha Cha, Tango & Bachata along the way. Flare Dance Company is just what Tonia has been looking for, combining a sense of community together with an opportunity to share with others her passion for dance.
Stefanie completed a Certificate II in Dance Performance course in 2012 and is currently studying towards her Certificate IV in Dance Teaching. Her favourite styles are ballet, contemporary, lyrical and commercial/urban hip hop. She believes dancers are artists and storytellers, and she is excited to be a part of Flare Dance Company’s story.
Catherine started dancing when she was 13 at the public high school in Kalgoorlie, WA. She mainly danced jazz and contemporary and a year of acrobatics before starting gymnastics at the age of 15. Catherine moved away from her family at the age of 17 to pursue contemporary dance and gymnastics studies in Melbourne. Catherine completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance) with Distinction at Deakin University in 2013. Catherine now coaches gymnastics at Wesley College. Catherine has been dancing with FDC since 2011 and has loved every minute of it.
Fanny Hanusin studied theatre-making at the Victorian College of the Arts. Her dance training is in improvisational movement and physical theatre. She has toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival with experimental dance theatre company Hybrid deFlex, and performed live at The Logies in Indigeridoo, a dance piece from the acclaimed hit comedy series We Can Be Heroes. Fanny’s bilingual movement solo show, Pempek, was selected to premiere in Ambyar Indonesian Arts Festival.
Her first performance with the Company was in 2011’s Headlines where as well as dancing, she also played a sassy news reporter. She is interested in further exploring comedy, spoken text and vocalisation in dance. Fanny enjoys being part of the Company because it provides a creative and open environment for people who are passionate about dance and also has a philanthropic spirit by giving back to the community.
As an actor, Fanny has received theatre’s premier Green Room Award as best actress. Her highlights include performing with the MTC (Melbourne Theatre Company) and starring in Bogan Pride, a cult musical comedy TV miniseries. She has also appeared in numerous TV shows such as Prank Patrol, Offspring, The Slap, and Better Man.
Apart from performing, Fanny works in finance and fundraising for the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Other interests include Auslan and singing. She currently volunteers for Voices without Borders, a choir project that aims to include asylum seekers in the community through singing.
Our 2016 poster model who always arrives at rehearsal with a big smile. A wonderfully committed and beautiful dancer who has a big big heart and works as a nurse internationally.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Kaela began dancing at the age of eight. Kaela was accepted into the International Ballet Academy at 16 years old. After studying dance full-time for three years, Kaela graduated with Distinction from the International Ballet Academy in 2005 with a Diploma in Dance Performance. Kaela has also choreographed and produced her own original piece which was performed by International Ballet Academy students in 2005 with great success and gained special mention by New Zealand dance icon, Russell Kerr. Kaela’s extensive performance experience includes dancing in the finale of Australia’s Got Talent 2011 and in the International Ballet Academy’s Graduation and Choreographic productions. She thoroughly enjoys dancing in its annual productions since joining Flare Dance Company in 2013. Kaela loves challenging and expressing herself through dance and is certain it will always play a big part in her life.
Emily Jackson began dancing at age 17 and hasn’t stopped since. After completing a Bachelor of Arts (musical Theatre) from the esteemed University of Ballarat, and then a diploma of Dance and Performance from the Dance Factory, Emily has gone on to perform in numerous promotional events, showcases, video clips and TV commercials. Since coming to Flare Dance Company, Emily has been inspired to leave her roots of jazz and tap and now primarily focuses on contemporary dance.
Elizabeth Kerr has choreographed and taught dance world wide and now resides in Victoria. She specialises in Contemporary, Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre. She is FATD trained, starting dancing at the age of 4, and is a qualified teacher in all FATD disciplines of Ballet, Tap and Modern. During her 12 yrs as a professional artist she has travelled far and wide with her work. In 2002 she was commissioned to create a contemporary dance piece in Ontario Canada and has been back twice since, working in the Funk and Hip Hop sector. While in Canada, Elizabeth was also a freelance teacher at The National Ballet School of Canada’s teacher training program.
In 2004, Elizabeth worked in England teaching A level dance and was a freelance choreographer within the Swindon Teachers Network of Swindon Dance Company for two years. During her time in England she was privileged to work in collaboration with Rambert Dance where she extended her contemporary dance repertoire. Elizabeth is currently a VCE and VET Dance teacher in Essendon and in 2011 rekindled her passion for choreography and performance when she joined Flare Dance Company.
For information about Jane’s background, please refer to the Artistic Directors’ page.
Rebecca learned classical ballet from the age of four, loving the grace and discipline it taught her, as well as the opportunity to dress up in fairytale costumes at the annual production. Hungry to experience other genres of dance, she joined Melbourne University’s Flare Dance Ensemble in 2007 and tried contemporary, jazz, house, Broadway, lyrical, and even break dancing. Most of all, the ballerina discovered a zeal for urban and hip-hop styles. Rebecca continues to grow and develop with Flare by joining the Company in 2012, and she attends as many production rehearsals and casual classes as she can fit in between working in marketing, travelling, and eating everything in sight.
Emily started dancing at age seven when she first learnt to ‘kick-ball-change’ to 90s classics. It was then that the seed was planted and Emily went on to train in modern jazz, classical ballet, tap and contemporary. Throughout her school days, she performed and choreographed solo and group works for regular productions, participated in the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge and completed VCE dance. Emily discovered and joined FDC in 2013 and believes she is part of something quite special. She loves the culture, flexibility and opportunity that FDC provides to adult amateur dancers seeking to create and perform. Outside of FDC, Emily works in PR and communications for the research sector. She likes to travel whenever she can and loves skiing and yoga.
Dayna began dancing at the age of 3, taking lessons in ballet and later jazz at the Little School of Dance. She carried this through until the age of 18, while also being involved in several school productions and junior productions with Eltham Little Theatre. In 2014 Dayna undertook full-time training at Dance Factory, completing a Certificate III in Dance Performance. A new member in 2016, Dayna has found involvement in the Flare Dance Company an enjoyable way to keep dance in her life while studying at university, and has appreciated being able to explore contemporary dance – a relatively new genre for her.
Dominique began taking ballet lessons at the age of 3 at Miss Anita’s School of Dance. At 6 years old she began jazz and tap classes. Taking part in the annual concert was always the highlight of the year. During high school, Dominique also took some hip-hop and contemporary classes. She participated in all of the dance productions, assisted with choreography and competed in two Rock Eisteddfod Challenges. After moving to Melbourne to attend university, she found it difficult to fit in dancing. She discovered Flare Dance Company in 2015, and has loved the opportunity to dance again.
Elena was introduced to the Royal Academy of Dance and Russian ballet techniques at an early age in Mexico. She later studied jazz under the instruction of the Cuban choreographer Jorge Lizaso. Elena was also introduced to tap dance by the musical theatre choreographer Roberto Ayala while also experimenting with contemporary dance and other artistic forms of expression during her university years. Elena completed a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Master in Business Administration at Tecnologico de Monterrey, where she also received a Diploma in Cultural Diffusion for her participation in the representative choir, tap and jazz ensembles. In Australia, Elena is currently undertaking a Certificate in Dance and Performance. She has been an active member of the Flare Dance Company since 2012, where for the first time she is choreographing within one of the most encouraging atmospheres.
Shihoko started learning and performing for Studio One Dance Academy in the country town of Mansfield in 1997, and dance has been her creative outlet since. Whilst seeking to broaden her dance experience, and moving to Melbourne to commence tertiary studies, she joined Flare Dance Ensemble at the University of Melbourne in 2003, performing in Footnotes (2003) and Rhythmicity (2004) where she held a committee role as Vice President. After a minor break to complete a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (2006), Shihoko returned the following year to dance with Flare Dance Company and has performed in our annual productions since. Shihoko’s favourite styles are jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary. In 2014 she was invited by Travel Art Dance Company to play the title role in Australasian Chinese Theatre’s production “The Search for Xiao Li’s Head – A Magical Tale of Female Re- memberment”, a unique collaboration of improvisational dance, storytelling, and live music on an outdoor stage. Still a practising physiotherapist, her current interests are undertaking Italian, netball, gymnastics at Wesley College, literature and fine dining.
Hannah has worked in the entertainment industry for fifteen years and completed a B/A in Dance and Drama at Deakin University. Hannah secured a regular casting position in The Walt Disney Company. Her performances have taken her around the globe and seen her working alongside showbiz royalty such as Hugh Jackman, Jackie Chan and Eric Bana. Hannah opened Synergy Creative Arts School in 2012 and is the current director and teacher. She is passionate about ‘equipping a new generation of performers who respect themselves, encourage others and honour the message behind their art rather than the performance itself.’ Hannah believes that her greatest and most challenging gig to date is being mother to her two awesome children.
Matilda has been learning dance since she was 10 years old, training in Jazz, Cabaret, Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Funk and Acrobatics at Alison Marshall’s All That Jazz dance school in country Victoria. At the age of 13 she became an assistant teacher and at 16 was teaching classes at the school. She moved to Melbourne in 1998 to study full time dance at the Dance Factory where she gained a certificate 3 in Commercial Dance and Performance. Between travelling and working overseas, she has continued to study other styles of dance including Belly Dancing, Salsa, Street Latin, Tango and Hip Hop. Matilda currently works as a Fitness Instructor, Pilates Mat instructor and Dance Teacher. Missing performing and dancing with a group, Matilda was over the moon when she found and joined FDC in 2011 and has enjoyed every minute with them since.
Jessica is Flare Dance Company’s Tasmanian import and one of the founding members of the company. A trained dancer, she had been dancing for over 20 year and has studied under the direction of former Australian Ballerina Caroline Small and the late Paul DeMasson, and completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts (Dance) at Deakin University. Jessica is also a qualified Occupational Therapist and Youth Worker, completing studies at La Trobe University and Tabor Collage. Jessica is passionate about encouraging others to discover their identify and purpose in life and make a positive impact on society and culture.
Genevieve began dancing at the age of 7, training in the Cecchetti method for classical ballet, as well as training in jazz and contemporary. After an accumulation of injuries, she ceased dancing in 2012, but returned to adult ballet classes a year later. She then discovered FDC after attending their 2015 Community Open Day. She was excited to find a group that would enable her to engage in dancing once more, and joined the company in 2016. Genevieve has recently completed an Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and is passionate about continuing her studies to become a clinical child psychologist. An active person with a creative spirit, Genevieve is an avid yogi who works as a nanny to two beautiful children, plays the flute, and volunteers with various organisations.