Our Team of Teachers
Across our four studios, we have quite the collection of talented dancers eagerly standing by, ready to share their passion for dance with their students. Although our teachers have come from inside and out of the Dance Explosion family, they all share the same vision for their students; education, self-development, growth, and joy. Through encouragement, support, and love, our teachers strive to create a sense of fulfillment in every dancer, and work hard at moulding their students into the best performers they can be! Keep scrolling to learn more about them!
Nicola Hynson + Wendy Russell-Clarke
Miss Nicola and Miss Wendy are the heart and soul of Dance Explosion. They teach at all of our studios, and have given the rest of our team their starting point as a dance teacher. Both have been part of the dance world for over forty-five years, and they bring their passion and love for the art into every one of their students' lives.
Click the button below to learn more about their history in dance, and how Dance Explosion came to be.
Miss Amanda started dancing at age four at Canterbury Ballet School, just before it became Dance Explosion Balwyn! She has trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, and Hip Hop. Miss Amanda completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance Creation (Choreography) at the Victorian College of the Arts, and received an Arts Victoria Creative Scholarship. She also completed her undergraduate studies in Creative Arts (Dance) at Deakin University, and was awarded a travel grant to study dance abroad.
Miss Amanda has danced all over the world in festivals, workshops, classes, and performances in USA, Germany, France, Austria, Israel, India, and more. Miss Amanda is an active member of the dance community in Melbourne, performing regularly in her own and others’ contemporary dance works. Miss Amanda has been at Dance Explosion since 2008, and has now taught all ages. She loves seeing her students develop their confidence, make new friends, and improve their skills and artistry over time.
Classical Ballet, Jazz/Funk, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical
Amanda Betlehem (She/her)
Miss Simone started dancing with Dance Explosion at eleven years old, and has taught a variety of styles since she was fifteen. Miss Simone has taught a range of different age groups, from Junior classes to the Advanced classes, at Dance Explosion Croydon. She enjoys teaching at Dance Explosion because of the genuine love and support all teachers and students have for the dance school - it's a place for everyone to come and enjoy their same passion for dancing and performing, whilst having fun!
Miss Simone has continued to teach for Dance Explosion for almost fifteen years, and only stopping to start a family of three daughters. Her eldest daughter, Lyla, now dances at Dance Explosion, and shares the same love for dancing as her mum, and whenever music comes on in her household, her other two young daughters show the same passion for dance that Miss Simone has brought to her family.
Simone Cook (she/her)
Miss Jess is one of our fabulous Production teachers at Dance Explosion Reservoir. She started at Dance Explosion Preston in 2005, doing Tap and Jazz, and as the years have gone on, her love and passion for dance began to bloom. Miss Jess expanded her dancing skills, taking on Funk and Hip Hop classes, and has now found a love for Contemporary. Watching older students and being inspired by her teachers, her love for dance continued to grow, and at seventeen years old, she became a teacher. The thing Miss Jess loves about teaching is watching each of her student’s personalities and creativity come out through the art of dance - she loves seeing all the wonderful smiles that each student brings to her class. Miss Jess loves being able to inspire them through dance and rhythm, and enjoys being a role model for her students. In 2018, Miss Jess completed a Bachelors Degree in Business, majoring in Marketing and Event Management, and in 2020, started her own small business called Luks Melbourne, making beautiful candles! She enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends, but Dance Explosion continues to be a huge part of her life.
Jessica Geronazzo (She/Her)
Mx Steph fell in love with performing at an early age when they started dancing at Dance Explosion at the age of four. They attend our Deer Park Studio every week where they take Jazz, Lyrical, Classical Ballet, and Tap. In 2019, they were given the opportunity to share their Jazz and Lyrical skills with our Junior dancers. Mx Steph hopes they inspire their students to love performing as much as they do. Apart from dancing, Mx Steph has been involved with theatre for many years. In 2016, they toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival with Stage School Australia. they also took part in a regional tour of Victoria where they played the Queen of Hearts in the Victorian Youth Theatre's production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 2020, they completed a Theatre Arts Course at Melbourne Polytechnic, and in 2021, they began studying a Certificate III in Early Childcare and Education.
Steph Grech (they/them)
Miss Caity joined the Dance Explosion Croydon family in 2005 at six years old, and has been in every concert to date. She started with Jazz and Tap, then branched out into Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Classical Ballet, and Broadway at both our Croydon and Balwyn studios! Miss Caity began assistant teaching in 2015 for a number of Jazz and Tap classes, and in 2018, began teaching her own classes. Outside of Dance Explosion, she has been involved in many musical theatre performances and showcases where she sings, acts, and dances in both lead and ensemble roles. She also teaches and choreographs at other dance studios, schools and kindergartens where she teaches a broad range of styles. She graduated from university with a degree in Public Relations and Journalism, having also studied Contemporary dance throughout her studies. Miss Caity brings her Communications experience to our Administrative team, creating marketing and social media content. She also works a corporate job by day, and loves being able to spend her Wednesday afternoons with her fabulous students, and her friends in her own classes. She is excited to be working with lots of talented teachers and students every week, and looks forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off at our concerts! Miss Caity is proud to be part of the Dance Explosion family, and hopes to share this love with her past, present and future students.
Jazz/Funk, Tap | Administration
Caity Greenwood (She/Her)
In 2001, Miss Ellie started at Dance Explosion Reservoir as a very shy dancer in Pre-Primary Ballet. Over the years, she's trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, and Pointe - as many classes as she could! As she got older, she began assisting with classes, and eventually started teaching her own in a variety of styles. After completing high school, Miss Ellie jetted off to New York City to dance full time, and learn from some of the industry's best, at Broadway Dance Centre. She was able to perform onstage, dance in flash mobs in Central Park, and take masterclasses from Broadway professionals. After returning home, she moved to Sydney to gain a Bachelor of Dance from the Academy of Music and Performing Arts. This is where she became familiar with the Sydney dance industry, and got to choreograph her own original work, which was performed at the NIDA Playhouse Theatre. Miss Ellie moved back to Melbourne in 2017, and returned to teaching at Dance Explosion. You can still find her dancing at the Reservoir studio, and teaching at both Reservoir and Croydon. In 2020, she began studying her second Bachelors degree in Education at the University of New England, and in her spare time, likes to keep her brain active by doing puzzles, Sudoku, and other brainteasers!
Classical Ballet, Jazz/Funk, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Pointe
Eleanor Hayes (She/Her)
Miss Kate has been a student at Dance Explosion Balwyn since 1997. Her studies in Early Childhood Education and abilities with kids make her a natural-born teacher, and she brings a vibrant and fun energy to class that her students love! While being a member of the Dance Explosion family, Miss Kate has done plenty of dancing, as well as playing a big part in the creative and administrative side of the studio. She makes a bunch of props and costume pieces for all four of our studios, as well as collecting music, selecting concert themes, and administrative duties, including running this website! When she’s not dancing with us, she’s dancing at work! Miss Kate also works at the dancewear shop, Capezio, fitting dancers of all ages for their dance shoes and attire. When she's not dancing, she also loves to ski with her family, bake, watch loads of Disney movies, and spend time with her partner and puppy, Chip! Miss Kate hopes her students gain as much enjoyment from their dance classes with her as she did at their age.
Classical Ballet, Jazz/Funk, Tap | Administration
Kate Laidlaw (She/her)
Miss Kieran was introduced to the world of dance at the age of four, and soon after, her passion for dance really began to take off. She joined the Dance Explosion family in 2010, and fell in love with the sense of community Dance Explosion has created. She has dipped her toe in all genres of dance, from Ballet to Funk, but has found her style in Lyrical, which she now teaches. Miss Kieran has danced every year since she began - she wouldn’t have it any other way, and she hopes to continue this as long as she can! Outside of Dance Explosion, Miss Kieran is a Graphic Designer, specialising in animation and branding. She also likes to fill her spare time with a fair bit of procrasti-baking and cooking, or travelling around the world to explore new countries and cultures! Miss Kieran aims to bring a positive energy to her classes, both in the class she teaches and the classes she takes. She loves experimenting with different pieces of music, and different tricks to challenge her class.
Kieran Medici (She/Her)
Miss Julia began dancing at the age of five, and through the years, has enjoyed studying all genres of dance including Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Lyrical. She began teaching for Dance Explosion in 2016, and has continued to expand her work to various dance schools and institutes around Melbourne. Her experience includes work with Kinda Dance as a Master Instructor in childcare centres, teaching a specialised creative educational movement, music and wellness programme for early childhood. She's also worked for Kelly Sports, choreographing and teaching Hip Hop & Cheerleading in various primary schools around Melbourne and for YMCA. In her spare time, she enjoys various arts and crafts projects, especially making headpieces for concerts, and has extended this passion into her own online store, Jasmine & Vine, selling uniquely handmade flower crowns and headbands. She believes it’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to share her knowledge and passion for dance with so many others in a career that she loves so much, and looks forward to what will hopefully be a lifetime of dancing!
Lyrical, Hip Hop
Julia panetta (She/Her)
Miss Tania's love for performing began at the age of ten when she joined Dance Explosion. In 2012 and 2013, she studied full-time at Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance where she trained in various styles of dance, drama, and singing, and completed her Certificate IV in Dance. Since then, she has performed at many locations for various dance companies such as Queen of Diamonds Entertainment, Tenacity, Speranza Entertainment, Masters of Choreography, and Stage Art as a chorus member for “In the Heights: The Musical". She has also been fortunate to travel to America with choreographer Phill Haddad and dance crew DE.3, competing at Worlds, an international Hip Hop competition in Florida, placing 8th in 2016 and 4th in 2018. When she's not dancing, Miss Tania loves to sing, and has even sung a few songs in our Dance Explosion concerts! Miss Tania loves all her students and fellow teachers at Dance Explosion, and is looking forward to many more years of dancing fun!
Jazz/Funk, Tap, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Acrobatics, Commercial Jazz
Tania Pirro (She/Her)
Miss Olivia started dancing at Dance Explosion in 1998 when she was four years old. She began teaching a Production class when she was fifteen. She has been teaching for us ever since, has taught at our Reservoir, Croydon and Balwyn studios over the years, and has taught a range of styles including Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Funk. Miss Olivia absolutely loves teaching dancing and developing the skills of all of her students. Her favourite part of teaching is watching her students on stage, performing routines they have worked so hard on in class with her.
Olivia Stray (she/her)
Miss Emma joined the Dance Explosion family in 1997, starting off as a five year old ballerina, but due to having too much energy, was moved into the Jazz class. Over the years, she has kept that passion and love for dance, learning every style from Lyrical to Hip Hop. Dance/Drama Captain in years 9, 10, and 12 at school, she was asked to perform in Melbourne’s premier Top Acts showcase for both Theatre Studies and Drama. Miss Emma has choreographed amateur shows across Melbourne for universities, performing arts summer programs, and festivals. She has returned to her old high school to stage manage, co-direct, and co-choreograph musicals and drama productions for nearly 10 years, and has choreographed and performed in reunions for multiple high schools. She resurrected the infamous Adult Tap class in 2016, allowing people of all ages to come and express their inner dancer in a creative and fun space. She loves sharing her drive and knowledge of dance with people who are just as passionate, no matter the skill level. If you can’t find her on a dance floor, she’s creating the perfect one as a Wedding and Event Planner!
Funk, Adult Tap