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, Urban Lyrical
Miss Rachel started at Dance Explosion Croydon in 1998, and began teaching classes in 2003. She continued to take classes at both Croydon and Balwyn, then began teaching at our Preston studio in 2006, and has taught there every Thursday since. Over the years, Miss Rachel has trained and taught classes in all styles, including Stretch & Strengthen, and Cheerleading! She is also a qualified fitness professional, and uses her knowledge to help shape strong, injury-free dancers. Miss Rachel has worked professionally for many years, performing at public and corporate events, including the AFL Grand Final parade, MCG International One Day Series, Victorian Racing Carnival, and too many Can-Can gigs to count! She's also worked on stage, in film and television, and in music videos. In recent years, she's been getting her stage-fix in Melbourne-produced dance shows, and in 2018, was a company member of Melbourne urban dance company; The Legacy & Co. In 2019, Miss Rachel gained another title as she took on the role of Choreographer for Wyndham Theatre Company. Her fondest memories of Dance Explosion are her starring roles as Mary Poppins and Willy Wonka, and her duet as Velma and Roxie from "Chicago" with Miss Simone.
Jazz/Funk, Tap, Lyrical
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.
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. Miss Tania now works for Hey Dee Ho, a company providing music programs for children in Childcare and Primary School, as well as teaching dance at Studio 1 in Macleod, and continues to teach at Dance Explosion in Reservoir and Dance Explosion Croydon.
Hip Hop, Lyrical, Acrobatics, Glee
Tania De Stratis
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 is pursuing her career in the industry. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends, but Dance Explosion continues to be a huge part of her life.
Miss Stephanie fell in love with performing at an early age when she started dancing at Dance Explosion at the age of four. She attends our Deer Park Studio every week where she takes Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, and Tap. In 2019, she was given the opportunity to share her Jazz and Lyrical skills with our Junior dancers. Miss Stephanie hopes she inspires her students to love performing as much as she does. Apart from dancing, Miss Stephanie has been involved with theatre for many years. In 2016, she toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival with Stage School Australia. She also took part in a regional tour of Victoria where she played the Queen of Hearts in the Victorian Youth Theatre's production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 2019, she began a full-time Intensive Theatre Course at Stage School Australia where she studies acting and singing, as well as dancing. When she isn’t taking part in the arts, Miss Stephanie works as a receptionist at a physio in Caroline Springs.
Jazz/Funk, Hip Hop
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 and Hip-Hop. She even does Ballet and Broadway at our Balwyn studio! Miss Caity began assistant teaching in 2015 for a number of Jazz and Tap classes, and in 2018, began teaching her own Intermediate Production class. In 2020, she took responsibility for another Production class, and aims to inspire all her students to be the best they can be in a positive environment. 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 schools, schools and kindergartens where she teaches a broad range of styles, including Technique classes. She graduated from Deakin 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 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
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 her spare time, Miss Ellie likes to keep her brain active by doing puzzles, Sudoku, and other brainteasers!"
Classical Ballet, Jazz/Funk, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Broadway, Pointe
Miss Jess started dancing at Dance Explosion in 2009, doing Ballet, Jazz, and Tap on a Saturday. In 2019, after dancing on a Saturday for so long, she decided to give other classes a try, and even decided to learn Hip Hop. She began Assistant Teaching alongside Miss Nicola and Miss Wendy in 2016 as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award. Because of her passion for dance and teaching, she knew, without a doubt, that she wanted to continue teaching after completing the award. Soon, she began taking on more responsibilities within class, even becoming a Co-Teacher alongside Miss Nicola. Miss Jess’ passion for the Performing Arts has encouraged her to participate in High School productions and Summer Ballet intensive courses, as well as being a part of the 2016 Catholic School's Gala, "Time To Shine". She is very excited to have joined the Dance Explosion team, and can't wait to progress and build stronger connections with her dancing family.
Classical Ballet | Assistant
Miss Amy has been dancing at Dance Explosion since she was three years old, starting with Jazz and Tap. As she grew older, she began picking up styles like Lyrical, Hip hop, Ballet, and Pointe. Miss Amy has grown up through Dance Explosion, and has created many lifelong friendships along the way. She also danced through her school years, performing in musicals and stage shows whenever she could. Miss Amy was an assistant choreographer for Luther College School's musical in 2018, as well as for multiple house performing arts festivals. Miss Amy began assistant teaching at Dance Explosion in 2014, and soon began to teach her own classes in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and Lyrical. She is also lucky enough to teach and choreograph at other dance schools and kindergartens. In 2017, she began studying Primary Teaching alongside her dance endeavours, which includes playing Disney characters on stage with many other incredible dancers. Miss Amy loves teaching at Dance Explosion, and couldn’t be more appreciative of the amazing students she has the joy to teach every week. Her favourite thing about Dance Explosion is the family environment our directors have worked tirelessly to create, which extends across all ages and abilities.
Miss Kate has been a student at Dance Explosion Balwyn since 1997. Her studies 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 brand new website! When she’s not dancing with us, she’s dancing at work! Miss Kate works at the dancewear shop, Capezio, fitting dancers of all ages for their dance shoes and attire. 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
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! In 2019, Miss Kieran began studying Communication Design at university, specialising in Graphic Design and Animation. 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.
Miss Sarah began at Dance Explosion in 2003, starting in Miss Simone's Production class. Through her time at Dance Explosion, she has taken classes in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. Miss Sarah started teaching Junior Ballet in 2014 at our Balwyn studio, and feels very fortunate that she gets the opportunity to take such a beautiful group of girls every week. She aims to instill in them the passion she has for dance.
Miss Sarah's other dance experience includes taking part in the telecast event "Dance Cancer Initiative", the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala, Tiara Ball at the Langham Hotel Melbourne, and suit work with The Entertainment Store. Miss Sarah is currently studying a Full Time Performing Arts course. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, bush walking, and going to the beach.
Classical Ballet, Lyrical
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!
CURRENTLY ON MATERNITY LEAVE
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.
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!
Jazz/Funk, Adult Tap