lda Faculty

One of our key missions is to provide excellence in dance. We achieve this is through well planned classes, and  some of the best teachers in the region. All of our teachers are highly capable dancers themselves, and have exceptional credentials behind them. Collectively they have over 70 years teaching experience!

 
 
Kerry-Mills-Director-Limelight-Dance-Academy

Kerry Mills

ARAD, CBTS, RAD RTS, ANZAMD

pbt certified

Kerry started her dancing journey at the age of four, she began with ballet and later added jazz, tap and drama to her repertoire.   

Over the years she has gained dancing qualifications with the RAD & BBO for ballet, NZAMD & AJDA for jazz, and BAL for Tap. During her training Kerry gained the highest marks in New Zealand 3 years running for her AJDA jazz exams.

The highlights of her dancing career to date include; receiving two Scholarships to the prestigious Edge studio in LA, competing and gaining a gold medal at “The LADF Performers of the Year” competition in Long Beach California, dancing with a performance troupe performing high level events such as the All Blacks, Silver Ferns, Chiefs and Tall Blacks games, choreographing shows and teaching at Hamilton Girls High School, and being invited to judge the Stage Challenge and J Rock competitions.

In 2008 Kerry completed her RAD teaching qualification (CBTS) and Advanced 2 Ballet exam, resulting with distinction (ARAD). 

Kerry has a great passion to learn and improve her her craft as a teacher. She attends CPD courses with Lisa Howell, and has recently gained her teaching training certificate in Progressing Ballet Technique to help students reach their full potential by unlocking their technique.

The absolute highlight of Kerry's career to date would be purchasing the Margaret Fairhead School of Dance, a studio Kerry has grown up in. She started dancing there at the age of 10, started teaching at the age of 21 and has now has taken over ownership of the school.

Kerry would like to thank the wonderful and talented teachers, and assistant teachers of the school for all the hard work, and passion they pass onto the students.

Kerry would like to thank her family especially her mum and dad, as well as the students and parents of the school for their continued support of the school.


Rachael-Pugh-Ballet-Contemporary-Teacher

Rachael Pugh

cbts, ARAD, RAD RTs

certified polestar practitioner of pilates studio, pbt certified, total barre foundation certified

At the age of six Rachael began ballet training in Hamilton, at the Margaret Fairhead School of Dance.

Under Margaret's direction, Rachael was accepted in to the 'New Zealand School of Dance.' Whilst there, she was a Shell Scholar and recipient of the Best All Rounder Scholarship (Ballet and Contemporary).  She also travelled to England to compete in the Adeline Genee Competition.

After graduating with 'National Diploma in Dance Performance' she went on to dance with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company for the next five years.  Highlights include performing in the ballet Dracula, in Melbourne and dancing for choreographers, Russell Kerr, Eric Languet, Christopher Hampson and Michael Partmenter.  Since then Rachael has danced with Toby Behan at Southern Ballet Theatre and guest taught in Darwin and Queensland.

Rachael has been teaching in her old school since 2006.  She teaches RAD Grade and Vocational levels, NZAMD Contemporary, Introductory to Level Six, open classes and private competition lessons, as well as being the mother to three wonderful boys.

Rachael has successfully passed her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies gaining Registered Teaching Status (RTS) with the Royal Academy of Dance.  She has completed many courses conducted by RAD teachers to continue her professional development and always aims for improvement and excellence when teaching dance. Last year Rachael gained her teaching training certificate in Progressing Ballet Technique, in Melbourne.

Rachael is also a certified Polestar Pilates Instructor, (2013), and is the Hamilton Manager for Blue Mat Pilates.  She teaches beginner, open mat classes and private studio sessions. In 2017 Rachael also became a qualified Total Foundation Barre class instructor.

Rachael loves the close intertwined relationship between Pilates and dance, and brings her own experiences to enhance the overall outcome experienced by her clients and students.

Rachael would like to thank her family, especially her husband and sons for their continued support of her and her dance career.


Hayleigh-Rossetter-Dance-Teacher-Limelight-Dance-Academy

Hayleigh Rossetter

BA (Honours), lrad, ARAD RTS

registered ballestics instructor

Originally from Scotland, Hayleigh trained in ballet, tap, modern/jazz and disco/freestyle to an advanced level and has completed many of the RAD and ISTD examinations. After three years in London, she graduated from the RAD’s BA (Hons) Ballet Education course with Registered Teacher Status and also attained the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance, the highest award associated with the academy.

Hayleigh has performed at various events across the UK and her experience includes teaching both adults and children in a variety of contexts including Summer Schools, Primary schools and community outreach groups. She has experience preparing students for shows and examinations and worked at the RAD HQ’s Dance School where she was also mentored by examiner, Kate Swainston. A very personal interest in dance for those with additional needs led Hayleigh to working with specialist schools and groups in Scotland as well as in London with the RADiate project.

Hayleigh is also the first Ballestics instructor in New Zealand – a dance fitness program which combines the fundamentals of classical ballet with a high-energy aerobic workout. 


 

Jane Callaghan

aNZAMD

Jane’s dancing career began at the age of 7 when she learned ballet & jazz.  She has over 25 years teaching experience and is proud to be part of the Limelight Dance Academy teaching faculty. As a teenager, Jane enjoyed touring the Waikato performing as a ZHFM cheerleader and was honoured to become the team manager and choreographer.  Whilst at high school Jane travelled to Salt Lake City to take part in a dance conference named Dance and the Child International where she attended dance classes and was proud to be part of a performance that was influenced by NZ culture.

Jane was accepted by an Australian agency and took part in a cabaret show who performed in Japan for 3 months.  Jane also has experience as an aerobics instructor and has enjoyed learning other dance genres over the years such as Tap, Ceroc and Salsa.

Jane is a proud mother of Olivia and is thrilled Olivia shares her passion for dance.  Jane has experience in teaching Jump Jam troupes and taking them to Nationals and also choreographing for a singing group named The Performance Company.  She thoroughly enjoyed working with talented singing students and giving them an opportunity to challenge themselves further on stage.  

Jane was pleased to be part of the LDA to LA group in 2016 as a teacher/chaperone and parent to take 21 LDA students to attend various studios in Los Angeles and perform at Hollywood Boulevard and backstage at Disneyland.  

Jane enjoys working with the senior students of LDA every year in choreographing and staging the big jazz. Being involved in the end of year show is the highlight of her teaching year.  The enthusiasm, energy and talent the students exert and share on stage is contagious. 

When Jane isn’t teaching, she works full-time as a Finance Manager at Deloitte in Hamilton.   

 

jazz-teacher-hannah-mcfarlane

Hannah McFarlane

dip pa (comm dance)

An ex-Limelight student herself, Hannah began full-time dance training in 2013 through the Whitireia Performance Centre in Wellington. Here she completed her training in Jazz technique, Jazz performance, Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Hip Hop, Conditioning, Ballroom, Partnering, Singing, Acting, Anatomy & Nutrition and Dance History. Graduating in 2015 with a Diploma in Performing Arts (Commercial Dance), she returned to Hamilton in 2016 to begin teaching at Limelight, and has taught in all various styles through out her time. She currently teaches Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop and Junior Open Jazz.

Since her time back in Hamilton, Hannah has been involved in many theatrical performances throughout Hamilton and New Zealand including Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, and Sister Act with the Hamilton Operatic Society. Her biggest achievement so far has been touring New Zealand with Showcase Entertainment’s ‘Cat In The Hat.’

Hannah has recently taken her own choreography to the next level, involving herself with different schools around Hamilton to assist on the choreography for school productions. This year she has been involved with Southwell School's Wizard of Oz and J Rock performances, and is often invited by Waikato Diocesan to guest choreograph for productions and NCEA dance assessments.

Hannah also works as Limelight's Office Manager, and is loving the challenge of running the day to day working within the business, 


dance-teacher-kaylee-bird

Kaylee Bird

Kaylee has studied many different styles throughout her dance years including Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary. A former student of Dance Education Centre in Tauranga, she left to study on scholarship at Tanya Pearson’s Classical Coaching Academy in Sydney, one of Australia's most well regarded ballet academies. Here she studied full-time ballet, contemporary and character open classes. Her achievements and accolades are numerous throughout her years and include a PACANZ nomination, three offers of ballet study in Australia, a Sir Edmund Hilary scholarship to Waikato University, World Championships of Performing Arts dance delegate for New Zealand, and an invitation to audition for Ajkun Ballet Theatre in New York. 

Kaylee leads the Competition program at LDA, putting her experience in the dance world to good use. Her students enjoy working with her to learn, prepare and perform at regional and national competitions.


Guest Tutors

 

margaret fairhead

Peter Boyes

Peter began dancing in Wellington with Dorothy Daniels, Sara Neil and Walter Trevor before attending the Royal Ballet School, London. Upon graduation he joined Dutch National Ballet, where apart from the standard classical repertoire he had roles created for him, notably by Rudi van Dantzig and Toer van Schaijk.

Peter returned to London to study Choreology (dance notation) and subsequently worked as Choreologist with Dutch National Ballet before returning to New Zealand as Ballet Master of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and later Assistant Artistic Director.

In his time with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, apart from being responsible for maintaining the Company’s repertoire, he danced in many productions and also choreographed original works and productions of Coppelia and The Nutcracker. Peter took leave of absence from the Company, spending the 1988/89 season in Florence as Assistant Artistic Director of Maggiodanza at the invitation of Eugene Polyakov.

Peter now works as an architectural technician for an architectural practice in Wellington but still maintains dance world connections with occasional teaching commitments at the New Zealand School of Dance and his annual visits to Hamilton. Peter choreographs Limelight's well anticipated Senior Ballet item for Vocational student each year, based on a well-known or original ballet.