About Us!

Here at Aspire we endeavour to provide quality arts education. Through this we aim to encourage greater confidence and creative expression through dance and drama. We just love to provide opportunities, like local performances and bringing up young teachers, to our students who show great attitude, positivity, fantastic work ethic and determination in all areas of class.
We have worked hard within the school to create a family atmosphere where we aim to give every student a sense of belonging.
As teachers we strive to continuously keep inspiring ourselves to then in return inspire our students. We approach every class with a motivated and positive attitude with the hope that our passion will create a difference for every child and give them a positive arts experience.

THE TEAM

Tammy Bennett :
Owner & Director of Aspire Arts Academy.

Tammy started Aspire in 2008 and had no idea of the demand at which began to present itself for quality performing arts tuition in Matamata and the surrounding districts.
Tammy trained as a child with Fay Harbottle in Ballet Jazz and Tap for 14 years and in Trinity College Speech and Drama with Kate Kelway . Tammy was fortunate enough to audition for and gain a spot dancing with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Cinderella Production as a child - an experience she will never forget. She completed her major exams in RAD Ballet. After the completion of an English and Media double major degree from Waikato University, Tammy continued her perfoming arts training in Auckand. She also sat her ATCL Speech & Drama Trinity College Teachers exams at this time.
Following her training she began to teach full time as a dance teacher and drama teacher at various schools in Auckland. During this time she also began to examine dance in jazz and hip hop for the Australasian Dance Association - now Asia Pacific Dance Association. Tammy has been a dance examiner for 10 years now and still thoroughly enjoys going out to examine and be inspired by students in other schools. Tammys main passion is to not only instill and inspire performing arts excellence in students but also to encourage self confidence and self esteem through the arts. Her aim is to see potential realised in students and to train teachers to realise the depth of potenital in every student who enters the academy.

Courtney Tetlow:
Jazz, Ballet and Preschool Teacher
Courtney has a vast experience in ballet, contemporary and tap - working under the training of her childhood dance teacher from Auckland. Courtney has a flare for ideas and creativity and is passionate and nurturing in her work with children. With experience in ballroom, Courtney also takes wedding couples upon request. Courtney has an eye for seeing potential in all students and this quality shows in the hard working nature of all her students.

Lucy Kranenburg:
Hip Hop Teacher
We are very excited to be having Lucy join our team again this year. Lucy is a past student and teacher at Aspire Arts Academy who has recently had some time away teaching at other dance schools around the country. Lucy is an examiner for Asia Pacific Dance Association in Hip Hop and Jazz and brings great knowledge of the syllabus to the school. Classes with Lucy demand high energy and performance, with the element of fun still being reached. We are really looking forward to having Lucy onboard teaching our Level 10 Hip Hop class this year.

Devon Thomas:
Hip Hop and Jazz Teacher
After many years of being a student at Aspire and assistant teaching in Hip Hop and Jazz classes, Devon will be joining the team with her own classes for 2017. Devon's caring nature towards all students make them love her instantly, and when put in charge of a class her passion for dance and teaching is able to shine. Devon has been dancing from the age of 3yrs and has experience in Hip Hop, Jazz and Ballet. In January of 2017 Devon attended the module 1 course for the Acrobatic Arts Association learning spotting skills and other acro dance techniques.

Megan Robinson: Manager of Aspire Arts Academy
Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Acro and Preschool Teacher

Megan is from Matamata and has been with Aspire for a number of years first as a student and now assisting in the management of the academy. Megan has a background training in Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet and Gymnastics and has been dancing since she was 3. Megan has proved to develop into an excellent teacher, ensuring class is fun whilst keeping the standard very high in her deveopment of technique throughout her students. Megan is a certified teacher in AcroDance through the Acrobatic Arts Association. Megan is who you, as a parent will deal with when enroling or enquiring about our classes. Megan is a very talented young lady who is set to make a long term successful career in the dance education sector. We are very lucky to have her on team and managing the school.

Stanley Aranga:
Boys Hip Hop and Drama Teacher
With a passion for street dance from a young age Stanley entered a dance competition at the age of 15 and won a spot to study with the only full time contemporary company in New Zealand at the time. He studied at the BOP Polytechnic in 1996 in a performing arts course majoring in dance and drama and some year later became a tutor for the same course also assisting with the fitness program. Now enjoying new genres of dance and the love of experimenting with many forms. We are excited to have Stan teaching Boys Hip Hop and Senior Drama here at Aspire!

Lydia Louw:
Hip Hop and Tap Teacher
In term three of 2014 we had Lydia Louw return to our team after a couple of years away. She is a much loved teacher of some of our older students who still remember being in her classes and the Academy is very excited about her return! Lydia teaches Hip Hop at Aspire and also takes an adults hip hop class for those wanting to get fit and have fun doing so! Lydia is passionate about choreography and puts all of her creativity towards each dance that she teaches.


Talia Parker:
Drama Teacher
Talia will also be joining the team as a new teacher for 2017. Talia Has been a student at Aspire for many years and has training in Hip Hop, Jazz and Drama. Talia will be taking on our junior drama class for 2017 and we are very excited for what she will bring to the class. In 2016 Talia sat her Grade 7 Trinity College Drama exam, which she plans to continue on with higher grades this year and in the years to come. Talia will bring great fun, passion, and fantastic performance qualities to our junior drama class and we are really looking forward to having her on board.

Assistant Teachers

At Aspire, we love to be able to give students with a passion for dance, the opportunity to expand in their own confidence and abilities by giving them the change to be an 'assistant teacher' in our younger classes.
The assistants benefit from this by learning skills to teach a dance class, how to keep them engaged, ways of teaching choreography and confidence to younger students, and the ability to control number of students.
The younger students benefit from assistant teachers by having an older dancer to look up to - a role model who is able to show them what hard work and a good attitude in the studio can bring.
The teachers benefit from this by being able to make use of assistant teachers when a class has fuller numbers. Students are still able to be separated into smaller groups with the use of the assistant teacher and more 1 on 1 attention can be given when needed.
We love to watch our young dancers grown into capable young teachers.

Gabrielle Raynel:

Acro, Hip Hop & Jazz

This year Gabrielle can be seen helping out in many of our Hip Hop classes, Jazz classes and also in our Acro classes. Gabrielle has had many years of dance in Hip Hop, Jazz and Acro and in January 2017 she attended the module 1 course for the Acrobatic Arts Association learning spotting skills and other acro dance techniques.

Keely Frearson:
Jazz
With a number of years of dance experience in all different genres, Keely brings great dance knowledge to the classes she assistant teaches. This year Keely will be seen helping out with our Primary 1 Jazz class.

Grace Kingston
Hip Hop & Tap
Grace has had experience in many different genres throughout her years of dancing, Grace oozes her passion for dance in every class that she assists and has a great ability in working with our younger students. This year, Grace will be helping with our Level 1 Hip Hop, Level 3 Hip Hop and Intermediate Tap.

Bailey Aarsen:
Hip Hop
Bailey is the most recent of our student teachers, and we are really looking forward to having him on board for 2017. Bailey will be helping out in our Level 4 and 5 Boys Hip Hop classes. The students love Bailey and are able to look up to him as a passionate young male dancer.

Kate Grinter & Danielle Drysdale
Ballet

Both with many years of ballet experience, Kate and Danielle hold themselves in such a manner that it is hard for our tiny ballerinas not to be inspired and look up to them. As assistants, Kate and Danielle help to show your younger classes the beauty of ballet, and how much hard work and passion goes into this genre.

 

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