Classes & Locations

Volunteers & Teachers

VOLUNTEER SITE COORDINATORS

Our Volunteer Site Coordinators are incredibly generous, giving their time to keep our sites thriving!

Annabel Long

Annabel has been our volunteer Site Coordinator at Kew for 9 years and rejoices in having watched so many participants grow from young children in junior classes to creative competent and skilled adult dancers. Outside of class she has watched friendships develop and blossom as the emotion21 community has also grown and extended in its reach. In her own family she has enjoyed her two adults sons who are forging careers and building relationships of their own.

Garry Zimmerman

Garry is a husband and parent of 3 children, his youngest has Down syndrome. He works as a PE teacher at Heathdale Christian College in Hoppers Crossing in the Primary area. Garry’s son Levi loves music and dancing and that is why we got involved in emotion21 as the Hoppers Crossing Site Coordinator. Garry also likes to get down and boogie especially when it helps to embarrass his teenage daughter!

Lynn Grey

Lynn is the Site Coordinator for Pascoe Vale. Lynn is a mother to Ezra, Beth, one dog, three cats & two guinea pigs. Lynn’s son Ezra has danced with emotion21 at the Greensborough, Pascoe Vale and Kew sites. Lynn’s favourite part of the week is listening to the dancers sing during Beat Fit at Pascoe Vale – it is pure joy!

Kim Sinclair

Kim is the Site Coordinator for Geelong, and was introduced to emotion21 by her son Tristan, our talented Artistic Director and much loved emotion21 teacher. She began volunteering in our virtual classes and during that time loved interacting with the many enthusiastic participants. Kim has had an extensive career in the education and disability sector; a highlight of which was working at OC Connections in Melbourne with adults with intellectual disabilities. Kim reluctantly left this work to move to Geelong in early 2018 where she has another son who is married with two children.

Sharyn Mackay

Sharyn is the Site Coordinator for Greensborough. Married to Gary with 3 children, Amy, Laura and Nick and gorgeous granddaughter Ivy Jean. Sharyn loves being involved with the emotion21 team and has been for a long time! Sharyn works at Glen Katherine Primary School as integration support managing the kitchen and garden program and has done so for 17 happy years. She loves to cook, run, football, run around after her family and entertain her emotion21 friends at the weekends. She also loves her Fridays shopping at the Preston market!

Trish Fisher

Trish began volunteering at emotion21 in 2012 to honour the memory of her son William who had Down syndrome. Since then she has dedicated thousands of hours (literally) within our studio classes, as Site Coordinator at Rowville and at our many galas, concerts and collaborations. At our concert Trish brings along her family of 15 to volunteer each and every year. During lockdown, Trish volunteered as a virtual class manager in over 600 classes. During which she got to meet many of our participants across all sites and became much loved – and quite famous! We are so grateful to have Trish, supporting and doing what needs to be done to support our wonderful participants shine.

TEACHING TEAM

Meet our incredible teachers! Each week they deliver over 50 classes to our people with Down syndrome. Classes are engaging, inspiring and most importantly FUN! Our teachers are trained in using the latest global research and techniques ensuring our people with Down syndrome learn best by catering to their strengths.

Tristan Sinclair – Manager and Artistic Director

Tristanis a performance and multimedia artist, as well as an educator. He holds a bachelor in Design (2013), a diploma in Dance (2016) and a Yoga Alliance recognised qualification (2017). Recently he worked closely with Circa creatives in choreographing and costuming the work ‘Wild Swans’ that was performed by 46 emotion21 dancers in front of a live audience of 11,000 people at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Tristan has a deep passion for assisting others in accessing their own creative, soulful expression. In addition to teaching weekly classes he is currently leading the emotion21’s Artistic Extension Program, supporting artists with a Down syndrome in their own artistic growth and development.

Natalie Bitsas

Natalieloves to dance, completing all levels of Cecchetti Classical Ballet. She created the popular dance program Kindy Groove, a dance and drama school for pre-schoolers, which she has been running as Owner and Director for the past 23 years. She feels privileged to share her love of dance with people with disabilities and has a Cert 3 in Early Childhood Education and Advanced Certificate in Developmental Disabilities. She has been teaching with e.motion21 for 10 incredible years at both Pascoe Vale and Greensborough sites.

Eloise Harris – Virtual

Eloisehas been a teacher at emotion21 since 2016 and has taught Kinder through to Adult classes. Originally from the UK, Eloise completed full-time professional training in a range of dance styles, and has danced and taught in the UK and the UAE. Eloise believes that everyone should have access to enjoy the benefits of dance through a high-quality dance experience. After completing her Post-Graduate Diploma in Community Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, Eloise moved to Australia in late 2014. Eloise is currently completing a Masters in Education through the Royal Academy of Dance. Eloise loves the energy and enthusiasm all e.motion21 dancers bring to class and seeing them perform and shine on stage is always a highlight of her year.

Helena Hatz – Pascoe Vale

Helenais currently in her final year studying a Masters in Dance/Movement Therapy at the University of Melbourne. As part of her studies she is on placement 3 days a week at a special developmental school in Ivanhoe working with children who have intellectual and physical disabilities. She is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher who has had extensive experience teaching various dance styles including tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary and her fave hip-hop across schools in Melbourne of all ages and abilities from pre-school to adult.

Alanah Koch – Hoppers Crossing

Alanahstarted dancing at the age of 4 and has never stopped! Throughout this time she has trained in various styles including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and lyrical/contemporary. Although she still loves to dance, Alanah‘s main focus has always been teaching with over 7 years experience. Alanah holds both a Cert IV and Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management from Transit Dance. She is also studying a Bachelor of Arts. Alanah is committed to helping her students work to the best of their own ability, while having a lot of fun along the way!

Payge O’Shea – Artistic Capacity Building Program

Paygeis trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Character, National, Contemporary and Lyrical. In 2017 she completed her Diploma in Dance – Elite Performance and Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management at Transit Dance. In 2017 she became a fully qualified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor . She is passionate about teaching dance to all ages, capabilities and strengths.

Nikki O’Shea – Kew

Nikkiis a very gifted teacher who cares deeply for her craft, and her students. Nikki has had a most illustrious career, here is a short biography of some of her career highlights:

Graduate of Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, (distinction) Peggy Van Praague award. Member of West Australian Ballet Company (Barry Mooreland) and Sydney Dance Company (Graeme Murphy). Dancer and resident choreographer for Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, Tanz der Vampireworld tour. TV & Film work in Germany and Holland, Dance Captain and Assistant Director for Opera Queensland and The Australian Opera. RAD teacher (Brisbane), lecturer in stagecraft & movement at UQ and OLD Conservatorium, teacher at Kindy Dance Time, ballet teacher at Elancé Adult Ballet School. Director of Ballet, The Space Dance and Arts Centre, Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management in 2014 under Dianne Parrington – received the Award for Academic Excellence.

Nicole Rotenstein – Virtual

Nicolejoins e.motion21 bringing with her a strong background in Dance Teaching, Children’s Education, Sports Science and Occupational Therapy, as well as Disability Support Work. Nicole is an incredibly diverse educator who will be teaching virtual classes on a Monday evening.

Madisson Salan – Kew

Madisson’sprofessional training began at age 11 when she was accepted into the Australian Ballet School’s ITP program. In 2014 she commenced full time training at The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, graduating with a Certificate II in Dance and completing her RAD Advanced II examination with Distinction. Madi continued her studies at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, completing her Advanced Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance) in 2016. During her studies she began guest teaching for various schools in WA and VIC before graduating and commencing regular teaching work around Melbourne. Alongside her teaching Madisson loves to perform and in recent years has been a company artist with Dancebourne Arts (dancing in three performance seasons, and touring to Italy to perform in the Florence Dance Festival) and Lionheart Dance Company. She is passionate about supporting families by providing the most nurturing environment for their children to learn, and helping students of all ages to grow in their creativity, confidence and self-worth.

Maddy Smith – Cranbourne & Rowville

Maddyis an experienced dance teacher, teaching multiple dance styles to children and adults of all ages. She has trained in contemporary dance at Kibbutz Dance Company in Israel, has obtained her Diploma in Dance with Transit Dance and a Certificate Four in Dance with Patrick Studios Australia. On top of that she is also a qualified Pilates Instructor and has recently completed studying a Certificate Four in Disability.

Narelle Tolliday – Ballarat

Narelleis the owner and Co-Director of Curtain Call Performing Arts Studios in Ballarat. Teaching classical, contemporary, jazz and musical Theatre classes to students of all ages, all abilities and all experiences. Since opening Curtain Call, Narelle has undertaken her Certificate IV in Dancing Teaching and Management, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is a qualified instructor in both ZUMBA and Barre Attack. Her love of dance and working with children has become Narelle’s passion not only within the studio but through her continued freelance work with local kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and Scope Disability Support Ballarat.

Emily Woodward – Assistant Teacher

Emilyis a recent graduate of the Artistic Capacity Building Program, driven to dance and says she simple just ‘can’t get it out of her’. She loves dance because it makes her feel warm hearted. She sees being a successful artist/ teacher as a form of advocacy for people with disabilities, because she has not had a lot of role models in her creative journey that are people like herself, with Down syndrome. Emily has been dancing with emotion21 since 2010 her performance highlights include World Down Syndrome Congress in South Africa and India and collaborating with The Australian Ballet School, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Circa. She hopes that her work will bring more heart into the world. Emily will be working as an Assistant Dance Teacher at Greensborough.

Daniel Palmer – Assistant Teacher

Danielis a recent graduate of the Artistic Capacity Building Program and has had a lifelong passion for dance, developing an appreciation for how it helps him relax and makes him stronger. Daniel’s passion for dance is such that he has worked as an assistant dance teacher for secondary school students. As a choreographer Daniel believes dance is the perfect medium to give people the opportunity to feel and express themselves and likes to make the dancers he works with feel happier about themselves. Daniel will be an Assistant Dance Teacher for classes at his local site of Rowville.

Jamie Halliday – Assistant Teacher

Jamieis passionate to develop his skills as a choreographer because he strongly believes that he has something to offer and believes he can make a difference in society and tell a story through his movement. Poignantly, Jamie recognises that although people may not always listen to, or understand, people with disability, that dance is a universal language that allows anyone to tell a story. He wants to create dance that makes both the dancer and the audience feel and think. Jamie is Assistant Choreographer to the Performance Company and is currently co-creating a show for the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Guest Teachers

Jessica Raffa – Guest Teacher

Jessicatook her first ballet class at the young age of 3 and her passion for dance was born. It was at the Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremony, she caught the attention of Jason Gilkison and Peta Roby whilst performing and was invited to join the cast of the Broadway show “Burn the Floor”. Jessica became the principal dancer of the company and toured for 8 years across performing to over three million people across 30 countries. In 2009 she made her debut in “Dancing with the Stars”, partnering with the first ever blind contestant. Paralympian Gerrard Gosens & Jessica danced their way to the semi-finals and into the hearts of the Nation. She then returned with Blair McDonough, Nick Bracks and Brendan Fevola. In 2013 she was partnered with Grand Illusionist Cosentino to win the famed Mirror ball trophy.

Kate Crerar – Guest Teacher

Kate is inspired to be a part of such an innovative dance school in emotion21. Trained in Cecchetti ballet, jazz, hip hop, and with a particular love for contemporary and zumba, Kate has extensive teaching and choreographing experience working for various dance schools around Melbourne. Kate has completed her double degree from RMIT University (Education and Applied Science – Disability) and the Ausdance Skill Set for Teaching Dance. Kate taught at emotion21 for 9 years as much valued and loved teacher at Cranbourne and Kew sites. Kate continues to guest teach and generously shares her knowledge and expertise training and supporting teachers.

Daniella Stepanovsky – Guest Teacher

Daniellahas been a part of e.motion21 since 2013 after volunteering at the Federation Square performance for World Down Syndrome Day and falling in love with the happiness and enthusiasm that the dancers had to share. She has volunteered at the annual concerts and been a mover at Greensborough, Highett, Kew and a mover and teacher at Cranbourne. Dani is now a passionate teacher after completing her Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Applied Sciences – Disability. Dani continues to guest teach and generously shares her knowledge and expertise training and mentoring teachers.