Meet the Team

Sophia Pedersen

Dip Musical Theatre and Performing Arts NZAMD Tap, NZAMD Jazz
Sophia trained with The Wellington Performing Arts Company gaining a Diploma in Musical Theatre and Performing Arts. She subsequently spent many years performing and choreographing a number of wonderful stage shows. Musical Theatre is one of Sophia’s greatest passions and nothing motivates her more than developing children’s talents through performance and dance. Sophia is a qualified teacher in the NZAMD tap, jazz, musical theatre and ballet syllabuses.

Alicia Chadwick-cook

AISTD, Dip Theatre Arts & Dip Teachers of Dance
Alicia has been dancing since the age of three. She has an Associate Diploma teachers’ qualification with the ISTD in Imperial Ballet and Modern Theatre Dance. In 2008, she graduated from East Auckland Performing Arts with a Diploma in Theatre Dance and Performing Arts. She gained Honours with Distinction for her Teachers of Dancing Diploma, and has reached Advanced Two level in both ISTD Imperial ballet and ISTD Modern, and Advanced One in Tap. Alicia’s dance and teaching repertoire includes jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre and hip-hop. She has studied and trained in the ISTD, NZAMD & RAD syllabuses. She danced professionally with FUZE dance company.

Alana Tod

AISTD, Modern Jazz and Ballet
Alana manages most of the jazz and hip-hop syllabuses, making her one of NSPA’s busiest teachers. She began her dance career learning ballet as a child, but soon picked up jazz, hip-hop and contemporary. By age 16, Alana was a dance addict, and she has gone on to reach Advanced Two level in ISTD Modern, and Intermediate in ISTD Ballet. She has an ISTD Associate Diploma teachers’ qualification in Imperial Ballet and Modern Theatre Dance and is a registered NZAMD syllabus teacher. Alana teaches students of all levels, and her greatest satisfaction comes from helping them grow, develop and reach their goals. She is also an acclaimed competition choreographer (winning awards for ‘Most Outstanding Troupe’ for musical theatre) and a major contributor to NSPA’s end-of-year performances.

Charlotte de Vere

AISTD, BEd (Tchg)
Charlotte is a ballet purist. She loved ballet so much when she began classes at age three that she never wanted to do any other styles. After high school, Charlotte trained as a primary school teacher and explored a few other career paths, but soon realised there was nothing she’d rather do than teach ballet. Charlotte has reached Intermediate level for ISTD ballet, and Grade 8 RAD ballet. She has an ISTD Associate Diploma teachers’ qualification in Imperial Classical Ballet, and her teaching proficiency is demonstrated by her 100% pass rate for exam students. Of all the things Charlotte enjoys about teaching ballet, at the top of the list is the art form itself – where success requires genuine persistence and dedication. Charlotte loves getting to know her students and their unique personalities, and enjoys the challenge of finding the best way to reach and motivate each child.

Gemma Boswell

Gemma began tap dancing the age of four. A year later she was dancing competitively, and added jazz to her repertoire at age seven. Her successes include solo and troupe performances at Showcase on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2005, 2006 and 2009. She was also nominated to compete solo in tap and jazz at PACANZ in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Unable to continue with the rigors of full-time training following a back injury, Gemma turned her attention to teaching and choreography, which she absolutely loves. In 2016, she won ‘Best Choreography in a Musical’ at the NAPTA awards for Addams Family the Musical.

Collette Wilson

Colette started dancing from a very young age. As a child she started with Irish Dancing and swiftly moved on to Ballet, Tap and Modern obtaining various ISTD and RAD dance qualifications. In 2012 she graduated from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, London having successfully completed the three year diploma course in professional musical theatre. Throughout her childhood and teens, Colette has been part of many productions shows and concerts. These have included singing, dancing and acting at the London Palladium, The Shaw Theatre, Wimbledon Theatre, Savoy Theatre as well as appearing in TV commercials and Music Videos. More recently she has followed her passion for Hip-Hop Dancing. In the UK she was part of a Hip-Hop Crew performing in many shows and public events. She enjoys this style of dancing immensely and loves to pass on her technique secrets and experience with others.

Sally Brady

BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Musical Theatre)
Sally first found her passion for performing at age five when she attended her first ballet class. From there, she expanded her training into other fields of dance, and eventually found another love for drama and music. In high school, she was involved in many extracurricular performing arts activities, including choir, barbershop, Stage Challenge, Shakespeare and drama productions. In 2012 she was selected to be part of the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company and travelled to London to perform at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Sally has a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Musical Theatre from NASDA (National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts). During her studies there she trained in singing, dancing and acting, and also worked closely with the NZ Broadcasting School to gain experience in screen acting and vocal work.

Rebecca Smith

Growing up in London, Rebecca fell in love with the theatre at a young age and has been performing ever since. She is completing a BA in Drama and holds a Grade 8 qualification in Speech and Drama. Rebecca has also trained in musical theatre and loves combing song and dance to enrich a performance. She has experience in a variety of performance styles, including Shakespeare, musicals, Greek Theatre, improvisation and devised theatre. Rebecca is excited and inspired by the performing arts and seeing the joy it brings to so many people, both on and off stage.

Louise Wilkie

Louise attended her first dance class aged three, and went on to train through the NZAMD ballet, tap and jazz syllabuses, and the BAL ballet and tap syllabuses. She has also trained with a number of vocal coaches and been a member of several Auckland choirs. Louise took drama classes in high school and studied theatre at Victoria University of Wellington, performing in her musical in 2010. She has since performed in and choreographed various shows. In 2014, Louise began working with Peaches and Pickles and then taught tap at Sole Movement. Louise recently completed a year-long internship with Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where she worked in Recreation and Children’s Activities.

Clare Saddington-Smith

Clare emigrated from the UK to New Zealand in 2010. She is responsible for the accounts and administration for Northern School of Performing Arts and has over 25 years’ experience in accounts. Clare started in an accountancy practice and moved onto retail, before running a business with her husband in the UK. As mum to a dance-crazy daughter, Clare is not only passionate about the numbers, but about all aspects of performance too.

Catherine Carr

Catherine has worked as a Musical Director on productions for 23 years. Her roles during that time include Musical Director – Vocals for Mamma Mia at the Civic Theatre; Musical Director for Hairspray at Sky City; Vocal Director and arranger for the world premiere of War of the Worlds staged as a Planetarium spectacular; and vocal coach for the soundtrack on Butterfly Crush. Catherine developed and taught the curriculum for musical theatre and vocals for the Apollo Theatre School’s tertiary Diploma in Musical Theatre. She teaches musical theatre, theory for dancers and singing at the New Zealand School of Performing Arts, and is sought after as an accompanist by singers, instrumentalists and dance schools. She received the ABRSM Diploma in Piano Performance, was a finalist in the Young Musicians Competition, and won the prestigious Manawatu Merit Art Award. In 2013 Catherine received a Showdown award for ‘Best Musical Director’ for her work on AIDA for St Peter’s College.

Annelie Maddock

Annelie has been singing and performing for as long as she can remember. She loves the rewards of performing in front of an audience and witnessing how it can boost a child’s confidence. Originally from Sweden, Annelie studied singing for performance with teaching at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm for five years, graduating in 1999. Before moving to New Zealand in 2003, she toured Europe and the USA with both classical choirs and a rock/pop band, and also starred in a number of musical theatre productions in Sweden. She subsequently began teaching singing and loves seeing her students grow and shine.

Tom Grut

Tom fell into drama in his last year of high school, when (despite his trepidation) he took his first drama class and went on to graduate top of his year. He has subsequently had leading roles in multiple theatre productions around Auckland including playing Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and winning the NAPTA in 2010 for his role as Mickey in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. In 2011, Tom attended the New Zealand Singing School, and sat his Grade 8 Singing Exam for Trinity College London. Tom loves teaching children, having worked as an educational touring performer in Auckland primary schools. An accomplished guitarist, Tom worked at Purple Dragon, London’s top family club, where he taught music classes. Since returning to Auckland he has focused on film, producing his first feature film with his brother and working on his second screenplay.

Emma Aley

Emma has been a dedicated student at Northern Performing Arts since she was 12. She has trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary and tap, and completed her Advanced 2 ISTD and NZAMD Modern/ Jazz, Advanced 2 RAD Ballet, and her Solo Seal in NZAMD Contemporary. Emma was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance and Transit Dance full-time contemporary programmes but has decided to stay in Auckland to extend her dance training before heading overseas. Among her other notable achievements are: New Zealand School of Dance Associates Programme (2016-2017), PACANZ finalist (top 6 out of 77 competitors), Runner-up in League of Champions at Showcase nationals in Australia, A full-time placement at Ministry of Dance and a scholarship to AMDA in America, Advanced Directors Award at Phoenix Dance Convention and the opportunity to study in the Ettingshausens course.

Olivia Tomsen

Olivia has been dancing since the age of 3. She began with ballet and introduced jazz and tap at the age of 7. She has always had a passion for dance and performing on stage, competing in dance competitions since the age of 11. Olivia has completed the ISTD jazz syllabus (2017) and has been student teaching alongside other teachers from the age of 11. She has competed three times internationally (2013,2015,2016) in the Showcase National Dance Championships in the Goldcoast, performing in both solos and troupes. She dances 6-7 days a week, attending styles consisting of ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and lyrical. She dreams of becoming a professional dancer when she is older and aims to attend a dance school in 2019. Olivia is very humbled and excited about the opportunity to pass her passion along to young students and see them grow as performers.

Rachael Longshawe-Park

Bio coming soon

Vileshka Karunaratne

Vileshka found her love for dancing at the age of 2 in her first ballet class. She then started Jazz and Hip Hop and her passion for dance grew to where she now dances up to 7 days a week. She has completed the ISTD Modern Jazz syllabus and has sat ballet exams in RAD, Cecchetti, NZAMD and major levels in ISTD. Vileshka has been competing since the age of 13 in a range of styles such as Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and has competed at the Showcase National Dance Championships in 2015 in both troupes and solos aswell as PACANZ Nationals (2016, 2017). She has taught jazz and ballet from ages as small as 4 all the way to 14 and loves helping dancers grow and evolve.

Zac Johns

Zac is a Music Director, conductor, composer and pianist who holds a Bachelor of Music from Auckland University. He was recently Music Director for Amici Production’s season of Sister Act at the ASB Waterfront Theatre. In 2016 he was Conductor of Evita at the Bruce Mason Centre; and in February played keys in the pit for The Phantom of the Opera at the Civic Theatre. Other recent shows include: Mamma Mia!, Dogfight, In The Heights, Godspell, and Bugsy Malone. Zac also spends time working for charitable causes, including serving as Chairperson for the NAPTA Charitable Trust. In addition, he has also helped to produce concerts and festivals fundraising for Variety - the Children's Charity, Live More Awesome, Auckland City Mission, and Starship Foundation. His compositions have been performed by the NZTrio, and workshopped by both the NZSO and APO. Awards include Best MD, composer, and judges choice awards at Short+Sweet Festival for Flatmates. Zac enjoys spending 1-2 days a week teaching piano privately and in schools helping students find and foster their musical passion.

Anna Mortlock

Anna has trained and completed examinations in various syllabi and dance styles including Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Contemporary as well as musical theatre, cultural dance, singing and acting. She holds a Bachelor of Dance, a Diploma in Tap Teaching and runs her small studio in Albany as well being a freelance teacher and choreographer for other studios and schools in the Auckland area. Anna has enjoyed dancing in the competitive scene herself and has both competed at and had students compete at events such as Showcase in Australia. The theatre is another love of Anna’s and you can often see examples of her work onstage at Centrestage Theatre Orewa.