Meet the Team

Sophia Pedersen

Sophia Pedersen

Dip Musical Theatre and Performing Arts NZAMD Tap, NZAMD Jazz
With over 20 years experience in the Performing Arts industry, Sophia has a wealth of knowledge and a huge passion for the Performing Arts. Sophia has trained and studied gaining a Dip in Musical Theatre and Performing Arts. Gold Medals in Latin American and Ballroom dance as well as training in NZAMD Tap, Ballet and Jazz. Sophia was accepted as one of the few New Zealanders to join and perform with the Young Americans - a performance training troupe based in Los Angeles. Sophia has performed in many award-winning shows with such roles Anita - West Side Story, Maria - The Sound of Music, Roxie - Chicago, Columbia - The Rocky Horror Show, Narrator - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Lucy - Jekyll and Hyde to name a few. Sophia has a wonderful husband Matt and 4 children. She is incredibly passionate about teaching and watching students grow not only on stage but also within themselves and helping them become strong and independent individuals.
Alicia Chadwick-cook

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

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.
Gemma Boswell

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.
Cara-Lea Wright

Cara-Lea Wright

Cara-Lea Wright is a technically trained dancer who has been immensely involved in the dance competition scene, both as a dancer and more recently as a teacher, choreographer and adjudicator for many successful troupes and soloists. Her troupes and soloists have won many impressive accolades including National Champions Junior Lyrical Groups at Showcase Dance Australasian Finals and back to- back highest scoring Junior Groups at Get The Beat Regionals. Cara-Lea is trained in RAD Ballet, NZAMD Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, NZAHND Highland and Irish as well as Lyrical, Funk, Cabaret, Musical Theatre, Aerobics, Acrobatics and Commercial by many successful teachers from NZ, AUS & LA. Cara-Lea completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies in 2015 and is currently studying for her Post-Graduate Diploma in Dance.
Emma Aley

Emma Aley

Emma Aley has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She has trained in many genres including jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary and hip hop. Emma has also completed her Advanced 2 R.A.D Ballet, I.S.T.D Jazz, N.Z.A.M.D Contemporary and Jazz exams. Emma has won the NZAMD Jazz Scholarship Award (2017), been a PACANZ Finalist - top 6 / 77 competitors (2017), League of Champions - Runner Up (2017) was selected to perform for Ev and Bow at Australian Dance Festival (2019) and represented Ev and Bow at Kairos Dance Convention NZ (2019). In 2019 Emma trained at Ev and Bow in Sydney, Australia graduating with a Cert IV in dance. She is currently working towards her I.S.T.D Modern and Classical Ballet teaching associate. Emma is excited to be back in Auckland and is looking forward to training the wonderful students at Northern School of Performing Arts.
Paige Pote

Paige Pote

Paige began dancing and competing at the age of 4 in her hometown Auckland, New Zealand. Paige received Honours with Distinction in all her exam work and completed her solo seal Diploma in Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary and Tap. In 2017 Paige moved to Melbourne, Australia to further her training at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance. She gained her Certificate IV in Dance and graduated with a Diploma in Elite Performing Arts. Paige has performed in several corporate jobs around New Zealand and Australia, including ‘Singin in the Rain’ TV promo NZ, VRC Young Members Ball, Opening Number at Victorian Dance Festival, Hawthorn FC and Beyond Blue Match, AFL Footy Show, White Night, Wateraid Charity Ball Event, My Room Children’s Cancer Charity Ball Event, Perfect China Corporate Event, AFL Richmond AMF Match and Victorian Training Awards. Paige recently finished her second contract as a Tap dancer in ‘Mickey’s Christmas Big Band’ at Disneyland Paris. Dance is Paige’s number one passion and she hopes to continue learning and growing as a professional dancer, performer and teacher.
Tessa Wilson

Tessa Wilson

Tessa fell in love with dance at the age of 4 and hasn't stopped since! She has been trained in ballet, tap, jazz, character and musical theatre. Tessa has completed her NZAMD and BAL exams. She was nominated for both tap and jazz each year for the NZAMD scholarships in which she achieved 2nd place and 4th place in the tap section. Tessa's main passion was performing on stage at competitions in which she competed for 12 years successfully. Tessa has now found her passion in teaching and choreography as she Hope's to help others achieve their goals.
Sian Vaughan-Jones

Sian Vaughan-Jones

Sian has been training in the performing arts since age four. She grew up performing in shows, singing and taking dance classes in New Zealand and the UK. She has been cast in musicals such as 13, Bring it On, Grease, 42nd Street and Fame and has always had a true love for musical theatre. She has sat numerous Trinity Musical Theatre Exams as well as dance exams and classes in tap, ballet and jazz. Sian has always a particular passion for tap and has trained through the NZAMD syllabus. Sian is thrilled to be joining the teaching staff at NSPA and to share her strong love of the performing arts with students.
Lizzy Burn

Lizzy Burn

Lizzy has been involved in studio dance and the performing arts for most of her life. She completed exams with American Jazz Dance Affiliation in Jazz Ballet and completed exams with RAD for Classical Ballet. Lizzy has also had training in contemporary, tap, lyrical and musical theatre. She moved into teaching when she was 16 and developed a dance school within an arts academy, establishing several classes and dance styles. Lizzy became NZMAD registered and attended teacher courses as well as utilizing their examination material. Lizzy has a passion for musical theatre and has been involved in several creative companies such as Hamilton operatic society, Riverlea theatre including Musikmakers and Hamilton Playbox, and Gaslight Theatre Company. More recently she has been involved with Centrestage Theatre Company. She enjoys the marriage of the arts within musical theatre as she has a love for both singing and acting. As well as her passion for dance she has a desire to educate. She has attended The University of Waikato with a Bachelors in Primary Education and completed her Secondary Teaching degree specializing in dance education. She is currently the head Dance and Drama teacher at Murrays Bay Intermediate School. Lizzy has a passion for empowering others with the confidence that comes with dance. Everyone should have the chance to experience the passion of Martha, the individuality of Fosse and find the Ginger to their Fred.
Phoebe Robertson

Phoebe Robertson

Phoebe is a passionate performer of 15 years. Her love for performing stemmed from singing, which she started at aged 7. She also performed with Northland Youth Theatre and sung in choirs such as Opera North and the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir. She passed her Advanced Certificate in Singing from Trinity College London with Distinction and in 2020 she graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art. She has performed in musicals such as; Mamma Mia, Urinetown, 42nd Street and recently created her own show entitled I’m On My Way To Mars, which inspired her love for devising theatre. Phoebe knows first hand how performing arts can help a child to grow and she is thrilled to be teaching young artists to be the performers and people they aspire to be.
Rachel Harding

Rachel Harding

Rachel began dancing at the age of 3 and continued dancing with Bays School Of Dance up until 2018, focusing on a variety of styles, with tap as a favourite. In 2018 she completed all BAL tap exams from pre-primary to advanced, and has since completed all 9 levels of NZAMD Tap with Bays, and Fusion/Raw dance. In 2019 she completed level 8 NZAMD Tap exam with 100%, Honours Distinction and received a nomination for the NZAMD tap nationals in Wellington, and in 2020 completed level 9 with honours distinction. Rachel has been training in performing arts and has performed in a number of musicals including the UK tour of Annie at the age of 12, 42nd street, Chicago, and is currently rehearsing for Centrestage youth’s production of Legally Blonde. Rachel loves working with others and is excited to share her love and appreciation for tap with others!
Catherine Carr

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 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.
Christopher Chatwin-Ward

Christopher Chatwin-Ward

After graduating from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Music, Chris has been teaching Brass and Guitar for the over 7 years at Whangaparaoa College. Chris has Grade 8 Trombone and Majored in Composition and popular music! Chris is a passionate musician performing regularly in a range of different groups and bands. Chris always strives to get the best out of his students and prides himself on being fun and progressive with his teaching methods. Chris is thrilled to be teaching at Northern School of Performing Arts and watching his student learn and grow through music.
Megan Wilson

Megan Wilson

Megan moved to Auckland in 2011 after she trained at NASDA in Christchurch and gained her Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA) Having previously taught for Sophia 6 years ago, Megan can't wait to teach again and pass on her knowledge of musical theatre to NSPA students. Megan has been part of many musicals throughout Auckland, some of them include, We Will Rock You - Teen Queen, 42nd Street - Dorothy, The Wild Party - Nadine, Sweet Charity - Charity, Hair - Crissy, The Addams Family, Godspell, West Side Story.
Tegan Hardy

Tegan Hardy

Dancing is Tegan’s biggest passion since the age of 4 years old. During school years She performed in ACT Three productions such as 42nd Street, hairspray, sweet charity and CATS. Also, performing in the Boys high and Girls high productions of West side story and Guys and Dolls. She trained Fulltime at Village Nation in Sydney for 2 years. She was inspired by the variety of choreographers that shared all their knowledge about the industry and the world. was then introduced more into Bob Fosse and fell in love with the attention to details and the unique positionings of his style. She did a 6-month dance contract over in Mumbai India. Dancing in Bollywood Movies, TV shows and event performances. This experience was life changing for me and She is very grateful to had continued my passion overseas and call it work. Tegan is excited to be in Auckland and to be sharing her passion through teaching after just recently choreographing Chicago in Palmerston North.
James Davies

James Davies

James Davies is an international performing artist with over 20 years training and experience. He studied mostly here in Auckland, with leading industry teachers such as Sarah Boocock (Royal Academy of Dance) at L’academie de Danse, and Musical Theatre teachers at Auckland City Theatre Academy, and Apollo Theatre School. James was chosen to be a part of the Royal NZ ballet mentor scheme, and also the Junior Associates programme where he travelled to Wellington to take classes at the New Zealand School Of Dance. Throughout his training so far, he has also attained a Diploma in Musical Theatre (Apollo) and his A.T.C.L. in Musical Theatre (Trinity London). Credits include: Dancing for the opening of the Olympics 2012, Roles in award-nominated Musical Theatre in London, and screen experience that spans over 150 countries.
Clare Saddington-Smith

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.