Olivia first began dancing in 1983 with the renowned Mr Les Griffith, where Dein Perry and many of the original Tap Dogs also began to dance. Learning from his unique LGTDA tap dancing syllabus, Olivia sat exams, competed in eisteddfods and performed in his concert productions. After his passing, she continued her tuition with Pullars Dance Academy.
Olivia gained her Teaching Certificate while at ‘Simone Lindus School of Tap’. She soon became part owner in the school, which was renamed ‘The Dance Gallery’ where she taught around 100 students aged 3 years to adult in both tap and jazz. In her years of teaching at this school, Olivia was a performer at charity events for ‘Life Without Barriers’ and attended dance seminars with Drew Anthony for NSW Tap Dancers. She also choreographed a number for Eleebana Public School for the State Schools Spectacular and was the dance teacher at St James Primary School.
A string of auditions in 2000 saw Olivia chosen as a lead tap dancer in ‘Eternity’ in the Sydney 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony performing with Adam Garcia and the Tap Dogs. The year 2000 also saw Olivia choreographing and dancing for the ‘Hunter Honeyz’ cheerleading squad for the Hunter Basketball Team and also in ‘Charlie’s Angels’ for the Charlestown Football Club. Later in the year Olivia was a guest teacher at Collarenebri Central School and was the choreographer of a ‘Croc Festival’ routine for Rowena Primary School.
In the years following Olivia was a backup dancer for Maria Maroulis at Fanny’s Nightclub, Surfest and Hunter United Soccer. She also worked for Charmed Promotions and did fashion parades, brand promotions, featured in a TV Commercial for Camera House and did a corporate video shoot for Crown Towers.
In 2002, Olivia moved to the Gold Coast where she was chosen for a contract as a dancer for a three week tour through Malaysia for ‘Carlsberg’. She did master classes with William Forsythe and worked at many corporate events through Anthony Ikin. Whilst in QLD, Olivia auditioned for Grayboy Entertainment and did a cruise ship contract as Dance Captain on the Tahitian Princess.
Following this, Olivia lived in London for 2 years, where she was the Dance Teacher at Belmont Junior School, attended classes at Pineapple Dance Studio’s and did commercial work for ‘Howard Productions’.
Returning to Australia, Olivia was offered another cruise ship contract through Grayboy Entertainment as Dance Captain on P&O Pacific Star. On completion of this contract, she was asked by Grayboy to be a choreographer and teacher of the Production shows that they put on both P&O and Princess Cruises. For 3 years Olivia would teach professional dancers and place them on cruise contracts on the Tahitian Princess, Pacific Princess and P&O Pacific Dawn.
In 2007, Olivia became the Dance Teacher at Valentine Public School. Then in 2008, Olivia opened up ‘Studi-O Dance School’ in the Valentine area. The school soon flourished and Olivia devotes all her efforts to its success to this very day.
Jess has been dancing since the age of 3. She joins Studi-O with the skills to teach Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Body Conditioning and Technique Training.
Jess trained part time at Marie Walton-Mahon Dance Academy up until 2012, where she completed all of her RAD syllabus examinations (Pre Primary – Advanced 2) with distinctions. In 2013 – 2014 Jess went to train full time at The National College Of Dance where she graduated DUX of her year with a Certificate IV and a Diploma in Dance – Elite Performance.
Most recently Jess has completed a professional dance contract wit Tokyo Disney, Japan, in the show One Mans Dream 2 – The Magic Lives On.
Alison started dancing at 3 years of age. She has taken part in many dance competitions and was fortunate to place very well, winning championships and scholarships.
Alison loves all styles of dance and is trained in Tap (LGTDA and PDA Unique Technique), Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Contemporary and Acrobatics.
Her teaching career started at 16 years of age, and along side her fitness career and daughter, has been her absolute passion ever since.
Alison has taught all ages and styles, including troupe classes and solos. Alison says “It has been my lifelong ambition to teach dance and watch my students succeed in this art that has always been such an important part of my life”.
Amela began studying Ballet and Jazz in 1997 at Dance Image Studios under the guidance of Karen Thomas. In 2000 she began learning the genres of Modern/Contemporary and National Character. She also studied and completed up to Bronze Medal in the Les Griffith Tap Dance Academy syllabus (L.G.T.D.A).
In 2005 Amela began studying at Belmont Dance Centre under the guidance of Karen Thomas and Jenny Langford. She completed Grade 8, the final exam in the R.A.D Graded examinations with 91% Distinction. In 2011 she completed Advanced Two, the final Grade in the R.A.D Vocational Examination Syllabus.
Amela has attended ballet workshops with Daren McIntyre and Daniel Baker. She has also competed in many scholarships, such as The Marianne McIntyre Memorial International Ballet Scholarship, Port Macquarie and the Isobel Anderson Awards Scholarship, Sydney.
Amela has competed in many solo and group eisteddfods across Newcastle, Sydney and Port Macquarie in the Ballet, Contemporary, Tap and Jazz genres. She won the Junior Ballet Scholarship at Lake Macquarie Festival of Dance, in her last solo eisteddfod (2011), won 1st place in the 15 years and Over Classical Championship and 2nd place in the 15 Years and Over Modern Championship at Swansea Dance Festival.
Linda has been dancing since the age of 6 and studied in Tap, Jazz, Ballet & Contemporary. Linda studied Tap dance under the tuition of Pullars Dance Academy & sat exams from the Les Griffiths Tap Syllabus. Linda also studied Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary under the guidance of Karen Thomas.
Linda competed in numerous Dance Eisteddfods from the age of 8yrs around Newcastle, Sydney & Gold Coast & won various Championships & Scholarships until 16yrs. After high school Linda joined the Newcastle Knights Cheersquad, Hunter Mariners Cheersquad and Genetics Step Team. She later performed with Sydney based production company SBI Productions under the guidance of Sydney Choreographers Aleeta and Peter Blackburn. Linda travelled to Singapore in 2000, taking part in a stage production and various promotional work with SBI Productions. Through this Linda realized the importance of stage presence, confidence & dedication for performers.
In 2001 Linda travelled to London attending classes at the famous Pineapple Dance Studios and travelled throughout Europe. Later taking on a position as Assistant Choreographer & performer in Mexico’s Resort area working at Gala Resort Playa Del Carmen and Cameleon Marivale Resort Puerto Aventuras. Linda learnt many new styles of dance including Caribbean, Cuban & Latin American & worked along side with 2 Head Choreographers from Venezuela & Cuba.
Upon her return to Australia Linda was teaching tap for PIVOT Dance Studio in Newcastle & also joined their performance group, which lead to many corporate performances in Newcastle & Sydney.
In 2010 Linda became a qualified Zumba Instructor & taught adult & kids classes at various gyms & dance studios over Newcastle & Hunter region and attended the Zumba Convention in Orlando USA.
In recent years Linda concentrated on raising her 2 children & is now looking forward to teaching again at Studi-O.
Maddison started dancing at the age of six. She completed four years of Physical Culture and pursued her passion for dance with Studi-O in 2008. During her six-years at Studi-O, Maddison has competed in eisteddfods, entering in solos, duos and troupe; she has had the opportunities to perform at festivals and has also danced in Starstruck productions in 2009 and 2013. In 2010 Maddison became a student teacher at Studi-O helping assist with the younger classes. Now while studying at university, Maddison will take on teaching responsibilities. Having grown up at Studi-O, many of our younger students look up to Maddison and both her talents and caring nature.
Taylah Starrett (ASSISTANT TEACHER IN JAZZ, CONTEMPORARY AND TAP)
Taylah has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She has been with Studi-O since it began in 2008. Taylah is trained in all styles of dance including jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary and ballet technique. She is also a part of our senior performance team and also competes in solo and duo sections. She has so far completed up to Alternate Tap 5 in the PDA Unique Technique Tap Dancing Syllabus. Taylah has recently been a member of the Newcastle Jets Dance Team. She also performed in Starstruck 2010 and again recently in Starstruck 2014 having successfully auditioned for the Tap Dancing section. After another recent audition, Taylah was chosen to be in 3 routines for the Opening Ceremony of the International Children’s Games. Taylah has been an assistant teacher with Studi-O since 2010 – helping out in both tap, jazz and contemporary classes.
Jayley Starrett (ASSISTANT TEACHER IN JAZZ AND TAP)
Jayley began dancing when she was 4 years of age and has been with Studi-O since 2008. She trains in all styles of dance including jazz, tap, contemporary, hip-hop, acrobatics and ballet technique. Jayley competes in many eisteddfods in solo, duo and troupe sections. She was a performer in Starstruck 2012 and has also auditioned successfully for the Opening Ceremony of the International Children’s Games – being chosen for 2 routines. Jayley has been an assistant teacher with Studi-O since 2012.