Emma Staltari | Owner, Director, Dance Teacher
Emma began her dance journey in 1991 at the age of 6, enrolling at the DM Dance school on the fleurieu peninsula where she learnt ‘Jazz Ballet’ for the next 11 years.
In 2000 Emma became an assistant dance teacher at the school. She was a co-ordinator of many dance programmes through secondary school years choreographing Eisteddfods, dance productions and concerts. Emma was also a youth leader for a government programme, Active8. Through this group she travelled interstate to conferences working with youth and leadership. She also had the opportunity to work with various arts organisations such as Carclew Youth Arts, Country Arts SA and AIT Arts while with the Active8 programme.
In October of 2003 Emma registered the business ‘DanceSA School of Performing Arts, opening at Yankalilla in February 2004 with 80 students.
At the same time contracting to many SA schools as a choreographer, producing many productions to date.
DanceSA currently operates in 30 locations across SA and is embarking on a national franchise journey.
"Creating an opportunity for thousands of students, who are able to experience the benefits of dance through our schools has been one of my greatest achievements. I continuously strive to further my knowledge in dance and business management through courses and specialised coaching. I feel enriched to provide such an amazing dance platform for the children across Australia"
Emma's other two great achievements are her three beautiful children Lexie, Summer and Max
Attending primary and high school together, Drew and Emma went on to work on many productions together since 2001.
In 2006 Drew began his professional career in corporate audio visiual production at the Adelaide Convention Centre. His main venture was large scale vision systems for the technical production department at the ACC. Soon after, he joined the Team leaders in the Company, directing AV on a number of large-scale events.
He then stepped up again as the lead Technical Director for the centre, co-ordinating all aspects of many high profile events. Following the ACC, Drew had a successful career boost with a national based AV company, Staging Connections in the role of SA/NT Technical Director.
Now currently working as senior video systems engineer with Sydney based company TDC.
Some of Drew's recent events includes Vivid Sydney, the Arias, NYE Sydney Harbour, Young Talent Time, Carols in the Domain and collaborating with course material at NIDA.
Josh Smart | Technical Director
Josh has worked in Technical Production since school, moving on to study at the Adelaide College for the Arts. Alongside this Josh started his own business, Smart AudioVisual in 2009.
DanceSA first met Josh at the Hopgood Theatre, as Technical Manager; and he has been operating our shows since 2012. Josh has worked for Country Arts SA, Staging Connections, HAYCOM, The Garden of Unearthly Delights and Brighton Performing Arts Centre.
Josh has worked on events large and small, including The Rolling Stones, ACDC, Soundwave and Big Day Out, and is currently Head of Sound at Central Audio Visual and Adelaide Oval. We are privileged to have Josh in our team.
Kyra Caruso | Dance Teacher & Office Administration Team
Dance has always been a strong part of Kyra's life; it has always been her passion. Kyra grew up taking ballet classes, as her mum was a teacher and had a studio built into their home. As she grew, Kyra developed a love for other styles of dance and became an all rounded performer.
As a teenager, Kyra was blessed with the oppportunity to travel to America for an intensive ballet program at a Californian college, where she took classes with some of America's great dance educators. While this was an experience of a lifetime, it also showed her just how universally beautiful dance is.
Kyra completed dance as a SACE subject in Years 11 and 12, before studying and completing her Certificate IV in Dance at Gravity Dance Studios in 2013. Gravity is also where Kyra first began teaching; she was personally selected to join the teaching team. In 2016, Kyra started her choreography work with Wakakirri and she also dances professionally for the Adelaide 36ers basketball team.
"Teaching dance brings me a joy I never knew existed. I love seeing my students walk into my class with a huge smile on their face ready to dance their heart out with me. Working towards our performances is so special to me; nothing compares to the feeling of seeing my kids up on that stage abolutely shining! I am so proud to be someone my students can look up to and I am so lucky to work in such an inspirational environment!"
Emma began her dance journey at school completing year 11 and 12 SACE dance.
Furthering her dance education at Dancecraft Studios (now known as Gravity Studios) Emma's focus was ballet, completing RAD exams.
Emma is mum of 3 to Ellyse, Hunta & Matilda.
"Dance has always been a strong focus in my life, I enjoy the fun atmosphere of my classes and look forward to sharing my dance eduction to my students in every class.
Caitlyn Hawke | Dance Teacher
Caitlyn joined the DanceSA team in 2011 as a senior student in our Aldinga Beach Location, she then went on to achieve an assistant dance teacher role.
"Ever since I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with dance. Performing and dancing has always had a big part in my life as I’m a very creative person. I first joined DanceSA in 2011 as a student and fell in love straight away. I then became an assistant dance teacher in 2012 and knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life"
Caitlyn studied dance at high school in years 7,8,9, & 10 and has completed a teaching course at Ausdance to further her skills in the class room.
"The thing I love most about teaching at DanceSA is that we’re all a family and that I get the opportunity to bring smiles to my students faces almost every day. I will continue working hard in class to bring joy and fun to the students of DanceSA and working in the field I love."
Elly Hogben | Dance Teacher
Elly has been dancing for 17 years (since she was 3) and started her journey at Irina Asotoff Ballet
School in Western Australia where she did Classical Ballet for 7 years and Jazz for one year. During this period, Elly completed 5 exams; 4 Classical and 1 Jazz.
After moving to South Australia in 2008, Elly then did 3 years of Jazz Ballet at DM Dance School, and in 2012, she did Classical Ballet and Hip Hop at Fortuna Dance Centre, where she completed a Hip Hop exam. It was in 2011 that Elly joined DanceSA as a student at our Yankalilla location. She immediately fell in love with the whole idea of no exams or competitions as it was such a fun atmosphere and everyone in the class was just there to dance - Elly is still loving it as she continues in that class. Elly is furthering her dance career in 2017 by undertaking her Certificate IV in Dance at Gravity Dance Studios.
"Dance is amazing. It’s a beautiful thing that lets us be who we really are and it enables us to speak through movement, which I find inspiring. This is my first year as a teacher with DanceSA and I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to join the team. I love the idea of getting to know all of my students and seeing them grow into gorgeous young adults. Every week I get to see these kids burst with enthusiasm and it makes me want to mirror their enthusiasm through my teaching. I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing industry."
Jade Francis | Dance Teacher
Jade’s dance journey began at the age of 10 when she was selected for her first state Calisthenics team. She was selected for many A grade teams, placing in several competitions at the Royalty Theatre. Over the years, Jade also participated in gymnastics and ballet lessons.
Jade’s teaching career kicked off at Footsteppes Studio in Renmark, teaching children between ages 6 and 13. She also taught and competed solo work for the Mildura Eisteddfods.
Jade is a mother of two and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts.
Cheree started Calisthenics at the age of 4 at the Bordertown Calisthenics Club, where she competed as part of a team, a soloist and in duos over the next 11yrs and was also an assistant coach when she was old enough. After moving to Murray Bridge in 2003 she joined the Murray Bridge Calisthenics Club as a member of the Senior team (16+yrs) and Coached the Tinies team (3-7yrs). During her time at the Murray Bridge Calisthenics Club she has coached, co-coached and assisted teams, solos and duos from kids aged 3yrs all the way up to Seniors 16+yrs and coached kids for their Calisthenics Pupil Skills Exams. Cheree still competes Calisthenics Masters (26+) solo and graceful solos and has completed Calisthenics Pupil Skills Exams Grade 1 through to Grade 4. She has also participated in a term of Belly Dancing lessons at Tafe in Murray bridge and has completed Module 1 Teaching Course through Acrobatic Arts. Cheree is the mother to Stephanie who inherited her love for dance and Henry who races go karts.
"Dance has been a huge part of my life, whatever is happening outside the class walls, doesn't matter in a dance class, it is all about the music and the movement. Watching kids grow in confidence and achieving things they never thought possible is why I love to teach dance."
Leila Cummings | Dance Teacher
Leila began her dancing journey at age 5 with classical ballet and jazz. She soon grew a love for dance and extended on to many other styles. Completing dance as a subject all through high school and receiving A+ for SACE stage 1 and 2 dance her passion grew even stronger.
After having experience in many performances, schools and companies across Australia (including Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance in Melbourne) Leila is super excited to be apart of the Dance SA family!
"I can't wait to spread my love and passion for dance with the kids. It's the best feeling to come to class every week and have fun, enjoyable lessons to then see all their hard work and improvement paid off at the concert."
Kristen Thiele | Dance Teacher
After pursuing figure skating from a very young age. Kristen decided to transfer this energy and skillset into dance. Her journey began at school in 2011 and she went on to complete dance as a SACE subject in year 11 and 12. During this time Kristen trained predominantly in Contemporary and Jazz, was a member of the school Hip-Hop crew, Aerobics team and teacher of the junior aerobics team. Secondary school dance allowed her to undertake frequent dance exams/assessments, whilst participating in many performances and extracurricular competitions.
In 2013 Kristen completed a week of work experience with the dancers at Adelaide College of the Arts. Whilst this was highly beneficial to my technique, she left with a stronger sense of the career I aspired to pursue; which was teaching, as opposed to professional level dance. After receiving the Year 12 Arts and Dux of Dance award at graduation, Kristen knew this was the industry she is supposed to work in.
"I feel so fortunate to have gained a position in my dream job, such a short time after finishing school. I am excited to create a fun, positive atmosphere in class and watch each student grow as dancers as well as people."
Debbie began studying dance as a hobby at 8 years old. When she moved to the country in 2002, she has continued to be involved in dance events; assisting with concert photography at her old dance school as well as choreographing the local primary school productions. Although a full-time farmer and mother of 3, she enjoys working with children - teaching swimming locally each summer, and also sharing her love of dance.
The DanceSA teaching team are employed with great care and consideration that they will be a perfect fit for our teaching roles. Our teachers must have a great drive for dance teaching and have sound communication skills. All team members share and are committed to delivering the DanceSA vision.
DanceSA teachers are required to participate and achieve the following;
Minimum 2 years dance experience.
Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management CUA40313
Senior First Aid Certificate: HLTFA311A, HLTFA211A - Updated every 3 years.
CPR First Aid Training: HLTCPR211A - Updated every 12 months.
DCSI Clearance (Department for Communities and Social Inclusion)
RAN Training (Report, Abuse & Neglect)
Regular team training & workshops
DanceAus Group is partnered with the Australian College of Dance, a nationally accredited training provider (RTO97765)
The Australian College of Dance provides training for our teaching team through;
Certificate III in Assistant Dance Teaching
Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management.
Skills Recognition Programme