Teachers

LISA-ANNE HAMMER Owner / Director

1Lisa-Anne Hammer, the Director of TDC, is a seasoned all round dancer having trained in all aspects of performing arts including ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, acrobatics, musical theatre, drama and gymnastics. Her passion for dance began at a young age, and has kept growing ever since. Lisa has trained at some of Melbourne's leading dance studios including The Space Dance and Arts Centre, Melbourne Music Academy, Jen Lea Ballet School and Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance. Staying up to date with modern dance techniques and styles, she is constantly furthering her development by taking part-time dance at The Space Dance and Arts Centre, attending regular classes from leading choreographers around Melbourne, and traveling to international dance hubs such as Los Angeles, California, for further training.

During her time at University, Lisa obtained an Honors Degree in Child Psychology. Her love for children and teaching has led to the creation of TDC; a place where students can train professionally, learn new styles and techniques or just dance for fun.

Some of Lisa's dance credits include The Pink Tribute Show National Tour, Grand Opening of Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance, The Giants Cheerleading Squad, Fashion Aid, Leaonda Bridal Show, Ideal Bride Expo plus numerous television commercials, video clips and amature musical theatre productions.
In addition to her dancing, Lisa also has extensive experience in the modeling industry, having appeared in many commercials, advertising campaigns and fashion shows. She was also a Miss Universe and Miss World Australia State Finalist.

Lisa is the primary trainer for the Elite Program and teaches numerous styles and classes across the TDC syllabus. Her reputation as a brilliant teacher stems from her focus on technique and attention to detail with all her students.

ANDREW DOWTON Hip Hop and Elite Team Trainer

1Andrew is an enthusiastic urban-style hip hop dancer, choreographer and performer, eager to work with aspiring dancers and combine techniques in various hip hop styles including popping, isolation, waving, and LA-style urban choreography.

Andrew has performed in a number of major events including United We Boogie Singapore (featuring renowned US So You Think You Can Dance choreographers, Tabitha and Napoleon), placed 2nd with his crew Beatphonik at the Australian Hip Hop Championships 2010, and continues to perform in both crew and non-crew performances both locally and outside of Melbourne.

Having accelerated from a beginner student to choreographer, teacher, and international performer within a short time frame, Andrew hopes to inspire others to develop and reach their full dance potential - all it takes hard work and dedication!!

Andrew recently travelled to China to perform for a Lady Gaga tribute tour show. Andrew was also the founder and co-choreographer for the dance group Eyegasm, which was cast in the Channel Ten TV show “Everybody Dance Now”.

SAMANTHA MERCKEL Vocal Program

1Sam recently graduated from Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance's two year full-time dance course where she undertook the Musical Theatre strand. In 2012 she received a Dance School Training Scholarship where her major role was teaching private singing lessons.

Some of Sam’s credits include WaterAid Ball, AFL Luncheon, KPMG Annual Ball, World Dance Sport Championships Opening, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, Hannah Montana Tribute Show, Melbourne Latin Festival, Good Guys, Neighbors, Select Band, Entertainment Australia, Allegra Music Australia and Pantene.

Sam's passion lies in musical theatre and Soul/R&B but her singing technique caters to all types of genres including Pop, Folk and Classical. She has performed at the Copacabana International and also starred as Deena from 'Dream girls' in Jason Coleman's production of “Lights, Camera, and Action.”

She has learnt specialized vocal techniques from the likes of Deb Mitchelmore and Tim Smith, Jenny Kent, Susan Anne Walker, Dana Jolly, Shaun Murphy, Peter Wallace and has a wealth of knowledge to share.

LAUREN FINDLAY Acro / Jazz / Lyrical

1Lauren Finlay has been performing since the age of 4, having trained in many different styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Acrobatics and Circus Skills. Lauren is a very well-rounded Performer. After two years of training, Lauren received a Diploma of Dance and Performance at Melbourne’s Dance World Studios in 2010.

Throughout Lauren’s career she has performed with many companies such as Queensland’s Raw Metal Dance Company, Expressions Dance Contemporary Company and EStore Children’s Entertainment. Most recently, Lauren was accepted into the Melbourne Tap Company. Lauren has performed a dance solo with the Ten Tenors as well as trained and performed with many professional artists including Kelly Abbey, Louis D Loure, Thern Reynolds, Adam Wheeler, Helena Moore, Troy Cassar- Daley & Kate Miller Heidke. Laurens attention to detail is what sets her apart.

CAETLYN WATSONHip-hop

1Caetlyn is a Melbourne based Choreographer/Performer who has taught at the prestigious Los Angeles studio ‘Movement Lifestyle’ and since returning from her 3 month training period in LA, has continued to teach throughout parts of Australia.

In 2011 Caetlyn graduated from studying 2 years of fulltime dance at DLDC and completed her Advanced Diploma in Musical Theatre Performance and Commercial Dance.

Caetlyn’s performance credits include numerous appearances on Network 7’s hit TV program ‘Australia’s Got Talent’, Brian McFadden, ‘Stereosonic’ and ‘Big Day Out’ Music Festivals, Carnival Choreographers Ball Sydney and LA, ‘Underground’ and many industry nights.

She has taught workshops that cater to all abilities and ages throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and the Mid North Coast. Caetlyn is now focusing on fulfilling her dreams to choreograph and teach around the world.

"C" is a percussive focused choreographer/ dancer/ freestyler. In her classes she likes to challenge the dancers in musicality, feeling and skill.

ELLYA SAMBallet and Exam Ballet

1- Ellya Sam graduated with First Class Honours completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, Australia. She began her dance training at the age of 3 in Malaysia and completed her Royal Academy of Dance and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Ballet and Modern Advanced 2 with Distinction at the age of 16. She studied at Cempaka International School, Malaysia on a full Dance Scholarship. She is also a winner of multiple The Dance Society of Malaysia ballet competitions.

During her time in Malaysia, she has performed soloist roles touring Malaysia with Ena Ballet Japan and Danceworks Malaysia. In 2009, she won a scholarship bringing her to dance in Vienna for the prestigious Vienna Opera Ball, representing Malaysia. Upon moving to Australia in 2010, she began competing in Ballroom and Latin and won an “Australian Title 1st Placing” in the Youth Category with her partner, representing Australia. In 2013, she spent a week on Secondment with The Australian Dance Theatre. She has also performed in the Fringe Festival Melbourne, and Actor’s Studio Dancebox.

She has worked closely with many known Australian choreographers such as Stephanie Lake, LinaLimosani, Natalie Cursio and Rochelle Carmichael, to name a few. In 2015, she will be working with Gary Abrahams for NEON Festival, Rochelle Carmichael for Fringe Festival and Rikky Lee as well as teaching ballet with TDC The Dance Company.

Kiane OFarrellVocal Program / Musical Theatre

1Kiane O’Farrell has recently graduated from Ballarat’s Art Academy studying Musical Theatre. Her time at the Arts Academy saw her play roles in 42nd Street (Gladys), Parade (Iola Stover), and ALittle Touch Of Choas (young Sue Masters). Before Ballarat, Kiane completed two seasons playing Tina in the hit children’s series ‘As The Bell Rings’ on Disney Channel. She also was a host for Disney Channel’s ‘New Years Eve Count Down’ and Disney’s ‘Mary PoppinsBackstage tour’ with Matt Lee. Recently Kiane took part in Melbourne’s Short and Sweet cabaret with her joint self-devise cabaret titled ‘Apples and Apples’ which also did a short season at the Butterfly club early in 2013. Previously Kiane completed a majority of her performing arts training at MDX (Melbourne Dance Xchange).

*Currently Kiane has joined the cast at Doorstep Theatre in the production of Next To Normal playing the role of ‘Natalie Goodman’. This production will perform at GPAC in March 2014.

REBECCA DAVIES Elite Program Trainer

1Rebecca Davies has revolutionised the dance industry with her conditioning programs for young dancers. She is constantly in high demand world-wide for her life-changing seminars which transform dancers’ techniques in a matter of minutes. Rebecca has trained dancers who have performed in Billy Elliot (7 cast members including the feature role of Billy Elliot), The Lion King (2 young Simbas), the feature movie Razzle Dazzle, Dance Academy, Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada as well as countless stage and television appearances. Rebecca filmed an episode at ALDC for the reality TV show ‘Dance Moms’ and has been flown around Australia and the world to share her expertise and her progressive techniques. In 2008 and 2009 Rebecca competed in three body sculpting competitions with ANB and WNBF and enjoys studying new training techniques which holistically enhance the health and well being of young people. Rebecca also has a BA and a Master of Teaching Degree (history and religious education) qualifying her to teach both primary and secondary education.

My workshops focus on conditioning for dancers.I am passionate about helping young dancers to look after their physiques and find their strengths and limitations at an early age so as to improve and enhance them. Class and training should always be fun, setting up a lifelong enjoyment for fitness, and by mixing my high intensity strength and flexibility exercises with humour and fun, students leave my class feeling inspired, confident and armed with the tools to learn about their dancer's body.

I have a Masters of Teaching degree with the University of Sydney and have been teaching dance for over 20 years. Owning a studio in Sydney for 13 years I have trained 7 cast members of Billy Elliot, including the feature role of Billy Elliot, the Lion king (2 young Simbas) and Strictly Ballroom the musical. My students have also been featured in the Australia dance classic movie Razzle Dazzle and tv series Dance Academy and have worked in productions with Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet , the National Ballet of Canada as well as countless stage and television appearances. In January of last year I filmed an episode at ALDC for the reality TV show "Dance Moms" and held seminars at ALDC, Dance Precisions LA and studios in Alaska, Texas and New York.

Billie Casey-Jabore Commercial

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Etienne Khoo Hip Hop / Crew Trainer

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Trevor Santos Hip Hop / Crew Trainer

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Brittany PageLyrical / Conditioning / Technique / Contemporary

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Luca DinardoLyrical / Conditioning / Technique / Contemporary

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Stefan LagoulisLyrical / Conditioning / Technique / Contemporary

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Dylan RodriguezAcro

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Luke HubbardAcro

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Danny GoldingAcro

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Cassie Miller Acro / Jazz / Hiphop

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Colette PengelleyHiphop

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*Most classes at TDC have assistant teachers who help with one-on-one development for students.

Location: Altona North Primary HALL Seventh Avenue, Altona North (Entrance via SIDE GATE)

Contact: CALL US: 9318-0429
EMAIL US: Tdcthedancecompany@gmail.com
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Testimonials

  • "My daughter has attended TDC for the past 4 years and I can't rate it highly enough!! Her confidence has improved so much in dance school and with her friends! All the teachers are fantastic and give each child a chance to shine! Lisa and Andrew are amazing with the children and always have time for them! Thanks TDC and Miss Lisa for your kindness, patience, persistence and all the opportunities you have given my little girls!" - Tina Robertson. Students: Ava and Lexi.

  • "I am impressed with the level of recognition and encouragement each child gets regardless if they are elite level or recreational. Both my daughters are very different. One is musical theatre, the other high-energy acrobatics, yet both girls have felt nurtured and respected and given loads of specialized attention and training specific to their needs! I feel the teachers really know each child's passion and really zone in on it! My 8 year-old is now doing aerials and flips, and my musical theatre daughter has attained two lead roles in outside theatre company productions. TDC has certainly been the best decision we’ve ever made!" - Kylie Pope. Students: Kate and Shevaun.

  • "It is wonderful to Ella and Olivia come to dancing each week with such enthusiasm. My girls love to make up dance routines at home; it's great to see them working on "little concerts" together. Lisa is an amazing young lady who nurtures, teaches and creates fun for all the children she meets. We are also lucky to have met her and the whole TDC team. Thank you so much for the gift you give to all those that wish to dance." - Lisa Alexander. Students Ella and Olivia Alexander

  • "Ava has become more confident since joining TDC last year. She loves Lisa, and why wouldn't she, Lisa has a fantastic personal rapport with the children. We have enjoyed our time here & look forward to many more years dancing together." - Tina. Student: Ava

  • "Jasmin enjoys dancing hip hop & jazz classes, Lisa is a fantastic teacher and Jasmine has learned a lot since she has started. Her confidence has increased in her dancing & also is a lot more focussed in general." Helen (Jazmine's mum)

  • "Ava has become a more confident performer since attending TDC. Discovering new techniques and pushing the boundaries of her capability thanks to her amazing teachers. Each year it amazes us of the changes in development we can see in Ava's progress." -Happy Joslyn Portelli. Student Ava

  • "Lisa is a healthy role model and personally invests in all her students. We are astounded with the progress Ella has made under Lisa's tuition and guidance this year in both her dance ability and confidence levels. All the teachers and students at TDC encourage and support each other to achieve their best." -Rebecca Windsor. Student Ella

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