Who are we?
We are a group of Professional and highly qualified Dance instructors with many years of experience in both the technical and performance aspects of Dance. As a company, our focus is motivating and encouraging people of all abilities to embrace a love of life and of themselves through movement and expression.
Meet our Teachers
SONIA LEE NAZZER
DIRECTOR OF ACADEMY OF DANCE TARANAKI
At 16 Sonia was gaining recognition as a young talent in the performing arts industry in both dance, Ballet, Tap and Jazz and Drama. As the drama cup recipient for her high school, Sonia went on to pursue further performing arts training through Excel School of Performing Arts. Prior to this Sonia had training in BBO Tap, BBO Ballet, NZAMD Jazz to Solo Seal level, And gained distinctions in her Trinity College of London Speech and Drama examinations up to grade 8 and Performance certificate, studying privately under the tutelage of the legendary Dorne Arthur.
Many years later, Sonia is most proud of her achievement of creating a successful dance studio, in the heart of Asia, Hong Kong. Enjoying the many facets of the job of Director, Sonia thrives in a diverse and open environment where her talents can be put to use. From costume design, script writing, teaching, mentoring, and developing curriculum Sonia enjoys most seeing the kids shine and overcome to become the best they can be. Sonia relocated to New Plymouth with her husband Ben and their 6 children in early 2020.
BALLET, JAZZ AND ADULT DANCE TEACHER
Alyssa started dancing at the tender age of three and went on to complete her NZAMD Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz levels with an outstanding local studio in Taranaki. With natural leadership skills and an ability to engage young people in positive ways Alyssa began her teaching career at just 14 years old, stepping in to take on teaching responsibilities at the studio where she herself was taught.
Having gained distinction in all her Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary examinations herself Alyssa knows the hard work, focus and discipline required to achieve your best as a dancer. With her background in dance and her current studies in Psychology Alyssa is the perfect teacher for your beginner dancer, your recreational dancer and also the dancer that wants to go onto achieve excellence in their examinations and in a competition format.
HIP HOP, TIGER TOTS AND PRESCHOOL DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Training in a variety of dance styles from age 7, Tori very early on discovered her passion lies within Hip Hop. This passion and drive led her to compete at the World Hop Hop Championships in Las Vegas, followed by forming her own hip hop crew here in New Plymouth where she performed and competed in many local shows and competitions. Utilizing her Masters Degree in Psychology, Tori has been working in the education sector for the past 4 years, working with both children and young adults where she also had the opportunity to choreograph school productions and teach Hip Hop classes.
Tori believes dancing is as therapeutic as it is fun and aims to create a space to build confidence, creativity, joy and a sense of empowerment in all her students. Tori embodies what we believe at Academy of Dance, that dance is for everyone, and brings out the very best in our tamariki, children. Connection and belonging are vital aspects of a child’s upbringing; at Academy of Dance we are proud to have tutors who understand this and can facilitate the growth of healthy minds as well as bodies through the art of movement.