Our Teachers

Paula Hunt MNZM  – Artistic Advisor

PHMs Hunt has taught dance in Wellington for more than forty years.  She was appointed examiner of the Royal Academy of Dance in 1985, and in 2005 was appointed Chairman of the International Board of examiners of the Royal Academy of Dance. She has trained and mentored a large number of new examiners and tutors who deliver the Academy’s courses throughout the world. Since 2006 Ms Hunt has contributed to developing a series of new syllabi for students throughout the world who may progress to become professional dancers. She is well regarded for her passion, enthusiasm, energy and commitment, inspirational leadership and devotion to teaching others.  She has had many students go on to full-time professional training and careers in ballet companies around the world.  In 2016 Ms Hunt taught Grade 5 through to Advanced 2 ballet at the studio.  In 2017, she will maintain an ‘artistic advisor’ role, mentoring our teachers and coaching our students when at home in Wellington.  Wellington Dance was created by Miss Hunt and we aim to continue her legacy of sparking the joy of dance in every dancer.

Alison Pond – Artistic Director of RAD Ballet

alisonAlison holds top qualifications including the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced Teaching Diploma and is also an examiner and tutor for the Royal Academy of Dance.  Miss Pond is a Registered Teacher of the RAD and an NZAMD Teaching member. We are very excited to welcome Miss Pond, who will teach Grades 3-5, Vocational Ballet plus our Ballet Extension Teams, and mentor and guide our ballet teachers through RAD syllabi and exams.

Genevieve Zerf – Ballet Teacher (RAD Grades & Vocational)

Genevieve montageGenevieve studied ballet at the University of Cape Town ballet school under Gillian Moore, Diane Cheeseman and Kim Day.  Following this she attended Pro-Arte Performing Arts School and trained in both RAD and Cecchetti ballet with Celeste Fair and Joy Cooper, taking her final associates and teaching exams under Joy Cooper.

Genevieve is a qualified Cecchetti ballet teacher, with 8 years dance teaching experience in both ballet and jazz for children and adults. She taught children from age 18 months right through to adults at her own studio in Pretoria and loves working with and teaching children.   She is a member of DASA (the South African equivalent of the NZAMD), a qualified Jazz Ed teacher and a certified Pilates instructor.  Her studio was awarded DASA Gold Status in 2015 for excellence in dance teaching.

Genevieve has also a Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) and has performed professionally as a commercial dancer and in children’s theatre.

Anita Hutchins – Ballet (RAD Grades & Vocational) & Contemporary Teacher
AnitaRBS1999smallAnita Hutchins studied at the Royal Ballet School, London where she graduated Top Female Student.   Whilst at the school she performed with the Royal Ballet and worked with the RAD, dancing on its Solo Seal video.  At the Margot Fonteyn Memorial she danced Fonteyn’s first solo.

Anita won the Silver Medal at the 2000 Adeline Genée Awards.

From 2000 to 2003 she danced with Bayerisches Staatsballet Munchen and from 2003 to 2004 with Netherlands Dans Theater II working with Jiri Kylian and others.

After returning to New Zealand, Anita was the very popular winner of the hugely successful So You Think You Can Dance TV show in 2006.  She then danced with The Royal New Zealand Ballet for a touring season, and Phoenix Dance Theatre in Leeds.  Since returning to Wellington Anita graduated from Victoria University with a BA majoring in Philosophy and has been constantly involved in teaching, choreographing and adjudicating dance.  Anita has been teaching at Wellington Dance for 8 years.

Abbie Spencer – Jazz Teacher

erinleighphotography- Abbie_191Abbie started dancing at the age of four with ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap and hip-hop completing exams in RAD, NZAMD and ISTD. She has taught ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap for the last 6 years as well as doing her own classes, dance productions, dance workshops and competitions.
Abbie graduated from the Whitireia Performance Centre with a Diploma in Commercial Dance. She then moved to London to pursue her dance career. For 3 years she danced professionally on cruise ships with Princess Cruise Lines and Classic International Cruises. While in London she was also involved in different commercial dance performances.  Abbie is also a Jazz, Tap and Body Conditioning tutor at Whitireia Performance Centre and teaches an open fitness class for adults.

Sophie Ryan – Ballet & Conditioning Teacher

IMG_6033 (1)Sophie Ryan is a dance physiotherapist, pilates instructor and dance teacher. Originally trained at Kim Harvey School of Dance in Australia, she became a New Zealand School of Dance graduate and went on to perform professionally with Black Grace Dance Company amongst others. Injuries lead to retraining as a physiotherapist. She completed an apprenticeship and worked with Dance Pilates in Auckland over four years. She taught advanced open classical technique, pointe and conditioning at Auckland Academy of Dance for eight years. Sophie moved to Wellington in early 2016. She has a strong interest in safe dance practice and she is currently a physiotherapist at a dance-specific clinic in central Wellington (Te Aro Physiotherapy).

Georgia Allen – Ballet (RAD Grades and Pre School) & Jazz Teacher

Miss Georgia started dancing when she was three years old and has sat numerous major exams from the RAD and NZAMD syllabus.  Georgia received the NZAMD Licentiate in Dance Award in 2011 having completed Solo Diplomas in Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary.  

Georgia has also been heavily involved in competitions and shows such as New Plymouth Operatic production of 42nd Street . Georgia has been teaching at Wellington Dance since 2011 and will be undertaking the Royal Academy of Dance London distance-learning Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies next year.

Ana Van Elswijk – Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Tap and Singing Teacher

Miss Ana was born and raised in Wanganui, and started learning dance from Sharyn Underwood (co-founder of the Phoenix Workshops) at the age of 8. She graduated from the Whitireia Performing Arts Centre, and has taught previously at Pump Dance Studios, and Musical Stars.  Ana has performed in musicals in Wanganui such as Guys & Dolls and Chicago, and has also adjudicating at dance competitions there.  She has choreographed and taught students performing in Beauty & The Beast and Peter Pan.

Demi Tiller – Ballet & Jazz Teacher

Miss Demi has been dancing since the age of three and has studied Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz. Being predominantly classically trained, Demi has completed her Advanced 1 Exams in both Cecchetti and RAD. Demi is a former student of Wellington Dance and Performing Arts Academy and started teaching in 2015; when she stopped her training to go to Victoria University.

Anna Hinderwell – Ballet & Jazz Teacher

Anna Hinderwell is a born and bred Wellingtonian. Dancing from the age of four with
Suzanne Denton, Anna
has been exposed to many different styles of dance from ballet and jazz through to hip hop and contemporary. She has been nominated for NZAMD Jazz Scholarships multiple times and in 2012 won First Place at the North City Talent Quest with a lyrical dance. In 2015, Anna completed her Solo Seal Diploma in Ballet. Anna is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University. This year Anna is teaching Time for Dancing through to Grade 1 Ballet and Grade 3 Jazz.


We are currently working on adding a bio for all teachers to this page.