"Behind every dancer who believes in themself, is a teacher who believed in them first"

The TAPA team are a talented bunch who do what they love
…and they love what they do!

KATRINA SAYCE – PRINCIPAL

Qualifications

Dip. Dance Teaching & Management
Acrobatic Arts Certified Teacher
Qualified Teacher – Ready, Set…Dance!
Qualified Teacher – Ready, Set…Ballet!
RAD Associate Member
ATOD Affiliate Member
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Ready, Set…Dance Jazz Tap Acrobatic Arts

Katrina began dancing at the age of 5 in Townsville studying Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Irish dance, Singing and Drama. She completed her R.A.D. Classical Ballet Advanced Certificate at 16 and in her youth, won the Townsville Eisteddfod Classical Ballet and Modern Championships. Moving to Sydney at 16 to attend the Sydney City Ballet School (under the direction of Tanya Pearson), she completed her Teacher’s Certificate in Modern and Tap F.A.T.D syllabus. After teaching in Sydney, she returned to Townsville to commence work with the Johnny Young Talent School. Here she introduced syllabus and technical training to the students, and purchased it to form TAPA in 1999. Katrina has choreographed many local musicals and performances for television, radio and community events. Having now completed her Diploma in Teaching and Management and Acrobatic Arts Teaching Certificate, Katrina is now passing on her love of dance to the next generation of teachers while offering many students international opportunities with workshops in Montenegro, New York, Los Angeles, Scotland and London.

Michelle Flynn

MICHELLE FLYNN

Qualifications

Diploma of Arts (Dance Teaching)
Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies (RAD)
RAD Registered Teacher
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Classical Ballet

Growing up in Townsville, Michelle studied, performed and competed in Ballet, Modern, Tap, Highland and Irish dance, before successfully auditioning in 1979 for admission to Melbourne’s Victorian College of Arts.

Upon completing her Diploma of Teaching, Michelle returned to Townsville and attained her Royal Academy of Dance Teachers’ Diploma. She is also a fully registered teacher of the well-appointed Royal Academy of Dance.

Michelle prides herself on being a part of the TAPA family from its infancy, watching it grow to the studio it has now become. Of particular enjoyment to Michelle, is that in her 30 years of teaching dance, she has had the opportunity to not only teach, but also inspire and encourage so many young people to follow their dreams.

JESSICA MURGHA

Qualifications

NDAA Advanced Certificate
Cert. IV in Business Administration
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Highland Dance Tiny Tots Ready, Set…Dance Acrobatic Arts

Jessica’s passion for Highland Dancing commenced at the tender age of 5.  Growing up, her dance interest extended to Irish Dancing, Cheerleading and Hip Hop, which she also enjoyed.  In 1998, she became both the Queensland Highland Dancing and Barrier Reef Highland Dancing Champion.

Jessica has won numerous Premierships, Bursaries, Special Awards and has competed in Competitions and Championships throughout Eastern Australia.  She has completed all three NDAA Teaching Exams with the highest marks and in 2013 was awarded the Young Teacher’s Award and Scholarship for NDAA Teachers within Australia. Jessica enjoys developing TAPA’s Highland Dancers to a championship level.

MADISON JACKSON

Qualifications

TCRG Certified Irish Dance Teacher
Cert. IV in Pilates Matwork
BEnvSci (JCU)
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Irish Dance

Madison began dancing at the age of 4 and quickly discovered Irish dance to be her favourite style.

Madison competed at a state, national and travelled to Ireland to compete in the world championships before undertaking her teacher training. She was awarded her teacher qualifications by An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha, the governing body of Irish Dance in 2015.

Madison is also a member of the Australian Irish Dancing Association and its North Queensland Sub Committee. She thoroughly enjoys the high energy nature of Irish Dance and is a welcome adition to the TAPA family, as she shares her enthusiasm for dance with our students.

PORZHIA JACOBSEN

Qualifications

AssocDegDance (QUT)
Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (RAD)
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Ready, Set…Dance Ready, Set…Ballet Classical Ballet Tap Tiny Tots

Trained in Townsville, Porzhia studied Ballet, Tap, Highland, Modern and Contemporary in a whirlwind of dance classes, workshops & eisteddfods. She completed her Associate Degree in Dance at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), before going to teach in Victoria, where she gained Pilates teacher qualifications and completed her RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies, with Michelle Flynn as her mentor.

Having flown to great heights many times, Porzhia is excited to get her feet back on the ground, returning to the TAPA family to continue expressing her love for dance through the art of teaching!

TYLA LEO

Qualifications

Acrobatic Arts Certified Teacher
ATOD Advanced Examination
BBus-LLB (Student – JCU)
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: AcroJazzContemporary

Tyla started Ballet at the age of 2 and continued her dance education at a number of schools in Sarina, Mount Isa and Townsville, picking up Jazz and Contemporary also.

Whilst also competing in competitive gymnastics for several years, at the age of 12 she discovered her love of performing in Eisteddfods. She went on to win the Townsville Modern Dance Championship and come runner up in the Ballet Championship as well as being awarded the Modern Dance Bursary at the age of 16. She completed her Advanced 2 Ballet Exam as well as completing various Modern exams in both F.A.T.D and A.T.O.D syllabi.

She has found a love for choreographing and after completing her Certification in Acrobatics Arts, she is hoping to complete further teaching qualifications. Tyla hopes to continue to share her passion for dance whilst completing her double degree of Bachelor of Business/ Bachelor of Law at JCU.

MELISSA LAND

Qualifications

Cert. IV Dance
Cert. IV Fitness
Cert. IV Training & Assessment
Adv. Cert. Speech & Drama (TCL)
Ikin Dance Graduate – Jazz Major
Dip. Health and Nutrition
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: JazzContemporarySong & Dance

Melissa has been dancing and participating in musical theatre productions since 1994, as well as teaching since 2005. She graduated from Ikin Dance as a full-time student in 2010 and then worked for agencies at the Gold Coast, Brisbane and overseas, before returning to Townsville.

Yes…Melissa was also a cheerleader for the Gold Coast Titans (sorry, NQ Cowboys!). With Melissa’s extensive experience, she is highly regarded within the local theatre communities and has choreographed and performed with The Burdekin Singers & Theatre Company, North Queensland Opera and Musical Theatre (NQOMT) and the Townsville Choral Society (TCS).

Melissa is proficient in Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, American Cheerleading, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop styles.

NAOMI AH SHAY

Qualifications

ATOD Teacher
Acrobatic Arts Certified Teacher
Certificate in Progressing Ballet Technique (Marie Walton Mahon)
Property Manager (REIQ-registered)
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Jazz Tap Classical Ballet Contemporary Ready, Set…Dance Ready, Set…Ballet Acrobatic Arts

Naomi began dancing from 9 years of age with Dance Works Academy, in Innisfail. Upon completing school and having received a full-time ballet scholarship, Naomi moved to Melbourne for further tuition and experience.

Missing both North Queensland and the fullfilment of teaching, she relocated back to Cairns to complete her teaching qualifications, while working full-time at Turning Pointe Dance Studios.

Now having moved to Townsville and successfully completing Acrobatic Arts Teacher certification , Naomi shares her time between a real estate agency and with the amazing TAPA “family”, where as a teacher of tap, ballet, contemporary, acrobatic arts and jazz dance she can enjoy sharing her love, passion and knowledge of dance with her “children”.

CHRISTINE LESTONE

Qualifications

NDAA registered Highland Dance Teacher
RAD Advanced
B Sc. (Chem.)
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Highland Dance

Born and raised in Townsville, Christine began ballet at age 5 and then Highland Dance age 8. She competed in Eisteddfods and Highland dance competitions winning the Queensland Highland Championship in Cairns at just 13 years of age.

In 1989 Christine graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) and is an NDAA registered Highland Dance Teacher.

Her love for things Scottish extends beyond dance, as Christine is also the current Treasurer for the Townsville-Thuringowa Pipe Band.

“I love that the Highland Dancing community provides dancers with many opportunities to compete, socialise, travel and make life long friends.”

LOUISE JEFFERIES

Qualifications

BEd. (Secondary)
Cert. IV Training & Assessment
Cert. III in Health Services Assistance
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Irish DanceReady, Set…Dance

Watching a friend perform at a TAPA concert was the stimulus necessary for Louise, at the age of 4, to commence her dance journey. Starting with the lively routines of Tap, Louise progressed to Modern before later adding Irish dance to her classes.

She has completed many ISTD and ATOD syllabi examinations during her dance years and with the knowledge gained and her creativity, not only did she dance in her secondary school’s Theatre Restaurant, but also choreographed many of the routines.

Louise is professionally a high school educator with a Bachelor of Secondary Education, majoring in Physical Education and a minor in English.  Such is her love to see the next generation of TAPA dancers developing a passion for dance, she spends what little spare time she has at the studio teaching.

KATERINA CAMPBELL

Qualifications

Acrobatic Arts Certified Teacher
Cert. IV in Dance Teaching and Management (currently studying)
Jazz Elementary examination
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current

Teaches: Acrodance Tiny Tots Jazz Ready, Set…Dance

Katerina’s love for dance was nurtured when she commenced dance classes many years ago with TAPA, where she initially studied Jazz, Contemporary and Irish dance, before then including Tap and Acrobatics to broaden and strengthen her dance base.

Always aspiring to be the best dancer she could be, Katerina received due recognition from her school in Year 12, receiving the Jane Pirani Award for the dance student who demonstrated the most potential.

She is currently studying to achieve a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management (ATOD) and has successfully completed the Acrobatic Arts Teacher Certificate recently.

Dancing has instilled in Katerina an enormous amount of confidence which brings JOY to her life and as a teacher, she is thrilled to pass on this joy and passion for dance to her students every single day.

SHANELLE WILLIAMS

Qualifications

ATOD Jazz Advanced Examination
ATOD Tap Intermediate
Cert. II in Workplace Practices
First Aid & CPR Certificate – Current
Teaches: Tap

Shanelle’s passion for dancing started at the age of 3 years, continuing on to study four major genres – Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Ballet. She has completed all A.T.O.D Jazz examinations from Test 2 through to Advanced and Tap examinations from Test 3 through to Intermediate.

Shanelle has represented TAPA at local eisteddfods, charity events, various workshops, national and international competitions and is currently completing her Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management with TAPA.

As a teacher, Shanelle wishes to impart to her students that they should strive for progress, rather than perfection. She teaches her students not to give up when things start to get challenging, but rather strive to get one step better every time they practise or perform, as dance is about performing with the whole heart, passionately sharing their love of dance with one another.

“Do what you love and love what you do!”

Kerry Anderson

Administration

At age 15, Kerry was accepted to The Royal Ballet School in England. Upon graduating, Kerry danced in ballet companies in both Europe & the UK before returning to Australia at age 21, settling in Perth. She then toured Australia with the Hanna-Barbera production of “Flinstones on Parade”, worked at the Genting Casino in Malaysia with Regmat Productions and also toured Egypt, Japan, Greece and South-East Asia with Jacoba Productions performing in show rooms in the Hilton, Sheraton & Marriott Hotel Groups. While in Perth, Kerry taught major ballet students both RAD and Commonwealth syllabi at various schools before relocating to Townsville.

In 1999 she enrolled her daughter, Porzhia at TAPA, who became a favourite teacher at the Academy, before she left to take a position with Etihad Airways.

Kerry shares the role of office administrator with Andrew and has a wealth of experience and knowledge of many forms of dance.

Andrew Sayce

Administration

Married to Katrina, Andrew is the Academy’s JOATMON (Jack of all Trades, Master of None). Usually you will find him manning the administration desk of an afternoon, tending to the parents and students of the Academy…but he has also been known to appear in the end of year production when a “strong man” is required.

Completely lacking any formal dance training, Andrew has a Building Services Authority licence in Carpentry and Metal Fabrication and extensive experience in Construction, Engineering and Management.

A key member of the team and as Katrina’s “right-hand man”, he is integral to the Academy’s success.