YVETTE LEE- 2021 ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
With over a decade of choreographic experience Yvette Lee has become one of the country’s most versatile creatives. Recognised for her work across multiple platforms as choreographer, creative director and creative producer her contribution to television, theatre and live touring events has led to a large body of work.
Notable TV credits include: Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Boss, The Big Music Quiz, X Factor, China’s Next Top Model, Chris Lilly's J'amie Private School Girl & Jonah from Tonga, Cosentino -the Master Illusionist, Dance Hero Japan, Australian Idol, The ARIA Awards, The Logie Awards, So You Think You Can Dance Greece, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Comedy Inc, Neighbours, The Taiwanese Wiggles for the Disney Chanel, The Pacific’, produced by Stephen Spielberg and Asia’s Got Talent where she was assistant to the Squared Division.
Yvette has choreographed for recording artists such as Zara Larsson, Guy Sebastian, Dami Im, Andy Grammar, Illy, Vera Blue, Harrison Craig, Aston Merrygold, Josh Groban, Samantha Jade, Ricki Lee, Bonnie Anderson, Rob Mills, Casey Donovan, Hugh Sheridan, Andrew Da Silva, Dylan Joel, Cyrus, Selwyn, Tim Campbell, Ronda Burchmore, Bobby Fox & Dan Hamil and most recently Tim Minchin and his brand new release ‘15 Minutes’.
Theatre credits include: Candide (NZ Opera), In The Heights (Stage Art), All Out Of Love - Air Supply World Premiere (Arts Asia), Reefer Madness (RL), Moonshadow - Cat Stevens World Premiere (Sue Farrelly), Rock of Ages (New Theatricals), The Little Match Girl at The Malthouse & Queen Elizabeth Hall London, Song Contest (Glynn Nichols), The History Boys (MTC), Carnival of the Lost Souls at the Melba Spiegeltent and assistant Choreographer to Australian legend Ross Coleman for Sweet Charity, Dusty, & Shout - the Legend of the Wild One.
Her work for live and stadium events encompasses the roles of Associate Dance Director for the Victorian State School Spectacular (Hisense Arena), Armin Van Buuren tour (Rod Laver & Homebush Stadium), R n B Fridays (Etihad Stadium & Homebush Stadium), Crusty Demons of Dirt (Aust Stadium Tour), George Michael Tribute Tour (Festival Centre and Sydney Opera House), Hong Kong Disneyland Groundbreaking Ceremony (Lantau Island)
TVCs include 7/11, Bonds/Disney, Jay Jays, Luxury Escapes & Habitus.
Yvette can’t wait to dance with you at VDF 2019!
Direct from New York, the incredible Desmond Richardson will be teaching at VDF, along with speaking at Vitality Teacher Day thanks to Dance Informa.
With his technical virtuosity and statuesque expressive demeanor, award winning dancer and choreographer @desmondrich7 has been hailed by the NY Times as among the great dancers of his time. Desmond is the co-founder of the renowned @complexions_ballet and a highly esteemed member of the American dance and theater community. He was the first African-American principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and has been an invited guest and principal dancer at some of the world's most prestigious companies: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; The Frankfurt Ballet; The Bolshoi Theater; The Royal Swedish Opera Ballet Mariinsky Theater; Teatro a La Scala; The Washington Ballet and The San Francisco Ballet.
Desmond is one of the world’s most inspiring choreographers. He will not only speak at Vitality Teacher Day but also teach a contemporary class exclusively for dance teachers and studio owners. Taking class with Desmond is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Desmond was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in the original Broadway cast of ‘Fosse’ and was deemed a standout in the Tony- Award winning production of ‘After Midnight’. He also appeared in Twyla Tharp’s Broadway production of ‘Movin’ Out.’ Desmond has danced with icons such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Elton John, and Aretha Franklin. He has appeared as a celebrity guest performer and choreographer on hit TV shows, films, videos and stage productions such as The American Music Awards, The Oscars, Italy's AMICI Maria De Filippi and America, Australia and Israel's So You Think You Can Dance.
Desmond continues to give back as a Master Teacher as a guest professor at Harvard University, The Juilliard School, Marymount University and Skidmore University.
Travis Wall is a two-time Emmy winning choreographer best known for his award winning work on So You Think You Can Dance.
Travis has been dancing since he was 3 years old, training with his mother at Denise Wall Dance Energy. In his early years, Travis performed on the Showstopper American Dance Championships television show, where he, along with Dance Energy, won the competition. Travis first got his career started at nine where he was known as the "Dr. Pepper Boy" in their national TV commercial. He made his Broadway debut in the 2001 revival of The Music Man, playing the roles of Eddie Mason and Barney Hix and understudying the young male lead, Winthrop. As a young dancer Travis won many regional and national dance titles, including Outstanding Male Teen Dancer (in 2003), and he was featured in the book Moving Still: A Live Performance, and later toured with the stage show of the same name. He has also performed with the American Dance Artists Company.
In 2006, he became the runner-up on So You Think You Can Dance USA, where he later toured with the top 10 dancers as the dance captain. Travis has since become a SYTYCD staple, choreographing for every season and being nominated for nine Emmy’s for his work, as well as choreographing for Dancing with the Stars and the Step Up movie franchise. Travis is in high-demand, working on projects like The Academy Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards and with companies and artists like Los Angeles Ballet, Florence and the Machine, Chelsea Handler, Eminem, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato and many more.
Travis had his own television series, All the Right Moves, where he formed a dance company with fellow artists Teddy Forance, Nick Lazarini and Kyle Robinson. That company, Shaping Sound, has since become widely popular and toured the US to sellout crowds.
Wall has stared in several films and even choreographed a floor exercise routine for Olympic All-Around Champion Nastia Liukin!
Zoee Marsh is a choreographer + movement coach, her work is internationally recognised throughout various music videos, live shows, independent creative projects, musicals, brand launches and charity events.
Choreography + Movement Direction for recording artists include Vera Blue, George Maple, Motez, George Alice, Essie Holt, Will Young, Boi, Allipha, Hopium, The Naked Eye, Ryan Downey, Laure Jae, Jason Heerah, Hiboux and the Dianas.
Zoee’s body of work also includes Last Layer X Indosole, Joslin, C2 Melbourne, Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017 + 2018, “Spring Awakening” The Musical (StageArt), “Tarzan” The Musical, Australia’s Got Talent, Neighbours, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, National Basketball League, SYTYCD (Warsaw, Poland), The Australian Open, Scimm Dance Company and The Dream Dance Company.
Zoee has recently been working on on 'Sunday In The Park With George' with Watch This, creating a new contemporary work for Scimm Dance Company's 2019 season + movement consulting for Junior Eurovision 2019.
Zoee is the ‘Cultural Arts’ Impetus Youth Awards recipient, ‘Emerging Choreographer’ Dance London finalist and received ‘Most Outstanding Choreography’ at Melbourne’s ‘Grounded’.
Zoee is an ambassador for Keep Kids Safe In Dance, Co-Director of BIND Productions and is passionate about building the arts community. This unique & intriguing creative is ecstatic to be able to share her love and art with the world.
Originally from Wagga Wagga, Jarryd has forged a successful career on both stage and screen. Specialising in Latin American and Ballroom, his most recent choreography credits include; Dancing With The Stars; MTC’s Heisenberg; Immersive Cinema’s Dirty Dancing; The Unbelievables and White Night Melbourne.
Professional Credits include: “Nathan Starkey’ Baz Luhrmans Strictly Ballroom The Musical (understudy Ken Railings), Burn The Floor; The Unbelievables and Shake Rattle & Roll.
Jarryd is also a resident professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars and has been partnered with Olympia Vallance, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Jesinta Franklin and Ash Pollard.
AMY BERRISFORD & TRAVIS KHAN are both starring in Bob Fosse’s ‘Chicago’, currently on tour across Australia, and they are “beyond excited and very honoured to be sharing a small taste of the world that is Fosse” at Energetiks VDF 2020!
Amy Berrisford’s theatre credits include; ‘We Will Rock You’ Asia Tour, ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Chicago’ Australasian Tour 2009 & 2010, ‘Promises, Promises’, World Premiere of ‘King Kong Live on Stage’, 2014/15 South Korean, Singapore and Macau tours of ‘Cats’, ‘Company’, ‘Funny Girl’ and ‘Curtains’. In 2017/18 she returned to ‘Cats’ as Resident Choreographer. She also appeared in ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘The Boy From Oz’ in 2018, as is currently Co-Dance Captain for 'Chicago'. Amy’s TV/Film credits include; Assistant Choreographer on the Australian film ‘Boytown’, Channel 7’s ‘TV Turns 50’, Foxtel’s ‘The Singing Office’ (Lead Singer), and she also stars in ‘Cheek to Cheek’, a tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Travis Khan trained at UNITEC Institute of Technology (Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts); The New Zealand School of Dance. Travis’ theatre credits include the Australian/Shanghai seasons of the ‘Lion King’, ‘Turandot’, ‘Fiddler On The Roof’, Australia/NZ/London launch seasons of ‘Priscilla Queen Of The Desert’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Kismet’, ‘Eat, Pray, Laugh’, Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour, World Premiere of ‘King Kong’, Australian/NZ seasons of ‘Matilda the Musical’, and ‘Chicago’. Travis’ fashion, corporate, commercial and television credits, include L’Oreal, Bonds, Cotton On, Just Jeans International modeling tour, Neighbours, Australia’s Got Talent, The Logies, Vanessa Amorosi, Guy Sebastian and Ricki-Lee, and Choreography and events assistant to Yvette Lee. Travis’ work in film includes ‘King Kong’ (Dancer), and ‘I’m Not Dead Yet’ (Choreographer). Are you ready to “razzle dazzle” with Amy and Travis? This is going to be epic!
BLAKE JOHN WOOD
We are SO EXCITED to announce that BLAKE JOHN WOOD will be back for VDF2020!
Blake John Wood is known for fusing innovative choreography with slick movement and cutting-edge aesthetic to deliver an undeniable finished product. His credits include MTV Australia & NZ, Universal Music, Island Records, Disney Channel, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Havana Brown, Fitness First, Channel Seven, HYUNDAI, The Morning Show, Runway The Label, Premonition Designs, Luciana Caporaso, Mardi Gras, Girlfriend Magazine, ING Direct, Deborah Cox, Paulini Curuenavuli, Courtney Act, Rhonda Burchmore & Marcia Hines.
In 2018, Blake took on the role of Creative Director & Choreographer for the internationally renowned MARQUEE NIGHTCLUB, having the pleasure of providing dancers for artist appearances including Usher, Sean Kingston, French Montana, The Weeknd, Kid Ink, Omarion, Post Malone, ASAP Rocky & Drake’s Official afterparty for “The Boy Meets World” Tour.
Most recently, Blake has had the privilege of teaming up with Universal Music & Island Records to work as choreographer/movement coach on music video clips including “Glimpse” & “All Day” by Havana Brown. Furthermore, he was recruited as Creative Director on launch campaigns for Belvedere & Grey Goose Vodka.
While diligently focusing on his craft, Blake has the privilege of travelling Australia wide, coaching at several of the country’s leading dance establishments, and he is honoured to be part of Victorian Dance Festival!
Nadia Tornese was soooo popular VDF this year that we simply had to ask her back in 2020!
Nadia has fast become a highly sort after choreographer. Her career has led her to work across all areas of the industry from television to stage and live events. Nadia’s TV credits include The Wrong Girl, Neighbours and TV Week Logies - Meghan Trainor (Assistant Choreographer).
Nadia’s live events and stage credits include Justice Crew for The Australian Open, Carrie Bickmore’s Brain Beats, Nickelodeon Kids Tennis Day for The Australian Open (Co-Choreographer), Diamonds Spiegeltent (Co-Choreographer), Le Femme & the Male Minority (Co-Choreographer), Short & Sweet Dance Festival Melbourne, and events for Nova FM Australia Day and Vega/Smooth FM Suburban Superstar.
In addition, Nadia is a sought-after teacher for workshops Australia wide and operates her own company Steps & Sounds; which offers Music Production, Workshops and Entertainment.
MATT LEE returns for VDF 2020! Yasss!!! Thanks to Capezio
Matt Grant Lee is a leading international dance personality, creative director and choreographer. He has starred in television and stage productions all over the world and in the past ten years has carved out an impressive reputation as one of the top Australian creative forces in the business.
Matt has worked alongside the likes of Paula Abdul, Hugh Jackman, Kenny Ortega, Ben Elton and created and choreographed for Samantha Jade, Hilary Duff, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Nathaniel Willemse, Gabriella Cilmi, Marcia Hines, Christine Anu, Human Nature and Ricky Martin.
Matt choreographed the world premier performance of Martin's single Come with me on Channel 9’s The Voice as well as re-staging his American billboard award performance of VIDA for the show’s third season. Matt also choreographed Martin’s Australian NRL Grand Final performance, featuring Jessica Mauboy, which played to a capacity stadium of 90,000. Matt was choreographer for sister2sister and rehearsal director for Timomatic on many live events across Australia and was part of the creative team for his music video's Parachute and Everything is Allowed.
Matt was a permanent member of the judging panel, as well as choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance Australia which earned him a Logie nomination for Most Popular New Talent. Matt worked as resident choreographer on multiple seasons of the Australian TV series The Voice and Australia's Got Talent. Matt has also choreographed multiple Australian award shows including The TV Week Logie Awards, The AACTA’s and The Helpmann's.
Matt began working in television and theatre at the age of 9 and has had an expansive career over the last 25 years playing roles in such shows as RENT, Grease: The Arena Spectacular, Oh! What a Night, Miss Saigon, Hot Shoe Shuffle, The Witches of Eastwick, Hugh Jackman's: The Boy From OZ, Singin' in the Rain and We Will Rock You.
Matt had the pleasure of performing the role of Bert in Disney and Cameron Macintosh's production of Mary Poppins in Australia, New Zealand and more recently on the 2015-2017 UK and International tour which completed an impressive 21 month run. He won the prestigious 2011 Helpmann Award in Australia for Best Male Actor in a Musical for this role.
Matt was a part of the principal motion capture team on the Oscar and BAFTA winning film Happy Feet, where he played the role of the tap dancing penguin Mumble.
Prior to this, Matt played the character Johnno in Dein Perry's film BOOTMEN starring Sam Worthington and Adam Garcia which was adapted from the internationally acclaimed award winning stage show Tap Dogs.
2018 saw Matt work on Channel 7's dance series 'DANCE BOSS' and also choreographed internationally acclaimed A cappella band The Magnets, staging their new show The Naked 80's which they performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In the musical theatre world he has most recently choreographed The Fix, a musical by John Dempsey and Dana Rowe which was performed by the BA Musical Theatre graduating class of 2018 at The Guildford School of Acting in London. Matt continues to be in demand as a creative, working on the Network 10 reboot of Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and The Masked Singer. Matt is currently working with ARIA Award winning Sony artist Samantha Jade on her new music including ‘Bounce' and more to be released in 2019. Most recently Matt reunited with Broadway star Caroline O’Connor in the neglected musicals production of APPLAUSE where he played the role of Duane Fox.
Matt Lee is one of the leading men of Australian dance! Don't miss this! Tickets and more info at www.vdf.com.au
Thank you Capezio for bringing Matt back for VDF 2020!
ROB MCLEAN & LUCY DOHERTY
ROB & LUCY ARE BACK for VDF 2020!!!
Australian dance duo, Robert McLean & Lucy Doherty are taking the dance world by storm in a completely refreshing way. Robert McLean and Lucy Doherty approach their art and work with heart, soul and the overarching intention of highlighting the power that dance has to connect people to themselves and to others.
Join us for Energetiks VDF 2020!
Esteemed professional performers and choreographers in their individual rights, Lucy and Rob have a string of impressive performance and choreographic credits to their names individually as well as together including The Dream Dance Company, Justin Beiber, Jason Derulo, Ruel, Courtney Act, Rita Ora, George Maple, Dance Boss, Eurovision, XFactor, Dance Academy and So You Think You Can Dance Australia to name just a few.
Rob & Lucy will be delivering their workshop class ‘More Than Movement’ which has a strong focus on creativity and connection. The workshop explores various improvisation and choreographic tools whilst creating a safe space for dancers to explore and deepen their connection to themselves and to others through movement. Their class provided very memorable and moving moments at last year's VDF and both Rob and Lucy are so excited to be returning to the festival again this year!
Stephen Tannos is arguably one of the most innovative minds in performing arts in Australia. His unique and exhilarating choreography, combined with his infectious personality and incredible work ethic has quickly established Stephen as an in-demand choreographer.
Stephen was born in Sydney and has trained extensively in all styles of dance as well as singing and acting. His career took off initially in musical theatre with roles in Cats and Fame -The Musical as well as the opera 'Carmen', choreographed by Kelley Abbey.
Stephen has enjoyed much commercial success as a performer. His credits include working with Ricky Martin, Natalie Bassingthwaite and Jessica Mauboy. Plus, in 2009 he was in the Top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance Australia.
However, it is now Stephen’s choreographic skills and creative direction prowess that are truly making the industry sit up and take notice – both locally and Internationally. Stephen’s choreography has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance Australia, The Voice AU, The Voice Kids, Dancing With The Stars, Dance Boss and in 2018 Stephen was given the opportunity to choreograph for Rita Ora’s ARIA performance. He has also created work for music videos for Alpine, RUFUS, Set Mo and Vaudeville Smash. In 2016, Stephen collaborated with Marko Panzic to choreograph and co-direct The Dream Dance Company’s ‘Genesis’.
Stephen's latest creative endeavour was becoming the artistic director of new dance company WE ARE DANCE PROJECT. The first show that Stephen directed and choreographed, FOUND, premiered in March to rave reviews.
Award winning Musical Theatre giant, Andrew Hallsworth won the 2018 Helpmann Award for ‘Best Choreography in a Musical’ for the World Premiere of ‘Muriel’s Wedding the Musical’, 2015 Helpmann Award for Opera Australia’s ‘Anything Goes’ and the 2014 Helpmann Award for the Hayes Theatre’s inaugural production of ‘Sweet Charity’. He has also won Sydney Theatre Critics Awards for ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.
Theatre credits include Assassins, Dream Lover, Sydney Opera House - The Opera, Two Weddings One Bride, Ladies in Black, Rupert, Dream Song, Shane Warne the Musical (concert), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the World Premiere musical An Officer and A Gentleman, the original Australian production of Eurobeat – Almost Eurovision, Leader of the Pack – The Ellie Greenwich Musical, Sideshow Alley. For Melbourne Theatre Company he choreographed Kiss of the Spider Woman, Twelfth Night, Rupert, Private Lives, Vivid White, Egg, Hamlet, Next to Normal and The Drowsy Chaperone.
For The Production Company, Andrew has co-directed and choreographed The Producers and Anything Goes. Choreographed Jerry’s Girls, La Cage Aux Folles, The Pirates of Penzance, Gypsy, The Boy from Oz, Carousel, Mame, The Boy Friend. He co-choreographed The Music Man and Bye Bye Birdie. And to top it off, he co-choreographed the international production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert for Broadway and its other worldwide seasons including the recent 10th anniversary Australian celebration tour!
Andrew is also the acclaimed Director of Musical Theatre at Patrick Studios Australia. His fulltime 2 year Diploma course has been running for 10 years alongside Todd Patrick’s Performing Arts course with great success.
Michelle Hopper-Doyle is coming to VDF for the very first time!
As a leader in the Australian dance industry, Michelle Hopper Doyle has worked extensively in the performing arts for more than 20 years. Her career has seen her work with the world’s best directors and choreographers including Baz Lurhmann, George Miller, David Atkins, Kelley Abbey, Wade Robson, The Squared Division, John O’Connel, Jason Coleman and Dein Perry.
With a career spanning over two decades, Michelle secured roles in major stage productions including Singin’ in the Rain playing the role of Cyd Cherise and Grease Arena Spectacular. She’s been in feature films Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby, Happy Feet 1 and 2, Goddess, The Son of Mask and has performed on screen at the TV Week Logie Awards, Helpman Awards, X Factor, Australian Idol, MTV Music Awards, Aria Awards, The Nikelodeon Awards, Rove Live, SYTYCD, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Dancing With The Stars and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Michelle has performed with leading music icons including Kylie Minogue, Jessica Mauboy, Tina Arena, Guy Sebastian, Boyzone, Vanessa Amorosi, The Rogue Traders, Gabriella Cilmi, 30 Seconds to Mars, Cobra Starship, Macy Gray, Danni Minogue, Adam Lambert, Sheena Easton, Gloria Gaynor, Wynter Gordon, The Veronicas, and Sneaky Sound System.
IT'S TIME TO SHUFFLE... Alongside Musical Theatre, Luke will be bringing TAP to VDF for the very first time!
Luke Alleva began his musical theatre career in Man of La Mancha as Juan, Brains in Get Happy, and Cliff for We Will Rock You Australian tour. Luke’s West End credits include We Will Rock You at The Dominion Theatre, Saturday Night Fever at Apollo Victoria and West End Rocks UK tour.
On return to Australia Luke performed in The Rocky Horror Show, Guys and Dolls, Mamma Mia, Xanadu, Moonshadow the musical as Dance Captain, A Chorus Line, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Dusty, Funny Girl, Boy from Oz, 42nd Street, Little Me, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Boy Friend, and just recently Dirty Dancing Immersive Cinema in Melbourne and Sydney.
Luke is the Creative Director and Founder Of Luca Entertainment Productions. He is producing the international acclaimed Gene Kelly the Legacy for the upcoming Australian tour. He has also created many shows, including starring in One Man show The Dancin Man Sydney, Melbourne, Regional Victoria and various International Cruises lines and other upcoming productions.
Luke is also a sort after Choreographer for Carols by Candle Light Channel 9 for Daryl Somers, Saturday Night Fever at chapel off chapel, Cabaret the musical Spiegel Tent, 50’s Shake, Music Videos, Ballarat Carols, Corporate Shows, Musical Theatre Workshops, and a renowned Adjudicator/Judge.
Film credits are Montmartre Team lead dancers in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, Dein Perry’s Bootmen, Tom Usher In Gallipoli From Above, and The Divorce for the ABC. TV credits include Always Greener, Australia's Got Talent, Paul O’Grady Show, Kerrie Anne, Countdown, Sunrise, Sydney Opening & Closing Olympics and various TV commercials and
Luke is making time in his extra busy and exciting schedule to dance with you at VDF 2020. Don't miss this!
Cat Santos has worked with, assisted in choreography and performed alongside International and National artists such as Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, Nick Jonas, Macklemore, Dannii Minogue, PNAU, Ruel, Aston Merrygold, Zara Larsson, Havana Brown, Ricki-Lee, Flo Rida, Timomatic, Betty Who, and Cody Simpson and has also been a featured artist in the last four seasons of The Dream Dance Company, as well as a part of the Creative Team for “UnTold - Season 4”, and was one of three chosen for the #shiftyourshirtgame Campaign for Sportsgirl.
Born in Sydney, Cat began dancing at the age of 12 at All Starz Performing Arts Studio and went on to complete her High School Certificate at Newtown High School Of The Performing Arts. Deciding to further her training and continue her passion as a career, Cat joined the Brent Street Studios Full-time Course, attaining her Certificate IV in Dance in 2010.
A highly respected and influential figure in the entertainment industry, Cat prides herself on her versatility and ability to create and produce work in various fields of the Performing Arts. Cat began her career by assisting some of the most respected choreographers in the business, and the experience and knowledge gained by being such a vital part of these in demand creative teams has allowed her to gain extensive knowledge and led her to choreograph and produce her own work for Film, Artists, Theatre, Corporations, Brands, Festivals and Performance Studios.
Cat made her debut as choreographer for film in Skinford 2 by Blackpill and has choreographed for corporate companies such as Westpac, Mumm Champagne, SAP, and Chep Pallets. Cat was also the assistant to The Squared Division for television series "X Factor" and Creative Assistant for the new Channel 7 Series “Dance Boss.”
Cat's ultimate goal is to reach out to all young aspiring dancers all over the globe, whether that be through teaching or performing and to motivate them to believe in themselves, how to be their own support system and how to also support the people around them through lessons that not only involve dance, but simply, lessons that are needed in every day life, through a fun, energetic and inspiring teaching method. Cat is currently represented by Forward Management.
We can’t wait to have the incomparable ARNA SINGLETON at VDF2020 thanks to Jump Dance Challenge!
Arna Singleton aka Robotgirl (RBTGRL), is a respected and highly sought after professional Hip Hop/Urban choreographer and dance event producer. She has taught hundreds of workshops, choreographed for various events, performed on TV multiple times (SYTYCD, Australia's Got Talent, AFL Footy show Player Revue, Everybody Dance Now, to name a few) and was chosen via a dance audition process to dance with Madonna in Canada.
Over the years she has skill developed thousands of dancers and has contributed to the professional development of so many interested in the urban dance world. Arna is known for the running and creation of dance crew competitions, Step Off and Heavyweight Urban Dance Comp, as well as bringing the elements of Hip Hop together at Our Backyard at the Arts Centre. She is highly recognised in her field and considered one of the community leaders for the urban dance industry.
Arna is the Director of her own all age elite urban dance company, The Legacy & Co, who have had two successful seasons of shows, ‘Her Name is Alice’ and ‘Follow’. You can keep up to date with Arna via @rbtgrl and @thelegacyandco.
Paul Malek is back for Energetiks VDF 2020!
Paul Malek is one of the most highly regarded Directors and Choreographers in Aus. With a passion for education, self-empowerment and artistic innovation; he inspires many individuals, businesses and communities to strive towards becoming the greatest version of themselves whilst nurturing artistic development and professional growth.
Trained in Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance at VCASS his performing career saw him tour the world through all 5 continents as dancer, dance captain, rehearsal director and company manager all before the age of 25.
Returning to Aus in ‘06, he became an avid entrepreneur, creating businesses such as Collaboration the Project (2008 – 2014), responsible for events such as UNDRGRND Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Immersed Melbourne Dance Industry Night, DANCE CHAT and DANCE CHAT LIVE, Project Y (youth dance company) and over 16 professional production seasons and tours. Paul Malek is the original Founder and Director of popular Melbourne Dance Institute MAPA (2006 – 2011), and was also the co-director of BOOM Media, a Marketing and Media Company (2011 – 2015).
A choreographic regular on Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance Australia (SE 3 & 4), Paul has been the choreographic brains of well over a hundred corporate events, award ceremonies, television commercials, music videos and dance festivals over the last decade.
In 2015, Malek founded Transit Dance and currently resides as Artistic Director overseeing the immense output of performance platforms and educational opportunities created from within their state-of-the-art dance and performance precinct in Brunswick, Victoria.
During his day to day commitments at Transit, he is also a highly sought-after Host and Inspirational Speaker at many corporate events, conventions and festivals in Australia and across the globe.
Paul’s contemporary classes are some of the most popular at VDF! You don’t want to miss him!
Antony Hamilton, Artistic Director of leading Melbourne contemporary company Chunky Move is coming to Energetiks VDF 2020!
Antony Hamilton was appointed Artistic Director and co-CEO of CHUNKY MOVE in early 2019, and his connection to the company goes back more than 17 years. His acclaimed works involve a sophisticated melding of movement, sound and visual design, and are contextually underpinned by an examination of a body that is at once primitive, contemporary and future bound.
Antony has been the recipient of prestigious fellowships from Bangarra Dance Theatre (the Russell Page Fellowship), the Tanja Liedtke Foundation, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Sidney Myer Foundation. In 2013, he was Resident Director of Lucy Guerin Inc and in 2014 was guest dance curator at The National Gallery of Victoria. He was also the inaugural International Resident Artist at Dancemakers Toronto from 2016 to 2018. Antony has received four Helpmann Award nominations, winning for Black Project 1 & 2 and Forever and Ever (Sydney Dance Co.). He has won numerous Green Room Awards and also received a New York Performing Arts Award ‘Bessie’ for Outstanding Production for MEETING. In 2019 he created Token Armies, his first major work for Chunky Move as Artistic Director.
Jessica Starr of MusEffect LA is coming to VDF, direct from Los Angeles to inspire and challenge the next generation of dancers!
Jessica Starr, has been traveling the globe over the past decade sharing her unique passion and contagious spirit with all she encounters. As a current resident of Los Angeles she has had the pleasure of working on Elton John’s Vegas show, The RedPiano, H&M and JC Penney’s commercials as well as several MTV, VH1 and Lions Gate productions.
Jessica Starr has been acknowledged for her work with her non-profit dance company, MusEffect by icons Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Gates and accredited press such as Huffington Post and SF Global. Starr was honored with being named the Breakout Artist of the Year by the World Choreography Awards for all her innovative work using her unique vehicle of dance and film to tackle today’s most controversial social issues.
MusEffect’s PSA 953k, Inspiring Action Against Cyberbulling, brought a large amount of publicity to the company’s mission. With far over 2 million views on YouTube and press as MusEffect is quickly becoming well known for their unique integration of intention and art.
Currently Jessica Starr finds herself steadily working with a long line of some the industry’s most cutting edge and innovative corporations. It is Starr’s unique blend of intellectual creativity and commercial appeal that has her being called a “rare commodity” in the dance industry. With over 20 years in the industry Jessica uses Muse Dance Company, her innovative customized in-house workshop company as her vehicle to reach thousands of dancers annually. Her development of Summer programs, The Muse and Mini Muse Experience have provided effective training opportunities for serious young artists with a heart for youth activism unlike any other. Within the past decade she has expanded the boundaries of Muse and has taken her high powered master classes across seas, working with dancers in Australia, Tokyo, Ecuador, Canada, and London to name a few.
Jessica strives to motivate young visionaries through her radiant spirit, positive energy, and empowering perspectives. She thrives on being able to share her working knowledge of the dance industry and personal experiences with budding artists around the world.
Joffrey Ballet School are BACK for VDF2020! The amazing Matthew Prescott will once again take Audition Masterclasses in Ballet and Jazz/Contemporary! He will be awarding SCHOLARSHIPS to Joffrey's Summer Intensives and may even award a SCHOLARSHIP to Joffrey's Bachelor of Fine Arts program!!
Matthew Prescott was a member of the Joffrey Ballet for several years before becoming a freelance artist. Working as a freelancer, Matthew has worked and performed with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Ballet NY, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Amanda Miller, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, The Alabama Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, BalletX, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Morphoses the Wheeldon Company, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Matthew was featured in Robert Altman’s film The Company. Matthew has choreographed works performed by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Chamber Dance Project, the Joffrey Ballet School, BalletX, Interlochen Arts Academy, for Misty Copeland for Prince’s Coming to America 2010 Madison Square Garden performances, as well as the Vail International Dance Festival. Matthew was the Resident Choreographer on the national tour of Billy Elliot as well as performing the roll of Older Billy. Matthew made his Broadway debut on Broadway in the cast of Phantom of the Opera.Matthew teaches a killer class and he will challenge and inspire you.
Come and dance with Matthew and you may be awarded a a scholarship to train in New York City, plus you'll have a blast in his fun and challenging classes. Just register at the Joffrey Ballet School booth over the weekend, and check the timetable when the classes are on!
Adrian Ricks was born in Melbourne and began dancing at the age of four under the tuition of Tania Attard (Attitudes Dance Studio) and later at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. His professional stage debut was at the tender age of 8, in the play `An Inspector Calls" at the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne (with the Royal Theatre of Great Britain) in the lead child role.
After graduating he was offered a contract in CATS South Korea Tent Top Tour in 2003. He then took on the role of Mr. Mistoffelees for the World Tour, Asian Tour and Australian Tour for seven years, and in his eighth year became Dance Captain.
Adrian has also worked at Tokyo Disney Sea (Encore!) and for Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas. Following his dream of creating his own work, he conceptualised, directed, choreographed and performed his first full-length dance work, ‘Release’ at Gasworks Theatre 2011. His second work ‘SINS’ premiered at Theatre Works in St Kilda, September 2013. In 2014 Adrian was nominated and won the category for Victoria’s Favourite Male Dancer in the Victorian Dance Awards.
Choreographic credits include: So You Think You Can Dance Australia, The Footy Show Players Revue, Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Cup, White Night – Melbourne, AFL Preliminary Finals, Alannah & Madeline Foundation, Dancing With The Stars Promo, T.L.S Corporate Events, Twisted Broadway, Winners & Losers, Porsche Showroom Launch, Jaguar Launch - Australian F1 Grand Prix, Epworth Medical Foundation Dinner, Saxton Speakers Turns 50, Club Melbourne 10th Anniversary Dinner, Dulux Colour Awards, Heavenly Gala, Banksia Environmental Awards, Federation Launch, AMP Conference, V.C.A.S.S Malthouse Season and Cecchetti Ballet Conference.
Adrian has also participated in many dance festivals, teaching workshops around Australia and abroad. Adrian has completed his Cert IV TAE and is currently working exclusively as Director of Dance at Jason Coleman's Ministry Of Dance Full Time Course. With his vast experience, Adrian has become one of Melbourne’s leading dance tutors and loves helping aspiring performers and dancers master their craft. He truly believes that solid technique combined with great passion, creativity, ambition, discipline, determination and self- belief are the keys to becoming a great performer.
We are so excited to announce that Tim Podesta is coming to VDF for the first time!
Tim Podesta graduated from The Australian Ballet School and danced internationally, performing roles by some of the leading choreographers of our time. It was working with such luminaries that inspired him to explore choreography and eventually start his own company, Projection Dance.
Projection Dance is the creative force from which Podesta articulates his style of physical vocabulary, frequently shifting from classical ballet to modern dance for large companies such as the Queensland Ballet to gala performances for international ballet stars from the Royal Ballet company and beyond.
Podesta’s acclaimed productions have been performed throughout the world with collaborations extending to film and visual arts prompting Paul Ransom of Dance Informa to observe, ‘Australian choreographer Tim Podesta is one of those rare people about whom you can say ‘they have the world at their feet’.
International outreach fuels Podesta and his company to explore the development of dance education through vocational training programs and community engagement with an eye on making dance as accessible as possible. This multi disciplinary focus places Podesta in regular demand as a jury member for international ballet competitions, guest teacher and advocate for a variety of private and government organisations nationally and internationally.
Cameron Mitchell has been working professionally for over 30yrs and has become one of Australia's most versatile and sought after choreographers.
He began with the National tour of girl group Bardot from TV series Popstars and went on to work closely with musical theatre star Caroline O’Connor for many years, where he created the critically acclaimed From Stage to Screen, which toured internationally and was televised on the ABC, and also The Showgirl Within.
Cameron choreographed for the Logie and Aria award winning group Hi-5 for many years, beginning with the original cast and returning in 2015. He helped create the internationally successful Boys In The Band with SMA Productions, and went on to work with them on The Diamonds, Swoon, String Divas and The Rat Pack.
TV and commercial work has included Tooheys New Street Party, KFC Fresh Taste Best and Nicorette’s “How Ya Feelin’ Phil” series, So You Think You Can Dance, Home and Away, Dossa & Joe for the BBC and Popstars series 3.
He has had a successful run of shows working with Internationally renowned cabaret and musical theatre artist Trevor Ashley including Pop Princess 2, Gentlemen Prefer Blokes (co-starring Courtney Act ) Diamonds Are For Trevor, Fat Swan, Little Orphan Trashley and Twins (both co starring Rhonda Burchmore) and The Bodybag.
As a performer Cameron appeared in the Australian productions of Chicago, Oliver!, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Zorba and Mack & Mabel in concert, and Monty Python's Spamalot. He was also a featured dancer in Baz Luhrmans Moulin Rouge.
Cameron has choreographed a number of productions including the national tour of Heathers the musical, High Society, The Fantasticks , Mack & Mabel (Sydney Theatre Award nomination) , Big Fish (Sydney Theatre Award nomination), Brigadoon for the Production Company, The Rover for Belvoir, The View Upstairs, the critically acclaimed Calamity Jane (Sydney Theatre Award nomination) starring Virginia Gay which is currently touring Australia, High Fidelity, Gypsy, Cry-Baby (Sydney Theatre Award nomination) and Spamalot.
In 2019 he made his directorial debut with the Australian premiere of the Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can.
ELYSIA BAKER & CARLOS VERON
Welcoming Salsa and Latin champions Elysia Baker and Carlos Veron to the lineup! These two are hot hot hot!
Elysia Baker is the current Australian Salsa & Latin Champion and ranked 2nd in the world in the professional Cha Cha at the World Salsa Summit, USA.
A former ballet dancer, Elysia transitioned into the Salsa industry over 10 years ago where she has worked her way up to be recognised as one of the industry’s most respected artists. She is the director of Melbourne dance school La Encantada Collective, home of all female Latin dance company La Encantada. She travels frequently to continue learning from some of the industry’s icons, along with competing, performing and teaching at events both nationally and around the world.
Elysia’s wealth of dance knowledge and training in a variety of dance styles (including Mambo, Cha Cha, Ballet, Contemporary and more) lends itself to well-rounded training techniques. Her dance travel lifestyle gives her fresh insight into the ever-evolving world of dance, which she brings back to infuse into her own teaching and training techniques. Elysia's beautiful personality combined with her dynamic choreography, power, body movement and flexibility, forges together to create exciting shows and insightful and fun dance classes.
Carlos Veron is the currently ranked 2nd in the World in Salsa at World Salsa Summit USA. He is also the current Argentina National Champion.
Carlos is one of Argentina’s most sought-after dance coaches and choreographer’s, specialising in Salsa, Bachata and Dance Fitness Conditioning. Best known for his powerful and dynamic choreography, intricate footwork, body movement and flexibility.
Carlos’ wealth of dance knowledge extends beyond Salsa and Bachata, into Jazz, Tango, Ballet and Argentine Folklore, which lends itself to well-rounded training techniques and beautiful choreographies.
We are so honoured to welcome these world champions to VDF! Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from them and have a lot of fun, possibly trying something new.
*Instructors subject to change.