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The teachers are wonderful with my girls, and the NDS studios are their home away from home.


We feel very privileged to be a part of the NDS dance family!

- Jackie Rowe -

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Emma Kohonen (ARAD) started her dance training on the Northern Beaches at Dance North Academy when she was five years old. She completed all her RAD ballet exams, ISTD modern and tap exams and performed in Sydney Festival Ballet company for many years.

After studying full time dance at Manly Dance Arts Centre she successfully auditioned for the Moulin Rouge at the young age of 17yrs. Emma worked for Dance Encore Productions for many years dancing in Japan as a showgirl, as well as performing in the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

After settling back in Sydney, Emma began working at Northbridge Dance Studios in 2001, and got her Royal Academy of Dance Teaching qualifications. Emma has also completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Charles Sturt University. 

Emma recently took over as principal at NDS in 2018 and is looking forward to bringing fresh ideas to the studio.

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Head Teacher

Leia started her classical ballet training at age 5 with Beverly Waters in Adelaide, South Australia. She completed her RAD Advanced 2 under the tuition and guidance of Christine Underdown and Natanya Andonas.

While in South Australia Leia performed as an artist of the SACB Company, dancing Principal roles in her final 4 years with the company.

In 2012 Leia graduated from The Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts [WAAPA] with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, and a focus on Dance Teaching. During her time at WAAPA, Leia was fortunate to work with world renowned teachers and choreographers including Kim Mccarthy, Gabrielle Nankivell, Melanie Lane and Justin Rutzou, and was accepted for a placement with Australian Dance Theatre.

Leia is a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, having been awarded her Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies with Distinction in 2020. She is also a certified teacher of Progressing Ballet Technique, and an accredited Acrobatic Arts instructor.

Leia has taught for a number of schools around Australia and has been with Northbridge Dance Studios since 2016. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and love of dance and strives to instil strong technical understanding as well as expressive artistry in her students.

Madeleine Russell - NBDS Head


Head Teacher

Madeleine grew up in Adelaide, SA, training at Terry Simpson Studios where she completed all RAD Ballet Exams including Advanced 2 with Distinction. She has been dancing since age 2 not only in ballet but Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern and Musical Theatre. Madeleine has also been singing and acting from a young age.

After finishing yr 12, Madeleine moved to Sydney to perform at the Sydney Opera House with Opera Australia. That year she completed a Diploma of Musical Theatre at Brent Street Studios. Madeleine has recently graduated from a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) from Federation University where she trained intensively in singing, acting and dancing full-time for 3 years.

Madeleine is an energetic and enthusiastic performer with a love and passion for the performing arts. 

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Isabella Morgan


Izzy started dancing at the age of 2 and has subsequently trained in many styles including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, Tap and Ballroom Dancing. She has completed all RAD ballet exams up to and including Advanced Foundation and is currently working towards her Advanced 1 and 2 exams. Izzy has competed in group  eisteddfods in Lyrical, Contemporary and Jazz and was selected to represent her school in Ballroom Dancing.   

Izzy is passionate about dance and has studied at Northbridge Dance Studios since she was 3 years old. She graduated from high school in 2020 and has been assisting with classes at NDS for the past few years. 

Izzy has worked as part of a selective special needs buddy program, which involved teaching and working with young special need students. She has also trained in Trapeze, Ariel Silks and Hoop Diving.

Izzy is excited to be able to share and pass on her knowledge and love of dance to her students.

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Sarah Silva


Sarah began dancing at a young age and spent most of her years at Northbridge Dance Studios. Sarah has trained in RAD ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, reggaeton and heels choreography.

She has since had experience teaching for the Macquarie University dance team, dancing in concept videos for Daryl Morante and has participated in workshops with Mia Michaels and Royal Family Dance Crew.

In 2019, Sarah graduated with a Bachelors of Physiotherapy from the Australian Catholic University. She has continued to use her love of dance and knowledge of biomechanics to help dancers achieve their full potential.

Sarah is looking forward to joining the faculty and sharing her experience and enthusiasm with the students!

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Phoebe Dumbrell


Phoebe is experienced in many styles of dance, from ballet, contemporary and lyrical, to tap, jazz, hip hop and acro.  She began dancing at the age of 2 with South London Dance Studios in the UK and became part of their competition team. On moving to Sydney in 2011, she continued her dance training at Tanya Pearson Academy before moving to Northbridge Dance Studios, where she has happily danced since. Phoebe successfully auditioned for Newtown High School of Performing Arts selective dance stream, where she danced to HSC level.

Phoebe competed in a number of Eisteddfods, in dance groups and for solo pieces, achieving top placement in the ‘Open’ category for solos in lyrical, contemporary and student choreography. She has completed her RAD ballet exams up to Advanced 1 and trained to Advanced 2 level. She has also been part of the Locreado contemporary dance company, performing in Sydney and Melbourne, and has experienced many different dance schools and choreographers, including Sydney Dance Company, Eve & Bow and Brent Street.  Most recently she has performed with the UTS jazz and contemporary dance teams.

Phoebe was an assistant dance teacher at NDS for two years before moving to the UK for a year to assistant teach at a pre-school and prep school. On returning to Sydney for her studies, she was thrilled to be asked to teach at NDS where she enjoys passing on her dance knowledge and seeing her students flourish and have fun.

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Seb Tan


Seb started dancing at Northbridge Dance Studios when he was five. He subsequently learned jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, and hip-hop skills for over 13 years.

During this time, Seb was also a regular singer with the Sydney Children's Choir for a decade, performing in venues such as the Sydney Opera House and going on national tours to regional cities across Australia.

Seb has also performed with Opera Australia in King Roger. He has performed alongside the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Boys Choir.

Seb has a background in Musical theatre, performing in Musicals such as Wicked, Mulan, Suessical and Beauty in the Beast in school. Seb also completed HSC Drama and Music Extension in his year 12 studies.

Seb has been an assistant teacher at Northbridge since 2019, primarily helping with acrobatics. Seb was Cammeraygal High School's school captain in 2022 and now works part-time as a Student Learning Support Officer.  In 2023, Seb became a teacher at NDS, sharing his love for Musical Theatre and Tap. He also began a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at UTS. 

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