MEET THE TEAM
KIM SANTARELLI: Director
Fellow and International Major Examiner I.S.T.D.
F.I.S.T.D. Modern Jazz L.I.S.T.D. Tap I.S.T.D. Ballet
Founder and Senior School Director
Kim has over forty years of dance teaching experience behind her and twenty years of running her own dancing schools in Italy and New Zealand.
Kim's first professionally paid show was at the age of twelve where she was in the pantomime "Puss in Boots" and her first paid teaching position was at the age of fifteen. Never being able to get "performing" out of her system she entered into a career of dancing, travelling all over England, and then all over the world for a luxury cruise line company, firstly as a dancer then as choreographer for the company.
She has been associated with Selwyn College for the past twenty-five years, working very closely with firstly June Renwick, who was the founder and Director of the Selwyn College Tertiary Performing Arts, and the very successful on-going programme of the Junior Performing Arts and now with Duncan Allan, HOD Drama, working on Selwyn's Productions and Musicals.
With all her years of teaching, experience and knowledge she is able to help students to fulfill their dreams in the world of dance as she has always done and continues to do today.
SARAH MELVILLE-SMITH: Co-Director
A.I.S.T.D , A.S.S.C Dip. Modern Jazz / R.A.D TC. Classical Ballet
Junior School Director
Sarah has over twenty-five years experience in the dance, entertainment and event
management industry. After completing a Diploma of Dance and Theatre Arts and a
Diploma of Teaching of Dance at East Auckland Performing Arts, she travelled to
Australia and Japan and worked as a professional cabaret dancer for Dance Encore
Upon returning to New Zealand she set up Stageworks Productions Ltd, which provided
quality cabaret dance and show entertainment for corporate events and various charity
organizations for over sixteen years.
Having trained at East Auckland Performing Arts, Sarah then returned as a tutor for the
same Diploma courses that she graduated from. As well as being the Course
Co-ordinator, she taught all ISTD dance styles together with academic subjects of Dance History, Anatomy, Composition and Stagecraft.
More recently, Sarah has developed Personal Development courses for girls, with the
emphasis being on learning new life skills to develop a positive sense of body image,
motivation and self awareness. Sarah is committed to inspiring a true love of dance and performing in all her students.
A.I.S.T.D Tap dance
Sally started tap dancing at 6 years old then picked up modern/jazz at 7 years
and followed the ISTD Tap and Jazz syllabus. Sally was late to start ballet at 13
years old but it gave a solid foundation to all genres.
Sally reached her advanced Tap at age 16 and Advanced Modern at age 17. After
that, she continued with open classes and included Contemporary and even
Cabaret. She was involved in teaching tap classes from age 15 taking the juniors
and over the years she was assisting with the senior and even adult tap classes.
Over the years, Sally also enjoyed drama and singing classes, which along with
the dancing, allowed her to be involved in several amateur musical theatre
shows including The Wizard of Oz and Calamity Jane.
At age 19 Sally successfully auditioned for a chorus part in the Australian cast of
42 nd Street. The show played at the Aotea Centre for 8 weeks and was a
wonderful experience to work with such a fine cast.
Dancing took a back seat for a few years while she had her children but in 2010
Sally became a qualified ISTD Tap teacher thanks to the wonderful guidance of
Martina has been dancing since the age of 5 years old. She started it off with RAD ballet and continued until Adv 1 ballet. She picked up jazz at the age of 8 doing American Jazz (AJDA).
At 11 years old, she wanted to do contemporary (NZAMD). Her love for contemporary grew from there! She completed all levels of contemporary and became a teacher! At the age of 15, she moved to Kim Santarelli’s dance academy to do ISTD Jazz.
Then on, she has been a part of many musical and dance shows. In August 2018, she sat her final ISTD Modern (Jazz) exam (Adv 2), and achieved distinction! She is now sitting her Jazz associates exam to become a Jazz teacher! She’s one of our part time contemporary and ballet teachers, as she is studying full time at AUT to become a physiotherapist.