Owner & Principal
Dip. Dance Teaching & Management (Box Hill Institute) Certificate in Dance Performance (New Zealand School of Dance). Movement & Dance Education Centre Registered Teacher. Affiliate Teacher A.T.O.D Ltd. Certificate IV Work Place Training & Assessment.
I began dancing at the age of 5 in my hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand. I studied both the Royal Academy of Dance and Cecchetti Method syllabi. It was my involvement with Southern Ballet Dance Theatre’s junior company that inspired me to make dance my career. I graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 1998 where I studied both classical ballet and contemporary dance for three years. During this time I had many opportunities to perform a variety of interesting roles while developing my dance technique to a professional level. I successfully completed my teacher training at Box Hill Institute receiving both the 1st and 2nd year awards for Outstanding Achievement. I have worked as a freelance dance teacher and choreographer in a number of dance schools around Melbourne before running the Kew School of Dance. I lectured at Box Hill Institute of TAFE in delivering Anatomy, Body Conditioning and Business Studies for Certificate IV & Diploma students studying for their dance teaching qualification between 2008-2013. I have presented at three International Dance Medicine and Science conferences, Seattle 2013, Pittsburgh 2015 and Hong Kong in 2016.
Executive Director of Movement and Dance Education Centre, Administrator of Laurel Martyn Dance System and Laurel Martyn Foundation, Editor One-eyed Press and Laurel Martyn Publishing. Classical ballet training to Advanced level, and 30 years of teaching experience in many areas including Laurel Martyn Dance System, contemporary and body conditioning in several suburban dance schools including Jane Andrewartha Dance Academy, Jill Glastonbury Dance Academy, Box Hill Ballet, Ballet Central and Mount Eliza and Peninsula Ballet School. I returned to study to complete the Diploma of Dance in Teaching and Management, taught by Laurel Martyn, Janet Barnard-Brown and Dianne Parrington, and then taught at Box Hill Institute of TAFE for 10 years as a sessional teacher. I have also completed Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I have spent many years working closely with Laurel Martyn on the development of the Movement and Dance Education Centre which provides ongoing support, training and accreditation for dance teachers and assessment services. I have been as assessor for many years, and have traveled internationally in this role. I have also studied Interior Design at RMIT, practiced in the building industry for five years and in graphic design for 5 years, and have worked as an office manager for several small businesses. In 2011 I returned to teaching at Box Hill Institute of TAFE.
Amanda Betlehem is a Melbourne-based dancer, choreographer and teacher. She has been dancing since the age of 4, training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and tap. Amanda has been teaching dance to children and teens across a range of styles since 2008.
In 2014 Amanda completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance Creation (Choreography) at the Victorian College of the Arts and was the recipient of an Arts Victoria Creative Scholarship. She completed her undergraduate studies in Creative Arts (Dance) at Deakin University (2011) and was a recipient of a travel grant from the same institution to study in India in 2010. She excelled in Units 1-4 of VCE Dance at Dance Factory in Richmond. Amanda is an active member of the dance community in Melbourne, performing regularly in her own and others’ works at major festivals and independent events such as Dance Massive Festival, Next Wave Festival, Pieces for Small Spaces at Lucy Guerin Inc, Dancehouse, Northcote Town Hall and the Mechanics Institute.
Teacher & Administration
I began ballet classes when I was three years old at what is now Kew School of Dance. During my 16 years as a student at the school I relished the many opportunities to learn, perform and create through assistant dance teaching, the annual concerts and events such as the Movement and Dance Education Centre Choreographic Competition. At 11 years of age I joined the Young Dancer’s Company where I gained valuable performance experience with their productions of Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie, The Nutcracker and The Tales of Beatrix Potter. In 2013 I successfully completed Units 3&4 of VCE Dance and in 2014 was asked to perform in VCE Top Dance at the Melbourne Recital Centre. After graduating high school I began studying at the Victorian College of the Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance)) where I was able to develop my technique in both ballet and contemporary whilst cultivating my personal artistry. Upon completion of first year at VCA I decided to explore other avenues of interest by undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne with a major in Philosophy and a minor in French.
I have been working in an administrative capacity for Kew School of Dance for 3 years and am now excited to begin sharing my experience and love of dance through teaching.
Teacher & Administration
Diploma in Dance Performance (New Zealand School of Dance)
Associate Teacher (LMDTS)
I began dancing at the age of 7 at Estelle’s Dance & Performance Academy, learning RAD Ballet, CSTD Jazz and Tap. After finishing high school in Perth I began full time dance training at Academie Etoiles, where I had the opportunity to compete and perform in a variety of productions. My first professional role was Bluebird in Perth City Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty, after this I moved to Wellington, New Zealand to continue my training at the New Zealand School of Dance. I continued to dance with Perth City Ballet in their annual summer productions, including Swan Lake and Giselle, whilst completing my Diploma in Dance Performance from NZSD. Near the end of my time in New Zealand I auditioned for Melbourne City Ballet, and was asked to be a part of their 2014 season of Carmen. After finishing a scholarship program as part of MCB’s Finishing Year I turned to exploring contemporary movement and collaborating between various art forms and dance. I have always loved to move and I can’t wait to help the next generation of young dancers on their journey. In 2016 I became an Associate Teacher through the Laurel Martyn Dance System and assisted Miss Jane in entering a Stage 4 Ballet class for assessment, I also successfully entered my own Stage 1 Ballet class. I look forward to sharing my expertise and skills with all the students at Kew School of Dance.
Certificate I in Dance
Currently completing Certificate II in Dance
I attended my first ballet lesson at age 4, when Kew School of Dance was known as ‘Ring O’ Roses’. This was the beginning of my love for dance. I’ve trained in various styles of dance, including jazz, tap and contemporary, but my main passion remains with ballet. Through dance, I’ve been able to express myself, relieve stress, meet some of my closest friends, learn valuable lessons and perform for others. For me, teaching is more than a title: it’s about responsibility, commitment, dedication and passion. I began assistant teaching in late 2013, helping to prepare some younger students for their performances in ‘The Nutcracker’. Getting the chance to help young students grow, improve and find a love for dance is a great experience that I’ve been lucky enough to have. Along with being a member of the student production team and having completed a VET Course in Dance, I’ll aim to use my knowledge and passion to help students reach their full potential as dancers, in a positive learning environment.
Certificate I in Dance
Currently completing Certificate III in Assistant Dance Teaching
I started dancing when I was 6 years old here at Kew School of Dance, and I haven’t stopped since! I have trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap and hip hop. In 2013, I began assistant teaching classes, which I thought was merely about learning the dances for the students so they wouldn’t forget, but I quickly learnt it was more than that. I loved getting to know the students, and seeing their personalities and dancing skills develop over the year was a great reward. I loved the feeling of developing my own confidence and skills through assistant teaching. I soon realised that dance teaching was something I wanted to pursue in the future. I am so excited to be teaching my own class this year and to be able to continue to assist classes, and I am eager to develop my teaching skills and continue with my training as a teacher, with my VET Cert. I in dance as a basis.
I have been studying many different styles of dance since the age of 5 including Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop. In my teen years I was offered my first position as a Dance Teacher. This fantastic opportunity meant I was able to share my passion and love for dance with others and also explore dance professionally. Throughout my 9 years experience of teaching I have worked in numerous dance schools around Melbourne and taught children as young as 2 years old to adult men and women in a variety of different styles of dance. I recently worked as a Kinda Dance Master Instructor in childcare centres, in which I taught a specialised creative educational movement, music and wellness programme for early childhood. I have also had the amazing chance to work with the Coburg Tigers Football Club in two of their Dancing with the Stars fundraiser events and in 2010 I danced at the iluvchicks fashion label launch party. I’m currently also working as a dance coach for Kelly Sports, where I attend a number of different Primary Schools across Melbourne to teach dance at lunch times. Each term I choreograph and create a different dance in a different style for Preps to grade 4’s to learn and perform to their school and parents at the end of each term. It’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion of dance with others and it’s honestly the most fulfilling career I could ever want or ask for. I wish everybody at Kew School of Dance another great year of dancing and many more to come!
Jo’s work history is a combination of administrative support and customer service roles spanning a number of industries including the arts, healthcare and hospitality. She has a long history of involvement in the arts, particularly in theatre and film, and runs a critically acclaimed independent theatre company The Honeytrap.
In 2013 she travelled to the UK as part of the British Council’s Realise Your Dream program met and worked with major theatre companies in the UK including Punchdrunk, The Royal Court Theatre, Out of Joint Theatre and National Theatre Wales.
She is also a former dance student and trained in R.A.D. ballet and character from age 10 to 16 years old and. She still has a strong passion for dance, movement and dance theatre!
I became involved in the technical side of theatre at the age of 13 as part of Northland Youth Theatre in New Zealand, I have always thought of the theatre as my natural environment ever since. I have been involved in many theatre projects, events and dance shows including recently working as Technical Director for Theatre 451’s season of “a play a pie and a pot”, touring to India with Eclectic Pelican’s show “A Kings Player” and working as Technical Manager for Melbourne City Ballet.