Our Teachers

Kim Blanza

Kim is currently not actively teaching, as he now works as a freelance creative specialising in photography and videography.

Dance has always been his first love and will continue practicing the art form. Kim began his dance journey in 2008, as a self-taught dancer right here in Albury/Wodonga. His interest in the Hip-Hop culture became a burning passion which lead to sharing it with others.

Kim specialises in the art of Bboying (Breakdance) and various dance styles of the Hip-Hop culture. From 2011 Kim stepped into teaching, teaching dance at local dance studios/schools in the rural region.

“My aim as a teacher is to provide the right building blocks, knowledge and guidance for individuals to grow into their true style; not only as a dancer but as a person.” “I begun to hit the local scene by bringing Hip-Hop to studios, shows/events, high schools and youth camps. From this I was nominated and received the Red Carpet Youth Ambassador Award of Wodonga.

A goal of mine was to break the stigma in small towns of males dancing. I traveled the region and major cities doing shows, charity events, and competitions. For the past 5 years, I have been residing in Melbourne to further his knowledge and experiences. Training with high calibre crews on the Melbourne/International scene and doing shows to the likes of “The Australian Open 2017”, half time shows in the “NBL” and many more. Along with participating and judging events.”

Anthony Peppers

Anthony started dancing when he was 5 years old and started competing at age 7. Anthony competed for 25 years, having appeared in all major Australian finals over many age groups, the natural progression was to become a professional teacher and adjudicator having taught and adjudicated all over Australia and also in China.

Over many years he has increased his qualifications to National Championship adjudicator in Ballroom and New Vogue and Elite Coach in the New Vogue category. After being invited to the Border region in 2009/2010 as an adjudicator and guest coach, Anthony decided to move to the region, having lived in Rutherglen since 2013.

Anthony’s work consists of casual parcel courier for Australia Post in Rutherglen and teaching dance in Rutherglen, Corowa, and Wangaratta. He has been training Debutants in the area for 7 years and running his dance school for 6 years training both social and competition dancers. Anthony’s students range in age from 6 to late '80s.

He has also choreographed dances for many bridal couples and wedding parties.“Not only is it exciting to see my competitive students improve their skills, but I am also aware of the benefits that dancing brings to people socially, physically and mentally. I am volunteering my time so a local star can experience a taste of the time and dedication it takes to perform a dance routine in front of a live audience while supporting them to raise funds for such a worthy cause.”

Meegan Strauss

Meegan is currently a teacher/choreographer and owner of MT Dance Creative. Meegan teaches a range of styles to all ages starting from 2 years, and has the greatest enjoyment when teaching ballet, contemporary and lyrical.

Meegan started her training from the age of 8 years old, dancing in many genres and studying/completing exams in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. It was during these years that Meegan discovered her love for dance and the desire to train full time at a vocational level. In the 3 years that Meegan studied full-time, she completed her Victorian Certificate of Education, Certificate 2, 3 and 4 in Elite Performance while being acknowledged in many forums including as a finalist in the Red Carpet Youth Awards and numerous scholarships and accolades.

In 2015 she toured to New Zealand with Projection Dance Company in the award-winning production ‘Of Mice and Men’ and received an internship at Auckland Unitec in New Zealand. In 2016 Meegan was invited to audition for the world-renowned Netherlands Dance Theatre in the Hague during which time she spent two months travelling Europe experiencing an eclectic mix of dance styles. Since then, Meegan began teaching and has worked closely with students and local schools providing dance programs, preparing students for exams and performances and developing her passion for choreography, and more currently in 2018 has furthered her studies to complete her Cert IV in Training and Assessment.

Meegans is invested in dance across many levels, she has been instrumental in the development of inclusive dance classes and performances. With a keen interest in teaching dance and building her skills as a dance educator, and with a passion to continue doing this as a career Meegan and her business partner Taylor Falkner opened a dance studio (MT Dance Creative) in Wodonga in January 2020. After Meegan had the opportunity to be a part of the Stars on the Border in 2018, she is extremely excited to be a teacher again for such a great event again this year!

Charli Ivic

Charli has been dancing since she was a 4 year old in New Zealand and has never really stopped! She started out with Tap and Jazz, then included Ballet into her schedule a few years after.

Charli took up Ballroom and Latin as a teenager and after moving to Australia in her early 20’s she started working part-time then moving into full-time teaching of Ballroom & Latin in Melbourne. During that time she also studied Fitness which has always been and still is a hugely important part of her life.

Teaching Dance and Choreography is such a huge passion for Charli and was lucky enough to work on DWTS Australia twice as Choreographer and Mentor. 10 years ago after having her first 2 children Charli moved to Wodonga where she started classes at the local community centres in Latin Fitness which eventually (and 2 more children later!) turned into Zumba with Charli.

Charli now runs quite a few Adult Zumba classes per week and loves motivating and encouraging her clients in a safe, friendly and fun environment. From there Charli realised that there was a gap in the community for kids dance classes that are relaxed and fitness based without pressure. These have become hugely popular and so much fun!

Charli also do a lot of work in schools for Dance, Graduations, Production Choreography and Dance Fitness, as well as volunteer work for Schools, preschools and Wodonga Council promoting healthy living, healthy body image healthy mind and the importance of keeping moving! “This is my third year working on Stars of the Border and I am looking forward to once again honouring those close to me who have been touched by Cancer as well as supporting my newest partner on their Journey.”

Chay Styles

Chay has lived on the Border all his life and has been dancing on and off for more than 18 years.

In the early years, Chay danced in many competitions and has danced at Crown Casino and Flemington Race Course. In more recent times, Chay has begun partnering young students at competitions.

6 years ago Chay married his wife Catherine who he met through dancing, they have a son Charlie and recently welcomed their second son Connor. They hope that one day they enjoy dancing and how fun it can be.

“My main reason for volunteering this year and in previous years, is that 14 years ago my mum passed away from complication due to cancer. She was my biggest supporter in my dancing career and I know she would have been proud me. I have also had friends recently be diagnosed with cancer and are currently undergoing treatment. My involvement is the way I can help to raise money and help in the research to find a cure for this horrible disease. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my Family for their support and also the team at Southern Plumbing.”

Paula Tompson

Paula has lived on the Border her whole life and began dancing following the first season of Dancing with The Stars Australia.

She has been dancing now for 15 years and in this time she has been fortunate enough to compete in competitions around Australia against interstate and international competitors, and has been extremely privileged to work with a range of incredible coaches.

After taking a short break from competitive dancing, Paula has recently taken up a new dance partnership and looks forward to being back on the dance floor.

Paula teaches Ballroom, Latin and New Vogue at Border Danceworks Wodonga, and instructs group fitness classes at a local gym.

This is Paula’s 7th consecutive year being involved in the Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer, and looks forward to the event each year, as it not only allows her to meet some incredible people but helps raise funds for such an amazing cause.

Carly Campbell

Carly Campbell is a born and raised Lavi girl, and has the absolute honour of participating for the third time at Stars of the Border Dance For Cancer.

She started dancing when she was 3 years old, and specialises in hip-hop, burlesque, street Latin as well as tiny tots, lyrical, breakdance, jazz and contemporary.

Carly has accomplished many things throughout her dance career with her most recent being opening up her very own studio, Beatz Dance Studio. (Located at 545 Smollett Street Albury).

Unfortunately, Carly’s family is one of the many other families on the Border who has suffered firsthand the ugliness of cancer. Losing her brother to leukaemia when he was only 9 years of age, losing her grandma as well as one of her best friends and the very well-known much adored and loved Karl Jacka.

Glen Strauss

Glen Strauss is known by many, however you may not be aware he has been heavily involved with ballroom dancing for nearly 3 decades. Born and raised in Albury and the youngest of 10 siblings, Glen has experienced life and developed his dancing career in Sydney and overseas competitions, before returning home to the border.

His passion became a business 9 years ago, when he and his wife, Niki, bought the Albury-Wodonga Dance Centre, where he currently teaches full time. With their two children Mabelle & Artie also being involved with studio activities, Glen and Niki have mentored students across 80 regional Débutante Balls and numerous regional and state ballroom competitions with the help of their instructors.

Glen manages and operates a graphic design business 'Grauss', when he's not teaching at the studio.

A memorable achievement for Glen was in 2017 when he was afforded the opportunity to compete overseas in the annual Blackpool Dance Festival Championships in England. Following 11 months of intensive training with Melbourne partner Loreta, and under the guidance of their respected coaches, they placed 32nd out of 92 international couples in the Senior Open Latin American event.

Glen has been involved with Stars on the Border since the inaugural event, even though he hasn't been able to compete each year in this amazing cause. The time, commitment and sweat equity expended by the stars, dancers and organisers is beyond phenomenal and Glen regards each and every contributor as truly awesome and is proud to be associated with such a worthwhile cause.

Elly Bligh

Elly has danced at Border Danceworks for over 16 years across a range of styles including competing in regional competitions of jazz, hip hop, theatrical, modern and in ballroom styles of Latin American, new vogue and standard travelling as far as Melbourne and Canberra. Elly has taught dancing at Border Danceworks since she was 14 and it was only 2 years ago that she decided to give full time teaching a break and put herself in the dance role of teaching others and donating her time in this event as she believe it’s such a great event to raise money for a great cause.

When Elly is not dancing, you’ll find her at Temple Hair Design full time. Elly started her apprenticeship in 2011 completing her cert 3 in 2014. Elly then took up roll of Salon Manager in 2016. This year will be 9 years in the industry and at Temple Hair Design! Highlight of Elly’s career would be completing her Redken certified hair colourist exam in 2016, allowing her to travel the world with work, including travelling to Las Vegas for the Redken Symposium event in 2015.

Cazz Kardol

Cazz is a local girl, having lived in Albury Wodonga for most of her life.
She has been dancing for over 30 years and has owned her own dance school for 25 years.

Cazz a mother of 2 amazing teenage boys. During the working week, Cazz also works for a Homeless Support Service.

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