Our Teachers

Angela Bontea

I have always loved dancing and performing. I began Jazz Ballet and Tap Dance at age three and soon after took up ballet, character and contemporary too. I continued dancing all throughout my childhood and into my late teens competing in eisteddfods, performing for theatre groups and teaching younger dance students. After a long break I took up dance again in 2012 at Sharp Dance and in 2013 started to teach there as well.

I've known a lot of people touched by Cancer including my own family and if I can help the Cancer Council who support so many in different ways I'm going to do that. I'm really lucky I can contribute via this means which is something that I love!

Sharp Dance

Sharp Dance aims to provide affordable dance tuition so anyone who has a love of dance as the opportunity to learn. We pride ourselves on quality tuition with a strong focus on positive social and family values. Classes include Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Musical Theatre and Acrobatics.  

Georgie King

Dancing has played a very big part in my life and has created many opportunities for me over the years. I have previously studied Dance and Performing Arts professionally in Sydney, performed on the Opera House stage as well as fashion festivals across NSW and VIC. I have always found a strange comfort in being on stage performing and I take the chance whenever I can to feed that addiction. As any girl will tell you, we all have a favourite pair of shoes! Mine, without a doubt, are tap shoes! Watching legends such as Ann Miler and Eleanor Powell in their tap shoes always blow my mind! 

I was lucky enough to be included in the first Stars of Casino event and loved every minute of it. I loved seeing the community come together to raise funds for such an important cause and then celebrate the success of the super stars who put themselves out of their comfort zones in the name of kicking cancer to the curb!  

Arum Casino

Arum Casino is a local clothing boutique in Walker Street Casino. Arum has been dressing our local ladies fabulously for 20 years and is a business that is always more than happy to support local fundraisers. 



Sophie McAuliffe

Although I was born in Stanthorpe I grew up on our family farm on Lynch’s Creek. I began dancing a year before I started school and trained with Maryann Bentley until I was 16. After completing a full- time ballet course at QDSE in Brisbane I trained in Sydney for 2 more years. From the age of 21 I have danced on cruise ships, theme parks, theatres, showboats, movie sets as a professional showgirl and commercial dancer throughout Asia and Europe. Since retiring from a 10 year professional dance career I have come home and now pass on my passion to the next generation here in Casino at Casino Dance Academy. I also write for Heartland magazine as well as finding time to carry on with the family farm at Lynch’s Creek.

Since returning to Australia and the community which gave me so much, I have felt a very strong passion to give back. I have felt so blessed to have had the opportunities I have had and it is a honor to work with the Cancer Council along side members of this community to make a positive difference through the art form of dance. 

McAuliffe School of Dance

Sarah Bird

I am a born and raised Casino girl and I have had the opportunity to dance and sing for our community at many events over my years. I am really looking forward to our community coming together once again and raising awareness for those battling with Cancer. I have always had a special love of jazz and hope to ‘jazz’ the routine up this time. This will be my second time taking part of this amazing event and I couldn’t be more proud. My teaching shoes are ready and dusted off, this fun and entertaining number is coming your way.?

I have been involved with in our community fundraising for cancer council for many years with an without my loved ones who have won or lost their fight for cancer. They are my Reason.

Sarafina Fitness

Sarafina Fitness?offer a range of group fitness classes from Dance to HIIT found right here in Casino and celebrating 9 years this year.?


Abby Hughes

I’m a local hairdresser that has bright orange hair. You cant really miss me really. I work part time as a tafe teacher helping mould the next generation of hairdressers come through, Im a hyper active 21 + a couple of year old power lifter in my spare time.? I dance for Summerland physical culture lyn also, i love being about in all of this and this is why I’m never home!?

After being part of the first round I was delighted to be a part of this again! But as a teacher this is going to be another view of this and I’m super excited to help my awesome friend Judy shine!?

The Ivy Room  


Courteney Matthews

My name is Courteney Matthews I am 22 and have been dancing from the age of 4. I have been apart of dance eisteddfods as a group and solo work. I was apart of Brisbane city youth ballet at the age of 12. I completed my hsc in dance and received band 6. After completing high school Maryanne an Renea offered for me to become a dance teacher with casino dance academy and have been teaching there now for 4 years this year being my 5th. Dancing has always been my passion and knowing that I am passing on my passion to students is even greater.

Cancer has effected so many people close to me as well as in the community, knowing that I could do something that I love and support a great cause at the same time was enough motivation for me .

Casino Dance Academy

Stephanie Darragh

I have grown up in Casino and completed all of my schooling at St Mary’s Catholic College. After finishing school, I completed my Hairdressing Apprenticeship in Evans Head. In 2018, I decided it was time for a career change and I am now a legal secretary at Hannigans Solicitors in Casino. Dancing has always been a major part of my life; I was a student of Casino Dance Academy from the age of 4 until I was 18. I am so excited to be a part of this dancing journey again to raise awareness for such a great cause and to dance in memory of my beloved Poppy.

I love being involved in community events, especially when they are raising awareness for issues that effect more than just our community. I was lucky enough to have the chance to dance in the first Stars of Casino along side my dad and really enjoyed the experience. In May of 2018 I lost my pop to cancer, seeing him suffer through the terrible disease has made me realise that there needs to be more awareness and funding so that other families do not have to go through what mine has. I am thrilled to have been asked to be a part of this fundraiser again!   

Tony’s Workshop

For all your mechanical repairs! 

Megan Gillespie

Hi there, my name's Megan and I own Waves Dance Studio in Evans Head and Broadwater. When I'm not teaching at the studio, you'll either find me working in my day job, as a Payroll Assistant or hanging out with my family and friends. I love to chill out with a book or Netflix and travel.

My motivation to be involved in Stars of Casino was my family. Everyone is somehow, unfortunately, touched by Cancer. In comparison to the suffering, my vulnerability to dance on stage seems to be a walk in the park. 

Waves Dance Studio

Waves Dance Studio is a recreational dance school in Evans Head and Broadwater, providing dance, acrobatics and musical theatre classes to students aging in age from preschool students to adults. At Waves, we value family and pride ourselves on providing quality dance education. 



Astoria Chapman

My name is Astoria Chapman, I'm 20 years old and I can't wait to be apart of Stars of Casino for the second time! I started taking dance lessons at the age of 3 and since finishing in 2018, I have been teaching young students ballet, tap, and jazz at Casino Dance Academy. My all time favourite style of dance is tap and it is my favourite style to teach.

ILast time was so much fun being able to teach my partner tap. We had to work and practie really hard, but we were always having fun whilst doing so. Last time we were able to raise a lot of money for Cancer Council NSW and put on an entertaining show for the Casino community. I'd love to be apart of it again because it's such a common illness that nearly everyone can say they know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. It's really great to be able to have the local community come together and fundraise for such a great cause.

Casino Dance Academy

Casino Dance Academy has been established in Casino for 50yrs. Offering classes in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Solo and Troupe tuition.  

Banje Blanch

My name is Banje and I am a community nurse here in Casino. I started dancing when I was 16 years old as a way to escape stress and some of the challenges with everyday life. Dancing makes me feel calm after a busy day at work, it is therapeutic for me and clears my mind.

As a nurse caring for some patients diagnosed with cancer is emotional as well as challenging. I support them through the stress of treatment and the anxiety of many uncertainties brought by the disease. If I could help by raising awareness through supporting Cancer Council with the Casino Stars Dance for Cancer event then I would feel privileged knowing that I have contributed to something I feel passionate about supporting in my personal and professional life.

Our Top Stars

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