Our Teachers

Macie Saunders

Macie has danced since the age of 5 in the Southern Highlands and Wollongong, learning various styles such as jazz, Hip-hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Tap, Ballet, Acrobatics and Aerial Silks.

Macie has competed in NSW, QLD and the ACT for dance winning multiple awards as a soloist and a troupe performer.

In 2019, Macie performed in Showcase Regionals in Sydney and continued onto Showcase Nationals in the Gold Coast where she competed against dance schools around the country.

Macie has been a teacher at Empire for many years and looks forward to watching her students grow as performers.

Emily Turland

Emily has studied dance since the age of 3 in styles such as Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics and Aerial Silks. In 2014, Emily completed a degree in Bachelor of Dance Education at The Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) allowing her to teach Dance and PDHPE in High Schools.

Emily has danced around Australia with her studio before ownership and in 2013 went to America to dance at Disney Land, Knotts Berry Farm and Universal Studios while continuing her training at Millennium and The Edge Dance Studios in California.

Empire is in its 9th year of business and has been successful in four years in the Southern Highlands Business Awards Finalists and winning two of these.

In 2019, Emily danced in the Southern Highlands Dance for Cancer event and won judges choice award.

Charlotte White

Charlotte has been dancing since age 8 with Empire.

With a sporting background it wasn’t long before Charlotte was dancing in her own troupe as-well as the age group above. Charlotte is an acrobatic dancer who can do almost any trick you can think of.

The last three years Charlotte has been teaching acrobatics at Empire as well as dance.

Aside from dancing Charlotte’s passion is in health and fitness. Charlotte has competed for dancing all around Australia including nationals in QLD as a soloist.

Apart from dancing Charlotte is a personal trainer and is currently a fitness instructor at F45 and FS8 in Bowral.

Marisol Santos

Marisol began her dance career at the age of 11 where she studied ballet and flamenco dance at the GGY School of Dance in Canley Vale, NSW.

In 1988 the flamenco dance troupe ‘Castañuelas’ (Castanets) was formed at the dance school and Marisol was one of the first dancers to perform with the group. She performed extensively throughout NSW and the ACT performing at restaurants, functions, weddings, festivals and cultural events such as the yearly National Folkloric Festival at the Sydney Opera House.

After moving from Sydney to Moss Vale, Marisol launched her flamenco dance school ‘Flamenco Solymar’ (2013) where she began to teach classes in flamenco dance. In 2014 she also began teaching Spanish (her native language).

More recently, Marisol continues to share her love and passion of flamenco and Spanish culture with the Southern Highlands community through teaching and performing.

Flamenco Solymar perform at many community and charity events including the Stars of the Highlands.

Marisol has proudly participated in this important event in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Madison Teerman

Madison Teerman has been passionately dancing since the age of 3 at Disalvatore Dance academy in Leeton.

She has performed in many shows and competitions, incl: School Spectacular as a featured dancer for 3 years. Madison tought dance to younger children for 4 years.

She was a part of NSW state ensemble for 3 years and Sydney Dance Youth Company for 1 year.

Madison has performed and raised money with many different teams for many different organisations.

More recently was accepted to Dance Force Fulltime in Brisbane but decided to turn it down due to Covid. Thankfully for us, we have Madison onboard for her first year involved in STARS!

Monique Barrios

Pointe Dynamic Arts (“PDA”) was created by Monique Barrios, opening in Moss Vale January 2009.

Monique initially solely taught Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, and Technique. The studio has since grown, now offering a greater variety of disciplines including all major forms of performing arts and recently adding Ballroom, Drama, Singing, and Stage Combat to the list.

PDA has accrued an amazing team of teachers and support staff, who cater for over 150 students today. PDA is a locally owned and run family business.

Siobhan Dennehy

The face behind Industry Dance Co. Miss Siobhan opened the studio 5 years ago after giving up her professional dance career in hopes to share her experience.

Today, you'll see Miss Siobhan around the studio in various roles, but her heart lies in her ballet classes.

Fun fact - Miss Siobhan has a cute fur-baby boarder collie called Mallee!

Eden Kelaher

I am the owner and director at DanceEd Performing Arts and have been dancing for 18 years! I have danced on various television shows including x-factor and married at first sight and have danced for the NRL for the past 3 years.

This will be my second year assisting our amazing Stars of the Highlands and I love the way it brings the community together for an amazing cause!

Ray Plumridge

Ray has been dancing since he was 6 yers old, firstly international ballroom and Latin, then moving over to the more social styles of partner dancing.

Dance Beat has been teaching in the Sutherland Shire for 31 years and are now starting classes in the southern highlands at Bowral. It is owned and operated by Ray Plumridge.

Specialising in American Social Style Ballroom,Latin and Rock "n' Roll, Rockabilly, Swing and West Coast Swing.

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