PRINCIPAL – KRISTY MANSFIELD (L.G.T.D.A. Examiner) – TAP
Kristy’s career in tap dancing began at the age of four with the legendary Mr. Les Griffith. Along with members of Tap Dogs, she was among the first to learn his Australian tap syllabus (L.G.T.D.A.) and sit for examinations. Kristy’s first major achievement was at the age of nine after being selected to compete in The Fred Astaire Performing Arts Challenge in Miami, Florida and subsequently gaining the highest points scored amongst her age group. Following Mr. Griffith’s passing Kristy completed her tap exams with Donna Michalitsis (now co-owner of L.G.T.D.A.) and eisteddfod & concert training with Pullar’s Dancing Academy.
Her success is demonstrated through winning an average of thirty tap and song & dance championships and scholarships per year, a feat that is unrivalled to this day. During this period Kristy was also awarded the rare honour of a perfect score of 100/100 for one eisteddfod performance. Kristy studied Classical Ballet, Jazz, Character and Modern/Contemporary dance with Marie Walton-Mahon (Director of the National College of Dance, Australia) from the age of seven. At the age of eight Kristy began singing and speech & drama with Nola Wallace and then completed her singing training with Graeme Hands. This training assisted Kristy to gain the opportunity to perform in many stage musicals and The Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games (2000) where she was a Lead Dancer.
Kristy has also been involved with corporate and promotional functions through employment with Fredrick’s Promotions, Great Big Events & Promo Technics in Sydney.
Kristy has always had a keen interest in choreography and since the age of 16 she has choreographed for many functions and several stage productions. One of them being, 42nd Street where she was awarded a City Of Newcastle Drama Award (CONDA) for best choreography.
Kristy now devotes her efforts to her own school, HVT Studio of Performing Arts, in the Hunter Region of Australia. HVT has offered a variety of performing arts for the beginner to advanced student since its establishment in 1998. HVT senior dancers were chosen to perform in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games & the Welcoming Ceremony of the 2001 Masters Games. Students from HVT have performed in many musicals and have also been accepted into The Australian Ballet School International Training program, NIDA, The Royal Ballet (UK), The Victorian College of Arts, Brent St & Carnival Crusies.
Kristy has been an associate member of the Australian Dance Adjudicators organisation for the past 18 years. She has adjudicated many Eisteddfods during those years and enjoys being involved in the development of young dancers today. Kristy has also recently been accepted as a tap examiner which demonstrates her vast knowledge & experience in the field.
SOPHIE MCKIE – JAZZ, CONTEMPORARY, LYRICAL, BALLET, HIP HOP & ACROBATS
Sophie trained at Kicks Danceforce in Newcastle from 3-16 years of age. She studied full time at Brent Street studios in Sydney and has obtained a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and management at Dance Vision Australia. She has taught at numerous studios in the Hunter and Central Coast and is now a prominent teacher at HVT teaching children of all ages and standards. She has been teaching classes from 2/12 to 18 year olds in the styles of Ballet (RAD), Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, Contemporary, Acrobatics, Tap (Pullars and LGTDA, Cheer (AASCF) and Zumbatomic (zumba for kids).
Sophie has been with HVT now for 3 years and loves working with our talented dancers. Her award winning choreography has won many solo and troupe awards in jazz and contemporary and is looking forward to 2017.
YASMIN BROCK – CLASSICAL BALLET
Yasmin began her dance training with Warren Gasson from The Australian Ballet. Subsequently she attended The Halliday Dance Centre in Sydney. She completed certification in The Royal Academy of Dance syllabus to Advanced. Thereafter she obtained a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Sydney in Politics and English and an Associate Degree in Dance from The Queensland University of Technology. She then travelled overseas where she pursued an extensive performance and teaching career. She trained with with teachers from the Royal Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, ABT, Alvin Ailey, Bill T Jones and The Mark Morris Dance Co. She has performed with Connecticut Ballet, New York Dance Collective and The Arch amongst others. More recently, Yasmin completed a Master of Teaching (Secondary) in Dance and English Literature.
Whilst in Australia, Yasmin performed with The Freelance Dance Co, The Gosford Conservatory of Music and Art in Motion. She was a guest teacher at The British Ballet Organization’s (BBO) workshops and accepted a contract with Bondi Ballet in their opening season. Her first professionally staged work, “Melange” was a techno ballet en pointe to the music of electro punk band The Prodigy.
Her first visit to New York in 1997 involved a dance teaching contract at The French Woods Performing Arts School, where she taught beginners to advanced and created recital work. She was also the recipient of a scholarship from the Jennifer Mullen Dance Company, NY. Yasmin completed additional training at Steps, BDC and Ballet Arts, in Manhattan.
In London, 1997-2002, she taught R.A.D. ballet and jazz classes at several studios and danced with Yozo Fass and Jouvet Productions. Yasmin became a relief principal for two ballet schools and acted as a guest examiner for the ISTD. She moved to Tokyo 2003-04, to teach ballet and lyrical jazz classes at The IDA International Dance Academy and performed with Kazuko Takemoto’s Dance Venus.
Yasmin returned to New York (2005-2009) via sponsorship with The Arch Dance Co. She contributed as a soloist performer, choreographer and programs officer. Because of her efforts, the company went on a 16-city tour of the USA. In 2007 she joined the New York Dance Collective where she choreographed and performed work at The Merce Cunningham Theatre. In 2008 she joined Connecticut Ballet and performed soloist roles under Bret Raphael’s direction. At this time, she received coaching from Cynthia Gregory (ABT), artists from Alvin Ailey and collaborated with French African choreographer, Olivier Tarpaga. Later she performed with Bliss Dance Co, and Elojes Dance Theatre and choreographed a ballet variation for The Queens Opera Company. Yasmin taught ballet, lyrical and modern classes at two studios in NYC and dance ‘BalletFit’ classes in Brooklyn.
Yasmin returned to Australia and completed her Master of Teaching in 2009-10. She then coached HSC Dance students for their exam solos, and taught as a supply teacher in Sydney. Subsequently she co-founded Xpandance a modern ballet company which toured regional NSW. In 2011 she joined Entity Dance Collective as performer, choreographer and publicist. This company performed at Platform Shorts and was commended by The Australian National Gallery and ABC programmers! Between 2011 and 2014 she became an English tutor, assisting HSC English students to secure band six results and entry to some of Sydney’s most prestigious universities. Yasmin went to London in 2015, to teach high school Dance and English Literature and completed several supply contracts there. She also taught dance fitness and intermediate ballet at The West Hampstead School of Ballet. Now back in Australia, Yasmin is working on independent teaching and dance projects of her own in the Hunter and Sydney. She hopes to make dance accessible to a wide audience and to encourage a broader representation of ethnicities, ages and body aesthetics in the dance industry. She is particularly interested in fusing classical and contemporary dance with pop culture as a means of keeping artistic dance forms relevant in the future! Yasmin is a descendant of her mother’s Garo/Tibetan tribe, from North East India. At present this makes her the only western classical and contemporary trained dancer, with this indigenous background!
In addition, she is a qualified Group Fitness, Body Balance and Yoga instructor.
JESSICA MELMETH (L.G.T.D.A.) – TAP, JAZZ, BALLET, CONTEMPORARY & HIP HOP
Jessica began dancing when she was 4 years old doing tap and jazz and started dancing with HVT at the age of 8. She has completed her R.A.D Intermediate Ballet exam as well as all of her exams in the L.G.T.D.A tap syllabus allowing her to gain her Senior Teachers certificate in 2013.
In 2007, Jessica gained a position in the Jets Bombers Dance Squad supporting the Newcastle Jets A-League team.
In 2016, Jessica was the choreographer and ensemble cast member for the Novocastrian Players production of ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’. Jessica is currently studying Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop and Contemporary and is an integral member of HVT’s Senior Performance Troupe. Jessica also attends Australian Dance Festival each year as well as participates in numerous workshops to stay up to date with current trends and styles.
Jessica has been teaching for HVT for 4 years now and loves being involved in the development and support of our dancers young and old at East Maitland, Stroud and Clarence Town.
Jessica really enjoys teaching our Ready Set Dance pre school programme and is looking forward to 2017.
EMILY GIBBS – TAP, JAZZ, BALLET, HIP HOP & CONTEMPORARY (B.Ed – Primary and Early Childhood HONOURS)
Emily began dancing at a young age at HVT under the tuition of Kristy. Over the years she has studied Tap L.G.T.D.A., Jazz, Ballet R.A.D., Contemporary, Modern, Musical Theatre & Hip Hop.
Emily has attended numerous workshops throughout Newcastle and Sydney keeping up to date with today’s trends.
She has been an important member of our performance troupe for many years competing in eisteddfods and mentoring the younger members of our groups.
At the young she of 15 Emily was lucky to be asked to choreograph for Starstruck.
Emily recently completed a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) and a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education.
Emily has been a member of our teaching staff now for over 2 years and has a keen interest in working with our tiny tots & junior school and also works as primary school teacher in the Hunter Region.