Our dance teachers have an intense passion for dance and have an overwhelming desire to provide students with the opportunity to learn from highly experienced dance teachers. We adopt a unique teaching style at Denise Walker Dance Academy to individually bring out the best in each student, leaving them feeling self-confident and immensely proud of their dancing ability.
MISS DENISE WALKER RAD (MRT), NZAMD, LIDTA, BBO, Cert Commercial Dance (WPAC)
After 20 years teaching experience, Denise is thrilled to be able to share her passion, knowledge, her sense of humour and passion for dance with you. She was born in Paraparaumu, grew up in Otaki, currently lives in Raumati, with a dance studio in Waikanae, so she is delighted to give back to the Kapiti region as a dance teacher.
Highly qualified: A graduate of the Wellington Performing Arts Centre, Denise is a mutually recognised teacher for the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and teaching member of New Zealand Assocation of Modern Dance (NZAMD), International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) and British Ballet Organisation (BBO) syllabuses.
A wealth of experience: Her commercial dance experience includes appearances in “Coppelia” (character role) with the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB), performances at Tri Nations games, International Sevens and has been both choreographer and dancer in a NZ music video. She has also had experience as a performer in musical theatre shows, such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Blood Wedding among other notable events.
High achiever: Denise was an IDTA scholarship recipient and received the Rotary Club of Port Nicholson Award presented to her by the Prime Minister.
Committed to quality training: Denise teaches many genres of dance, although her true passion lies in classical training and injury prevention. In 2014, she was the first and only New Zealander to ever attend the Leading Edge Dance Teachers Conference in America. A conference where she studied the latest scientific research and holistic training methods for both dancers and athletes. She often attends specialized conferences that explore and discuss the latest ideas in optimal training. With the ever-increasing physical and mental demands placed on any athlete to perform, Denise strongly believes that as teachers/coaches it now requires a greater holistic approach in the care of students to prevent injury and burn-out. Overseas there is a growing inclusion of medical practitioners in the dance field, including those with skills in neuromuscular medicine, physiotherapy, psychology and podiatry. They are using evidence-based medicine solutions to develop safer, more effective ways to train dance students.
Inspirational teaching: By using her creative imagination and unique storytelling students love her fun class environment and are nurtured and supported to be their best. Many of her ex-students still keep in touch and have gone onto tertiary and professional dance careers.
MISS RUTH WALL RAD CBTS, ARAD Advanced, Dip Dance
Denise has known Ruth for many years and is delighted to have her as part of our highly experienced team. She is a qualified dance teacher who is skilled and experienced in delivering the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) syllabuses to students aged from preschool to 18 years old.
Highly qualified: Ruth was a graduate of the NZ School of Dance (NZSD), gaining the Tertiary level Diploma qualification, as well as taking classes six days a week in several different styles/genres, she studied dance history, health and well-being, music, diet (sensible eating habits) and anatomy. Ruth was also regularly selected to dance and tour with the RNZB as a student dancer while still training at the NZSD. She has also holds a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) teaching qualification.
A wealth of experience: Ruth was a professional dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB). She began there as a Corps de ballet dancer and within two years, was promoted to a Soloist and Principal’s understudy. She was then offered a Principal’s contract which she declined as she had already decided to travel to further her knowledge, skills and experience. Between dancing professionally, raising a family and gaining her RAD teaching qualification, Ruth was Centre Manager at Les Mills World of Fitness in Sydney and Wellington where she also taught classes, headed workshops and trained teachers. She ahs also been a dancer on a cruise liner and done television, film and photographic work.
Holistic teaching: Miss Wall believes that with her extensive background in dance, health and fitness, that she is able to assist the students to raise their standard and achievements in dance and to nuture an increasing love of this art form.
MISS SUMARA FRASER Dip Contemporary Dance & Choreography
Sumara is also a Kapiti local and has chosen to raise her family here. She has known Denise for many years, brings a wealth of experience to our dance school, and is excited to be part of such a caring and experienced team of teachers.
Highly qualified: Sumara began her passion for dance at the age of 9, attending ballet at the Southern Ballet school in Christchurch and later gained her Diploma in Contemporary dance and choreography at Auckland Performing Arts School (now Unitech).
A wealth of experience: Following her ballet training, Sumara was bitten by the contemporary dance bug and performed with three companies Quantum Leap, Dance Core and Manawa Nui. She joined Footnote Dance Company for two years, became a core dancer for Touch Compass, and performed in many freelance ventures around New Zealand until moving back to the Kapiti Coast. She also currently works with WIDance, teaching contemporary dance, improvisation and composition for people with and without disability in and around Wellington.
Passionate teaching: Sumara’s depth of knowledge and love for dance is evident. Sumara is our amazing contemporary teacher and teaches some of our jazz and ballet classes as well.