Tasdance school of dance teachers

Alison Winn (1).jpg

Alison Winn

Alison trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, achieving a Certificate in Dance in 1986, Bachelor of Arts – Dance in 1990 and a Graduate Diploma in Education from Edith Cowan University in 1991. Alison also obtained her Solo Seal in 1991 under the Borovansky Memorial Syllabus.

During her dance career Alison has received the following awards: Borovansky Memorial – Australian Academy of Dance Scholarship (Intermediate Syllabus) – 1989, Borovansky Memorial – Australian Academy of Dance Scholarship (Advanced Syllabus) – 1990 and the Dance Theatre of WA Award from WAAPA – 1989.

Alison performed with the Youth Dance Company of Western Australia (1985), the Perth City Ballet Company (1989/90) and was invited to be part of the assessment panel at WAAPA for the end of year grading of 1st and 2nd year contemporary students (1995). During that same year she was employed by the Secondary Education Authority in WA to write the Year 12 Ballet Studies course and Year 11 & 12 Ballet Studies Teacher Support Materials.

As a teacher, Alison has also had an association with the John Curtin School of the Arts (1992–1995) and was founder and coordinator of the Governor Stirling Senior High School Specialist Dance Course for Gifted and Talented students in Dance from 1996–2007, this role also included directing and choreographing numerous Rock Eisteddfods, school musicals and dance concerts. Since moving to Tasmania permanently in 2007 Alison has been teaching ballet, contemporary dance and stretch classes at a private ballet school before making Tasdance her home in 2015 where she has introduced the Borovansky Syllabus to Tasmania.


Rikki Mace

Rikki is a Launceston based dance educator, choreographer and independent dance artist who holds a BA in Dance from the VCA. Rikki has been a part of the Tasdance education team since 2011. This role has seen her deliver contemporary dance studio classes for both children and adults alike and also teach weekly dance classes at East Tamar Primary school for students from Kindergarten to grade 6. 

Rikki tutors at the University of Tasmania which sees her impart her love of dance to pre-service Bachelor of Education and HPE students. Rikki implemented a dance program at Summerdale Primary school which is now in its 7th year of operation. She has choreographed for Stompin’s project for 10-12 year olds, Primary Stompin, since its inception in 2015. 


Benge Allen

Benge has a wide background teaching, practicing and facilitating movement within Hip Hop dance, parkour, freerunning, contemporary dance, martial arts tricking, hand balancing and tumbling.

Benge’s training involved; breaking (break dancing) and hand balancing under the guidance of the Beat Militia crew in 2003, martial arts tricking and tumbling with VDTL in 2003, parkour and freerunning alongside the Canberran parkour and freerunning community in 2004, contemporary dance with DRILL Performance Company in 2014.

He has continued all practices since, and having taught, battled, and performed for several years, began undertaking various facilitation, and directorship roles including management of Urban Frontier Crew, and Hybrid Elements Collective. Hybrid Elements Collective continues today with multiple branches around Australia, including in Hobart.

Benge hopes to give students an understanding of various aspects of dance within the larger Hip Hop culture including; technique, musicality, and history. Students will also find his classes structured to allow experimentation with other movement sources.


Kirsty Mangelsdorf

Kirsty began her ballet training in Western Australia at the age of five. After moving to Tasmania she continued her love of dance through the RAD syllabus for ten years. In 2010 she had the privilege of dancing with the Russian Ballet Company in the Nutcracker.

Kirsty has enjoyed training in contemporary dance and performing in numerous Launceston Competitions and end of year dance concerts. She has had two years previous year experience teaching Pre-Primary ballet. Kirsty enjoys all aspects of the arts and performs with the Launceston Youth Theatre Company. She is currently studying theatre and music at Launceston College. 


Heather Pannowitz

Heather is Tasmanian born and started dancing at the age of 4 at a private dance school. Through dance Heather has had wonderful experiences including being involved in Championships and dancing alongside the Australian Ballet in Penrith, Sydney, in 2010.

Heather has trained in multiple syllabuses and her background includes ballet, contemporary, jazz, highland and folk dancing. Having been blessed by many different guest teachers throughout her life, she has a large repertoire of styles to lean on while teaching.  

Her first connection with Tasdance was in 2014 with a youth collaboration titled Alter. This was led by Joshua Lowe and Brianna Kell and travelled the state.

Continuing to dance in Tasmania until 2015, she then moved to Melbourne and found her passion working in primary and high schools. During this time she volunteered to implement a free space which encouraged a trust between the students and their bodies.

Home again, she settled back into dancing with Tasdance in 2018, while studying to become a teacher at the University of Tasmania.  

Heather is thrilled to be able to share her love of ballet with the young ones and inspire them through dance.