Our Teachers

Kym vickery

Kym started dancing at 7 years of age training at Sharon Statham School of Dance (which was later renamed Auckland West Dance Academy).  Right from a young age she knew that she wanted to be a dance teacher when she grew up.  The exams she completed as a student included NZAMD Solo Seal Diploma in Jazz, JDNZ Advanced (Hons with Distinction), RAD Ballet, BAL Ballet, Jazz & Tap (Adv. Hons).  During her dancing career she competed in dance competitions winning various awards in New Zealand and Australia, including the Lisa Kelly Ballet Award in Sydney in 1997.  Kym was a New Zealand Jazz Nationals finalist in 1994 and New Zealand Tap Nationals finalist in 1995.  She was a member of the Northern Ballet Company, NBC Danceforce for many years.  She has been involved with musical theatre shows including choreography for Grease, Les Misérables and The Pirates of the Penzance for the Glen Eden Playhouse Theatre.  She has now been teaching dance for over 25 years and is a fully trained and qualified teacher in ballet, jazz, and tap dancing.  She has gained her RAD RTS, Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management, BAL Ballet Teaching Certificate, BAL Tap Teaching Certificate (Adv.).  Kym is the Dance Educator for Jazz Dance New Zealand (JDNZ).  She has past dance pupils who are dancing professionally and trained at top dance companies overseas.  Kym loves to teach to share her passion and knowledge for dance with her pupils.  She is thrilled to be the owner of AWDA and have such amazing dance teachers and students.

Helen anderson

New Zealand born Helen Anderson started her journey into the magnificent world of dance at the tender age of 4 years old.
Helen attended the prestigious South Auckland Ballet Academy under the strict guidance of Valerie Murray up to the age of 17. She then was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington, gaining a Diploma in Classical Ballet. She danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet during her time there as a guest student dancer.
Helen then headed overseas to Melbourne, Australia where she completed a BA in Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts, touring extensively while she was with the company.
When Helen returned to New Zealand in 1990 she joined the Northern Ballet Company and Company Z. She free-lanced as a teacher and model for some time, gaining an insight into the direction that was needed in dance instruction in Auckland at that time. During this period Helen also gained a Diploma in Sports Studies and gained her Royal Academy of Dance teachers’ qualifications.
Helen’s broad experiences in professional dance, combined with her teaching qualifications, inform her knowledgeable and passionate approach to dance instruction.
33 years of teaching RAD, NZAMD, APDA and other syllabi.
In 1995 Helen established Rhythm n Steps Dance Academy and has watched it grow into a very successful and dynamic dance academy with many talented students. In May 2012, Rhythm n Steps Dance Academy moved into its own purpose-built dance studios.

sonia hems

Dancing since the age of 3, Sonia trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, musical theatre and vocal. During her training she achieved TDI Major Solo in Jazz and Tap, BBO Scholar status and RAD Solo Seal. While a training dancer, she placed multiple times in the Ora Burnett jazz and tap awards, the Sir John Logan Campbell Award for classical variations, and won multiple variation awards and championships.
She trained at the New Zealand School of Dance as a Classical Ballet Major, completing her tuition at the International Ballet Academy under Sherilyn Kennedy, Carl Myers and Russell Kerr  QSM – dancing a soloist role choreographed for her by Russell Kerr at her graduation.
After her training she pursued a professional career in dance spanning multiple dance styles over 20 years. This included contracts and touring in China, England, Germany, Wales, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand and some singular event contracts across Europe.
On her return to NZ she performed as a professional dancer for professional entertainment companies in NZ, performing as a cheerleader, skycity dancer, and at corporate events. She also featured in multiple New Zealand music videos, which she also choreographed.
Sonia has been a choreographer for the last 15 years, choreographing floor shows, performances and events for Skycity corporate functions, Skycity feature theme shows, Sky TV and Good Morning as well as singular corporate events. Sonia is considered a technical specialist and has also been sought out to run workshops with training dancers in NZ on heels technique, dance technique, performance enhancement, preparation for audition, advanced dance technique and performance artistry.
Sonia loves working with youth in dance, and to encourage them to reach their best potential as well as fostering love and enjoyment of the craft through teaching and judging dance competitions. 

gemma rundle

AWDA has been Gemma’s dancing home since she began dancing in 2005! Throughout her years of dance she has completed the BAL Jazz, JDNZ Jazz and NZAMD Contemporary syllabuses, as well as BAL Ballet up to Advanced level. She has also competed in regional and national dance competitions including overseas in Australia. Gemma followed her passion for dance into tertiary study at Unitec, graduating with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts majoring in Contemporary Dance, and receiving the Senior Scholar award. This course focused on expanding both technical ability and choreographic processes, as well as practicing pedagogical approaches and working closely with several industry professionals. Gemma is passionate about facilitating safe learning environments which support dancer’s individual learning journeys. Gemma is also an early childhood educator, giving her further insight into teaching our younger dancers.

Lana Smith

Lana has been dancing since a very young age originally based in Mount Maunganui. Lana has trained in all styles as a dancer and completed Jazz and Contemporary exams following the NZAMD syllabus. She has also performed overseas at Disney land and Hollywood boulevard with She Shines On Tours.  Lana currently works a freelance dancer, choreographer and tutor while being based in Auckland.  Lana has been head Choreographer and Performer for multiple corporate events such as the annual Ladies Charity Luncheon for a number of years and also for the Waikato Breast Cancer Charity Luncheon. Lana has choreographed for multiple sporting events such as the Silver Ferns, Black Ferns, Breakers basketball team and also halftime entertainment for a ANZ Premiership Netball game. One of Lana’s greatest achievements is directing a pre professional commercial show in 2023 ‘DRIVELINE’, seeing 25 dancers go through the process of what a professional show process is like . Lana is passionate about exploring new ways to evolve her knowledge about dance and entertainment to bring students a fresh new approach to classes. With children all over the country enjoying her classes due to her love for dance and teaching.

Katherine avery

Katherine’s initial training is in RAD and ISTD ballet to Advanced with Joan Irvine QSM in Dannevirke NZ, a Royal Ballet School trained teacher and RAD examiner. She then completed 2 years of professional training at the National Theatre Ballet School, Melbourne under the directorship of Ann Jenner a former Royal Ballet Principal.
From Melbourne, Katherine travelled to Europe where she danced with the Vienna Festival Ballet over a period of 4 years. Roles performed included, Clara – The Nutcracker, Pas de trois, Cygnet, Neapolitan – Swan Lake, Fairy of Grace, Aurora’s friend, White Cat – Sleeping Beauty. Other ballets performed include Cinderella, Giselle and Coppelia. Katherine has also performed Les Sylphides and Don Quixote.
The pull of New Zealand as home was always present for Katherine, on returning in the mid 1990’s she continued to dance here as a performer, a student, and a teacher.
Other significant teachers Katherine has trained with are John Prinz – Principal of NYCB and ABT and Timothy Gordon.
Katherine is a registered PBT – Progressing Ballet Technique teacher and loves to guide dancers of all ages through their journey in ballet, dance and the art of performance.

Kristel Davies

Kristel started dancing from the age of 3 in her home town of Warkworth completing all NZAMD exams in contemporary jazz and tap as well as all RAD ballet. While growing up Kristel participated in solo and duo competitions across the North Island, as well has gaining performance opportunities including half time performances for the All Blacks and the Breakers. Kristel has had various choreography opportunities within high school across Auckland to teach their dance students who are working towards NCEA dance credits, and choreograph their school productions. Kristel is currently an international competitor in Latin American and ballroom dancing and training with New Zealand professionals Jonny Williams and Kirsten Spyvie. She is also currently in 3rd year at the University of Auckland studying a Bachelor of Dance Studies. Kristel loves to teach kids of all ages in various styles. She is excited to get to know the dancers and share her passion of dance with them.

brooklyn davies

Brooklyn has been dancing since pre-school age and currently does ballet, jazz, and Tap, contemporary, competition duo and senior competition level troupe dancing. She has successfully passed many exams including intermediate JDNZ jazz, advanced foundation RAD ballet and BAL Ballet up to Elementary level as well has completed exams in BAL Jazz. To pursue her dance journey further, Brooklyn is currently in her 3rd year of study for the Bachelors of dance degree at Auckland University, which has a focus on expanding both technical ability and choreographic processes.  Brooklyn loves being able to work with younger dancers and is excited to be teaching and sharing her love of dance with them.

ana tanoi

Ana has been dancing at AWDA since she was 4 years old. Her interests have grown overtime, trying jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary. Ana has gained high marks in her JDNZ exams and completed the RBM and NZAMD syllabus’s. Along with this, in 2021 Ana was a part of senior competition troupes. She looks to expand her experience in teaching hip hop this year and can’t wait to take on this new role.

bronte sorby

Bronte has been dancing since she was two and a half years old with Rhythm ‘n’ Steps taking RAD ballet, NZAMD Jazz and later taking APDA encore Theatre and Lucidity. Bronte has gained high marks in all her exams including up to Advanced Foundation in RAD ballet.  She has been assistant teaching with ages from three to eight in ballet, jazz, tap, encore theatre and hip hop for three years and has independently taught encore theatre.  Bronte has competed in squad, trio and solo dance competitions across Auckland for many years gaining several first and second places.  Bronte also has taken dance at NCEA achieving not only top of class in every year but also achieving overall NCEA excellence in the subject.  Bronte also works for the Green Bay Community holiday program supervising children of all ages.  Bronte is looking forward to starting a new chapter with a new studio and inspiring many more young children.

Olivia Aspey-Gordon

Olivia started dancing at Rhythm ‘n’ Steps when she was 5 years old. Over this time she has enjoyed learning ballet, jazz, Contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre and salsa under RAD, NZAMD and APDA syllabi. She started  teaching in 2023, initially assisting  with junior classes and developing into teaching ballet and jazz on her own. Olivia has successfully competed in squads and trios across Auckland. Olivia loves working with children and is excited to meet young dancers and share her love for dance.