Claire van Niekerk
Claire obtained a degree in Speech and Drama, majoring in movement studies, from the University of KZN and has 28 years of dance, theatre and choreographic experience, ranging from musicals to corporate and industrial theatre. Claire also has a PGCE or Postgraduate Certificate in Education obtained through UNISA.
Trained in classical ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap and Zulu traditional dance, she moved into a professional dance career at the age of 17 and this career spanned 18 years.
Claire worked with Jazzart and The North West Arts Council Dance Company. Her freelance career took her to more than 15 different countries around the world where she performed in international festivals and on cruise lines as well as locally in various musicals and revues.
Claire is a consummate choreographer and coached young adults in drama and performance technique at matric level. She choreographed many shows and launches for brands for her own promotional Events and Entertainment Company, called The Workzone.
Some musical theatre choreography credits include FANGS, for Tim Plewman and Bill Flynn, Laaities and Ladies for Steve Hofmeyr and the Hannah and Miley Show for Showtime Australia. Claire choreographed the 2010 pantomime Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates, and Michael Jackson History - This Is It - at The Joburg Theatre.
Claire has been teaching dance at St Mary’s for 10 years and is enjoying nurturing the talent and enthusiasm that the girls have for dance and drama
Willemien obtained a National Diploma in Musical Theatre cum laude from the Tshwane University of Technology in 2013 where she studied Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Drama and Vocal arts. She worked in children’s theatre for Hooked on Books, danced at Gold Reef City and performed at various corporate events and functions.
She then perused a teaching career and has completed her Intermediate Associate training in Modern dance through the A.I.D.T. She has recently become a qualified pole fitness instructor and attended multiple courses on flexibility strength training.
She has been teaching for almost 5 years and has found that there is nothing as rewarding as seeing the development of children and the joy that dance brings them. She is always eager to find new ways to help and encourage and inspire young minds and bodies and never wants to stop learning and growing as an instructor.
Courtney de Meillon
Courtney completed her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) through the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), DanceCor Associate 1 in Modern and is currently finishing off her Bachelor of Education degree through Unisa.
While completing her RAD and DanceCor teaching courses she represented South Africa at the Dance World Cup where she was placed in the top 5 for Contemporary and Showdance, and first for Ballet. Courtney also competed in Ballroom where her and her partner competed at Championship level.
Courtney has dance experience in many forms of dance including Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Showdance, Tap, Latin American and Ballroom.
Her love of dance comes from the many different teachers she has had the privilege of learning from.
Quaid "Flip" Jones
Quaid "Flip" Jones epitomises the spontaneous and creative B-boy.
His specialty focuses on becoming the most sought after B-boy Instructor and Choreographer, since 2007.
His talents extend beyond dance. He is a also a Designer, Videographer, Photographer and Illustrator.
His work includes competing nationally and internationally, teaching and training, as well as choreographing various performances and showcases.
Liz-Mari obtained her Drama and Film Studies degree as well as her PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) at The University of Pretoria in 2013/2014. She has continued her training on screen and off screen with several courses.
Starting at the tender age of 6 she found that her love for theatre and performance was her way of connecting, expressing and exploring her ever growing joy for the arts. She competed in National Eisteddfods and became an adjudicator for the same competitions.
Her skills include voice, speech, movement, acting, mime, stage combat, children's theatre, theatre in education and theatre for development. She performed across South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho with a Children’s theater company (Productions 2000) from 2015-2016 where they went to numerous pre primary/primary and secondary schools edu-taining the youth on subjects varying from bullying, self-confidence, deceit, respect and loads more.
In 2017, she started working as Assistant Stage Manager and later Stage Manager at the National Childrens Theatre in Parktown. From wardrobe, prop maker, bookings administrator, child performance director, castings, drama classes, marketing liaison and holiday workshops, she knows the ins and outs of running a theatre.
On screen she can be seen in various TVCommercials from SANRAL Arrive Alive campaigns to Toyota adverts.
She believes that through the arts children are gifted the environment to grow ,experience and embrace who they are and learn to express themselves in a meaningful, productive and all-inclusive manner.
George obtained his 3 years Dramatic Arts diploma and then his teachers' qualifications (PGCE – Postgraduate Certificate in Education) at the University of Pretoria in 2014. He has experience in camera acting, stage acting, voice overs, puppeteering, children’s theatre and modelling.
George’s professional highlights include the kykNet Silver Skerm festival namely Non Kompos Mentis, Nag van die Ondier and a feature film called Mayfair. When George is not acting in films, he also lends his talent to television commercials for brands like KFC, MTN-Uganda, Anadin and Coca Cola, just to name a few.
George was also part of a children theatre company (Production 2000) where he toured most of South Africa and Botswana, performing at schools and spreading the love of theatre. During his time with Production 2000 George saw the value and impact that the dramatic arts can have on the youth. As a dramatic arts teacher at Pro Arte Alphen Park he recognized the educational and personal value that the dramatic arts can have on young people. The drama class became a safe place for the students to grow and discover themselves without the fear of being judged or doing something wrong.
You can’t really do anything wrong in the drama class because we are all different.
Meg is currently a Latin American and Ballroom Championship competitive dancer. She represented South Africa in the Dutch Open 2013 which was held in De Bonte Wever, Assen, Holland.
Meg and her partner were the top SA couple in the Rising Star Latin section. In 2012, she won the Adult Rising Star Ballroom at the SADTA South African Championships.
She has been dancing for 15 years and her repertoire includes Balet, Contemporary, Latin American, Ballroom and Solo Latin.
She teaches, competes in, and does show work predominantly in Latin American.
It is her passion to inspire and encourage young South Africans to discover their dance potential and to develop their talent in dance.