Business Manager

Richard is Anneliese's husband and manages the day to day business affairs of the academy. He is a multi award winning TV producer. His producing credits include New Zealand Idol, New Zealand's Got Talent, 2000 Today (Global Millennium Television Special), and The World Of Wearable Art Awards  TV Specials.

Julia McKerrow

Contemporary, Improvisation & Choreoraphy Tutor

Julia is a contemporary dance artist and passionate teacher. She studied at Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts where she graduated with a major in contemporary dance. Julia has danced and choreographed for some of New Zealand’s leading festivals including Footnote Dance Company, Michael Parmenter, Fleur de Thier, The Christchurch and Otago Arts Festivals, The Body, The Fringe, and Tempo festival.

Ekaitz Espino

Contemporary, Improvisation & Choreoraphy Tutor

Ekaitz hails originally from Spain and holds a diploma of dance performance from the London Studio Centre. He has performed professionally in Europe with companies including The European Ballet Company (UK), Santamaria Dance Company (Spain), and Nordhazer Stadebundtheater (Germany). Since settling in Christchurch in 2014, Ekaitz has tutored at a number of schools and recently established a school with his wife. His professional experience is a real asset to the school.

Maureen Coulter


Flamenco, Dance History, Dance Aesthetics, Classical

Maureen is a registered RAD teacher, qualified secondary school teacher, and flamenco dancer. She holds a PhD on the influence of dance aesthetics on 19th and 20th century literature. She spent 11 years in Hong Kong teaching classical ballet, National dance, dance history and aesthetics, and dance anatomy. Maureen also studied flamenco at the Clara Ramona Danza Flamenca school and delighted to promote this passionate dance form.

Lana Panfilow

Guest Tutor

Lana graduated from the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet in 2006 and joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet shortly after. For the past decade, she has danced for professional companies all over Europe, focusing on ballet, contemporary and jazz. She trained with some of the world’s best dance teachers at Broadway Dance Center & Steps on Broadway in New York City. Lana is excited about sharing her knowledge and experience in the professional dance scene with the next generation of Kiwi dancers.

Gemma Kearney

Guest Tutor

Gemma studied contemporary dance full time for two years at Hagley Dance Company and was awarded her Certificate in Dance with Excellence.  She then moved to Sydney to study full time dance and performing arts at ED5 International. Gemma has vast experience as a choreographer and performer worldwide and for the last 10years has been a tutor at NASDA and Impact Dance & Stage School here in Christchurch whilst also attending classes in London & America.

Georgina Barr

BA, Dip Journ, BHSc (Podiatry)
Tutor: Anatomy and Biomechanical Physiology 
Podiatrist, Merivale Podiatry
Custom Pointe Shoe Fitter, Barrina Ltd

Georgina owns Barrina Ltd, providing Juon Pointe Method Ballet Pre-Pointe Assessments, All Dance Styles Biomechanical Mentoring Assessments, and a Custom Pointe Shoe Fitting service.  She also works part time at Merivale Podiatry in Christchurch.  She lectures on anatomy and biomechanical physiology and presents on preparation for pointe work and original research at medical and dance conferences throughout New Zealand and internationally. She is an affiliated committee member of the Christchurch Ballet Society, a Friend of the Royal Academy of Dance, and a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science, the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare, and Podiatry New Zealand. 

Anneliese Gilberd

ARAD   Dipolma in Dance
Director: Full Time Classical
Coach & Mentor

Anneliese began her full and part time coaching and mentoring programme in Christchurch in 2011. Previously she had performed with the Royal New Zealand Ballet for 15 years and toured the world with the company. Her experience and wisdom in the world of professional ballet is at the core of the AGA programme.

Her academy is intended to emulate the environment of a professional company or full time tertiary performing arts faculty. Anneliese's full biography can be found on her page here >

Eve Condon

Classical & Conditioning Tutor

Eve is a graduate of AGA and trained at the New Zealand School of Dance as a Classical Major.  While there she gained knowledge, expertise and wisdom from many world class tutors and artists. She graduated from the NZSD in 2019 with a Diploma in Dance Performance. Eve is now sharing her own wisdom, expertise and passion with the next generation of dancers and plans to combine her dance training with the health and fitness industry.

Hayley Watts

RAD.RTS, TC.NZAMD (Examiner)

Hayley is the AGA RAD tutor. She gained qualifications at distinction level with the Royal Academy of Dance, British Ballet Organization and the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance and has successfully entered thousands of students in their Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary examinations. As well as teaching fulltime Hayley is also an examiner for the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance and an experienced dance competition adjudicator. Hayley is passionate about passing on her love and knowledge of dance to her students.

Therese Coffey

Dip Sports Education
Stott Pilates Tutor

Therese is a qualified Stott Pilates practitioner and holds a sports education diploma in personal training, sports nutrition, sports therapy and aromatherapy. She tutors Pilates to assist dancers with strength and flexibility while also improving muscular balance, co-ordination and injury rehabilitation.


We are very proud of the wonderful tutors involved in our school.

They all have a rich background in their chosen professions and come to our school with a wealth of experience, knowledge and skill. It is their combined talents focused on fully developing our students in their chosen art form that sets us us apart.

Alesha Seaward

Director: Full Time Contemporary 

Alesha is the Full Time Contemporary Tutor for AGA.  Aleasha originally trained full time at the International Ballet Academy. She completed her three year Bachelor of Dance Performance at the Adelaide College of the Arts, majoring in contemporary dance. Aleasha has worked with a number of nationally & internationally recognised artists and companies including Southern Lights Dance Company, Jolt mixed ability Dance Company, Anita Hutchins Company, Riki Von Falken (Germany), Alex Rigg (Scotland) and Shine On Dance Company (London).