Director/Ballet Teacher

Born in the UK, Helen trained for 7 years, at The Royal Ballet School, London. During this time, she was fortunate to be able to perform with The Royal Ballet in productions of Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet and Manon, as well as being selected to participate in an exchange with the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet School.

Helen went on to dance with classical ballet companies internationally for 14 years, including, NATIONAL BALLET OF PORTUGAL, NORTHERN BALLET THEATRE, NAPAC DANCE COMPANY & CAPE TOWN CITY BALLET.

During her extensive career Helen has danced corps de ballet, soloist & principal roles in all the Classics as well as many Balanchine ballets and contemporary works. She has also been very blessed to have worked and studied ballet with some of the most renowned ballet teachers in the world, including:

  • Hans Brenna (Royal Danish Ballet)
  • Francesca Zumbo (Paris Opera Ballet)
  • Michel Renault (Paris Opera Ballet)
  • Nanette Glushak (American Ballet Theatre)
  • Vicky Simon (New York City Ballet)
  • Patricia Neary (New York City Ballet)
  • Merle Park (Royal Ballet)
  • Alicia Markova (Royal Ballet)
  • George Garcia (Ballet Cuba)
  • Christopher Gable (Royal Ballet)
  • Gillian Lynn (Choreographer of “Cats” & “ Phanton of the Opera”)
  • Robert North ( Ballet Rambert)

Since retiring from the stage, Helens career took an alternative direction. She was invited to be guest teacher at RAD Easter Congress, Cecchetti Bursary Awards and American Performance Awards Scholarships and after discovering a passion for teaching she qualified to teach the Cecchetti Method in 1999 and has since guest taught in several schools and Dance Companies. Helen continues to upgrade her teaching qualifications and now holds Licentiate Diploma status of Cecchetti Ballet Australia and is working towards her fellowship.

Helen took over directorship of CAPA in March 2016 and looks forward to sharing her knowledge, passion and experience with its students.


Dana Little
Lyrical/Ballet Teacher

Dana was only 14 years old when she commenced full time ballet training on the Gold Coast. She was the very first student whom the Queensland Government gave special dispensation to, to allow a student to leave school early to pursue an alternative vocation. Whilst training, a guest teacher from the Bolshoi Ballet Company, Moscow, Madame Raisa Struchakova offered Dana a scholarship to study at The Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. She declined the offer as she had her sights set on London. Upon finishing her training on the coast and being awarded her Solo Seal from the Royal Academy of Dancing she auditioned for and was accepted into the prestigious Royal Ballet School, London England.

On her way to England Dana went to America to take classes with the American Ballet Theatre, which at the time was under the directorship of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Baryshnikov offered Dana a place at the School of American Ballet but she had already decided on entering The Royal Ballet School so she turned the offer down and continued to London. In London Dana competed in the Genee Awards and was awarded the Bronze medal. Whilst at the Royal Ballet School, Dana regularly performed with the Royal Ballet Company at Covent Garden in their productions of ballets such as Swan Lake, Cinderella and La Bayadere. After graduating from the Royal, Dana was offered a contract with Northern Ballet Theatre, England. With this company she travelled the UK performing many ballets including Giselle and Romeo and Juliet.

Upon returning to Australia Dana took a different direction and took dance contracts with Jupiters Casino and various musicals throughout Australia. She also worked at MovieWorld for a number of years performing the roles of CatWoman, dancer in all shows as well as The Maverick Grand Illusion Show.

Since retiring from her professional dance career Dana has been teaching dance for 15 years at a number of schools on the Gold Coast as well as guest teaching at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and freelance teaching at the various full time studios on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Dana teaches both the RAD and Cecchetti syllabuses in classical ballet and has a special interest and love of teaching and choreographing Lyrical dance.


Lisa Bartley
Jazz CSTD, Musical Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop and Yoga

Lisa trained in Brisbane in various styles under the direction of Sandra Breen OM of Southern Academy of Dance.

Lisa started her performance career at Dreamworld, she moved on to Cheerleading for the Brisbane Bullets and Broncos then heading to Japan for 2 years.  She ended up in Sydney with Grayboy the Agency. Lisa’s stage and performance credits include Valentino, Sydney Showboat, Theatre International India, the Russian Coachman Club, Cheeky Entertainment, P&O and Princess Cruises.  Lisa has worked with choreographers such as William Forsythe, Kelley Abbey, Keith Hawley, Juliette Verne to name a few. She has modelled for Lorna Jane, Sunseeker, Bras & Things and Lend Lease. Her film and TVC credits include clients such as Pepsi, Netflix, Coke, Superman and Stupid, Stupid Man. Lisa has taught extensively and has been involved with many workshops throughout Australia and overseas (London, Japan, India). Lisa is also a qualified Yoga teacher. She is currently involved with Pen2stage Productions and looks forward to working with the kids at CAPA!


Bronwyn Dunks ARAD RTS
Ballet Teacher

Bronwyn Dunks has been teaching dance (predominantly ballet) for over 30 years.  She has taught at schools in Brisbane, London and Berkshire.  She is a qualified RAD and CSTD teacher and has studied a Graduate Diploma in Education.  Bronwyn has a very detailed and disciplined approach to teaching ballet and she enjoys seeing students improve in her classes.  Bronwyn is passionate about teaching young children in a nurturing, disciplined and fun way.  She feels that it is really important that children are taught well in the younger grades because that paves the way for future successes.


Kei Ishii CSTD
Jazz & Contemporary Teacher

Kei Ishii started dancing at The Ritz at the age of 7yrs. In his teens, he was selected for the Qld Ballet’s JEP (Junior Extension Program) which he participated in for 2 years, and the Qld Dance School of Excellence which he attended for Years 10 & 11 in his schooling. He then went on to do full-time training and graduate from The Space Performing Arts in Melbourne, in 2010. Kei then went on to take a place at the world-renowned Ev & Bow Full-time Contemporary Dance course in Sydney where he trained with Sarah Boulter in 2011 & 2012. While there, he was offered a secondment with the Internationally famed ADT (Australian Dance Theatre) in Adelaide and had the opportunity to train and work with the company there twice. Kei was also a member of Legs on the Wall Contemporary Dance Troupe and performed in their production of “Puncture” at the Sydney Festival in 2014.


Pamela Peterie RAD (Life Member) CSTD
Ballet Teacher

Mrs Pamela Peterie has been a prominent teacher in Brisbane for over 50 years. She holds her qualifications ARAD (Life Member) and C.S.T.D.

Mrs. Peterie has had much success with her Students with Mark Brinkley Australian Soloist of Australian Ballet Company who now choreographs for the Western Australian Ballet Company upon invitation.

Mrs Peterie is well versed in the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabi and has been on the Qld Teachers Committee for many years promoting dance in Queensland. She has also taught in New Guinea for a number of years and with Clarrissa Hill for over 30 years.

Maria Roselli - Headshot

Maria Roselli ARAD – RAD RTS Dip PTD (UCT)
Ballet Teacher

Born in New Zealand, Maria moved to London in 1982 to attend The Royal Ballet School. A Silver Medalist in the esteemed R.A.D. competition Adeline Genee in 1984, Maria was offered a contract with The Royal Ballet Company where she had opportunities to work with such acclaimed choreographers as Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Peter Wright and David Binkley.

In 1990 Maria joined National Ballet of Canada before moving to South Africa in 1992 to dance with Napac Dance Company and Cape Town City Ballet.

Maria has danced soloist & Principal roles including Swanhilda (Coppelia) Sugar Plum Fairy (Nutcracker) and Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty).

On retiring from stage Maria completed her R.A.D. Professional Dancer Teaching Diploma and has since owned her own dance studio and taught at the University of Cape Town, entering students in for R.A.D. examinations as well as many eisteddfods.

In 2016 Maria moved to Brisbane with her family and continues her love of teaching dance. Maria looks forward to working with our CAPA students and passing on her expertise.


Maddy Sherry
Acro Teacher

Maddy has been passionate about dancing since the age of three when she took her first ballet class. From then, Maddy actively pursued her dancing dream for the next 15 years training in ballet, jazz, contemporary and musical theatre. Maddy enjoyed competing with DLDC in their senior Eisteddfod team, as well as completing her level 7 CSTD Jazz qualification.

In addition to her dance studies, Maddy trained and competed in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics with Robertson’s Gymnastics Academy and trained in aerials and acrobatics at Flipside Circus.

Today, Maddy continues to train tumbling at Urban Gymnastics, while also training aerial straps, adagio, and hand to hand acrobatics. In addition, Maddy also coaches and competes with her university Cheer and Dance team – QUT Cheer & Dance.

Maddy has spent the last four years teaching dance and tumble classes in primary schools across Brisbane, and looks forward to working with the acro students at CAPA.

David Jon O’Neil
Vocal Coach

After performing internationally for the past 14 years, DAVID JON O’NEILL brings his distinctive & versatile voice, extraordinary vocal range and intoxicating stage presence back home to Australia in 2016.

With an extensive resume of leading roles in musical theatre productions, fronting rock & pop bands, cast in a number of successful Comedy Cabaret franchises, and headline vocalist for leading cruise lines, David has certainly become known by his peers, and directors and producers alike, as an exceptional, versatile and reliable talent with a real passion for entertaining.

Alongside his 25 years of performing, David has also worked extensively in various production roles behind the scenes. Whether writing, directing, producing, or otherwise, David brings with him the same enthusiasm and drive for perfection with each role that he undertakes, as he does with his on stage performances… always striving to create the best entertainment experience for his audiences.

In recent years, David has also spent time as a Vocal and Performance coach to a new generation of eager and talented young performers… and is soon to launch a brand new online forum for up-and-coming entertainers from around the world looking to forge their own unique career in the entertainment industry.

“David Jon O’Neill is one of the best vocalists to grace the stage in recent years… he also showed a warm rapport and ready wit that will win over (any) audience.”

Richard Batson – EveningNews24 (UK)

“David Jon O’Neill is one of the best voices I’ve worked with over the last 20 years. As a director and audience member, David is the ultimate entertainer – his talent transcends all genres.”

William A. Forsythe – International Director/Choreographer

“David Jon O’Neill… is nothing short of brilliant.”

James McPherson – The Courier Mail (AUS)

Lisa Loakes
Speech & Drama teacher

Lisa Loakes is one of our CAPA parents. She was actively involved in Speech and Drama from the age of 6, performing in Wynnum Manly and Brisbane Eisteddfods, doing both Trinity College of London and AMEB exams and performing in Warana Festival plays and school musicals. She ran her own Speech and Drama studio when she was studying her Bachelor of Arts at University and also taught out of school hours at Marshall Road State School.

Lisa holds the following qualifications.

ASDA Teaching Diploma – Australian Music Examination Board (Speech ad Drama)

ATCL Speech and Drama Teachers Diploma – Trinity College London

Bachelor of Arts – Film and Media Studies (Griffith University)

Bachelor of Commerce – Organisational Behaviour and HRM (Griffith University)

Graduate Certificate in Business (QUT)

Graduate Certificate Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies – QUT


Zoe Larwill
Administration and Stretch Teacher

Zoe Larwill has been a part of the CAPA family since she was 7, transitioning in recent years from being one of the very first students of the school to being a member of the staff. She has recently completed both her Certificates III & IV in Fitness as well as an Advanced Diploma of Art (Musical Theatre and Commercial Dance) at the Australian Dance Performance Institute – training extensively in jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary and acrobatics.

She works mainly on the administration team, however, loves to work with the students and share her passion for dance whenever she gets the chance.

Kristen Forrest

Kristen has been well trained in RAD ballet and CSTD jazz, tap and theatrical syllabus at Southern Academy of Dance under the guidance of Sandra Breen OAM. Recently achieving her teaching certificate in CSTD Jazz.

In 2015 Kristen was cast as a dancer in Ipswich Musical Theatre Company production of Mary Poppins.  With a passion for dance and choreography, Kristen hopes to continue teaching and dancing throughout her life.

Shelby Landt
TinyTots/ Kindy dance

Shelby first began dancing in 1997 with the Warracknabeal School of Dancing where by seventeen years old, accumulated a Diploma of Tap Dancing in 2009 and a Diploma of Theatrical Dancing in 2010 with the Australian Academy of Theatrical and Ballet Dancing Inc. It was also during this period that Shelby worked on many musical productions and completed her Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) in Dance. Shelby furthered her study of dance, attending Box Hill Institute and completed a Diploma of Dance Teaching and Management in 2013.

Shelby has great experience as a dance teacher, teaching ballet, jazz, tap & contemporary. She has worked for many acclaimed dance schools and academies, teaching both senior and junior students and a variety of dance syllabi. Shelby specializes in junior dance education and is currently completing a Bachelor of Primary Education with Griffith University.


Christine Rice
Administration – Costume Coordinator

Christine Rice has been a part of CAPA from its beginning. As a new mum to the world of dance she began volunteering  and assisting with various tasks around the studio. Adding to her previous experience in retail, Christine was able to grow to became a permanent face to CAPA parents with her management of the dance store, assisting with costuming and administration.

During her time with CAPA she has also been involved with our performance troupe with costumes and supporting them with their performances. She has had the privilege of travelling and assisting backstage with costuming at Eisteddfods, Showcases, Lord Mayor Carols as well as trips to Disneyland LA, Walt Disney World Florida and New York with the CAPA Performance Troupe.

Christine has enjoyed every year she has been with CAPA both as a dance mum supporting and volunteering and as a staff member seeing as many students as possible grow and excel in themselves.


Natalie Day

Natalie Day has over fifteen years experience in office administration and as a new mum to the dance world joined the administration team in 2015 utilising her knowledge and experience in office administration.

During her time with CAPA she has also been involved with our performance troupe with costumes and supporting them with their performances. She has had the privilege of assisting backstage with costuming at Eisteddfods and Showcases with the CAPA Performance Troupe. Natalie is enjoying this new journey and has enjoyed the opportunity that CAPA has given her both as a dance mum supporting and volunteering and as a staff member seeing as many students as possible grow and excel in themselves.