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Our teachers are experienced, qualified, and are great role models.


JFDS Faculty


Tier Two Teachers

Judith Fuge, ANZAMD, Registered RAD Teacher

Registered RAD Teacher; Jude trained in RAD Classical Ballet to Advanced Level, and has been a member of the NZ Association of Modern Dance since 1978. She became a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dancing in 1986. Judith was accredited to the NZ Association of Dance Teachers in 1997, and served on the executive committee for 5 years. She also holds the Advanced Certificate in BBO Tap, NZAMD Jazz and Elementary certificate in ISTD National character dance. Judith has choreographed musicals and stage work for many years, and was Artistic/Dance Director for the Paraparaumu College Music Road Show for 10 years.


In 2004 Judith was awarded the inaugural Kapiti Community Arts award. She examines for Dance NZ Made Jazz and Hip Hop Performance syllabus, and judges for various dance festivals. Judith established JFDS in 1990 and has over 52 years teaching experience. Her passion for dance and her love of teaching makes her unstoppable. She has no intention of slowing down and she spends her time both developing amazing teachers and helping students achieve their dreams.


Judith has recently been appointed to the Executive Committee of the NZ Association of Modern Dance.

Hannah Candy

Hannah Candy

Hannah has been with JFDS since the age of 4 completing all grades in NZAMD Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Hip Hop and Ballet. She holds her Solo Diplomas in Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop, and was a NZAMD Nationals finalist in Contemporary and Hip Hop.

On leaving school Hannah went on to study dance full time at Whitireia Performing Arts, gaining a Diploma in Commercial Dance. Following graduating she landed her dream job as a professional Dancer, Singer and Aerialist with Norwegian Cruise Line in the USA where she got to share her passion every single night and visited 40+ countries while doing so.
Hannah has also been involved in many local projects such as cheerleading for the Hurricanes, performing in Wellington Musical Theatres productions such as 'Marty' in Grease and Glee the Stage Show, modelling for the WoW shows and now singing in local bars and restaurants with her Dad.

Hannah has now settled back on the Coast and loves nothing more than being back with her family at JFDS and seeing the Coast’s most talented dancers achieve their dreams.

Jax Hailwood

Jax Hailwood, ANZAMD

Jax has been dancing since the age of 4. Trained in ballet, jazz and contemporary dance. In her time as a performer she has worked with incredible people in the dance, music & film industry. Jax has been involved in Wellington Musical theatre performing in shows like 42nd Street, Ovation, Razzle Dazzle & Cats. Jax has worked as a dancer in the TV show The Big Night In, at the premier for Lord of the Rings Two Towers, and in a music video for Madonnas gym in Sydney. Jax has been teaching for a decade in Wellington & Sydney and loves the nurturing environment that JFDS provides.

Rachel Lee

Rachel Leigh

Rachel is a JFDS trained dancer, and holds advanced qualifications in tap jazz and hip hop. She competed successfully in solo competitions in her school years, was Sports Captain at Paraparaumu College, as well as a Kapiti Under 16, and Gold Coast Under 21 netball representative. Rachel was a member of the Kapiti Youth Support initiative in its establishment period.


She holds a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching in Physical Education and established Dance as a subject at both Paraparaumu and Kapiti Colleges. Rachel is currently a teacher of Dance, PE and Health at Kapiti College. She loves her job and is heavily involved in extra-curricular dance at KC.


Rachel has two young children and combines a busy family life with her passion for dance.


Rachel was a Hurricanes cheerleader, performed in the Wellington Musical Theatre’s production of 42nd Street, and many Coasters Musical Theatre Shows in Kapiti.  Rachel was in 2019  an instructor for  ‘Shut Up & Dance’ adult lessonsin Kapiti. Rachel has also taught Physical Education and Dance at high schools in Lower Hutt, South Auckland, London and the Kapiti coast. 


Rach is looking forward to getting back intoTap , her favourite dance genre.

Rachel Wilson

Rachel Wilson, ANZAMD SD

Rachel started dancing at the age of 7 with Katie Haines De Vere Academy of Dance.
She had her first professional job at the age of 8 performing in the Buzz O Bumble shows and 2ZB radio station.


Rachel trained in RAD ballet to Advanced level, NZAMD Jazz to Solo Performance Diploma (Distinction) and Contemporary.
Rachel is also a founding member of the AHA Awards, one of the largest dance scholarship opportunities in the Southern Hemisphere.


Rachel was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance full time course at the age of 16 and received her diploma in Dance Performance.


Upon graduation, Rachel worked as a freelance performer, mainly dancing with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Footnote Dance Company.
Over the years, Rachel has danced with some of New Zealand's leading choreographers including Douglas Wright, Michael Parmenter, Paul Jenden, Mary Jane O'Reilly and Tanemahuta Gray.


Rachel has a passion for Musical Theatre and has been involved in many shows as both a performer and choreographer, her favourite role being Columbia in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.


Rachel has also worked in film and television since childhood. Highlights include the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and many TV series and commercials both nationally and internationally.


Rachel has been teaching since the age of 14 and is passionate about sharing her love for the performing arts.
Rachel loves living in Kapiti with her husband and three children and is really excited to be part of the JFDS family.


Catherine Reid

Catherine Reid, NZAMD

Catherine holds a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching.  She has trained in NZAMD Modern Jazz and American Tap, whilst creating her own unique and sought after Commercial dance style.


Catherine has gained NZAMD National Scholarship nominations for Modern Jazz and performed in numerous New Zealand based stage productions such as 'Cats', 'Broadway Bigger than Ever', 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and ‘Gleevent’ in the Wellington Opera House.  She has also taken the field as a ‘Hurricanes’ Cheerleader for two seasons, ‘Turbos’ Cheerleader, and a performer at multiple ‘All Blacks’ test matches.


As a freelance dance teacher, she has travelled around the country as a specialised Hip-Hop, Modern Jazz and Musical Theatre tutor through events such as ‘Dance your Sox Off’, and an adjudicator and tutor for Regional and National dance competitions, such as ‘DanceNZmade and ‘NZCAF’.  Specific career highlights include, training with international choreographers in Los Angeles and London (2012), choreographing pre-match entertainment for the ‘2011 Rugby World Cup Festival, a fitness instructor on the ‘Good Morning Show’, staring in the ‘Street Dance documentary’, which showcased New Zealand’s top hip hop crews, and performing in music videos for the ‘Black Seeds’ and European DJ ‘Chris Reece’.  In addition to this, being a member of the Hip-Hop crew ‘De La Funk’ who was named ‘SDNZ’ Hip-Hop Champions for Wellington in 2011.


In the corporate arena, she has been involved in the direction and choreography of many successful sporting events including choreographing performance acts for the ‘World Cup Basketball’ games featuring the ‘NZ Tall Blacks’, dance concerts, fundraising events, and stage shows for hotels such as ‘Hilton Auckland’.  Three years of choreographing the ‘Wellington Saints Basketball Cheerleaders’, an two years of choreographing the ‘Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards’ performance acts.


A love of teaching has seen her working at a number of dance studios within the Manawatu, Kapiti Coast, and Wellington regions including ‘The Company NZ’ and ‘Whitireia Performing Arts’ (guest tutor), Dean Mckerras School of Dance, Extreme Dance Centre, Chilton Dance Centre, Judith Fuge Dance School as well as primary schools around New Zealand with the Dance curriculum, NZAMD Hip Hop, Open Hip Hop, and Competitive Performance teams.

From 2009 - 2018 Catherine was the Teacher in Charge of Dance at ‘Hutt Valley High School’, where she established a quality Junior and Senior NCEA dance programme whilst being the director and coach of multiple competitive dance teams for the thriving HVHS Dance Academy.


The 2018 - 2020 competition seasons proved to be impressively successful for Catherine’s performance teams with three PACANZ nominations - two hip hop teams successfully making it through to the finals.  In addition to receiving an extensive repertoire of awards across all genres including 1st place at DanceNZmade Regionals, 3rd place at Nationals, and 1st place at NZCAF, and an Outstanding Choreography award for hip hop.


Currently, Catherine is a Physical Education teacher and Junior and Senior Health teacher, and House Dean at Paraparaumu College.


Sage Minarapa

Sage Minarapa

Sage has had a passion for Hip Hop since his first classes at JFDS many years ago.

He has a particular talent for choreography, which brought him international success at age 17, when he choreographed the winning performance for his college (then Manurewa College) - the ‘Rewa All Stars Fresh Prince Tribute’ in 2017. The winning piece attracted not only the attention and endorsement of National television News, but also Will Smith, the original ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’.


In addition to this success, Sage was also awarded Top overall Maori student of the Year, as well as top student in Te Reo Maori in 3 consecutive years, the Manurewa High School Arts Award for Outstanding Choreography in Dance, and a Manurewa High School Scholarship to attend Summer Jam Camp in Singapore 2018.


Sage has been awarded many wins and major placings in national and International competitions, and has coached many Hip Hop and Street teams on the world stage, especially in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well in New Zealand.


He has trained with many famous teachers, and attended 6 world wide Hip Hop conventions over the past 5 years- In LA, Vancouver, Singapore and Las Vegas. Sage’s passion for Hip hop is fired by attending worldwide conventions and competitions, and he is really looking forward to joining our Teaching faculty in 2020.

Anna Van Eijck

Anna Van Eijck

Anna started ballet classes at JFDS at the age of four. Her enthusiasm quickly grew to include jazz, tap and contemporary as well as several years of competitive gymnastics. Anna soon found a strong passion for classical ballet, and went on to train under Paula Hunt, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance, alongside private coaching and training with Lady Jacqui Trimmer, previous ballet mistress of The Royal New Zealand Ballet and contemporary coaching with Anita Hutchins and Tessa Hall. While continuing to train at Advanced level in Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary, Anna’s strength & versatility was recognized with awards and nominations. Anna completed all of her RAD examinations up to Advanced Two level with Distinction resulting in her selection for the semi-finals of the Genee International Ballet Competition 2016 in Sydney Australia. The same year Anna was invited as a guest performer in Nelson New Zealand, The Academy of Ballet Arts production of “Sleeping Beauty” alongside three other guest performers from The Royal New Zealand Ballet. In 2017 Anna undertook a year of full-time training at Canterbury Ballet in Christchurch, New Zealand where she completed her American Ballet Theatre level 6 examination.


Anna also joined the teaching team and taught ballet, lyrical, jazz and body conditioning in the after-school dance program. In 2018 Anna was accepted as a Pre-professional artist with the Victorian State Ballet in Melbourne, Australia. Anna has danced various roles in multiple full-length ballets including Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White & Sleeping Beauty, performing on tour in Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmania for the past year and a half.

Laura Brinck

Laura Brinck, ANZAMD

Laura has been with JFDS for 19 years, and in that time has studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop. She has gained many Distinction gradings for both Tap and Jazz examinations, passed her Solo Tap Diploma in 2016, and in 2015 placed Runner up in this National competition. Laura became a tap soloist nominee in 2016 in the PACANZ National competition. Laura has performed extensively and received numerous awards. 


Laura has just completed a 3 year course in Paramedics, and is now employed fulltime with Wellington Fee Ambulance, but is looking forward to doing some part time tap teaching on her days off.

Olivia Lewis

Olivia Lewis

Olivia began her training at JFDS, in jazz, contemporary, hiphop, receiving distinction gradings and NZAMD nominations. She attended Paraparaumu College until moving to Tawa for a few years, and has had many years of competition dancing in groups, duos and solos.

Olivia has now moved back to Kapiti with her family, and is looking forward to sharing her passion for teaching and dance, with many ideas to share with young dancers to bring out their best.


Olivia is currently studying the NZAMD Teaching Certificate programme.

Sasha White

Sasha White

Sasha has, from her early childhood, loved to dance and perform.

She trained in jazz with Tracey Bowker Dance School in Kapiti for several years, and was also part of the (self-named) dance group, Joie de Vivre, which focussed on hip hop and modern dance styles, which visited and performed throughout the Wellington area to different congregations and community groups. Sasha has also acted, danced and sung in Community Productions through her local church.


Sasha really enjoys working with pre-schoolers, and for a few years while working for a kindergarten, ran ‘mat’ and music times. This gave her the opportunity to blend learning with fun, using instruments and action songs to grow coordination, and language, and build confidence.


Shortly after her eldest child was born, Sasha began helping with the pre-school music and dance programme ‘Mainly Music’ which she later went on to manage for six years, an involvement she really enjoyed.


On bringing her children to dance with JFDS, Sasha became active in the pre-school dance scene, which she finds to be a lot of fun, one of the benefits being that she is getting to know so many beautiful families on the fabulous Kapiti Coast! Sasha is married with three children aged 10 to 15 years.

Imelda Jacobs

Imelda Jacobs

Imelda Jacobs is originally from South Africa, and has been living in NZ since 2011. She has been involved in Acrobatic Dancing for about 20 years, competing in Acrobatic Dancing for 15 years and has been coaching for 13 years.


In 2001, Imelda qualified as an Acrobatic Dancing Teacher. She was the owner of Imelda’s Ensemble for 10 years (January 2002 – November 2011). This was a successful private studio of Contortion and Acrobatic Dancing. Goal oriented behaviour, as well as motivating students of all ages on different skill and emotional levels were essential for desirable outcomes; this included working in partnership with parents.


Through the years Imelda has also had some experience in Rhythmic Gymnastics, Sports Acrobatics (Acrobatic-Gymnastics), Modern and Contemporary Dancing, Sports Aerobics and Hip Hop. However , Imelda’s focus over the years remained Acrobatic Dancing and Contortion. She attended and performed in two International Contortion Conventions, one held in Las Vegas and one in Germany.

In 2010 and 2011, students of Imelda’s Ensemble obtained winner titles in Regional’s, Nationals, Festivals/Eisteddfods in South Africa on different levels. Imelda immigrated to New Zealand in 2011 and her intention is to remain in NZ permanently.


Imelda has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health Science and Social Services, specialising in Welfare Science. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree specialising in Psychology with a research project (dissertation) in Sport Psychology.


For the past 5 years Imelda has worked in Mental Health, Intellectual and Physical Disabilities. Currently working as a Team Leader in these services. Imelda is passionate about providing students with the opportunity to excel in a unique sport and art, whether in a fun environment, building skills for other dance disciplines, or competing.

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