The Heart of Little Lights Dance
Founded in 2014, the heart of Little Lights Dance is to see children learn to dance in a creative, positive and joy-filled environment where they feel valued and inspired to express themselves through dance. Little Lights preschool classes provide children with the opportunity to explore a variety of dance styles through play, story telling, improvisation and the use of props that aim to inspire the creative dancer within each child.
Classes are held within the awesome facilities at Kidz Connexion located on the corner of Wakehurst Parkway and Dreadnought Rd Oxford Falls – entry is through C3 Church and then just follow the signs to Kidz Connexion. The facilities are absolutely first class…with the cafe serving up beautiful coffee for the mums and the play centre available at special reduced rates for siblings not participating in the dance classes, everyone is taken care of! For more info about Kidz Connexion please see their website
Sonja Ebsary – ARAD, B Ed (Primary) Sonja is married to Scott and is the mother of 2 beautiful children Anders and Lucy. She immersed herself in dance from the age of 3. Throughout her teenage years she performed in many classical ballet productions with the Sydney Festival Academy including: Cinderella, La fille mal Garde and The Nutcracker, which travelled around Australia and developed in her a love for classical ballet and performing. In 1999, Sonja was responsible for pioneering the dance program at Brigidine College St Ives which at that point was non-existent. Having completed all Royal Academy of Dance examinations with the Sydney Festival Ballet Academy and completing outstanding results in HSC Ballet accelerated in Year 11, Sonja went on to study ballet/dance at tertiary level at the Victorian College of Arts and the Australian College of Physical Education. Sonja has taught dance for many years and enjoys instilling creativity and beautiful technique in her students whilst exploring with them the joy and freedom that dance brings. In 2004 Sonja graduated with a Bachelor of Primary Education majoring in Special Education. She then went on to teach at Oxford Falls Grammar School before the birth of her two children. She looks forward to bringing her passion for dance, knowledge and skills as a teacher and love for children into her teaching.
Miriam Sherwin – Administration Manager
Miriam has over 10 years experience in Human Resources and Strategy in small and large organisations. This work experience combined with her love of people, intuition and ability to get things done has prepared her to support both myself and our team here at Little Lights. She is looking forward to contributing to an amazingly creative, positive and joy filled environment where all children enjoy the freedom to develop themselves creatively.
Miriam inherited her love of ballet from her Mum. She started dancing with baby ballet at the age of 3 and went up to take Modern, Ballet and Tap until she was a teenager. She still remembers the magic of her imaginative preschool ballet classes and has loved seeing her daughter experience the same at Little Lights.
She lives on the Northern Beaches with her husband Mark and 3 children Harley, Tessa and Sara. They all share a love of music, good food, books and love a swim in the ocean!
Miriam is our first point of contact here at Little Lights and her office hours are Mondays 9-2:30pm and Fridays 10-2:30pm. She will however be checking emails each day but will be mainly responding during the above times. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and her Little Lights Mobile is 0479 078 971.
Angelica Lainis – Adv. Dip. Contemporary Dance – Head Teacher
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Angelica has been dancing since she was three years old. Training in both the Cecchetti and R.A.D. syllabuses she partook in numerous eisteddfods, productions and examinations. ‘Performing for me was my favourite part of dance. I loved to step into a new costume and become a new character on stage. There is nothing quite like the anticipation when hiding behind the wings before stepping into the lights.’ In 2012, she moved to Sydney, where she furthered her dance studies at C3 College over the course of three years. ‘I have been teaching and choreographing for a few years now. I can honestly say there is no place quite like Little Lights Dance. Not only is it a beautiful dance space but there is something truly magical about what goes on behind the studio doors that you don’t get anywhere else. We truly foster a love of dance and performance without the pressures of examinations or unrealistic expectations for preschoolers. My favourite part is seeing each child’s face light up as they enter into the classroom each week with wander and awe of what is to unfold each lesson.’
Hannah Elmes – CERT IV in Theology Majoring in Contemporary Dance, Cert IV in Contemporary Dance. ARAD – Head Teacher & Assistant Teacher
Hannah has been dancing since she was 3 and hasn’t stopped since. She has completed all her RAD ballet exams and also trained in Cecchetti. When Hannah was 15 years old she trained at Tanya Pearson’s Classical Coaching Academy, she has also trained in dance at C3 College and last year she completed her Certificate IV in Contemporary dance at Ev & Bow Full Time Dance Training Centre. Hannah has trained in and enjoys dancing many different styles of dance but ballet has always been her favourite. She enjoys teaching all ages but believes the love and joy you give and receive when teaching young children is beyond compare. Hannah wants to pass on the love, joy and passion she has for dancing to the children she gets the pleasure of teaching at Little Lights.
Skye McKenzie – Adult Ballet Head Teacher
Born with a love of ballet in her DNA, Skye first visited the Opera House to see the Australian Ballet perform at the tender age of 2. Soon after, she began ballet lessons at Chambers de Maria under the tuition of Barbara Chambers and Kathleen Geldard. These 2 women, both original principles of the Australian Ballet, had previously taught Skye’s mum and aunty (a professional ballet dancer).
Skye completed all of her RAD ballet exams and enjoyed performing, competing & placing in many eisteddfods. At 15 years old, Skye began dancing at Sydney Festival Ballet where she met Sonja and had the incredible opportunity of touring and performing in numerous classical ballet productions. Skye went on to teach young dancers the RAD syllabus and choreograph ballet solos for her students to perform in eisteddfods.
Skye feels extremely thankful to her own dedicated ballet teachers (and supportive family) who nurtured in her a love of classical music, performance and the art of storytelling through movement.
Graduating from a Bachelor of Design, Skye has had a successful career as an illustrator and textile designer. She is happiest with a paintbrush in her hand or ballet shoes on her feet! She lives by the beach with her husband Josh and two ballet obsessed girls, Lilou and Sylvie.
Skye is excited to share her love for ballet with the Lady Lights in Tights, whether reigniting an old passion, living out a childhood dream or simply enjoying dancing to beautiful music in a warm and engaging environment.
Sophie Curtis – B Ed (Primary) – Adult Ballet Head Teacher
Ballet has always been a loved and important part of Sophie’s life, part of who she is. She began at the age of 3 at Ballet Academy Northside and went on to complete all the Royal Academy of Dance examinations up to Solo Seal. Sophie is so thankful for all the wonderful experiences ballet has brought her including performing at the Opera House, competing in the Genee International Ballet Competition and forming life long skills and friendships. She graduated with a Bachelor of Primary Education and loves classroom teaching along with bringing the joy of dance to schools for the Sydney North Public Schools Dance Festival. Sophie relishes the opportunity to share her passion for ballet with young and old!
Lisa White – Dip. Creative Arts in Christian Ministry Specialising in Contemporary Dance – Assistant Teacher
Lisa began dancing at the age of 15 and quickly fell in love with the art forms combination of creative expression and athleticism. Coming from a background in gymnastics, she began by studying curricular dance and joining school based eisteddfod groups. After completing HSC dance in 2014, Lisa decided to pursue further studies in dance by completing two years at C3 college. Lisa enjoys working with children of all ages and is currently studying a bachelor of arts/bachelor of education. She loves teaching young children because of the energy, curiosity, and excitement that they bring to class; and she delights in watching the magical moments that unfold when a child experiences something new.
Luciana Lopez – Assistant Teacher
Luciana’s love for dance started from the age of 4 at Ballet Academy Northside, where she continues to train in lyrical, contemporary, jazz and ballet. She has immersed herself in the dance world from a young age, entering and succeeding in several competitions and scholarships; including placing first at the Sydney Eisteddfod, qualifying for scholarship finals, being selected to perform in HSC Dance ‘Callback’ and being offered a position in the Rambert School in London. Through teaching younger dancers, Luciana aims to share the joy and creativity dance has given her so that children will not only have an unforgettable experience in class and onstage, but also cherish the magic of dance.
Sascha Macdonald – Assistant Teacher
Sascha has been dancing since the young age of 4, beginning with Irish dancing and ballet. She then began styles in Jazz, Modern/Lyrical and Contemporary at Dance North Academy, competing with their performance teams. In 2012 she moved to Evolution Performance Centre, dancing 15 hours plus per week. Sascha competed on a weekly basis, coming away with high results at majority of eisteddfods. She has competed at national levels, and has achieved national championships numerous times over the years. She also trained at Tanya Pearson’s Classical Coaching Academy for 3 years and completed her RAD exams up to Intermediate. She did an accelerated HSC dance course in 2017 and got into Callbacks. Sascha has taught and coached many younger children and loves to pass on her passion of dance. She aims to create loving relationships with all the kids, and help them have a fun and memorable experience as they explore the art of dance.