Deborah Donkin

Returning to dance as an adult, Deborah spent a large amount of her twenties dancing and learning tap and jazz routines that were performed on stage twice a year, every year for many years.

When her children were small Deborah started a small dance school teaching tap to children aged between 3 and 11 years old. This school ran for over four years and then Deborah took a break to travel before returning to teaching tap to children in 2018 with the Leaping Lizards team.

Elaina Kelland

Elaina started dancing at the age of four and danced up until she was 18. She studied BBO Jazz and Tap in Hawkes Bay, gaining a vocational certificate with honours. She then decided to take a break to focus on her university studies. She started dancing again with Leaping Lizards Adult School (now Spiritus Dance Company) in 2018 which reignited her passion for dance and sparked a curiosity for teaching. Elaina is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science which keeps her busy but dancing allows an escape from a hectic study life. She is eager to pass on her knowledge and passion for dance to Leaping Lizards students.

Emma Western

Emma first started dancing at the age of 5, studying Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Tap. She regularly competed in competitions throughout the North Island and realised at a young age that she was born to be on the stage.

After school Emma moved to England and furthered her dance training and became interested in teaching and choreography. In 2017, she moved back to New Zealand and starting studying dance, full time, at Whitireia. After completion of her diploma in 2018, she is continuing her studies into 2019 to gain a degree. For now she loves teaching and her full time dance training but her future dream is to be on the stage as a professional dancer.

Holly Newsome

Holly, originally from New Plymouth, is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance where she majored in Contemporary. Since graduating Holly has found her passion lies with choreography, which initiated her own project based company called Discotheque. This is now a platform for devising and performing her own professional dance works and teaching around New Zealand.

In 2017 Holly was funded by Wellington City Council to create her own contemporary dance work called Incognito and later that year was commissioned by Footnote NZ Dance to create a new work called Sweet Salt, as part of their 2017 national tour of New Zealand. Holly’s most recent work was Missing Lids which premiered in Auckland. Another highlight of Holly’s was working with WOW (World of Wearable Arts) as an assistant choreographer and dancer.

Other than dance, Holly enjoys teaching Group Fitness classes at gyms, writing, painting and listening to music.

Lorna Rosevear

Lorna began dancing when she was just 2 years old! She studied Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Disco and Contemporary to advanced level gaining a BA (HONS) in Performing Arts Specialising in Dance from Middlesex University, London. Following this Lorna gained a scholarship to complete an additional diploma at the Scottish School Of Contemporary Dance.

In 2004, after several years of dancing and choreographing professionally, Lorna decided she would like to explore teaching opportunities and this was when she truly found her passion. In England she taught for various private dance schools, mainstream education schools and also developed her own dance and fitness business. In 2006 Lorna decided she would like to work overseas, which is when she moved to New Zealand, now her home.

In the past Lorna has been a tutor at Whitireia Performance Centre teaching on the Commercial Dance and Musical Theatre diploma and degree courses. She has adjudicated dance competitions around the country and has appeared numerous times on TV One's "Good Morning" Show teaching Pilates segments. These days being the owner and principal of Leaping Lizards School of Dance and mum to Archie, born in August 2017, keeps her busy enough!

Mindy Hodder

Mindy’s dance training began when she was 6 years old. She achieved her Advance 1 ISTD Jazz, Advance 1 RAD Ballet and received Honours for Highland Dancing. She also was a junior associate at the New Zealand School of Dance as a teenager.

Mindy loves to be busy! Whilst fulfilling her passion for dance and fitness she works as an assistant accountant and studies at Massey University towards her Bachelor of Business degree.

Mindy has taught dancers of all ages in Ballet, Jazz, and Hip Hop but took a break to travel overseas for 3 years. She is now raring to go again and is excited to be teaching for Leaping Lizards. Her motto is “Dance like nobody is watching”.

Molly O'Hagan

Born and raised in the Wairarapa, Molly has been involved with performing arts her entire life. It has been her passion for as long as she remembers.
From a young age Molly danced regularly in numerous different genres including Hip Hop, Jazz and Musical Theatre. She was regularly involved with Stage Challenge, school productions and dance school shows both as a performer and a choreographer.
Molly is currently studying Musical Theatre at Te Auaha (Whitireia) and has performed in many major productions including "The Addams Family", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat" and "Spamalot". In the future Molly plans to work on board cruise ships, travel the world and pursue her environmental passions.

Riley Dickie

Riley has always been passionate about dance, particularly Ballet. At 17 she moved away from her home in Australia to further enrich her classical Ballet training at the New Zealand School of Dance. Riley is currently in her third and final year and is working hard to meet her ambition of receiving a Ballet company contract upon completion of her studies. Riley believes her passion for Ballet can encourage others and she loves teaching the little ones.