Lorna Borrett

BA (Hons), I.S.T.D, B.B.O

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 Tertiary Education Institute NZ, teaching on the Commercial Dance and Musical Theatre diploma and degree courses. She has adjudicated dance competitions around the country and appeared numerous times on TV One's "Good Morning" Show teaching Pilates segments.

Lorna is also the principal and owner of Spiritus Dance Company, a dance school exclusively for adults, co-owner of Wellington's newest dance studio, Dancetopia and mum to four year old Archie.

Jamie Moore

Miss Jamie started dancing at the age of 5 in North Carolina. She studied ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and modern and performed with jazz and ballet pre-professional companies.

She went on to graduate from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Political Science. While at university she performed with local companies and spent a semester studying contemporary dance at Unitec in Auckland.

Miss Jamie taught dance in North Carolina for 8 years and was the director of a pre-professional contemporary and choreography company. She has also worked for the Joffrey Ballet School in both New York City and San Francisco.

In 2021 Miss Jamie moved back to New Zealand to reconnect with the country her family is from. She has continued dancing and teaching in Wellington and is excited and honored to share her passion for dance at Leaping Lizards and our adult sister school, Spiritus Dance Company.

Lisa Philipsen

Growing up in Wellington, Lisa was exposed early on to the wonderful world of Performing Arts!  She has been part of a successful crew winning Hip Hop nationals in NZ as well as travelling to the USA to perform.  Coming from a dance-rich background, Lisa has been involved in many dance productions, but she also has a passion for acting and singing.  She is currently developing her skills and craft whilst training at Whitireia for her Bachelor of Creativity, majoring in Musical Theatre. Lisa is super excited to pass this knowledge, and her love of dance, on to the Leaping Lizards and Spiritus, (our adult sister school), community!

Deborah Donkin

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

When her three children were young 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 she took a break to travel.  Deborah returned to teaching in 2018 at Leaping Lizards School of Dance.

Deborah also teaches for our sister school Spiritus Dance Company for the adult Beginner Tap class, as well as participating in the Advanced Tap class and Jazz class as a student.  Deborah's fun personality makes her classes a blast!

Leila Lois

Leila is a highly qualified, passionate ballet teacher with many years experience teaching children and adults in NZ and Australia. 

Leila has wide experience in dance education and community dance.  She has also danced professionally with Movement of The Human for NZ Festival, in Wellington, and trained with Yellowwheel Dance Company in Melbourne, Australia.

Performance and choreography is an important part of Leila's practice alongside her teaching. She has recently performed solos at BIGBANG studio, Melbourne, and at Dance Massive Festival, Melbourne, for Chunky Move's SIMULCAST.

Leila will also be a Ballet teacher for our adult sister school, Spiritus Dance Company. She is looking forward to bringing her passion for dance into classes at Leaping Lizards and Spiritus.


Libby Finkle-Vern

Libby has loved dancing since her first ballet class at age four. Since then she has studied at several different schools in a wide variety of styles, including jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip-hop, but ballet has always been her number one. 

After taking a few breaks from dance to travel and study, Libby found her home at Spiritus Dance Company, Leaping Lizards' sister school. Since joining Spiritus, she has continued to build confidence, technique and a love of dance. 

Whilst her teaching journey began with the pre-school classes at Leaping Lizards, Libby has found her passion in teaching young children, and is studying towards her Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

Libby also keeps herself busy as the Studio Manager for Leaping Lizards, handling enrolments, emails, uniform orders, and other enquiries.


Charlie Adams

Charlie loves making art, moving her body and being silly!

Charlie is an avid dancer at our adult sister school, Spiritus Dance School. It is safe to say that dancing is her favourite way to express her creativity, energy, and silliness!

Additionally, Charlie is eagerly pursuing her dream job and is studying for a Bachelor of Education in early childhood, with the ultimate goal of becoming a certified early childhood teacher by the end of the year.

Mix these things together and we've got the perfect recipe for Bop & Hop teaching, and a whole lot of fun!

Celia Macdonald

Celia started dancing at the age of three, training predominantly in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Musical Theatre.  She is a recent Graduate from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) in Christchurch with a BPA in Music Theatre.

One of Celia's biggest accomplishments was in 2019 when she entered the New Zealand Dance Awards in the Pro-Am Musical Theatre scholarship category and won "The Most Likely to have a Professional Career Award".

In 2022 Celia was a Leaping Lizards preschool teacher, as well as a cover teacher for Jazz, Ballet and Tap classes.  Due to Celia's performance commitments in 2023 she will not be teaching regular classes but will remain a reliable, well prepared, fun cover teacher when needed.