What our students and families are saying…
Leaving SHAD after 12 years of dancing in the school was one of the hardest things for me to do. Over these 12 years I have been pushed and encouraged to extend not only in ability but also confidence. The wonderful shows that Bronwen creates were always a highlight for me. Every one of them was a fantastic opportunity for me to grow in confidence on the stage. I loved the chance to perform to an audience and be part of the whole experience. There was always an amazing team spirit from the rehearsals, through to the very last show within the whole school. Some great friendships were made. SHAD gave me the opportunity to grow my love of ballet in a comfortable and friendly environment whilst also developing skills and learning under a superb teacher.
I have danced with SHAD for the last 10 years, and in that time I have had some of the best memories in my childhood that sculpted me to be the person I am! I started from hip-hop at age seven, moved onto modern jazz and ballet, and quickly learnt great technique thanks to Bronwen’s excellent teaching style. I was living far away from the studios for the last 5 years, but continued with ballet due to the dynamic environment and caring teaching that only Bronwen emits. It was always the unique classes that combined enjoying the art of dance and getting a serious technical approach that made me choose SHAD over other dance schools!
Bronwen never failed to show her true generosity and kindness, with her students’ happiness and wellbeing the top priority while giving students great experiences performing dance. One such example is our popular Southwards Theatre performances. We had colourful costumes and vibrant sets, all on a professional stage. Bronwen provides an unforgettable experience for every child being able to stand up on a real stage. Personally, I cherish my memories of standing on the side of stage, gazing up at the spotlight, awaiting my turn: what a thrill!
The skills, confidence and experiences that I have gained from dancing at SHAD will continue to stay with me into the future. I owe a lot to Bronwen and everyone at SHAD, who make up such an awesome dance school!
I danced Ballet, Modern Jazz & Contemporary at Springhill Dance Academy for over 13 years and loved every minute of it! Dancing at Springhill was always the highlight of my week – Bronwen is the most fantastic and passionate teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the syllabus, preparing for exams but most of all performing in many incredible stage shows – the dance, costumes, music and lights were always outstanding. The encouraging, passionate and inspiring environment at Springhill is always a pleasure to be around – it is not only a dance school but is a place where great friends are made and confidence grows. Dance is exhilarating and being a part of the school has given me a great sense of pride!
My career as a professional dancer all began at Springhill Dance Academy. At age Eight I started with Bronwen studying IDTA Ballet and Modern Dance where I achieved mostly Honours marks sitting examinations from Grade 3 up to Adv 1. Bronwen’s passion for dance inspired me to go further and she gave me all the attention and knowledge I needed to pursue this dream. At age Eighteen, she encouraged me to audition for a full time school in Christchurch, the International Ballet Academy where I spent the next 3 years studying mainly Ballet, but also Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre and completed my Intermediate, Adv 1 and Adv 2 RAD Ballet examinations with Distinction. I got to work with amazing choreographers such as Russel Kerr and perform many ballets such as ‘Swan Lake’ whilst at IBA. After graduating I worked with the Royal New Zealand Ballet for their season of ‘Giselle’ and am now currently working for Carnival Cruiselines based in America where I have been for the last 6 years, very fortunate to be traveling the world getting paid to do what I love….DANCE! During my vacation time home I always return to my roots at SHAD to attend or teach classes with the students.
Katie Rose Matthews
From the moment I walked into SHAD, I was blown away with the talent I could see, and the happiness and love of dance that the students and teachers shared. I have danced at SHAD for coming near 7 years and during that time Bronwen has turned me from ungraceful 9 year old to a classical ballet honours student, if you are looking for a great dance community, a wonderful teacher who values every student, and to have fun whilst doing it. I would recommend SHAD in a heartbeat.
Living far away from the studio, I stay and watch my son dance with other students and Bronwen every week. Jake is very comfortable in class – I guess that comes from the atmosphere which Bronwen creates. While classes are serious, she emits lots of love for students and dancing. I also respect her teaching philosophy and students’ physical safety is always uppermost. There are many dance teachers out there, but we have a very good and reliable one at SHAD!
I’ve danced Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, musical theatre and tap in my 7 years at Springhill. Having just moved from England my weekly dance lessons with Bronwen provided a sense of normality when settling in to a new school etc and it was a bonus learning IDTA, a syllabus I had also studied in England. Since then I’ve excelled in both dance and in confidence under the superb teaching of Bronwen. Springhill provides both a passionate and inspiring learning environment whilst also being a lot of fun! I loved every moment of dance at Springhill from learning new syllabuses, preparing for exams and working on shows – always the highlight for every member of SHAD and where great friendships are often made. Leaving for university this year I miss everybody at Springhill just as much as I miss the dance and always make time to visit a class when I’m visiting. Springhill not only gave me the technique and flexibility of a dancer but also confidence and pride when leaving the school as a senior member.
Jessica (Little Cinderella/Summer Fairy/Mouse)
Jasmin (Sunshine Fairy/Mouse)
WOW: So much work went into preparing for this show. We had a lot of rehearsals with 2 girls in the show and 5 parts between them but it was worth every minute. We have seen their confidence grow. They put so much effort into it and enjoyed every moment- even when they were tired they never complained. Watching the live show and see it all come together is amazing. All the children get so much out of it. Thanks so much to Bronwen for the opportunities she gives to our kids to perform on stage.
Beth and Neil