Enthusiastic and expert.
We’re incredibly proud of the team at Stepnout Performing Arts. Each teacher brings their own individual talent, years of experience and a huge enthusiasm for dance. Our goal is to build your confidence in a caring and stress-free way, so you can learn to love dance as much as we do!
Liz Loft Founder and Director
For me dance and performance is more than just a passion, it’s a true vocation and nothing gives me more pleasure than to see our students thrive in such a positive environment and succeed. Whether they’re learning to hop on one leg or performing complex routines – I’m so proud of their hard work and achievements.
For Liz, dancing and performing have always come naturally.
Since the age of six Liz has taken part in competitions and concerts where she’s won several trophies and medals. She completed the Commonwealth Society of Dance exam syllabus and won the Perpetual Trophy for Theatrical Dance (Tap and Jazz) at the age of 14 for the dancer with the highest score in the State of Victoria.
At 14 Liz joined Tony Bartuccio’s Studio where she concentrated on ballet and jazz, and at 15 Liz became a professional dancer with the Carlton Bluebirds.
Liz has performed in pantomimes, theatre productions, commercials, events, festivals and floorshows, and as a resident go-go dancer at one of Melbourne’s premier nightclubs. She’s also an excellent pianist, and over a 10-year period completed theory and practical exams up to HSC level.
When Liz became a mum she moved into teaching and began studying Perceptual Motor Programs. Liz founded Stepnout Performing Arts in 2005 and has developed several preschool programs that enable very young children to develop their gross motor, dance and music skills.
Louise Davies Assistant manager
Teaching children to dance is an honour and a privilege. It’s a magical world that I’m so grateful to be a part of.
Louise starting performing at pretty much the same time she started to walk. After many years spent attending competitions, concerts and completing the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing exams, Louise realised that dancing was her true passion.
Louise has performed in productions of West Side Story, Sweet Charity and Pippin, in which she played the lead.
Louise began working at Stepnout Performing Arts as a stage manager and in 2006 became a full-time teacher.
Chrissy Zammit Administrative Assistant
I have an extensive background in both retail customer service and management, as well as office administration. For the last 6 years, however, i have been a very happy stay at home Mum to my 3 kids, which often involves similar strategies of organisation, multi tasking, conflict management and patience!
While my dance experience is limited to 3 years of ballet as a child, I do a mean ‘Hot Potato’ and ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ in my lounge room with the kids!
Two of my children have attended Stepnout over the last 3 years and I look forward to my youngest joining the Delightful Tots class very soon.
I look forward to meeting as many of the parents and students as possible over the coming months and hope to give you the same fantastic customer service you are already used to at Stepnout.
Angela Keddie Administrative Manager
“I am thrilled to be part of a dynamic, passionate and friendly team who continually strive to provide a fun, safe, nurturing and continual learning environment for all the students”
Dance has been part of my life from the age of 4 when my parents booked me into my first classical ballet class. I continued to participate in ballet classes until the age of 16.
After finishing secondary school I moved into administration rolls within the Coles Myer Group, Primary Health Care and most recently at a local primary school.
Over the past 16 years I have had a connection with the studio as myself and all of my 4 children have participated in various dance and performance classes at the studio. I am looking forward to building relationships, supporting Liz and the teaching / administration team and watching all the students at the studio develop their dance, performance, confidence, passion and abilities over the years to come.
Tracey Pichler Teacher
In class, show me determination, hard work and enthusiasm. On the stage, show me your heart. Dance is a magical thing. You can become anyone or anything you wish…and be the truest form of yourself…simultaneously.
Tracey’s passion for dance began at age 3. Tracey started her training at Western Academy of Dance, where she completed examinations in Cecchetti and ISTD Modern. After graduating from Full Time Performing Arts at Brent Street Studios in Sydney, she returned to Melbourne to follow her passion. Along with musical theatre roles such as ‘Dorothy’ in The Wiz, ‘Anita’ in West Side Story and ‘Dance Captain/Havana Girl’ in Guys and Dolls, Tracey’s talents have been extended to cheerleading for the NRL’s Melbourne Storm and ARL’s Australian Kangaroos, gogo dancing, music videos, floor shows with Melbourne dance group Mishanda, and dancing at the MTV Australian Video Music Awards behind Savage. Tracey also has appeared in popular TV shows, TVCs and took on the role of ‘Lara Croft’ at Melbourne’s Luna Park. Tracey has been teaching since she was 16 and adores passing on all her knowledge and passion. Tracey Kate is thrilled to be part of the team at Stepnout.
Jessica Mackrill Teacher
“I love all things dance! From breaking down a new skill to helping students overcome nerves on stage, every day dancing is a new challenge and adventure. I enjoy finding new ways to teach my students and seeing their passion for dance shine through”
Jessica’s enthusiasm for dance has grown since she first started at the age of three. She is now well-versed in jazz, classical ballet, tap, hip hop, acrobatics, contemporary and lyrical. Jessica moved from her hometown in Tasmania to study dance in Melbourne and completed three years of full-time training at Dance World Studios. Here she achieved her Certificate IV and Diploma in Dance and successfully completed her R.A.D. ballet examination. During this time she also performed in a music video for Art vs. Science as well as dancing at various functions, competitions and in a pantomime.
Jessica has now worked predominantly in children’s entertainment, performing nationally and internationally with shows such as The Octonauts and Peppa Pig. She also holds her Certificate IV in Fitness and has worked extensively as a personal trainer and dance teacher to various age groups. Jessica loves all styles of dance and is thrilled to be sharing her knowledge with the wonderful students at Stepnout Performing Arts and helping them follow their dreams.
Payge O'shea Teacher
‘Change your thoughts and change your world’
Payge started her dance career at the age of three with Vicki’s Dancing Academy in Morwell. She trained in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, character, national, contemporary and lyrical. In 2017 she completed her Diploma in Dance – Elite Performance and Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management at Transit Dance.
In 2016 she was awarded the Dedication and Development award for first year at Transit Dance and her Certificate IV in Dance. Payge has been involved in many local theatre productions, performing as a dancer, actor and singer. Leading to opportunities in choreographing for productions which sparked her interest in furthering her dance and teaching career.
She is passionate about teaching dance to all ages, capabilities and strengths. She is eager to pass on her knowledge to the future generations. She is excited about working alongside like-minded people to broaden her skills and become involved in a creative and fun filled environment.
In 2017 she began teaching a preschool dance program called Ready, Set, Dance at Transit Dance. This unique and creative program is designed for students aged 2-5 years. From teaching this program she realised this is an age group she feels strongly about. She hopes to continue to grow and build on her pre-existing teaching skills in years to come.
Within the next 10 years she aspires to be a fully qualified dance teacher and own and run her own dance studio.
Samantha Ambrosy Teacher
“Teaching is my passion not my job”
Samantha is a professional dancer and choreographer currently working in Melbourne.
Samantha studied dance under the mentor-ship of Adam Wheeler at SOPA. After Graduating from her diploma of elite dance Samantha then was awarded the Alumni Fellowship from SOPA. Her passion for teaching and passing on knowledge begun when she noticed the difference she could make to her students.
“Teaching is a privilege to be given the opportunity to pass on knowledge is a gift in itself.”
Samantha’s teaching of hip hop comes from a mixture of old school, new school and some break dancing. Mixing these three forms of hip hop together to then be able to teach multi faceted dancers who have ranges of dynamic and skill level.
Career highlights include: Dancer for “Project Migration”. Collaborating and Performing in the fringe festival Co-making a work about reality and personal perception. Performing in James Bachelors “Star Study”. Performing in “Masters of choreography Once Upon A Time”. The Cat Empire Bulls music video along with many others.
These opportunities have really inspired Samantha to delve further into her own work and she is excited to continue down the track of making her own work and teaching
Hayley O’Callaghan Teacher
“Being your best is the best thing you can do”
My Name is Hayley and I am 22 years old. Coming from a Calisthenics background, I’ve competed at the highest level, before moving into Circus and Cheerleading. I have had a heavily dance orientated up bring, completing high school and Victorian College of the Arts and the National Institute of Circus Arts Australia, graduating from Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance in 2016 and attending Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. I am a current Athlete on an international world championship cheerleading team and represented Australia in 2017 in Orlando Florida. I am look forward to meeting so many new faces and having a great year with everyone !!
Ashley Grottoli Teacher
Ashley Grottoli is an award winning dancer who trained at arguably one of the best schools in the world, Joann Chapman School of Dance, where she went on to win Miss Dance of America at Dance Masters of America in 1998 in New York City.
At this time she became certified in Acrobatics, Tap and Jazz with British Association Teachers of Dance. She is currently credited with the highest level Acrobatic Arts, CSTD and ATOD. She has since gone on to produce award winning dancers, choreography and has helped thousands of students become the best dancers they can be from around the globe. Acrobatics has been a focus for Ashley since she was 6 years old and is known for her award winning technique and routines in this often misunderstood art form. She has freelanced for many organisations throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
She currently writes a globally read blog, everythingdancewithashley.blogspot.com, as well run a company that offers uniquely tailored dance based workshops. She has also been nominated for teaching excellence for the Australian Independent Dance Teacher Awards, 2017.
Ashley’s philosophy is to teach habits; not steps. She fully believes that correctness, balance and grace can only be created by equipping each student with the tools necessary to be successful through coveted and globally renowned teaching techniques. Teach a dancer tricks and they are impressive on Instagram; Teach a dancer to harness their mind and body’s full potential and they can become anything they want to be. Ashley’s ability to help students of all abilities is truly inspiring for all who attends her classes.
Ellen Robinson Teacher
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.”
Ellen has loved dancing from a very young age training in jazz and tap before taking on every dance style she could get her hands on. Even while she was still at high school Ellen knew she wanted to teach full time and was the tap principal for Border Danceworks during her VCE and choreographed for the local theatre company for “A Town on the Map” “Sweeney Todd” and “Wicked”. After graduating, Ellen completed a 2 year dance course with Danceworld Studios to pursue her love of dance.
Since graduating from full-time Ellen has been teaching non-stop while taking classes with NICA! In 2016 Ellen was assisting with the running of Turning Pointe Studios while the owner was on leave and in 2018 choreographed a Showcase National winning routine. Ellen is looking forward to her future in acrobatics and dance for 2018!
Emily Carnibella Dance Teacher
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”
Emily Carnibella is known for her indecisiveness, but she’ll always know for a fact that her heart belongs to the stage. You know the familiar feeling of when the audience is cheering, your heart is racing and your still smiling even when you have come off the stage is a feeling that Emily will always crave. Emily started her Musical theatre debut when she was 12 years old performing in her first ever production of ‘Boxed in’ , from then on she was starring in multiple productions such as ‘Hairspray’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘Fame’, ‘Man of Steel’, ‘The wizard of oz’, ‘Grease’ and the list goes on. Emily’s been dancing & singing since she was 9 years old. Emily has had industry experience since she was 14 years old which has brought her many opportunities to be involved in tv/ films such as offspring, Childhood’s end, The leftovers just to name a few. Apart from all of her adventures on and off the stage she has completed many things such as graduating from the SEDA arts program in 2016, A certificate III in Dance, Theatre and Events, A certificate IV in Community culture and recently graduated from a double diploma of Musical theatre and Music Industry specializing in performance. Emily has been teaching since she was 16 years old by assisting teachers and going on tour with a child entertainment show called ‘Luna and the night dragons’. Emily hopes to inspire and awaken the hearts of children to help their confidence grow and to let them be fearless in the pursuit of what sets there soul on fire.
Stefanie Turner Dance Taecher
Stefanie started training in dance at the age of five and completed ballet exams in the Cecchetti syllabus. In her teenage years, Stefanie was chosen as a ‘Cecchetti Scholar’ and won state awards for her self-choreographed VCE composition solo. Stefanie was accepted into The National Theatre Ballet School full-time course in 2005, before moving on to study at Robert Sturrock’s Industry Dance full-time course in 2006.
Stef has spent the past 11 years working as a professional dancer and musical theatre performer in Australia and around the world. Most recently Stefanie has toured Australia and abroad performing in professional musical theatre.
Some of the shows she’s appeared in include: Singin’ In The Rain, Grease, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Illusionists 2.0, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Showboat. Stefanie also worked as a dancer aboard the Pacific Star Cruise Ship (P&0), and as a soloist and ensemble dancer in Gypsy Moon in Seoul, South Korea.
Stefanie has performed internationally in circus shows in Brazil and Germany, as well as in numerous corporate, TV, and fashion events Australia wide.
Stef has also achieved widespread recognition for her capabilities and contribution to the fitness community, and as a result, now operates as a lead fitness instructor and brand ambassador for Nike.
Most recently Stef has opened her own Pilates, Barre and Yoga studio in St Kilda. Her studio,’Performance Pilates & Yoga’, maintains a strong focus on the strength and conditioning of dancers.
Stef also has a love for choreography and her regular gigs include choreography for Nike events, choreographing and teaching Medi-Bank staff for the annual Sydney Mardi-Gras Parade, and choreographing for charity ‘River’s Gift’ for their annual fundraiser ball.
Throughout her dance career, Stef has continued to work as a dance teacher and absolutely loves sharing her passion for movement with students of all ages.