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 was 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 attend Stepnout and I love being part of the team.
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
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.
Gabby Camerlengo Teacher
Gabby was enrolled in ballet at the age of 4 and branched out to incorporate Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, and Acrobatics into her repertoire. Predominantly training at Galactic Dance & Events Australia in Melton, she has worked with numerous industry professionals, completed RAD, Cecchetti and CSTD exams, competed and placed in several competitions, and now teaches across Melbourne in various styles to students ranging from toddler to adult. Before completing a year of training at The Space Dance and Arts Centre, Gabby studied undergraduate and post graduate psychological studies at the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Majoring in developmental and educational psychology, Gabby utilises a number of psychological theories and practices within her teaching toensure her students learn in the most informative, safe, and beneficial manner available to them.
Breeana Carter Teacher
“The journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step” – For me that step was more of a perfectly executed jete.
My passion not only for dance but also for teaching began in my very first dance class at just 9 years old, I knew dance would be a part of my identity for the rest of my life. From the beginning it was full steam ahead training in various styles such as Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Acrobatics, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.
I have always held this strong motivation within to teach having it be my life goal to be able to pass on my knowledge and skills to help shape the future generations to be the best that they can be. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Education Primary – Year 12, Majoring in Health and Physical Education along with Dance Teaching and Psychology.
Throughout my various years of dance I have attained numerous certificates in many styles of dance through completing my syllabus examinations with many institutions such as A.A.T.B.D, RAD and SFOD I have completed all of my exams with honorary marks. My Industry experience started at the age of 16 where I had the privilege of dancing in various showcases and productions such as Masters of Choreography, Dance Cancer Initiative and I have been featured as a key dancer on The Big Music Show and The annual Moomba Parade.
I combine my passion of teaching with my understanding of the psychological and behavioural process of student learning, along with my many years of experience and technical training to produce elegant, skillful and passionate dancers.
Every time I step into a class room I aspire to be the best teacher I can be. I am beyond excited and can not wait to be part of the Stepnout Teaching team and work with the incredibly talented students to continue shaping their learning journey and watch them develop their passion and love for dance.
Elise Brennan Teacher
“Elise brings with her a vast knowledge of the industry as it evolves and a passion for furthering the love of the arts…”
Elise has experience in performing, teaching and creatively in Music Theatre and Live Music for over 13 years. She began studying dance at age 3 and pursued music, singing and acting studies throughout her school years at Strathmore Secondary College and graduated The Arts Academy with a BA Music Theatre.
Her major music theatre credits include Guys and Dolls, Jersey Boys, Pippin, An Officer & A Gentleman, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Saturday Night Fever and Company. She has also cruised as a guest entertainer vocalist in Rock Rhapsody and The Dream Divas and has spent the last 2 years travelling the world with both Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruise as a cast singer and lead vocalist for numerous bands.
Now home, she pursues her love of choreography, music and mentoring budding artists to achieve their dreams. Merging now in to directing both musically and in acting, as well as launching her new choreographic company, Elise Delia Choreography, she brings with her a vast knowledge of the industry as it evolves and a passion for furthering the love of the arts.
Mishaela Taekema Teacher
“For me dancing is so much more than just performing or moving your body in a structured way it’s about showing a story and learning how to move your body in ways you didn’t know you can and always feeling good coming out of a class whether it’s because you learned something new or felt yourself improve even more than the last class.”
Mishaela has trained at TDC The Dance Company for 7 years and has been in their elite team for 4 years, She has experience in dance competitions and knows it’s not all about winning and competitions are always good bonding time with your friends and making new friends from other dance studios.
Mishaela started her dance journey at the age of 4 starting with jazz then slowly getting into contemporary, lyrical, acrobatics, ballet and hip hop. She’s been in a few shows before such as The Victorian State School Spectacular as a featured dancer in the show.
Fiona Luca Guest Teacher
Fiona has been contributing professionally to the Dance Industry for over 18 years, both as a dancer, choreographer and qualified teacher of dance.
After studying dance full-time, and performing professionally in the industry in various corporate and commercial events, she traveled abroad in her early 20s, where she spent 3 years dancing and choreographing her way through the UK and Europe, including Directing, Producing and Choreographing her own 12 ensemble show in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, teaching Jazz and Tap at full-time institutions in Scotland, and a 9-month contract in Cyprus and Greece as supervisor, choreographer and dance captain for several 5-star hotel resorts.
On returning, Fiona co-founded one of Geelongs most reputable and established studios, Infinite Dance Studios, and took over as sole director in 2010. In mid 2017, Fiona stepped down as Director to focus on her young family and re-establish her freelance career in the industry.
In 2018, Fiona received a Victorian Musical Guild Award and People’s choice award for her choreography in the full musical, 42nd Street and followed on to choreograph Centerstage Geelongs full stage production of Cinderella.
As co-director of Bind Productions, she has showcased 2 original works; ‘Elevate’ and ‘Give.Get.Flow’ with budding pre-professional dancers both locally and in Melbourne.
Of late she has expanded her teachings, being hired as both a choreographer and facilitator of dance to reputable dance institutions all over Victoria and has most recently sat her 200hr Yoga Teacher Training, currently teaching Yoga both in Geelong and Melbourne.
Fiona is extremely passionate about sharing her knowledge and love of dance and Yoga and is especially excited to work closely with the next generation of performers, choreographers and teachers of the performing arts. Her classes are dynamic, diverse, informative and fast-paced, with a strong focus on technical development, performance quality and a strong connection to the body and mind, pushing every dancer to be the ‘best version of themselves’ both inside the studio and out.
Celeste Jamae Teacher
“What I love most about the performing arts is that it’s a universal language. No matter who you are or where you come from, it’s something that provides a way for people to understand each other, through the connection that exists between the art and the audience.”
Celeste started her training in the performing arts at age 3. Over the years she has been trained in acting (for both stage and film), singing, and dancing, learning ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, hip hop and musical theatre. She started student teaching and assisting at the age of 13 under the guidance of Ambrae Jamae who was trained by Gwen Mackey and Gwen McKean, and by age 15, Celeste was teaching her own classes. After becoming a freelance teacher and obtaining extensive credits in the performing arts she specialises in Musical Theatre, Tap, Acting and Vocals. Over the last 6 years Celeste has taught as a freelance dance teacher at schools in Adelaide and Melbourne. In addition to teaching weekly performing arts classes, Celeste facilitated regular school holiday programs in the form of a mini musical as director, choreographer and co- producer. The last 2-3 years have extended Celeste’s role, to the role of a director, producer, choreographer and adjudicator. Celeste has worked as a professional performer for over a decade, starting in Australian films and then including musical theatre and cabaret. She has performed in many community events, concerts, stage plays and musical productions as an independent performer, as well as a member of Raw Company.