Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another.
Director - Leesa Chaseling - Principal, Orange
Leesa has taught dance for twenty years and been Principal of her own studio network for the last fifteen years. She has trained dancers at all levels in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Hip Hop and enjoys inspiring all students to not only achieve technical proficiency but to understand the importance of enjoying this wonderful art form. Leesa has spent time as a consultant to the Singapore Ballet Company in the instruction of Pilates methodology, dancing professionally and has held nationally renowned workshops throughout Malaysia and Singapore. Leesa was also the first fully licensed Pilates practitioner (Australian Institute of Pilates, Stott Pilates) west of the Blue Mountains. Leesa holds a Bachelor Degree in Training and Development (UNE), Advanced Certificate in Dance (QUT), Advanced Diploma in Management and a Certificate IV in Finance. Leesa was addtionally the creative director of Stepping Out Dance Factory?s team of teachers that competed at the International Dance Gala in Prague achieving an overall second place. Leesa is married to Aaron, together they have two children Phoenix and Ariella.
Director - Rikki Slack-Smith - Principal, Dubbo
Rikki has taught dance for 25 years and been Principal of her own studio for the last fifteen years. She is a qualified secondary teacher (English, Drama, Dance) and has taught at St Johns College for eighteen years. Rikki holds a Diploma of Dance Teaching through the Royal Academy of Dance and has enjoyed extensive and varied experience at dance studios and schools throughout the region. Former pupils have been accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts, Australian Ballet School Interstate Program and are also dancing professionally in ballet companies, productions and cruise ships around the world. Rikki is a dynamic and inspiring dance teacher who believes in a whole person approach to the study of dance. She believes there are no limits to what children can achieve when they are given access to opportunities that promote their confidence and self belief. Rikki is intensely proud of the nurturing culture that exists within Stepping Out and the beautiful people that have risen through its ranks. She is married to David and they have five children, Imogen, Ondine, Cale, Archer and Evie. Her family and her Stepping Out family are her world.
Emma Trudgett - Dance Teacher
Emma is one of Stepping Out Dance Factory's success stories. Trained exclusively by Rikki and Leesa, Emma has risen through the ranks from student to teacher with acclaim and aplomb. Emma always possessed an incredible ability to bring out the best in people and her obvious rapport with children saw her study teaching and gain both a Diploma of Primary Education and a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management. She was a pivotal member of the 2013 team who represented Stepping Out and Australia at the International Dance Festival in Prague. Emma has also been a key member of our two USA Tours in both a performing and teaching/ choreographer capacity. Her teaching and dance credentials allowed her to be a part of the Active After Care Program and she has taught dance to isolated children from 2008- 2013. Emma was featured in Channel Nine's 2013 New Years Eve telecast as one of Australia's "Everyday Heroes" and is the head of our Forbes studio.
Stephanie Sandford - Teacher
Stephanie brings twenty-six years of dance experience and nine years of teaching experience to Stepping Out Dance Factory. As part of Stephanie’s dance experience she has successfully delivered dance programs to a number of students across Sydney and now with in her own business Dance Fuse across Orange and the surrounding areas, to infant and primary schools.
In 2010 she completed her Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management through the Australian Dance Institute, Sydney and in 2015 Stephanie completed her USASF Coach credentials for level 1 cheer stunts and tumbling.
Stephanie has danced professionally and has been involved in numerous overseas dance tours performing and choreographing dance routines for the international dance festival in Prague placing 2nd in Jazz and Hip Hop, Los Angeles Disneyland and California Parks and Mexican Riviera Cruise line. She has recently choreographed and performed at State Level at the Australian All Star Cheer and Dance state Competition in Sydney placing in the top four of the hip hop section.
Stephanie has gained the rewards of intensive training at London’s famous pineapple studios and has taken classes at leading dance institutes around the world including the edge in LA, Hollywood International Dance Academy and Broadway Dance Centre in New York. Stephanie regularly attends classes with Australia's leading choreographers at Sydney Dance Company and DUTI studios in Sydney.
Dimity Bartlett - Teacher
Dimity brings three years of dance teaching experience teamed with her 17 years of dance knowledge to Stepping Out Dance Factory. Dimity’s passion for dance commenced at a young age performing with her dance studio, primary and high school productions and shows, local eisteddfods and School Spectacular. Dimity was a part of the Orange High School Dance Company, Western Region and NSW State Dance ensemble. She also successfully completed her HSC Dance studies in 2014.
In 2012 Dimity was a member of our overseas performance team and professionally performed in a USA dance tour performing at Los Angeles Disneyland, California Parks and Mexican Riviera Cruise line and will do so again in 2017. Dimity holds a number of dance certificates including Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management through the Australian Dance Institute of Sydney, Tapatak Oz qualifications and USACF Coach Credentials for Level 1 and Level 2 Cheer Stunts and Tumbling.
Dimity has been successful in performing at local charity balls and events, eisteddfods and performing and choreographing dance, cheer and pom routines for the Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation competitions where she qualified at a National Level for Cheer in 2016. Dimity will continue to share her dance knowledge with Dance Fuse delivering dance programs to infant and primary schools.
Imogen Slack-Smith - Student Teacher
Imogen Slack-Smith made her first stage debut at the tender age of 7 weeks, cast as Princess Aurora in Dance Unlimited's production of Sleeping Beauty and has been hooked ever since. Immy or as she is excitedly known to a host of Stepping Out's gorgeous students, Miss Immy has grown up in the dance studio and has always considered it her second home. Immy was a featured performer in Stepping Out's 2008 and 2012 USA Dance Tours and still considers leading the Main Street Parade at Disneyland as one of her major life achievements. Imogen commenced as a teacher assistant in 2012 and as a student teacher in 2015. Immy is blessed with a bubbly and infectious personality and is a devoted teacher of her classes. Imogen is a student at St John's College where she is a Peer Support leader and dance Captain of the School's celebrated Band and Colour Guard. Imogen will complete her Higher School Certificate in 2016 and hopes to always have dance as a vital component of her life. Immy plans to study in the areas of Communications and Theatre production when she completes her schooling.
Bella Fisher - Student Student Teacher
Bella commenced her love for dance at three years of age and has ever since proved her dedication to dance by being involved in numerous classes and performances. At age six Bella started solo performances at local dance eisteddfods. She has performed at the Western Region Dance Festival, School Spectaculars and Dance and Cheer competitions with Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation qualifying at a National Level for Cheer in 2016. Bella has been successful performing in local theatre productions with the Orange Theatre Company for the Wizard of Oz and Phantom of the Opera.
In 2012 Bella performed professionally in a USA dance tour performing at Los Angeles Disneyland, California Parks and Mexican Riviera Cruise line and will do so again in 2017. Bella has increased her knowledge of Dance by attending the Western Region Dance Camp, auditioned for the Western Region Dance ensemble, BBO intensive week at McDonald College in Sydney and completed her BBO intermediate foundation exam. In 2016 Bella completed her USACF Coach Credentials for Level 1 Cheer Stunts and Tumbling and is currently studying her Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management through the Australian Dance Institute of Sydney.