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Meet the Team: TeamMember



Dance and dance education is Tanya’s great passion, with over 30 years of teaching experience she welcomes you to join her dance family. 

Tanya's greatest strength is her kindness and commitment to supporting every student in a nurturing and culturally safe environment.  Her goal is that every student develops a love of dance and gains confidence to perform on stage.

Qualifications include:

•     Bachelor of Education - Secondary (Melb)

•     Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

•     TAAD Diploma of Teaching Jazz (Honours)

•     TAAD Diploma of Teaching Tap (Honours)

•     Member - State Dance Association (SDA)

•     Examiner - State Dance Association (SDA)


Other professional development:

Aboriginal Cultural Safety (22/09/2023)

Child Safe Standards (15/06/2022)

Anna Abate.JPG


Contemporary & Classical Ballet

  • Certificate IV in Dance and Diploma of Musical Theatre, 2017-2019

  • Scholarship with Broadway Dance Centre, New York City, 2020


Anna started dancing at the age of 9, completed all Jazz and Classical Ballet Southern Federation of Dance (SFD) examinations and started teaching all styles in 2015.

To further her dance training and career, Anna studied dance full time at Spectrum Studios.  She graduated with a Certificate IV in Dance and Diploma of Musical Theatre. After graduating, Anna was offered a scholarship to train at Broadway Dance Centre in New York City for 4 months.

Anna is trained in Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Commercial, Musical Theatre, Ballet and Partnering;  has taught various dance styles at a range of schools.


Anna's credits include The Palms at Crown Casino, Australian Dance Festival Choreographers assistant, Corporate events, Showtime Attractions, Carda music video and continually works for Spectrum Talent Agency.

Anna is very excited to be a part of the team at the Tanya James School of Dance!

Teacher_Alanna VanDijk.png


Acrobatics, Classical Ballet and Contemporary

​Alanna started Calisthenics at 2 years of age.  Some her highlights include:

  • Winning 5 gold medals and the highest scorer award at the 2019 Commonwealth Cup Dance Championships (CCDC) held in South Africa

  • Member of 2015, 2018, 2020 and 2023 Calisthenics Victorian State Team (through audition process)

  • Performer in “This is Calisthenics” TV program aired in 2020 on Channel 7TWO, showcasing the athleticism & artistry of Cali performers. Alanna was in the final top 5 solos in the whole state. What a massive achievement.
    You can watch Alanna’s 'Bird Set Free' solo here:


Alanna has a Victorian Calisthenic Coach qualification and has been coaching teams and solos at Blackburn Calisthenics Club for over 4 years and ballet classes and multiple workshops at various dance schools.

To further her technical classical ballet training, last year Alanna completed a year of studying contemporary dance and ballet at Transit Dance, and this year she is undertaking the one year intensive, Pre-Professional Year Program with the Victorian State Ballet.

Alanna is very excited to join the team in 2023, at the Tanya James School of Dance!



Jazz, Lyrical and Tap

  • Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management

Jodie has extensive dance training in Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Hip Hop, Funk and Classical Ballet.

Jodie also has experience teaching and choreographing for Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Funk, Hip Hop and Ballet groups and preparing students for State Dance Association (SDA) and Southern Federation of Dance (SFD) exams in Jazz and exams in Jazz and Tap.

Jodie is also an examiner for the Southern Federation of Dance (SFD).

Ash Kempster.JPG

Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop

  • Certificate IV in Dance 

  • Dance Teaching and Management qualification 


Ashleigh took her first ballet class at the age of three.  Since then she has studied various styles including Hip Hop, Jazz, Pointe, Contemporary, Tap, Commercial and more and taught all genres too.

She began her journey in the professional industry in 2016, where she performed at the Prime Minister's Olympic Team Dinner. Following this, Ashleigh has performed at many other events such as the Australian Open, multiple shows at Crown Casino and was a cheerleader for the South East Melbourne Phoenix NBL team. 

Ashleigh has had the opportunity to travel overseas on more than one occasion, to compete in International Hip Hop competitions, where she and her team placed top 3 in the world.

In 2019 Ashleigh furthered her training by attending Kelly Aykers Full Time Dance and obtaining Certificate IV in Dance. Ashleigh is now in her final year of study for Certificate IV Dance Teaching and Management. 

Ashleigh is very excited to be involved with the Tanya James School of Dance Team! 

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