Studio of Tap, Jazz & Musical Theatre
Director’s profile and Introduction:
Firstly, thank you for your interest in your child wishing to join my studio.
For those of you who don’t know me I am 54 years of age, married to Murray and we have a 20-year-old daughter, Lara. I have been a teacher in
Dunedin for the past 38 years. In that time, I have taught almost a thousand students, primarily for tap dancing competitions and examinations,
some of whom now run schools of their own or who have moved on to professional performance as a career. I have conducted thirteen Musical
Theatre and Dance Summer schools for children aged 7 to 17 years and directed a number of musicals. Within the industry my students are well
known, and I think it fair to say my work is admired and respected throughout New Zealand. I have had much success at National level and my
students have gone on to dance & sing both professionally here in New Zealand and overseas.
I have also had a long association with musical theatre in Dunedin as a singer, dancer and actress; favourite roles include:
– ‘Velma Kelly’ (Chicago) ‘Nellie’ (South Pacific)
– ‘Nancy’ (Oliver) ‘Rizzo’ (Grease)
– 1994 production of ‘Les Miserables’. ‘Maggie Jones’ (42 nd Street) & Choreographer.
– 2006 “Madame de la Grande Bouche” (The Wardrobe) Beauty and the Beast.
– 2006 ‘Miss Hannigan’ (Annie). 2008 “Dunedin’s Leading Ladies” performing with the Australian singing trio “La Forza”.
– 2010 “Widow Corny” (Oliver).
– 2011 Directed and Choreographed the Lerner and Lowe Classic musical “My Fair Lady” for the Taieri Musical Society
– 2013 “Madame Thenardier” (Les Miserables)
– 2014 I was engaged as a dialogue coach for the Bayfield High School production of “Beauty and the Beast”, in which 3 of my students
took leading roles.
– 2015 Directed & Choreographed the sellout season of “The Sound of Music”, for Taieri Musical Society.
– 2016 Dialogue coach for Bayfield High School’s production of “Footloose”
– 2017 Directed & Co-Choreographed Bayfield High School’s production of “Anything Goes”
– 2018 Directed & Choreographed “Beauty & The Beast” for The South Canterbury Drama League in Timaru, Sept 2018.
– 2019 Director, Choreographer of “Future Stars” Musical Theatre Dunedin. July 2019.
Student Success: My students have a long history of successful competition, but the most memorable include Glenna Cooper PACANZ Runner
up 1992, Emma Hughes PACANZ Runner- up 1998, Georgia Balloch PACANZ Runner-up 2010 and in 2014 Isaac Chirnside winning the New Zealand
Noel Burnett Award in Auckland and $5,000 for this national title. In 2016 Kelland O’Neil placed third in the Noel Burnett, winning $1,000. My
students have also won a large number of New Zealand song and dance awards including Lisa Beer, Georgia Balloch, Shanna Breman-Trewern and
Sheridan Labes, Lara Davidson and Destiny Carvell. Lara Davidson has also won a four-month study scholarship to the Broadway Dance Centre,
New York as well as the NZAMD Musical Theatre Award in 2017.
In 2019 65 students sat an examination with NZAMD. Of these 95% passed with a mark of 95% or above.
Denise Henderson Studio Championship winners at the most recent competitions, November 2019
Restricted Championship under 10 years: Sophie Butson
Restricted Championship 10 years & over: Ella Sutton
Achievers under 12: Olivia Bezett
Achievers over 12: Briar Gager
Juvenile Championship: Lucia Morey
Junior Championship: Amber Dawson
Intermediate Championship: Imogen Morey
Senior Championship: Isabel Woodhouse
Class information for 2020
2020 Start date is Thursday the 11th of February
Monday class 6.30 pm. This class is suitable for Intermediate or High School aged students.
Tuesday class 5 pm. This class is suitable for all primary school aged children from 7 years.
- 6 pm. This class is for children under the age of 12/13 years who additionally do tap competitions.
- 7 pm. This class is for children 12/13 years and who additionally do tap competitions.
- 8 pm. 30-minute tap extension is offered on NZAMD American 6.
All other class times are allocated for private tap, and all time slots are fully booked for 2020.
9.30am Pre-grade Tap beginner class for children 5-7 years.
10 am NZAMD Grade One Original Tap syllabus. Children 7-10 years, children must be 8 by 31 December 2020
to sit the exam.
10.45 am NZAMD American Jazz Grade One. Children who new to Jazz and are aged 7-10 years. You must
be 8 years old by the 31st of December 2020 to sit the exam.
11.30 am NZAMD American Jazz Grade Two. Children who are 10-13 years wanting to start Jazz classes.
12.15 pm Private Jazz time slot for those wanting to do Jazz competitions.
12.45 pm NZAMD American 6. For students who have sat American 5 or have an Intermediate level of tap skill.
NZAMD Original 5.
2.45 pm NZAMD American Tap level 3. This is for students who currently learn tap dancing and would like to add
An American exam class to their repertoire.
3.30 pm NZAMD Grade Two Original Tap syllabus. Children who have sat grade one or are beginners aged
10 years and over.
4.15 pm Private
4.45 pm Adult tap. This class is open to any adult student with a junior level of tap skill or above. This is not
Suitable, however, for someone who has never tapped before. Its recommended that you can ‘slap’
‘shuffle’ and have some basic skills.
- Musical Theatre classes $110 (Wed Tap extension registrations total $130)
- Pre-grade beginner tap $110 per school term
- All other Tap & Jazz classes on Saturday’s are $130 per term.
- Adult tap $70
- Private lessons are charged at private lesson rates.
1. Tap and or jazz shoes : Secondhand shoes are available in my studio. The general cost is around $30 – $50 a pair. We will be having a
new year shoe and costume sale in the dancing studio, so keep a look out for the date of that. Trade me and a variety of Facebook pages
are an excellent option too, so have a look there if you are unsuccessful with my shoe rack. Otherwise new shoes can be purchased from a
variety of retailers. Most Dunedin ones are very expensive and do not stock an extensive range. Talk to me about options if you want to
purchase new shoes.
2. A school exercise book style 1B4 or 5 is preferred (Warwick style, as they don’t fall apart.)
3. USB to take music away to download onto your computer or device.
4. Clothing : Leotards or leggings and T-shirts are required for all tap and jazz classes. Please no baggy sweatpants, dresses, skirts or
any kind or tight non-stretch pants etc.
5. Hair: I prefer if hair is just pulled away from the face.
6. The studio will provide a smoke free environment
7. The studio believes that before children can learn, they have to feel secure, happy, contented and enjoy being at the studio.
8. The studio will provide an environment that promotes equal opportunities for learning, regardless of gender, ability, ethnicity or age.
9. The studio believes that parents and families are a vital part of the Studio. I as the Studio Director, value and support parents wants, input
10. Not all classes are taught by me and at times it may become necessary to employ teachers to work for me in the studio. I undertake to
employ qualified teachers in my absence.
11. Missed lessons: There will be no refunds in the event of illness, unavailability or withdrawal during the term on the part of the student.
There will be no exceptions to this rule. If you are unavailable to attend your lesson for reasons, you will be charged for your lesson time.
Cancelled lessons may occur from time to time on m y part. In this event, lessons will always be credited to your next term account or will be
refunded to you or made up. For private students, you are able to swap your lesson with someone else to avoid paying for missed lessons.
12. Information and matters concerning students and or parents will be kept confidential to the Studio Director.
13. Promptness is requested. If your class begins at 5.30 pm, please arrive five minutes prior, to allow time to dress for the class and begin on
time, please allow time to go to the toilet before we begin.
14. The work that the children will be expected to learn will require a high degree of concentration, so I will expect full attention when classes are
15. Children are asked to bring their own drink bottles as a health precaution.
16. Withdrawal from the classes, at any time, should be made to Denise Henderson directly. In the event that you do withdraw from the class,
midterm, no refund will be paid for lessons not received. Unfortunately missed lessons cannot be made up, or taken at another time, due to
17. Please txt me if you are unable to make your lesson or any reason: 021 296 1924.
18. Practice on the work at home is helpful and encouraged.
19. Parents are welcome to stay and watch the class, however this is not necessary, as sometimes space does not allow this. I do ask that if you
do attend the class you do not talk to other parents, as this is extremely distracting to both the children and me . I request that toddlers
and babies do not attend class. This is a major distraction to other children. Also, older children should be encouraged to
bring things to entertain themselves in the studio. Please also refrain from letting siblings come in and out of the studio, this
too is a huge distraction.
20. Lessons do not occur if they fall on a public holiday. E.g.; Easter, Queens Birthday Weekend etc.
21. As a special request can I ask that when wishing to contact me the best way is via email, or via a TXT message. (021) 2961924. If you need
to contact me by telephone, please make this during the hours of 9.30am to 2.45 pm. I would prefer you do not ring me during the evening
22. Payments: Payments can be made by cash, cheque or by internet banking:
MM & DF Davidson National Bank 060909-0266994-00 (please use child’s name as a reference).