MEET THE TEAM
Angela started Pilates over 20 years ago in London and was taught by some of the expert founders of Pilates in the UK. These early experiences, subsequent numerous Pilates courses and her interest in dance and dance science, shape her current teaching practice.
Angela grew up in New Zealand moving to London to attend the Royal Ballet School after winning an AGC Young Achievers Award in 1986. She graduated to the Royal Ballet Company where she sustained a career-threatening back injury and underwent major back surgery. Intensive Pilates enabled her to recover and continue to dance with the Royal Ballet Company for another 4 years. In 1995 Angela returned to New Zealand where she obtained a MA (1st class hons) in psychology from Auckland University. During this time she started teaching Pilates in Auckland. Returning to the UK in 2000, Angela taught Pilates in Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire and furthered her Pilates training with Alan Herdman and Jane Paterson. In 2005 Angela became a certified Polestar Pilates rehabilitation practitioner.
Angela's interests include neuropsychology, elite performance and conditioning for dancers. She has been working intensively with young dancers since 2005 and has two children of her own. She is passionate about enhancing the learning experience for young dancers and is the founder of Movitae (an online learning hub for dance schools).
Steph’s introduction to Pilates was at the age of 13 through her ballet training and she continued to practice Pilates alongside her dance training. After full-time dance training in Melbourne, Steph went on to complete her Diploma in Professional Pilates Instruction through Pilates International.
Steph has had the opportunity to teach a wide variety of clientele in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Areas she has worked in include pre/post natal, elderly, athletes and dancers, specifically while working at Aligned for Life Pilates, worked with dancers from the Australian Ballet School, Victorian College of the Arts, and Australian Conservatoire of Ballet.
After more than five years as the Dance Director of a large Melbourne dance school Jessica Opacic (nee Daniel) returned to New Zealand and is now the sales and marketing manager for Movitae, a New Zealand based dance technology company. She also teaches RAD ballet, and as a dance coach, she is choreographing competition solos.
Jess began her dance training in Auckland where she grew up. She furthered her dance studies in Melbourne and gained a Diploma of Dance Performance. Her performance credits are varied and include a season with Black Grace Dance Company in their 2007 tour of ‘Amata’. As a teacher, Jess has travelled through all states of Australia, and as a choreographer, she has toured Europe and America with the Australian Girls’ Choir, she has also led teacher professional development courses with The Australian School of Performing Arts. Jess holds a certificate 4 in fitness and personal training. In her spare time, she loves to watch live ballet, contemporary and musical theatre productions, participate in dance classes, shop and play with her new kitten Daphne.
Gemma began learning Pilates with Dance Pilates in 2008. She has a background in ballet and contemporary dance and is currently a dance teacher, Pilates instructor and medical student, who is passionate about the role of conditioning in dance.
Gemma was a founding member of One Step Beyond Youth Dance Company where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Katie Burton, Georgie Goater and Zahra Kileen-Chance. She performed in Tempo Dance Festival and with OSB on numerous occasions.
In 2012 Gemma moved to Dunedin to pursue an interest in human physiology where she completed a Bachelor Science in 2014. Gemma continued to practice Pilates and teach ballet whilst in Dunedin and was involved in a variety of dance events including the Dunedin Fringe festival.
Gemma has since returned to Auckland to study a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Auckland.
Claudia has been involved in dance from a young age, mainly training in ballet and jazz and now teaching dance herself. She has performed in several shows and choreographed various dance styles for productions and cultural performances.
Following an injury in the past, Claudia attended Dance Physio which sparked her interest in this field. This lead her to AUT University where she is currently studying Physiotherapy and is passionate about movement and the human body.
Claudia trained and began with Dance Pilates in 2016 where she loves educating dancers about their bodies. She has a strong passion for Pilates and the importance of conditioning and rehabilitation in creating stronger, more resilient dancers.