Whitney Featherstone established Shore Dance in 2008. She grew up in Palmerston North, training at the Maureen Ax School of Dance in ballet and jazz since the age of 3. In 2006, she moved to Auckland to complete a Bachelor of Dance at AUT University, for which she received the Top Academic Scholar award in 2009. During this time, she also completed her RAD Advanced 2 examination and became a Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher. Whitney has achieved her NZAMD Solo Diploma in both jazz and ballet, and is now a registered NZAMD and AJDA teacher, living with her husband and two children on the North Shore.
Stephanie was born and raised in Auckland learning to dance at various local dance schools. She first trained at a young age in tap dancing before also studying ballet, jazz and contemporary dance styles. She graduated with a Bachelor of Dance from AUT University in 2009, where she also became a Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher. During this time she completed her RAD Advanced 2 Ballet and NZAMD Advanced Jazz exams. She currently lives in West Auckland with her husband and daughter and is looking forward to sharing her passion of dance with her students.
Kezia Crawford was born and raised in Zimbabwe, and it was here, at the age of 3, that her dance journey began. She studied classical ballet, working through the RAD levels and eventually joining the National Ballet of Zimbabwe in their junior programme at the age of 13. She danced with the National Ballet of Zimbabwe for 5 years, in that time making her way up to the senior company, before leaving Zimbabwe in 2005 to move to New Zealand. Here, she completed her RAD Teaching Certificate and Bachelor of Dance at AUT University, graduating as Top scholar in 2007. After completing a one year internship with DANZ, she continued to focus on teaching at Devonport School of Dance, where she had completed her Advanced 2 and teacher training. She has been teaching for Christine Snowball at Devonport School of Dance for the past 10 years, offering classes in both RAD ballet and NZAMD Contemporary. She is really looking forward to joining the Shore Dance family and meeting all the wonderful students she has heard so much about!
Jo started ballet at 4 and tap at age 5. She received Honours in all her examinations. (BBO ballet through to Grade 5 and BBO Tap in all levels including the coveted Solo Seal. Jo competed from the age of 6 in NZ Tap Competitions (for around 10 years) mostly in the lower half of the North Island, She also danced in the Lotto Ads, and performed in 42nd Street whilst living in Wellington. She has worked as a tour leader throughout many countries around the world, and as a Police Officer, however after having her own wee girl, has decided she rejoin the dance scene. She has spent the last few months training and brushing up on the NZAMD American Tap Syllabus, as well as taking relief tap classes at friend’s dance schools. She has a huge passion for tap dancing, especially being able to make so much noise with her feet!! A skill she feels everyone will love!! Dancing is a passion she looks forward to sharing with her own little girl, as well as the students at Shore Dance.
Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Teacher
Born and raised in Auckland, Olivia started dance classes at the age of four, though she was dancing long before that! Olivia has trained in Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap and Contemporary. In 2016 she was awarded her teaching qualification in ISTD Jazz, but has been teaching Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop for many years. Olivia loves teaching even more than she imagined but her biggest passion is musical theatre and performing! She has performed in many plays & musicals around Auckland. Olivia hopes to transfer her passion and enthusiasm to her students.
Ballet and Jazz Teacher
Amber Coates was born and raised in Auckland and started dancing at age 4 at the Deuxberry School of Dance, she moved to Shore Dance to study RAD Classical ballet in 2009. Amber completed all graded RAD Ballet examinations with Distinction. Amber is currently working towards examinations for AJDA Jazz Advanced 1 as well as her Vocational Advanced Levels in Ballet. She started working at Shore Dance in 2017 as an assistant teacher. Now teaching Pre- School Jazz, Pre -School Ballet, Pre-Primary Ballet and Primary Ballet classes. Amber is currently working towards her NZAMD Junior Teaching Certificate and AJDA Junior Teaching Certificate with plans to complete the RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching with the aim of one day teaching a variety of dance genres full-time. Amber hopes to share her passion and love for dance with students at Shore Dance.
Stephanie Axtens was born and raised in Taupo and started ballet at the age of 3. As well as participating in regional and national dance competitions around NZ, Stephanie completed dance examinations to advanced level in AJDA Jazz, NZAMD Contemporary and RAD Ballet. Stephanie first began teaching under the guidance of her childhood teachers, completing her AJDA Junior Teachers Certificate in 2015. At 18, Stephanie moved to New York City to study dance full-time at Peridance Capezio Centre. After completing a 12-Month Independent Study Program in commercial dance, Stephanie returned to NZ to teach at various dance studios across the North Island. During this time, Stephanie prepared students for examinations in NZAMD, AJDA and APDA; choreographed performances for competitions and productions, including choreographing for Rotorua Musical Theatre’s production of ‘Keep The Home Fires Burning.’ In 2019, Stephanie took a dance contract with an entertainment company in Mumbai, India which included music video, live performance and movie work. Currently, Stephanie is studying a Bachelor of Arts through Massey University.
Sam is a qualified AJDA Jazz teacher with a passion for everything jazz! She trained in Hamilton at Jazz Unlimited, where she received the highest exam result in New Zealand (for three consecutive years!) and has been teaching for over 7 years. Sam was the choreographer of the cheerleading squad for the Waikato Chiefs rugby team, IRB World Sevens tournament, Suzuki Cheerleaders at Fieldays and local basketball teams. Her commercial experience will be a great asset to her students’ performance, which also includes choreography for TV and film, stage shows and many live events. After living overseas for the past five years, she’s now settled back into Auckland with her little dog, Hank - and is excited to share her love of jazz.
Claire Esterman has been dancing since she was a child. She trained in Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary dance from a young age. Claire's childhood dance studio provided a place for her to experience the joys of movement and music. It gave her a sense of community and many beautiful friendships. She gained her RAD Advanced two with distinction and her NZAMD Jazz and Contemporary solo seal. Claire attended the New Zealand school of Dance in Wellington as a Contemporary Dance major in 2013. Since then her main māhi has been as a Speech-language therapist. However, she has continued to participate in the dance scene in Auckland as a dance teacher, performer and dance film-maker. Claire's dance films have been screened in galleries across New zealand and Europe and she was recently a featured artist with TEMPO (New Zealand's dance festival). Claire taught at Shore Dance during her university studies and has missed the wonderful people here!. She is excited to join the team again and meet her students.
Teagan is happy to be back in New Zealand after spending the last two years in Melbourne. During this time she trained full time in Contemporary at Transit Dance, completing a Diploma of Elite Dance Performance and Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management. Upon graduating she also received a special award for Diligence and Dedication. Before training in Melbourne, she spent a short time dancing in Los Angeles and New York on a Scholarship from She Shines On after winning the overall soloist award at the national competition Dance NZ Made in 2017. Teagan completed exams at the highest level in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop in the Theatrical Dance International Syllabus in Tauranga, and her choreography for the high school dance competition Stage Challenge also placed 2nd nationally in 2016. Dance Teaching is a passion of hers and she is very happy to join the team at Shore Dance.