ABOUT KIM BAKER

Kim Baker 

Director and Principal Classical Teacher 

As a talented young dancer, Kim was selected into a professional training course at age 12. During this time, she trained under various world renowned ballet, character and contemporary teachers, giving her a broad knowledge of the classical technique. Upon completion of her studies she was accepted into the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Diploma of Dance Performance course.

In 1981 Kim accepted a contract with the Kinetikos Dance Theatre, where she danced professionally for 3 years. In 1982 she accepted a teaching position with a local school of ballet developing into one of Perth’s finest teachers of dance. As a teacher Kim studied with Laurel Martyn, founder of Classical Dance Teachers Australia and founding member of the Australian Ballet Company, who examined and accredited Kim with a teaching diploma.

Kim has also studied the RAD syllabus to advanced level, and the Marika Besobrasova and Vaganova methods to advanced levels. She has attended teacher training courses with Madame Marika Besobrasova, Carlos Gacio, Laurel Martyn, Eugence Valukin, Luba Gulyava, Yuri Basilkov, Jane Diamond, Joan Pope and Lubov Nikonorenko. Kim held the position of principal for 15 years with the Terri Charlesworth School of Ballet under the direction of Terri Charlesworth. She is also founder of Tiny Tots Ballet and the Kim Baker Ballet Academy, established 1990.

Many students that have trained under the direction of Kim are now dancing for companies in Australia and around the world.

Diploma in Dance Training, C.D.T.A. Classical Dance Teachers Association Certificate IV in Training and Assessment 

INSTRUCTORS

Our principle teachers regularly attend teacher training sessions to ensure The Academy's curriculum is followed. Professional development days are held regularly. All class content, including exercises is discussed and concerns that have arisen during weekly classes are addressed.

Tahlia Baker 

Diploma of Music Theatre, Diploma of Specialist Makeup Services 

Head of Junior School

Tahlia commenced her ballet training at the age of 2 1/2 years with her mother at Tiny Tots Ballet. At the age of 9 years Tahlia was accepted into a talented and gifted dance program, which included Classical ballet, Character, Contemporary and Repertoire. At 13 years of age Tahlia transferred to Kim Baker Ballet Academy to continue her training, where she reached the advanced levels in the Vaganova method gaining Highly Commended Plus for her final year of training. 

Tahlia is also a talented singer, and has studied singing, jazz dance and hip-hop style and also TEE drama. Tahlia studied music theatre with Ian Westrip O.A.M, a music theatre teacher from WAAPA, and earned a Diploma of Music Theatre. In 2010, Tahlia auditioned for the main character “Tracey” in the hit musical HAIRSPRAY, and was chosen as the Perth finalist for the role. Tahlia was assistant teacher at the KBBA for 3 years, and started teaching for KBBA in 2007. Tahlia has also completed her certificate 1 in childcare, and her love of children is evident in her teaching.

Helen Dwyer 

Theory Teacher and Company Manager

After studying Archaeology, Anthropology, Ancient History and Medieval History at UWA, Helen left to pursue other interests. Helen joined KBBA as the Tiny Tots assistant in 2004. In 2005 when KBBA moved to the Studio, Helen took on the role of Receptionist, and in 2006 became Administration Officer. Due to Helen’s passion for English and Ancient History and University history, it was a natural progression for Helen to take over the theory classes for levels 2 – 6, and become the senior theory teacher. Helen commenced this position in 2009. Helen has a lovely rapport with the students and has provided a challenging and enjoyable theory program for the specialist students at the KBBA.

Helen then went onto study a Bachelor of Arts Management at WAAPA and is now the Company Manager of KBBA. She also manages the front of house and backstage at all performances held throughout the year. We are very fortunate to have such an accomplished teacher working with our students. 

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Floeur Alder

Certificate III Dance 

Contemporary, Classical and Floor Barre

Floeur Alder has an Advanced Diploma in Dance (1988) from the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and a BA in Performing Arts (2003)and in between her studies, she was awarded a Creative Development Fellowship from DCA to study with several of the leading contemporary dance companies in Europe.

In 2004, Floeur attracted two grants from the Australia Council: Foot in the Door grant to work with Leigh Warren and Dancers (where she performed Like No-one is Watching by Toni Ritzi) and later Tasdance; and a Project Workspace Grant to choreograph Rare Earth on her parents, internationally famous dancers, Lucette Aldous and Alan Alder. Rare Earth won the Most Outstanding Achievement in Choreography at the 2006 WA Ausdance Awards. In 2008, Floeur received an Australia Council Skills and Development Grant to film it. During her tenure she was voted Dancer to Watch by Rita Clarke and more recently Australia’s Most interesting Independent Artist in 2018 by Margaret Mercer in the Dance Australia.

 

During her tenure at Tasdance, she was voted Dancer to Watch by Rita Clarke and more recently Australia’s Most interesting Independent Artist in 2018 by Margaret Mercer in the Dance Australia. Floeur is now a dancer with Ochre Dance Company and has performed many works with the Company. Floeur teaches and works on developments at WAAPA and has choreographed for numerous Strut performances. In 2011, Floeur travelled to Europe on a Churchill Fellowship to study at the Paris Opera School, Royal Danish school/company, Perm Ballet Academy in Russia and the Royal Ballet School in London. 

Floeur returned to France in 2016 to work with Robert Bestonso, ex star of the Paris Opera, to create a solo, Don’t Push, which was performed in Angouleme. This performance was filmed by WA film-maker Dawn Jackson and will feature in a documentary film, Pointe, currently in development on Floeur’s life and work.

Throughout her career, she has also taught at WAAPA, Tasdance, Ochre, WA Ballet Company and numerous private full time WA Ballet Schools, and we are very excited to have her join our teaching staff in 2019.
 

Thalia Munyard BA Dance (WAAPA)

Junior and Contemporary Teacher

Thalia was born and raised in Perth and commenced her ballet training at age 3 with the Kim Baker Ballet Academy, where at the age of 9yrs she was accepted into the Specialist Course. Upon her graduation from KBBA in 2016, she gained a position with the National College of Dance in Newcastle, where she gained her Diploma of Dance. In 2017 she continued her training at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she trained for 2 years, gaining her Advanced Diploma and finishing with a Bachelor of Arts (Dance). Over the years Thalia has worked with many esteemed choreographers and teachers including Kim McCarthy, Kim Baker, Jacinta Ross-Elhers, Danielle Hunt, Daniel Roberts and  Sasha Janes to name but a few. In 2019, Thalia was also lucky enough to be a choreographer for the student work season of Unleash at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. We are very excited to have Thalia teaching for us in 2021.

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Jemma Jacobs Ausdance Skillset for Teaching

Junior Teacher (2021 Maternity Leave)

Jemma commenced dancing classes in 1999 and has danced at several different dance schools. She commenced dance training at the Kim Baker Ballet Academy in 2006. Jemma has successfully completed exams in Ballet R.A.D, C.D.T.A. and B.A.L, Jazz, Hip Hop and specialized contemporary. At the age of eleven, she was accepted into the WA Young Entertainers and has competed in dance eisteddfods for eight years. This is where she found her love of choreography and choreographed the majority of her dance solos. Jemma is a talented choreographer and has choreographed contemporary dances and junior ballet for the Kim Baker Ballet Academy performances.

Jemma has completed the Ausdance Skill Set for Teaching Dance in 2010. She commenced her teacher training at the Kim Baker Ballet Academy in 2008 whilst completing her dance teaching studies and is now a qualified junior classical and contemporary teacher.

Jemma’s love and passion for dance is evident in her teaching.

Claudia Haines-Cappeau Certificate III  Dance

Assistant Teacher, Junior Students 

Claudia commenced her dance training at the age of two in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre and acrobats, and commenced a full time ballet programme at the age of 15.

 

Here she studied for three years in ballet, contemporary, Spanish, drama and attained her Certificate II and III in dance. She has been involved in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and many other well-known ballets.

 

Claudia is currently dancing professionally, and dances for corporate events throughout Perth, as well as studying a Bachelor of Communications at University. She has a love for children and a need to share her love of ballet and teaching children ballet is a passion.  Claudia is an assistant teacher for the junior students at Kim Baker Ballet Academy and her love of teaching is evident in her beautiful manner with the children.

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Lauren Kelly Junior Teacher

Undertaking Certificate IV Dance

Lauren has had a passion for dance since she was very young, and at age six began her dance training with Brian Hewi􀆩, ARAD. M.B.B.O. Adv. Dip PDTC. She then con􀆟nued her ballet classes with Kim Baker at the Terri Charlesworth School of Ballet.


Being excep􀆟onally talented she was accepted into the elite full-􀆟me programme at Swanbourne SHS at 12 years of age. Lauren has undertaken classes with many world-renowned teachers including, Joan Pope OAM, Terri Charlesworth CitWA, Luba Nikonorenko from the Kirov ballet and many other leading dance tutors. Her studies encompassed many styles
including Classical Ballet, Character Dance, Contemporary and many theore􀆟cal dance subjects.


During her training in the mid 1990’s Lauren was also selected to perform in many produc􀆟ons including Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and the spectacular Gala performance “Stars of World Ballet” at the Burswood Theatre. She was very fortunate to perform alongside and learn from ballet principals such as Sian Stokes, Steven Heathcote, Jacinta Ross, Alan Alder and Jayne Smeulders.


Lauren’s dance teaching experience spans a varied age group from two to 18 years of age with various ballet schools throughout Perth. Lauren keeps busy with two young children of her own and has also been able to established herself as a very popular and experienced dance teacher over the years. Lauren is beginning her journey with us by commencing her Cer􀆟ficate IV in Dance Teaching through our RTO Empowerdance and Kim Baker Ballet Academy. KBBA are excited and delighted to have Lauren and all of her wonderful experience, passion and dedica􀆟on join our team in 2021.

Tristan Nottle Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy

Senior students Pilates Instructor

Tristan Nottle is the owner at Belara Springs Pilates Studio in Bickley Valley. After many years of ballet training, locally with Anthony McDonald, Shelley Rae and Renate Cumalkovs, and in Sydney Ecole Classique and the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, Tristan danced with a range of companies on the East coast including the NSW Ballet Company and the Australian Opera Ballet. He began teaching Pilates in 1998 after sustaining an extensive injury early in his dance career, but still managed to squeeze in around 80 performances at the Sydney Opera House in that time. He used Pilates to recover from his injury which led to his passion for anatomy and the Pilates technique. He has taught Pilates extensively to select dancers from the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company, and the West Australian Ballet. Focusing from general strength and technique work, to injury management and rehabilitation.


Tristan is very passionate about The Pilates Method, and especially the edge it can give to dancers, strengthening and improving technique and alignment, posture and flexibility. He has been with KBBA since 2012 and we are very fortunate to have him. 

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Pianist and Music Teacher

Gennaro Di Donna 

B Mus (S.Pietro a Majella, Naples and Conservatorio di Musica di Salerno)

Gennaro Di Donna is one of Western Australia’s most accomplished pianists for ballet classes. He currently works full-time for the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) as Music Repetiteur in the Dance Department where his duties include playing for classes, organising other pianists, setting the repertoire, teaching music theory and the relationship between music and dance, and arranging and playing for performances. Gennaro hails from Naples in Italy where he started learning piano at the age of 6. At 15, he entered the Naples
Conservatorium where he studied for 10 years, and graduated with a BA in music in 1990. He then taught music in primary schools for three years, after
which he joined a Mediterranean ship cruise company as Artistic Director. His duties included organising musicians for various bands and arranging the music for shows, which sometimes included ballet and contemporary dance. After seven years of sailing the seven seas and visiting some of the world’s most exotic places, Gennaro decided to change tack and head for Perth, after meeting his future wife Cristina, a dancer and choreographer on the ships, who hailed from WA.In Perth, Gennaro has worked for the West Australian Ballet Company and WAAPA. He has also played for the Australian Ballet School, the New Zealand Ballet and the Australian Company of Performing Arts in Adelaide. He joined WAAPA in 2006 before being appointed to his present position. The Kim Baker Ballet Academy very fortunately had Gennaro join as Pianist in 2014, and each week he plays for the Specialist Students Classical class and teaches music theory for dancers. He also plays for the Kim Baker Ballet Academy Examinations and various functions throughout the year.

ELENA BUEMI 

Pianist

Elena Buemi studied piano from 1984 under Tatiana Paschenko at the Ukrainian Music Academy. From the age of seven Elena started to compose her own compositions winning Regional, State, and National competitons. Elena’s talent as a pianist and composer was applauded with guest performances at concerts and televised events.  Elena went onto win a string of prestigious competitions until the age of nineteen. Her success included two times winner as the “Young Composer” of the National Ukrainian Competition of Composers and the National Piano Competition “Young Virtuoso”. Elena graduated with an Honours Diploma (Bachelor of Music) in 1998 as a Pianist, Teacher of Piano, Concert Master Ensemble and Composer. Elena worked as a school music teacher and lecturer of music theory and history, and as an accompanist for the Ukrainian Theatre of Musical Comedy and Drama. She excelled in teaching with her students going on to winning national competitions. Elena continued her education at Moscow Modern University (2002-2005) and the Ukrainian National University of Internal Affairs (2005-2006) as a Psychologist. She also studied for 7 years Ballroom, Latin dance and art. In 2006 Elena immigrated to Australia. From 2006, she has been playing for RAD, Cecchetti ballet programs, and accompanies WAAPA students. During 2007-2013 Elena worked for the Graduate College of Dance as an accompanist and lecturer of music theory. During 2008-2016 Elena worked as a Music Director, Pianist and Music Theory Lecture at the WA Conservatoire of Classical Ballet. In 2016 Elena worked as a pianist for the project “Opera Unlocked”. She now works as an accompanist for the WAAPA (Dance and Music Theatre Departments); WA Ballet Company; project “VIBE” as a pianist and Music Director; Pevnev Ballet Academy as an accompanist and lecturer of music theory. 

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