ABOUT KIM BAKER
Diploma in Dance Training, C.D.T.A. Classical Dance Teachers Association Certiﬁcate IV in Training and Assessment
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.
MEET OUR TEAM!
Our 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.
Level 1 Certification in Progressing Ballet Technique
Diploma of Music Theatre, Diploma of Specialist Makeup Services
Head of Junior School, PBT Teacher
Tahlia Baker was born in Perth and commenced ballet training at 2 years old with her mother at Tiny Tots Ballet. At the age of 9 years Tahlia was accepted into a talented and gifted ballet program, which included Classical ballet, Character, Contemporary, Repertoire and Performance. At 13 years of age Tahlia transferred to Kim Baker Ballet Academy to continue her training, where she reached advanced levels in the Vaganova Ballet method and passed with Honours.
Tahlia is also passionate about singing and in 2006 earned a Diploma of Music Theatre. In 2010, Tahlia auditioned for the main character in the hit musical HAIRSPRAY and was chosen as the Perth finalist for the lead role to tour Australia.
Tahlia has completed her Certificate I in Childcare, and her love of children is evident in her teaching.
Tahlia is passionate about her teaching and educating the next generation of dancers with confidence and loves to help her students reach their full potential.
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.
Floeur Alder BA Performing Arts, Advanced Diploma 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.
Jacinta Ehlers Cert IV Training & Assessing
Senior Classical Teacher
Jacinta Ehlers was born in Perth and trained here under the directorship of Terri Charlesworth. She continued her full-time ballet training at 15 years of age on scholarship at the Academie de Danse Classique Princess Grace in Monte Carlo.
Jacinta was in her 3rd year at the school in 1991 where she won a cash prize at the prestigious ballet competition the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland.
Jacinta was accepted into the Bern Ballet Company, Switzerland at 18 years of age, and danced solo and Principal roles with the company for 3 years before continuing her career with Basel Ballet Switzerland for another year. She returned home to Perth to join the West Australian Ballet Company in 1995. Jacinta danced solo and Principal roles with the company for 11 years before retiring to have a family.
Since retiring Jacinta has worked as a Lecturer with the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts for 10 years, along with guest teaching and adjudicating at competitions for many schools throughout Perth. Jacinta has her Certificate IV in Training and Assessing TAE40116.
Jacinta is extremely excited to work with the Full-time dance students at the Kim Baker Ballet Academy in 2022.
Full-Time Classical Teacher
Born in Sydney, Melissa trained at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy before being accepted into The Australian Ballet School. Receiving regular accolades during her time at the ABS, Melissa was later offered a position in The Australian Ballet upon her graduation.
Recognising the need to gain experience abroad, and to satisfy her urge to travel , Mel headed west to West Australian Ballet, before accepting a position with Alberta Ballet Company in Canada.
Since returning to West Australian Ballet in 2012 Mel has performed Principal and Soloist roles in a variety of productions, as well as choreographing for the company and individuals.
Mel’s stand out roles include Olga in John Crankos Onegin, Snow White in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, Swanhilda in Coppelia, David Nixon’s The Great Gatsby as Myrtle, for which she was nominated for a Helpmann Award & Lucy in Krzysztof Pastors award winning Dracula.
Mel was featured in Dance Australia as ‘The Most Outstanding Dancer Award’ and Dancer to watch for her role as Myrtle and Lucy. Melissa was also a Bloch Artiste and works closely with the world leading dance brand recently doing a photoshoot in Sydney with her baby daughter Vivienne.
David Prudham BA Performing Arts, Diploma of Dance
Senior Classical Teacher
David Prudham began dancing at age five in Sydney at the Saill Academy of Dance. His performance career within the Arts began early performing from age nine. At 15 David was accepted into the Australian Ballet School graduating with Distinction, before entering the Australian Ballet Company at 18, touring extensively throughout Australia and the World with the renowned Australian Ballet Company, Sydney Dance Company, Chrissie Parrot Dance Collective, Australian Choreographic Ensemble and as Founder and Artstic Director of the Australian Dancers Company. David has owned and operated various businesses within both the profit and not for profit sectors including; the Australian arts industry, the Australian fashion industry, and as a peak performance motivational Life Coach within the health & wellbeing industry. David is also a certified (Cert IV) life coach, has a Diploma in Dance, and a Bachelor in Performing Arts to name a few. David has taught for many prestigious schools in WA, including senior lecturer and teacher at WAAPA, and in 2022, David continues his artistic journey with the passion and experience gained from a life time of work within the Arts. We are extremely excited and proud to have such a prestigious and experienced professional teacher such as David join the teaching faculty at KBBA in 2022.
Lauren Kelly 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 Hewiti, ARAD. M.B.B.O. Adv. Dip PDTC. She then continued her ballet classes with Kim Baker at the Terri Charlesworth School of Ballet.
Being exceptionally talented she was accepted into the elite full-time 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 theoretical dance subjects.
During her training in the mid 1990’s Lauren was also selected to perform in many productions 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 Certificate 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 dedication join our team in 2021.
Junior and Contemporary Teacher
Thalia Munyard BA Dance (WAAPA)
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 2022.
Tristan Nottle Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, Certification in Level 1 Progressing Ballet Technique
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.
Senior Classical Teacher
Jordhan Gault Diploma Dance, Bachelor of Arts Dance
Jordhan commenced dancing at the age of two with the Kim Baker Ballet Academy.
In 2015 she continued her training at the National College of Dance where she obtained her Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance). In 2016 she continued her training at WAAPA where she trained under some of Australia’s leading dancers including Kim McCarthy, Sue Peacock, Nanette Hassell, Justin Rutzou, Jacinta Ross Elhers, Jayne Smoulders and many others. After graduating from WAAPA with a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) Jordhan took a gap year to pursue her passion for teaching.
In 2020 Jordhan moved to Melbourne to continue her professional dancing career with the Victorian State Ballet Company where she remained for 3 years. Whilst with the company she toured throughout Victoria and Tasmania, performing in many of the well-known ballets. Highlights of her career were performing in The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Anastasia, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker.
Jordhan and KBBA are very excited to have her return to her roots and pass on her knowledge and professional experience to the next generation of KBBA dancers.
Liam White Bachelor & Master of Arts
Full Time Classical Teacher
Liam commenced his training with Tanya Pearson’s Classical Coaching Academy in Sydney & then gained a full scholarship for ballet at the McDonald College in
He continued to study & gained a Bachelor & Master of Arts at the university of
Mannheim in Germany. He also trained with Staatliche Balletschule Berlin &
Akademie des Tanzes Mannheim Germany.
Liam has danced professionally with Badisches Staatstheatre Karlsruhe, and a
Soloist Dancer at Theatre Magdeburg in Germany.
He has also been a guest soloist dancer at the Columbian National Ballet.
We are very excited to have Liam join our KBBA faculty in 2023.
Gennaro Di Donna B Mus (S.Pietro a Majella, Naples and Conservatorio di Musica di Salerno)
Pianist and Music Teacher
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 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.