Speaker and Workshop Presenter Programme

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Guest Presenters, Teachers and Dance Instructors


Kate Meade is passionate about dance and the Australian dance industry and will once again join Come Together Dance Convention as the MC and will also be one of our guest speakers!

She is the Founder of the Victorian Dance Festival, breakfast host of the Networked programme, the Morning Rush with ACE Radio Network, mother and wife.

Kate has worked as project manager for The Australian Teachers of Dancing, the Victorian Regional Development Officer for AusDance Victoria and has owned her own dance studio – Kate’s Dance House, in South West Victoria for eight years.  She teaches dance with the All Abilities Dance Group Let’s Dance which she founded over 10 years ago. Let’s Dance provides an opportunity for people with disabilities the opportunities to learn and perform.

Kate has a Masters in Media and Communications and certificates in project management, strategic management and marketing.



We are excited to announce that our international keynote speaker for Come Together Dance Convention 2019 is Tricia Gomez, Global Director of Rhythm Works Integrative Dance and creator of the popular Hip Hop In a Box.

Rhythm Works Integrative Dance is a clinical hip hop dance programme for children with special needs, including autism, Down Syndrome, sensory processing disorders, and other individual learning differences. Tricia is blazing a new path of opportunity for these students by educating dance teachers on all aspects of becoming an inclusive studio. The focus of Tricia and her team is to certify dance teachers, special education teachers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, and others and provide them with the tools necessary to implement a purposeful and impactful dance programme.

Her unwavering dedication to education and unique teaching methods have seen her appear on the Dr. Phil Show as their dance expert, and the USA TV show Dance Revolution as the lead judge.  Tricia’s choreography credits include: Saved By the Bell, the Laker Girls, The Clipper’s Spirit Dance Team and ABC’s Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade as the head choreographer for Dance the Magic! She is now a consultant for the Disney Performing Arts Programme where she has the honour of working with dancers from around the world.

Tricia is considered a pioneer in the pre-school and elementary hip hop field, often daring to go where others thought impossible. Her philosophy on teaching children hip hop has made her the subject of countless articles in dance and fitness magazines across the US and Canada.

At Come Together Dance Convention, Tricia will be speaking on two topics.

Topic 1: Kids That Make You Go Hmmmmmm

We all have kids in class who seem to have undisclosed or undiagnosed challenges and your best tried and true strategies just aren’t working. We also know that being a dance teacher goes well beyond teaching technique and choreography.

During this session we will learn how factors such as executive function (our ability to organise tasks, focus, control our emotions, react appropriately or remember choreography) could explain why a student is struggling in certain areas.  You will walk away with answered questions and a set of tools that you will be able to immediately implement into class to support a variety of students.

Topic 2: The Art of Performing

 What does it mean to perform? During this inspiring and energetic class, we will break down the idea of “performing” into smaller pieces and build a magical performance experience that is fit for Disneyland!


The Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor Certification workshop is coming to Australia and you won’t want to miss it! Rhythm Works Integrative Dance is a ground breaking programme that uses rhythm and dance to benefit development.

Highlights include: working with challenging behaviours, understanding physical and cognitive disabilities, creating a sensory friendly learning environment, using rhythm and dance to re-wire the brain, creating developmentally appropriate choreography, using dance as a modality to assist in achieving therapeutic goals and so much more!

If you would like to receive a SPECTACULAR discount to this workshop, then register for the Come Together Dance Convention.  Your investment for this workshop will be $450 USD for individuals or $350 USD for groups of two or more from the same facility. That’s a saving of between $219-$319 USD!

Your discount coupon will be available once you register for the Come Together Dance Convention.

 “When I started working with students who had special needs, I thought I had everything I needed,’ said Tricia.  “A big heart and a desire to make a difference.”

“However, in reality, I felt afraid, inadequate and believed I lacked the ability to be truly effective. Everything changed when I started educating myself and putting that knowledge to use in my work.”

If you work with students who have physical, intellectual or social disabilities, are struggling with difficult behaviour or you are feeling burnt out and looking for something more fulfilling, then this course is for you!

“I’m thrilled to be able to transfer that knowledge to you during the Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor Certification! I have no doubt you’ll leave the training with the tools and confidence to work more effectively with ALL of your students and clients,” Tricia said.

Due to space restrictions, we only have 30 spaces available at each location, so please book your place with no delay!

The workshop will be held on:

• 4 July – Transit Dance, Melbourne
• 8 July – Silhouette Dance and Cheer Waterford (near Brisbane) (straight after Come Together Dance Convention)

Hybrid courses consist of nine hours of online learning prior to the one-day in-person workshop!

Register here for the workshop and receive your discount to CTDC

Go beyond what you know and discover points of view you’ve never imagined!

Come to learn about teaching students with differential needs. Leave a better teacher for ALL of your students.


JANE GRECH – Guest Presenter

Guided by her passion for dance education, Jane Grech is a writer, speaker and sought after thought leader. Jane embraces opportunities to educate, encourage and empower students, teachers and studio owners to lead significant and fulfilling lives. A passionate campaigner for cultivating a joy filled life, Jane runs her company ‘JG Creative’ with her husband, Brian. Together they have three children, Alana, Caitlin and Liam.

Topic: “A Successful Business Starts with You”

It’s no secret that dance teachers and studio owners love a good costume change, however constantly switching hats can be nothing short of exhausting.

With so many moving parts to consider, Jane will explore three essential ‘hats’ for positive and effective studio leadership – leading self, leading others and leading the business.


PAUL MALEK – Guest Presenter

Paul Malek is the Artistic Director of Australian Arts Organisation, Transit Dance which harbours a plethora of contemporary dance and performing arts platforms such as Transit Dance Company, Youth Component Origins Dance Company, Post-Graduate and Vocational level courses in Contemporary Dance and the Performing Arts, Youth training pathways such as Transit Origins Academy (a high school alternative for aspiring performing artists), Transit Origins Foundation and Extension programs for Contemporary Dance, Classical Ballet and the Performing Arts and a plethora of events and productions throughout a calendar year.

Actively engaged in the Australian dance community, Malek is currently the President of the Board of Directors for the Australian Teachers of Dancing International, is the former Artistic Director of The Victorian Dance Festival, and an active board member of Transit Dance Initiative. He is also a much loved MC, hosting a plethora of events such as but not limited to, The Victorian Dance Convention, Come Together Dance Convention, Underground, Dance Chat Live, and Immersed Dance Industry Night.

An inspirational speaker and motivator, Paul has spoken at many dance festivals and conventions, and also hosts empowering workshops at various companies, dance schools, high schools and primary schools across Australia.

Topic: “A Successful Business Starts with You”

A strong passion for education and sustainability in the arts, Paul Malek is dedicated to providing the necessary ground work for a sustainable and prosperous future for the Arts Landscape of Australia.


MARK PACE – Guest Presenter and Dance Instructor

Mark Pace has over 30 years of dancing, teaching and guesting experience in various international ballet companies, school settings and has spoken at various conferences.

He is a professional dancer and dance academic, currently teaching with the University of Edinburgh (UoE) as a Teaching Fellow on the programme MSc in Dance Science and Education. He is currently in his second year as a PhD student with the UoE and holds a Masters in Dance Science and Education with Distinction (UoE), a BA (Hons) in Dance Education (University of Surrey), the State Dance Diploma (DE) and Certificate of Aptitude (CA) from France and a Diploma for Dance Teaching and Management (ATOD).

Originally from Australia, Mark began as a student with Julie Ryan, later studying under Gailene Stock and Gary Norman. At the age of 16, he was accepted into the Australian Ballet School where after only one year joined the Australian Ballet under the direction of Maina Gielgud where he reached the rank of soloist by the age of 21. Later awarded a grant to study at The Paris Opera School, Mark performed internationally with the Australian Ballet (Melbourne) later joining Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Bayerisches Staatsballett, and finishing his career with the Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin.

Other dance projects include international guesting, coaching, creating and assisting choreographers with ballet companies such as the Paris Opera, Shanghai Ballet, Central Ballet of China, National Ballet of Vietnam, among others.

As a pedagogue, Mark’s work includes many educational roles, teaching dance in vocational and non-vocational school settings and higher education. He has also taught primary and secondary schools students in France and Australia creative movement and choreography by developing a practice that employs links to the industry and brings the importance of theory into practice.

Mark is currently one of the leading advisers revising the classical ballet syllabus for the Australian Teachers of Dancing (ATOD) and has sat on various juries for dance including Diplome d’Etat and EAT in France. He has also been a member of various funding commissions including the Commission Interregional for Dance and the Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin.

Topic: “Talent Development – How to Develop it in the Studio”

Photo credit: J.L Tanghe


SALLY HARRISON – Guest Presenter

Sally is the senior Physiotherapist for dancers at Perfectformphysiotherapy in Sydney. She is also the creator of Strength4dance; a strength training and education platform for the dance community.

Following a sudden retirement from her professional dance career due to knee surgery, Sally commenced her journey in physiotherapy and exercise rehabilitation in 2002. It was at this time that she qualified in Pilates and personal training and realised the immense benefits from this form of exercise training.

Sally combines her continuing love of functional exercise rehabilitation, fitness and physiotherapy knowledge to provide innovative and results driven sessions both in clinic and in her workshops.   She is also an ongoing contributor for Dance Life magazine and presents at many of the full time dance schools in Sydney with her workshop ‘Your Body, Your Tool, Your Career’.

She launched her YouTube channel strength4dance  in 2018 which  has everything the dancer needs to improve flexibility safely, strengthen and train the body. Her mission is to see safe and effective strength training programmes available to all dancers of all genres both in the studio and at home.

Topic: “The Role of a Strength Training Programme for the Dancer – Why, What and How”

Sally is very passionate about educating the dance community on safe dance practices and injury prevention and on how to create a strong and flexible body for a lifetime of dance.


MARK WILSON – Guest Presenter

Mark Wilson commenced his career as a professional Australian Ballroom and Latin dancer and has been crowned Australian Dancesport Champion on five occasions – four times in New Vogue and once in Modern.

He has competed throughout the UK, Europe and Japan and has twice came fifteenth in the World Dancesport Championship finals – in Blackpool and Tokyo.

Mark has also appeared in the popular ABC TV show That’s Dancin’, winning the professional series.

In the DanceSport world, Mark is well-respected as a senior teacher and coach to competitive dancers, a developer and organiser of school programmes in Victoria for over 15 years, dancing instructor and MC for social dancers;, dancing trainer for ACHPA Victoria and accredited adjudicator and commentator.

He is frequently recognised for being a judge on Channel 7’s reality TV show “Dancing with the Stars”.

His career has spanned a wide variety of entertainment experiences including TV and radio appearances, presenter at major public events, Master of Ceremonies and as a public and motivational speaker.

Topic: “Asking the Powerful Questions to Bring Pupils to a Boundary of Change”

Our boundaries are where our change comes from and is where the tentacles of the past hold on to us. Some teachers are reticent to go there – to that place where you know the pupil may not go past. Asking the questions to allow the pupil to move ahead is scary for teacher and pupil. Let’s start by asking – What am I scared to do in front of others?


Guest Presenter

Tim Buckley is a dance and acrobatic physiotherapist from Melbourne, Australia.  He has worked exclusively with elite ballet dancers, circus artists and orchestral musicians during his 13 year career and has spoken twice at IADMS conferences in Australia and the USA.

Tim was one of two full time physios with The Australian Ballet from 2006 – 2008 and toured Australia, China, England and France. He joined Cirque du Soleil in 2009 and toured Japan, South America and North America with ‘Corteo’ and ‘Quidam’, before settling in Montréal to work at Cirque’s international headquarters as the Supervisor of Performance Medicine. Tim then toured again as the Head Physiotherapist on Cirque du Soleil’s production, ‘Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities’ in 2014-15.

Now based in Montreal, Canada, Tim splits his time as a fly-in Head Physiotherapist on Cirque du Soleil’s global touring shows and headquarters, and as the Australia / New Zealand Division Manager of acrobatic syllabus powerhouse, Acrobatic Arts.

Tim also co-founded the first North American dance competition to offer an Aerial Acrobatics category, Move With The Beat.

Topic: “Bridge Safety in Dance”

Tim, will explore the ‘bridge’; a commonly used foundational skill in acrobatics, gymnastics and dance. Bridge bio-mechanics, strength, flexibility and technique progressions aimed at dancer safety will be discussed.


NEALE WHITTAKER – Guest Presenter

Neale, as a young dancer, was trained in all styles of dance, from Contemporary to Classical Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap and Jazz. His extensive knowledge and experience covers many styles and genres of dance, and he has a great love of Musical Theatre.

While completing his full-time dance training at Ev and Bow in 2008, Neale began to develop his own unique brand of movement, fusing Contemporary and Hip-Hop, two styles he enjoys performing. This unique style led him to the top 40 competitors of the hit TV show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ in 2010, a programme for which he had been assisting Sarah Boulter with since 2008.

His TV credits continued when he was cast in the ABC3 TV series Dance Academy and again in Australia’s Got Talent as a semi-finalist in 2012 and 2016.

In 2011 Neale toured throughout Australia with contemporary a based show ‘Shorter and Sweeter Dance’ gaining performance experience and insight from noted Australian choreographers such as Travers Ross, who Neale collaborated with later in 2012 for the ARIAs, co-choreographing and dancing in a routine for artist ‘360’.

In 2014 and returning on scholarship in 2015 Neale attended Urban Dance Camp in Germany with the most prestigious choreographers in the world. He then taught a series of Hip-Hop and Contemporary open classes in Europe.

Neale’s talent for Hip-Hop led him to become Co-Director and Manager of  ‘Phly Crew’, Sydney’s leading comedy Hip-Hop group, performing independently produced variety stage shows and corporate events for companies including Nikon, Telstra, Blackberry, Beyond Blue and Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Topic: “Teaching Boys”


AMY LEHPAMER – Guest Presenter

Amy Lehpamer is currently playing Principal, Rosalie Mullins in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock, commencing at QPAC on 12 July.

With numerous award nominations and a Best Actress award already under her belt, Amy has enjoyed enormous success across the industry.

She has played in a diverse range of leading roles, recently appearing in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical playing songwriter Cynthia Weil. She has also appeared as:  Dusty Springfield in Dusty (The Production Company), for which she received a Helpmann Award nomination: Best Actress in a Musical; Maria in The Sound of Music (Gordon Frost Organisation), Sydney Theatre Award winner; Best Leading Actress in a Musical, and also a Helpmann Award nomination; Best Actress in a Musical; Tracy Lord in High Society (Hayes Theatre Company); Janet in the encore seasons of The Rocky Horror Show (Gordon Frost Organisation), Reza in Once (Gordon Frost Organisation)Helpmann Award nomination: Best Supporting Actress in a Musical;  Christine Colgate in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Sydney Theatre award nomination: Best Actress in a Musical; Sherrie in Rock of Ages (Helpmann and Green Room nominations), Margaret in Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert.  Amy was part of the original cast of Shane Warne – the Musical.  

Amy’s TV credits include: UtopiaMollyThe Time of Our LivesWinners and Losers, House Husbands, and HBO mini-series The Pacific. Amy featured in Vis-à-Vis, winner Best Short Film 2014 British Independent Film Festival. She is co-creator and star of the musical comedy web series Donnatelegrams (ABC/Screen Australia).

Topic: “The Audition Process – How to Break into the Industry”


DANIELLE LENNON – Guest Presenter

Danielle Lennon is the CEO of Lennon Circus and Entertainment Pty Ltd and also The Studio of Performing Arts – Springfield. As a Mum of four (now adults), she has a staff of 12 and a studio of over 300 students.

The Studio – Springfield operates seven days a week, for 50 weeks a year and is the only dance school in Australia which is a registered provider of Outside School Hours Care through the Australian government. With over 25 years dance teaching experience, over 12 years working as a school teacher and five years running an OSHC service, Danielle has a passion for education.  She can still be found on the floor of Studio 1, inspiring her students’ love of classical ballet and jazz at least four nights a week.

Danielle holds a Bachelor of Arts (Literature), Diploma of Education (secondary education), Diploma of Dance Teaching and Management, Certificate IV Training and Assessment and is an affiliate teacher with ATOD.

Topic: “How to Protect Yourself and Your Business in the Dance Education Industry”

In a non-regulated industry, how do we protect ourselves and our business for the benefit of our clients, in moments of conflict (and still love what we do?!) Whether you are the sole trader or have a large staff, you will walk away with the following “take home” messages – How to identify, manage and resolve conflict in your studio, the five essential resources you need to apply today to protect yourself and your studio.


STACEY MORGAN – Guest Presenter

Stacey Morgan is a passionate dance educator and the Principal of Port Macquarie Performing Arts. Prior to opening PMPA, Stacey was teaching for the Royal New Zealand Ballet assuming the role of Education Manager, facilitating a nation wide education programme for dance. Prior to this, Stacey danced professionally overseas and in Australian productions of musicals including Grease, Gypsy and 42nd Street. In 2004 she graduated university with a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Dance and a Bachelor of Education in Drama from the Queensland University of Technology and since then has gone on to study her Masters in Arts Education through Deakin University majoring in Dance teaching. Her studio, Port Macquarie Performing Arts has a strong studio culture based on their mission of empowering the next generation of young people to be active leaders and contributors to their community. Stacey is proud mum to Lucinda (6), Patrick (3) and Henry (1). In her ‘spare time’, Stacey is the Director of Morgan Media, a network that produces podcasts such as Ask a Dancer, Miss Bossy Boots and the DanceLife Podcast which she co-hosts with Rhee Gold.

Topic: “Look at Me! Look at Me!

Tired of watching as yet another studio opens up around the corner from you. Want to stand out? Looking for a little WOW factor for your customers? Let’s talk about 10 things you can do today and 10 things you can do in the next 12 months to help your studio stand out from the crowd.



Saturday 6th July 2019

8.30 am – 9.00 am Welcome Kate Meade
9.00 am – 10.30 am Kids that Make You Go Hmmmmmmm? Tricia Gomez
10.30 am – 10.45 am Morning Tea
10.45 am – 11.30 am Bridge Safety in Dance Tim Buckley
11.30 am – 12.00 pm Meet the Exhibitors
12.00 pm – 1.00 pm Lunch
1.00 pm – 1.45 pm The Role of a Strength Training Programme for the Dancer – Why, What and How Sally Harrison
1.50 pm – 2.50 pm A Successful Business Starts with You Paul Malek
2.50 pm – 3.15 pm Afternoon Tea and Networking
3.15 pm – 4.00 pm The Panel - Ask the Experts Kate Meade and Guest Presenters
4.00 pm – 5.15 pm Hip Hop Practical Teacher Workshop Neale Whittaker
Ballet Practical Teacher and Student Workshop Mark Pace


Sunday 7th July 2019

8.30 am – 8.45 am Welcome Kate Meade
8.45 am – 9.15 am The Audition Process – How to Break into the Industry Amy Lehpamer
9.15 am – 10.15 am The Art of Performing Tricia Gomez
10.15 am – 10.30 am Morning Tea
10.30 am – 11.15 pm Talent Development – How to Develop it in the Studio Mark Pace
11.20 am – 12.05pm Teaching Boys Neale Whittaker
12.10 pm – 12.55 pm Look at Me! Look at Me! Stacey Morgan
12.55 pm – 1.40 pm Lunch
1.40 pm – 2.25 pm Asking the Powerful Questions to bring Pupils to a Boundary to Change Mark Wilson
2.30 pm – 3.15pm How to Protect Yourself and Your Business in the Dance Education Industry Danielle Lennon
3.20 pm – 4.05 pm The Many Hats of Leading a Dance Studio Jane Grech
4.05 pm – 4.30 pm Afternoon Tea, Networking and Close


Book now and join us in making this event bigger and better in 2019.

Australian Teachers of Dancing would like to thank our Convention partners

| Come Together | Speaker Programme | Dance Arena | Why Attend |