Mrs Michaela Contarino (Sabburg) - Principal
Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Acrobatics, Performance Team
Michaela started dance at the age of 3 at her local dance school in Gatton, Queensland. She has since been teaching dance for over 13 years and has successfully sat all CSTD examinations in Classical Ballet, Tap & Jazz achieving the highest mark of Honours Plus numerous times. Michaela also holds her Teaching Certs through CSTD (Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing) and is a Certified Acrobatic Arts Teacher. Michaela is also qualified in the Progressing Ballet Technique curriculum and holds her Cert IV in Matwork and Reformer Pilates. Michaela also holds a current Blue Card (Working with Children Check) and First Aid Certification.
PILMAT401 Program and instruct group Matwork
PILREF401 Program and instruct group Reformer
PILBEG401 Orient new clients in group Pilates
PILBIO401 Apply biomechanics to Pilates instruction
PILINJ401 Instruct Pilates to clients with injuries or painful conditions
PILPRE401 Instruct Pilates for pre and post-natal clients
Michaela is always expanding her teaching knowledge with workshops and courses led by industry professionals.
Michaela is highly trained in all aspects of dance and has gained experience over the years which include dancing in Hong Kong Disneyland, California Disneyland, Hollywood and has taken many workshops from professional dancers & choreographers throughout Queensland and overseas.
Michaela competed in solo & group competitions & eisteddfods from the age of 5 and is excited to pass on her skills, knowledge & love of dance to her students. MMStudios-Dance is a huge asset to Stanthorpe, as it is locally owned dance studio on the Granite Belt with classes held Monday-Saturday. MMStudios-Dance will offer students of all ages the opportunity to experience the love of dance and create lifelong friendships.
Miss Rissa Hughes - Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Progressing Ballet Technique, Performance Team
Miss Rissa started dancing at age 5, completing all RAD ballet exams up to and including Advanced 1. Rissa has completed Comdance Tap & Jazz exams and holds her Teaching Certificate through Comdance. She is a qualified Zumba instructor and holds a Certificate 3 in Fitness. Rissa is a certified teacher of the Progressing Ballet Technique curriculum and holds a Blue card, a current Childcare First Aid and CPR certificate and a Mental Health First Aid certificate.
Miss Rissa started student teaching in 2004 under Dale Coles in Toowoomba and worked as a dance teacher in the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley regions for over 12 years. She has taught in the styles of RAD & Comdance Ballet, Comdance Tap & Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Acrobatics and has prepared many students for exams and eisteddfod competitions with fantastic results. Rissa has a passion for delivering high quality dance education to students in rural areas and was the principal of a small dance studio in Clifton for 3 years. She has competed in Eisteddfod competitions across QLD, performed in Disneyland Hong Kong & Disneyland California as well as other various overseas locations and have completed many international and Australian workshops & classes as part of her professional development over the course of her career.
The dance community in Stanthorpe holds a special place in Miss Rissa’s heart - she spent 9 years travelling from Murphys Creek/Gatton to Stanthorpe once a week to teach at the Uniting Church Hall. Rissa travelled with Miss Carly and they worked alongside each other in the years leading up to the transition to MMStudios in 2016. For Rissa, it has been an absolute joy to watch the studio grow and thrive under Miss Carly’s talented and dedicated direction and she is looking forward to working with her once again in 2022.
Mrs Lara Berry - Classical Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Acrobatics
Miss Lara began dance classes at the age of 3 at her local dance school in Sydney, NSW. Her first introduction to Musical Theatre was around 6 years of age (The King & I). Lara continued her training through annual Dance Examinations in Classical Ballet, Tap and Jazz. She completed a Teaching Diploma through the Syllabus Ballet Australasia Limited and competed in many Eisteddfods and performed in annual concerts. Lara continued as Principal/owner of her own dance school for 12 years before selling the dance school due to her first born starting school and her husband taking on another business. Lara continued being involved in Dance through Fundraising events e.g Dancing With The Coffs Coast Stars, Choreographer for production Jesus Christ Super Star, employment within other studios assisting with Exam syllabus, eisteddfod routines and performing in musicals like Cabaret, Oklahoma etc. Lara adjudicated the Schools Days Eisteddfod in Coffs Harbour which included HSC performances. Lara helped to implement the NSW BOS Dance Syllabus to Bishop Druitt College. LaraI also has a Teachers Aid Certificate where she has worked with children in an Education System. I have now since moved to Stanthorpe with my husband David and we are both enjoying living on the Granite Belt and are proud to call Stanthorpe our new Home.
Current First Aide Qualification
Dance Teaching Diploma
Blue Card check certification
Dance Teacher Bishop Druitt College- Implemented Board Of Studies Dance Curriculum for Years 9 & 10 NSW.
Principal /Owner of Dance School (12 years)
Classical (BBO) Jazz (RAD) Jazz (BBO)
Judith Monteith School of Dance
Nola Doherty School of Ballet
Kathy Orford Dancers Mosman Syd
Dynamite Dance Studios
Bodenweiser Dance Centre
Sydney Dance Company
Joan McBay School of Dance
Julie Ross Dance School
Miss Susie Cobon - Jazz, Contemporary, Classical Ballet, Tap, Progressing Ballet Technique, Performance Team, Acrobatics
Miss Susie started dancing at the age of 5 with her love of dance continuously growing. She started assistant teaching at 12 years old and taking on her own classes at 17. Whilst growing as a performer and teacher, Susie has participated in many Eisteddfods across the district in solo and group performances. She has also travelled to the USA performing in the Disneyland Main Street Parade and Stage performances in both 2015 and 2019. During these trips she participated in many workshops and performances across LA.
In 2020 Susie successfully completed her Modern Jazz Teaching Certificate after sitting her Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, and Grade 9 Modern Jazz Exams in which achieving high marks. Susie has also achieved the high mark of Honours in both her Sub Elementary and Elementary Major Classical Ballet Exams.
In 2021 Susie moved to the Gold Coast to study dance Full Time at Dynamite Studios. In this year she also completed her CUA40120 Cert 4 in Dance. Throughout the year she performed in multiple Full Time Eisteddfods across Brisbane and the Gold Coast, worked as a performer for the Unfold Agency in jobs such as the Fearaphobia Scream Park over the Halloween period, performed in a charity event at the Star Casino, and performed in Dynamite’s “I AM” Graduation on completion of her certification. Throughout this year Susie has acquired many new skills and ideas that she is so excited to bring back to her home studio and is looking forward to coming back to teaching.
Susie holds a current Blue Card (Working with Children Check) and First Aid Certificate. She is also qualified in the Progressing Ballet Technique curriculum and Acrobatics Art Program.
CUACHR403 Develop Choreography Skills
CUAPRF407 Develop Expertise in Musical Theatre Techniques
CUADAN303 Develop Dance Partnering Techniques
CUADAN408 Develop Expertise in Ballet Technique
CUAWHS402 Participate in Gym and Weight Training for Performances
CUADAN409 Develop Expertise in Contemporary Dance Techniques
CUAWHS401 Apply Movement and Behavioural Principles to Physical Conditioning
CUAMUP301 Prepare Personal Appearances for Performances
CUADAN407-CUAPRF404-CUAPRF405 Cluster Unit
CUAPRF304 Develop Audition Technique
CUADAN303 Develop Expertise in Jazz Dance Technique
CUAPPR404 Develop Self as Artist
Miss Megan Berlese - Tap
Miss Megan started dancing at the age of 7, and since then has acquired a love for dance. Megan has performed at annual concerts, as well Eisteddfods around the region. Megan has successfully completed all Comdance Tap Exams and has now gained her full qualification through her Comdance Tap Teachers Certificate. Miss Megan is also very popular with her Adult tap class. Megan travelled with MMStudios-Dance to America in December 2019, performing at Universal Studios, Disneyland, Disneyland Parade and Citadel Shopping Centre. Megan also holds a current Blue Card (Working with Children Check) and First Aid Certification.
Miss Harriet Morgan - Tap, Classical Ballet, Jazz
Miss Harriet started dance classes at the age of 7. Harriet has competed in many solo and group Eisteddfods throughout QLD and NSW with fabulous achievements, including Most Promising Tapper at the Border District Eisteddfod 2018 and 2019. Harriet has performed with the Toowoomba Ballet Theatre in 2019 and 2020, and has also performed with Creative Generation: State School's Onstage 2019 and had successfully auditioned for 2020.
Miss Harriet is currently sitting her Comdance Tap Exams, and achieved the highest mark of Honours Plus in both Grade 7 and Grade 8 Tap in 2020. Harriet has taught alongside other teaching staff with the Tinies classes since 2016.
Harriet has attended various workshops through GBPAC and Queensland Ballet workshop tours and is currently studying dance general as a senior subject in year 11 this year. Harriet also holds a current Blue Card (Working with Children Check) and First Aid Certification.
Miss Chenel Doorley - Hip Hop
Miss Chenel started dance classes at the age of 3. She then pursued her love for dance and started hip hop classes at the age of 7. Chenel has performed in multiple end of year concerts, and has assisted in choreography for both Intermediate and Senior Hip Hop age groups since 2018.
Miss Chenel has studied dance as a school subject in both years 9 and 10, learning safe dance practises. Chenel continues to study two dance subjects in year 11 and 12 as an ATAR subject, including learning safe dance practises.
Chenel also holds a current Blue Card (Working with Children Check) and First Aid Certification.
Miss Eliza Telfer - Classical Ballet, Jazz
Miss Eliza started dance at the age of 3. She has competed in many Eisteddfods over the years as well as performing with the Toowoomba Ballet Theatre 3 years in a row.
Eliza is currently studying for her Comdance Teachers Cert exam and has completed from grade 3 with fabulous results. Eliza has also completed her Comdance ballet exams from grade 5 and is sitting her final exam before her Teachers Cert exam this year. She has also assisted teachers with their classes for many years.
Eliza holds a current blue card (Working with Children Check).
Mrs Pauline Leigh - Musical Theatre & Drama Teacher - Private Lessons Only
Miss Pauline began singing and performing at about 13 years of age. She then continued on to complete her Singing Diploma, and started to perform in Musical Theatre, Concerts, Weddings and a variety of other functions. Miss Pauline undertook a Diploma in Drama and Performance after many years of directing the St. Joseph's School musicals here in Stanthorpe.
Miss Pauline also wrote her own programme for schools 6 years ago, called "Learning Through Drama” where she has been teaching at many of the schools in the Granite Belt now for some years. She has prepared and entered Children into Eisteddfods, as well as Drama and Performance and Singing Exams. Miss Pauline has operated her own studio “Act One Studio” for the last 10 years, where she teachers Drama and Musical Theatre. She has also been very heavily involved in the Stanthorpe Little Theatre, performing there on many occasions and as President.
Miss Pauline’s entire life has been dedicated to the Performing Arts and she is very passionate about teaching and guiding children and young people to reach their full potential.