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Dance Venture Teaching Staff

Renate Cumalkovs A.R.A.D

Director and Classical Ballet teacher
After pursuing a professional dancing career in the eastern states, Renate returned to Perth and founded Dance Venture in 1980. Starting with only six students, the school has developed and grown over the past 33 years to become what it is today. Renate has assisted many young people in their endeavours and former students are working in choreographic, teaching and dancing careers throughout Australia and overseas. Renate was employed for over 20 years at John Curtin College of Performing Arts as a specialist ballet teacher and choreographer. She is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance and is often asked to ‘Guest Teach’ at R.A.D scholarships and events. She has adjudicated at ballet competitions. She has worked as ballet mistress for Perth City Ballet and choreographed for musical comedy and drama.

Kerry Wheadon

Classical Ballet teacher and Director (Junior School)
Kerry has taught ballet for over 30 years, 22 of those years spent with Dance Venture. She is an experienced and proficient Royal Academy of Dance teacher holding the R.A.D. Advanced and Solo Seal Certificates. Kerry danced professionally for over 10 years, performing with Perth City Ballet and the West Australian Ballet Company and had the opportunity to work with, and learn from many internationally renowned dancers, choreographers and teachers. She performed extensively throughout Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Singapore and gained the rank of Principal dancer, giving her experience in a variety of roles and dance styles. Kerry also holds a Residential Child Care Certificate and a Certificate II Children's Services and has worked with children with special needs.

to be updated

Classical Ballet teacher

Stephanie Mehrtens

Classical Ballet teacher
Has been a student at Dance Venture since she was 7 years old and started as a teacher’s assistant when she was 15. In 2004 she graduated as a specialist ballet student at John Curtin College of the Arts and continued to the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts to do the advanced diploma in dance. Since then she has performed as a guest artist at John Curtin, performed with Perth City Ballet and completed her RAD Advanced 2 exam. She is currently studying with the RAD doing her certificate in ballet teaching studies to become fully qualified teacher

Julie-Anne Taylor

Emily Bowman

Melissa White

Classical and Contemporary teacher Melissa originally comes from the south-west and studied at Dance Venture in her teens before attending (and graduating from) WAAPA with a Distinction. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance. She also completed a teaching certificate with the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance), gaining a distinction. In 1999 she established a school: The Studio of Classical and Contemporary Dance, in the south-west which by 2012 had grown to 220 students. She provided a much needed and excellent service and was a nominee for an ‘Outstanding Achievement in Teaching’, AUSDANCE 2011. She has relocated to Perth in 2013 and joined Dance Venture to launch our new Contemporary dance programme and to assist teaching the RAD Vocational Grades.

Judy Baumann

Judy has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Philosophy and English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ. A qualified librarian with over 25 years of experience, Judy has worked in public, academic, and special libraries and as a consultant for the private health sector. Over the last 10 years she has worked in Records and Information Management and is currently Freedom of Information Coordinator for a State Government Department. In her spare time she manages the ballet school, dealing with financial and administrative aspects of the business.