THE MATHIS STORY

 

Lynda Mathis established Mathis School of Dancing in 1960 with six students in a small church in Parkdale.

Her philosophy for the Mathis School of Dancing was simple - to pass on to students her love and passion for dance and an appreciation of the many styles of dance and theatre performance.

Fifty-five years on and the school, now based in Braeside, has become one of Melbourne’s leading dance schools, excelling in Cecchetti ballet exams, competitions and performance work under the guidance of Lynda’s daughter, Jen Barfoot.

Lynda Mathis Mathis School of Dancing Mathis Dance Studios Melbourne

JEN BARFOOT - DIRECTOR

Having grown up within the Mathis dance family, it was a natural progression for Jen to take over running the business and she has now been the director of the school for eight years. Continuing to share her mother’s philosophy will always underpin the values and direction of the school.

2016 sees the school evolve to become Mathis Dance Studios. With a new, modern look, the school will uphold its strong benchmark of a fun, safe environment where friendships are made and provide future generations the true joy of dance. 

Jen Barfoot Mathis Dance Studios

OUR TEACHERS

Our teachers, are all qualified with accredited teaching associations and institutions. Staff are carefully selected based on their skills, expertise, education and experience.

We are proud to provide our students with teaching staff that are clearly passionate about dance education and who love fostering creativity and a love of dance in their students.

Sammie Barker Mathis Dance Studios Melbourne

Sammie Barker Mathis Dance Studios

SAMMIE BARKER - DANCE OPERATIONS MANAGER

  • Diploma of Dance Performance – Australian Conservatoire of Ballet

  • Licentiate- L.C.B.A- C.I.C.B Cecchetti Ballet- Currently Studying Licentiate Diploma

  • Cert 4 in Frontline management

  • Cert 4 in Business Administration

  • Ready Set Dance & Ballet Training

I can’t remember not dancing! When you find something you love, you wake up each day grateful you get to do what you love. For me dance is my absolute love. My career highlight was performing in Swan Lake with the Australian Conservatoire. 

I have a strong appreciation for the Cecchetti ballet method and also love exploring innovative approaches to my contemporary teaching. They are mutually beneficial in creating a whole dancer.

As the studio grows, so too does my passion to deliver quality dance tuition. I am committed to making all of my classes inspiring, creative and productive. When our little Angelina Ballerina students come in, I can’t help but impart my love for dance onto them. I’ve seen the benefits, both socially, emotionally and physically. If I can inspire my students enough to continue dancing through their teens and into adulthood, then I feel I’ve achieved something truly remarkable.

 
Faye Johnston  Mathis Dance Studios Cecchetti Ballet Australia

FAYE JOHNSON - HEAD OF CECCHETTI BALLET

  • Dance Fellow and Life Member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (London)

  • FISTD Fellow and Life Member of the Cecchetti Ballet Australia

  • Diploma of Arts (Dance)

  • VAC Cecchetti Ballet Examiner

  • VCE Dance and VCE VET Teaching Accreditation with the Royal Academy of Dancing

  • Member of the VIT

With over forty years experience teaching dance in both educational institutions and in the private sector, I am proud to be involved in the ongoing development of dance education.  I take enormous pride in training students to present for VCE and VET dance examinations, with many of my students gaining Premier’s Awards each year and on many occasions dux of the State. My role as an examiner supports my teaching endeavors to help produce quality dance tuition and instil a deep love for the art form in all those I teach.

 
Sally Peterson Mathis Dance Studios

SALLY PETERSON

  • TAAD Jazz Teaching Diploma (Hons)

  • Bartuccio Cert 3 in Dance and Musical Comedy

  • A.C.B.A – C.I.C.B Cecchetti Ballet

  • A (Dip) - C.B.A Cert 4 in Dance Teaching and Management

I feel honoured to be part of the teaching team at Mathis Dance Studios having been a little dancer here myself 30 years ago! The school gave me opportunities to be nurtured and develop my skills, all the while having an amazing dance experience every time I went into class.

It is my own Mathis experience that drives me to offer that to my own students. I strive to give them every opportunity to be their very best and guide them along the way. That is what Lynda Mathis gave me.

This all led me to a dance teaching career now spanning 15 years and a professional dance career as a cheerleader for Melbourne Storm and performing for the Victorian Pops Orchestra and singers, Joanne and Demi Hines. I have also appeared in music video clips, at corporate entertainment and media launches for Cirque Du Soleii, L'Oreal Paris, BMW and Qantas to name a few.

 
Ann-Marie Brazier
 

ANN-MARIE BRAZIER

  • Company Director of Teachers of Australian Academy of Dance

  • Master TAAD Examiner of Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Theatrical Dance

  • AOTD Jazz Diploma (Honours) Dance Factory original syllabus

  • TAAD Tap Diploma (Honours)

  • Associate Diploma Cecchetti Classical Ballet

  • Diploma of Dance Teaching and Management – Box Hill TAFE

I have been fortunate to begin my training with Lynda Mathis at Mathis Dance Studios and in 1984 won a scholarship to study at the Dance Factory. This led to a 20 year long performance career in dance around the world including my first professional engagement with a break dancing crew called “The Street Breakers” and performing in the Broadway productions of “Anything Goes” and “42nd Street”.

Other highlights of my career include classes with the renowned Alvin Ailey Contemporary Company and experience with Judith Roberts and Reg Gorman as a comedian in a theatre restaurant before accepting an 18 month stint at “The Swagman Theatre Restaurant”.

I have also performed on many TV shows and was a regular dancer on “The Bert Newton Midday show” backup singer and dancer in the 1991 Cliff Richard” From a Distance Tour”. My professional experience has also taken me overseas to Hawaii and New Zealand working with Dancers and Choreographers’ around the globe. I’m passionate about dance and passing on my knowledge to aspiring future artists.

 
Danielle Reeve Mathis Dance Studios

DANIELLE WILES

  • Full Time Dance (1 year) – Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance

  • Advanced 2 Cecchetti Ballet- Currently Studying

  • Associate Cecchetti Ballet- Currently Studying

  • Transit Dance- Cert 4 in Dance Teaching and Management

  • Ready Set Dance & Ballet Training

I began dancing at just 3 years old and never looked back!
I transitioned my dance training to Mathis in 2009 to persue the VCE Dance program. Upon completing year 12 I continued into Full Time Dance studies at Ministry of Dance before later completing my Cert 4 in Dance Teaching at Transit Dance.

Without a doubt, my dance performance highlights include performing alongside Guy Sebastian at the Australian Open 2012, Various performances at the MCG for sporting events and being a long term member of the Mathis Dance team to attend the World Championships in Florida in 2015, 2017 & 2019.

 Over the last 7 years I have been highly involved with our junior dance programs, and currently head the management of our Ready Set Dance & Ready Set Ballet program for Preschoolers. I have a special interest in teaching classical ballet and jazz technique and find joy to be introducing and imparting a love of dance to our younger dance generations.

 
Bella Traynor Mathis Dance Studios

BELLA TRAYNOR

  • Diploma Qualified Early Years Educator

  • Advanced 1 Cechetti Ballet

  • Bachelor of Early Education - Currently Studying

  • Ready Set Dance & Ballet Training

I put my first pair of ballet and tap shoes on when I began dancing at Mathis at the tender age of 5, there was a spark that ignited a lifelong passion to dance. Within my time at Mathis I have also been fortunate enough to compete at the Dance World Championships in Florida in 2015, 2017 and 2019!

My love and passion to positively impact the lives of children is key to my success as a teacher. I truly believe that every child deserves to feel important, proud and supported; and this is what I intend to achieve in all of my classes. 

I feel inspired when I watch my students try new skills and movements as I know with hard work and determination they can achieve whatever they set their minds to. Teaching children to persevere and support one-another is a life-long skill that we always foster in a dance classroom. 
Teaching at Mathis Dance Studios allows me to share my love for dance, which I hope in turn, develops into a lifelong passion for them also.

 
Bridget Barfoot Mathis Dance Studios

BRIDGET BARFOOT

  • Intermediate Cecchetti Ballet

  • Cert 4 in Business Administration and Frontline Management

  • Cert 4 in Dance Teaching and Management

Mathis has been my home for over 20 years. The staff and students have become like my second family. Working in an environment where we all have a common goal is not only enjoyable, but beneficial. As teachers, we are constantly striving to extend our students whilst instilling a love and enjoyment of dance. 

As a business, we focus on customer service to ensure every experience our students and parents have is a positive one.

I love coaching Diamonds and seeing the look of achievement and happiness when they accomplish amazing results. Knowing I have helped them in fulfilling their dreams by attending Worlds in 2015 is something I will never forget.

I work across many touch points of our school, including choreography, operations management, performance directing, stage management and costume design.

 
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LISA HERBERT

  • Full Time Dance Training - Ministry of Dance

When I was younger I had no desire to dance, but then my mother took me to my first class and I haven’t stopped dancing since. There’s only one thing I like more than dancing and that is teaching dance. Mathis allows me to pass my knowledge I’ve gained through my experiences onto my students. One of the best feelings is to see your students take on what you’ve taught and to see the improvement. 

In my first year of professional training, I was asked to perform and choreograph for Channel 9 on the Footy Show Grand Final Revue, and at industry events. I hope as I gain more experiences over the years, I’m able to impart my expertise onto my students. 

 

VANESSA NORTHCOTT

  • Intermediate Cecchetti Ballet

  • Transit Dance Pre-Professional Contemporary Graduate

  • SCIMM Dance Company Member

A previous student of Mathis Dance Studios, Vanessa initially trained in a commercial practise at Patrick Studios for Elite and Full Time studies (2012-2015) before graduating from Transit Dance Contemporary Pathway in 2016.
Vanessa is enjoying producing her individual style into the dance industry, recognised for her technical precision and creative offers.

Vanessa is also interested in creating choreographic works, with which she strives to relate to a wide range of people and invite them to enjoy and connect. In 2017, Vanessa developed the piece ‘Wandering Mind’ (2016 Runner up Dance Architect Choreographic Award) into a sell out seasoned performance, showcased at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival as part of the double-bill ‘Scatter-Brains & Doodle-Heads’.

 

KYLIE DENSTEN

  • Examiner - Southern Federation of Dance. Ballet, Tap and Jazz.

  • Cecchetti Associate (Diploma) C.I.C.B

I started dancing with Mathis when I was just three. I then attended the Victorian College of the Arts for early high school years and discovered I preferred choreography and teaching over a career as a classical dancer.

I have taught now for over 25 years and particularly enjoy the challenge of keeping my choreography relevant in this evolving world of dance. I have seen many students succeed in their dance careers all over the world and have also seen many become exceptional teachers.

 I enjoy sharing my love of all dance forms with students. I believe the hard work, dedication and discipline required of dancers is an amazing foundations for all ages. The dance community at Mathis is exceptional in the way students form and maintain their connections over many many years so it is of no surprise that I am back here teaching and still dancing!

 

ASHLEY HENWOOD

  • Full Time Dance at Spectrum Dance

  • Cert IV in Dance

  • Cert IV in Pilates

  • Ready Set Dance & Ballet Training

I have been dancing my whole life, I never wanted to do anything else and I love what I do everyday. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world dancing on Princess and Celebrity Cruises as well as dancing for Channel 9's AFL Footy Show Review, the Logies and at the Australian Open. My performing has also taken me to India to perform a Great Gatsby Show and I been a cheerleader for Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Stars.

A massive highlight for me was performing in Bonnie Lythgoe's Production of Sleeping Beauty, as all my family friends came and saw me perform.

I love to dance and I love to teach. I love getting into the technical side of it all. I love watching the kids faces light up when they are dancing and the pure joy on there faces when they finally achieved the skill we have been striving for. All in all I feel pretty lucky to call this my job.