Linda McKay

Director

Linda has trained in all dance styles including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Character, Lyrical and Musical Theatre. She acquired her formal training in Classical Ballet at the Alkins School of Dance and attained her Teaching Diploma with the Royal Academy of Dance. In 1996, Linda graduated from The Australian Ballet School Teacher Training, achieving the Advanced Diploma of Dance Teaching with Distinction.

Linda has performed with The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet in a variety of character roles for The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. In 2001 Linda opened the doors to Essentially Dance. The school’s successes include students that have been accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, The Australian Ballet School, Melbourne Youth City Ballet and The Victorian State Ballet Pre-Professional program.

Linda is passionate about recognising the individual needs of each student and therefore the studio offers a nurturing environment for both those who dance for pleasure and those who strive for excellence.

Chloe Puddy

Dance Teacher

Chloe trained in full-time dance from the age of 15 years at the Ballet Conservatoire in Melbourne and holds a Certificate 3 & 4 in Dance. During her time there she performed in Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet. Chloe continued her training at Ballet Theatre Australia performing in many original works. She pursued her professional career as a company artist with the Victorian State Ballet, performing in Don Quixote, Cinderella, Le Corsaire and the Magic Toyshop. Chloe is a registered teacher with the international organisation Ballet Conservatoire.

Deni Groom

Dance Teacher

Deni started dancing at the age of 4 & has trained in many styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical & character. Her performance highlights include participating in her school musicals & performing at the Arts Centre’s State Theatre in ‘Time to Shine.’ Deni began assistant teaching in 2018 & her passion for teaching grew even more after attending the GWT Teachers workshop & completing all 4 levels of the  DanceStep program in 2020. She is also in her final year of University, studying a Bachelor of Commerce & Diploma of French Languages at the University of Melbourne.

Ezlimar Dortolina

Guest Dance Teacher

Ezlimar started her ballet studies with the Classical Ballet School in Venezuela, and graduated in in 1996. She became an apprentice with the Classical Ballet of Camara at the age of 13. In 1996 she participated in the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria and went on to obtain a scholarship for the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. Amongst many revered accolades, Ezlimar has worked as a soloist in many renowned dance companies including Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and was a member of Tulsa Ballet and Oaklahoma City Ballet.

Gem Oktay

Dance Teacher

Gemilla trained from the age of five years in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Commercial, Vocals and Musical Theatre with Essentially Dance. A passionate performer, Gemilla is embarking upon further theatrical studies through VCE Dance and performing in school productions at Loyola College. A natural teacher, Gemilla is also a fantastic choreographer. Currently Gemilla teaches Ballet and Hip Hop.

Keah Mizzi

Dance Teacher

Keah began training at the age of 7 at Portland Danz X-tensions, learning all styles of dance. She went on to further her training in 2016 to 2017 completing a Diploma in Musical Theatre from Kelly Aykers Full Time Dance. In 2020 Keah completed her certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management with The Australian Teachers of Dancing and currently teaches Ballet, Tap and Jazz to all age students.
Her passion for theatre and creating has led her to production managing many Essentially Dance Performances

Max Davis

Dance Teacher

Max trained in all dance styles from age 8, with Niche dance. He trained at Victorian College of the Arts from years 7-12 in intense classical and contemporary technical training Max discovered a love for circus and acrobatics training at The National Institute of Circus Arts, mastering skills in acrobatic performing. Max has since appeared in multiple performances as Marvels' Australian Spiderman at events including the Australian tennis open, football games in Victoria and interstate Max now focuses on teaching the multiple styles he has learned to help further his students to their goals in all things dance.

Rebecca Murray

Dance Teacher

Rebecca started ballet at the age of seven in Mosgiel, NZ. By the age of 10 she was competing in competitions around NZ in a variety of dance genres. At age 18 she moved to Brisbane to commence further study at the Queensland University of Technology. Here, Rebecca studied contemporary dance as well as a range of other modern dance styles. In 2017 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance Performance endorsed with Distinction. Alongside her degree, Rebecca is a fully qualified RAD and BBO teacher and in 2019 she wrote her own ballet syllabus. In 2018 she joined Victorian State Ballet where she tours and performs around Australia and NZ.

Karen Street

Administration Guru

Karen has a background career in the hospitality industry and has worked in some of Melbourne’s premier boutique hotels. Karen then transitioned to Human Resources and gained a decade of experience as a Learning & Development professional and generalist Human Resource Consultant.

In 2008 the first of Karen’s two daughters began their journey in dance at Essentially Ballet and are still current students today. In mid-2014 Karen joined the Essentially Dance team as Administration Assistant and immensely enjoys her role.