Teaching Faculty

Samantha Grant 

L.C.B.A – C.I.C.B (Licentiate)


As the Principal of the Diamond Valley Dance Academy, Samantha Grant has had an extensive background in dance. Samantha studied with Lorraine Blackbourn OAM (F.C.B.A) for over 20 years, obtaining all Major Cecchetti examinations, including Advanced 1 & 2 with Distinctions.  


Samantha began her teaching qualifications under the guidance of Miss Blackbourn and has attained her Associate, Associate Diploma and Licentiate Status. Samantha has a Certificate in Applied Anatomy & Physiology, Cert IV in Dance Teaching & Management, Cert IV in Training & Assessment, a Level 2 First Aid Certificate and is a member of the Victorian Sub-Committee for the Cecchetti Ballet Australia (Victoria). Samantha is also an Affiliate Member with ATOD. Before starting the school in 2004, Samantha was a qualified Law Clerk obtaining her Adv Dip (Legal Practice).


Miss Sam loves teaching our little Tiny Tots all the way through to our Advanced level students. A big part of her role as Principal is to mentor our younger teachers and guide them through their qualification process. Teacher training and VCE/VET dance is one of Sam’s favourite areas of teaching dance.


"To touch, to move, to inspire - this is the true gift of dance. I look forward to welcoming you to Diamond Valley Dance Academy and sharing my love of dance with you."

Emma Lanza-Craig

L.C.B.A – C.I.C.B (Licentiate)


Having started ballet from the age of 4, Emma knew that dance was going to be a life long passion. Emma has completed many examinations and competitions in both ballet and jazz with various methods, and danced full time at Dance Factory in 2007. Emma starting working at Diamond valley dance academy in 2007, and under the guidance of Samantha Grant ,Emma was immersed in the Cecchetti Method. Emma has successfully completed all Major exams including Advanced 2 with distinction. Emma holds her Associate Diploma  (Cert IV in Dance Teaching & Management) with Cecchetti Ballet Australia as well as Cert IV in Dance and Performance. Emma also works as a child care worker and holds her Cert III in Children's Services.  Emma is holds a Level 2 First Aid certificate and is Anaphylactic Management trained.


"I'm so very lucky and honoured to be able to teach at DvDance and it has been a privilege to watch the studio grow and continue to grow over the years. I hope that I can pass on the passion and joy I experience when dancing to every student I teach, and that they leave every class feeling a little bit more inspired and confident."

Tess Wright

A.C.B.A-C.I.C.B (Associate)


Tess has been dancing since 1998 and teaching with DVDance since 2008. With a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Tess takes an analytical approach to dance focusing on the health benefits of dance, both physically and mentally.


Tess teaches a range of ages and classes from ballet to hip hop and ensures all students feel welcomed and have fun in her classes. Tess completed her Cecchetti Associate qualifications in 2013 and is currently completing her Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management.


Tess has also completed her Cecchetti Advanced 2, as well as ATOD Level 5 Contemporary and Silver Star Tap exams, with Honours.

Eloise Lambert

A.C.B.A-C.I.C.B (Associate)


Eloise started dancing when she was 4 years old and has continued her training in styles including Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary.


She began her ballet training in the method of Southern Federation of Dance and at age 11 began training under Samantha Grant in the Cecchetti Method.


Eloise completed her Cecchetti Advanced 1 exam in 2013 receiving the mark of Highly Commended and completed her Associate exam in 2015. She has also completed her Level 4 Contemporary exam (ATOD) receiving Honours with Distinction.  Eloise also holds a current Level 2 First Aid Certificate. Eloise graduated from Deakin University in 2017 with a double degree in Secondary Teaching and Arts, majoring in English and is looking forward to teaching in Secondary Schools in 2018.

Amanda Cunningham


Amanda is a passionate Tap instructor, who you may have spotted behind the front desk working as our Office Assistant. For 12 years, she has studied a variety of dance styles, including tap, ballet, jazz and contemporary.


As one of the first students to join DVDance, her teacher training began at a young age, sitting examinations in both Cecchetti and ATOD. She is currently studying towards her Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management and ATOD Gold Bar Tap (Elementary Seal).


In 2015, she participated in the Australian Tap Dance Festival, learning from renowned teachers such as Shane Preston, Darren Disney, Winston Morrison and Thomas Wadelton. Outside of dancing, Amanda has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Public Relations. Above all, Amanda hopes to spread her love of tap, inspiring her students to have fun and make noise with their feet.

Shannan Owen


Shannan started dancing in 1997 at Christine Hoggs School of Dancing completing Southern Federation of Dance and Dance Factory examinations. Shannan then began dancing at Diamond Valley Dance Academy early 2006 where she has since completed her Cecchetti Intermediate, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2 examinations with Distinctions. Shannan has also completed Contemporary and Tap examinations through Australian Teachers of Dancing, receiving Honours with Distinction.


During Shannan's time at DVDance she has had several professional development opportunities allowing her to teach numerous styles and age groups. Working alongside a great team, Shannan thoroughly enjoys teaching the students at Diamond Valley Dance Academy. Shannan is currently working within the education industry and currently holds an Adv Diploma in Community Services Management. Shannan is also Level 2 First Aid and Anaphylactic Management trained. 

Julia Chiocci


Julia has been a member of DVDance for 14 years and has successfully passed her Cecchetti Intermediate Ballet exam. Julia enjoys teaching all genres of dance and has been an integral part of our acrobatics teaching team. Julia is currently studying Nursing at ACU.

Aimee Watson


Aimee is one of DVDance’s original members starting with us in 2004 when she was 5yrs old. Aimee has enjoyed taking classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary over the many years and has successfully passed her Cecchetti Advanced 1 Ballet, ATOD Level 4 Contemporary exams with Distinctions. Aimee is currently studying to be a midwife as well as her Cecchetti Associate and Cert III in Assistant Dance Teaching.

Sheridyn Sandford


Sheridyn has been part of our DVDance community for many years and has been an integral part of our Assistant Teacher cohort for many years. Sheridyn has achieved outstanding results in her Cecchetti Advanced 1 Ballet, ATOD Level 4 Contemporary and ATOD Gold Star Tap examinations. She will complete her Cert II Dance (VCE VET Dance) in 2018 as well as the rest of her VCE.

Chloe Barter


Chloe is a dedicated member of our DVDance Team assisting with both teaching and administration duties over the last few years. Chloe has successfully completed her Cecchetti Intermediate Ballet, ATOD Level 3 and ATOD Level 7 Hip Hop exams with Distinctions. In 2017 Chloe was our first VCE VET Dance student to successfully complete Units 1-4 in our VCE VET Dance program. She has now has a Cert II in Dance and is working towards her Cert III in Assistant Dance Teaching.

Specialist Teachers


Hayley Sims (Song & Dance)

Hayley began dancing at Diamond Valley Dance Academy as a student in 2004 and started teaching our Song and Dance classes in 2012. Her experience in teaching spans over 10 years ranging from individual vocal lessons, song and dance classes and as a classroom teacher. Hayley loves sharing her passion of music and dance with all of her students. Hayley holds a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and currently teaches Grade 1 students, when not teaching our song and dance students!


Steve Maltesos (Acrobatics)

Steve specializes in Acrobatics and has been teaching the art of Acro& Gymnastics for over 15 years. Steve holds a Diploma In Circus Arts (NICA), Accreditation with Acrobatic Dance Association and Acrobatic Arts, and has a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management.


Steve is an ex competition level 10 gymnast and competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Jason Teasdale (Jazz Technique)


Jason is a well known and seasoned industry professional of over 10 years. Jason is an experienced director, choreographer, teacher and professional dancer, choreographing and performing in numerous live and tv shows, film clips, commercials and events throughout Australia.We love having Jason as part of our DVDance Team teaching our Senior and Advanced Jazz students.



“DanceStep empowers students to take care of others and guides them to be leaders and role models….Whether students are considering a career in dance teaching or otherwise, the DanceStep program is a great preparation for many aspects of life.” Jane Grech, Founder DanceStep

Diamond Valley Dance Academy is proud to be an Affiliate Member of DanceStep in 2018. Our DanceSteppers for 2018: Olivia Andrit, Amy Baldwin, Rarnee Boyd, Ashleigh Girdlestone, Lucy Harris, Georgia Keenan, Ava Keiper, Chloe Kerr, Lillian Nikias, Katia Radobuljac, Penelope Sholakis, Danielle Spiropoulos and Tanaya Spratt


Diamond Valley Dance Academy

Unit 3, 37 The Concord, Bundoora, Victoria, 3083

Telephone: 9467 1000

Email:  admin@dvdance.com.au

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