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CAITLIN MACKAY

Studio Owner / Ballet and Modern Teacher

Caitlin is our studio owner and has been a teacher at Gift of Dance since 2019. As of 2023 she has taken over the studio from its previous owner, Amanda Klotz who ran the studio for 15 years. 

Caitlin Mackay started ballet training at the age of 4 and modern dance training at the age of 5. She began her ballet training with Ilze Louw and joined Dianne Cheesman's Cape Junior Ballet Company in 2009. She completed her Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 examination with a Distinction in 2013 with Kim Day at Reddam House Dance Academy with additional training from Dianne Cheesman at UCT ballet school. Caitlin has trained in modern dance with Colleen Kitching for over 12 years, touring to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival for four different seasons. She matriculated from Herschel Girls High School in 2014 after which she spent 2014-2018 training as a full-time vocational ballet student under the instruction of Martin Schonberg.

Caitlin has performed in Cape Town City Ballet's productions of Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia, performances of 'Dancers love Dogs' and 'Dancers for Dancers', the National Dance Trust's production of 'A Spartacus of Africa' and Martin Schonberg and Adele Blanc's 'Archangel'. Through the University of Stellenbosch, she has qualified as a Pilates instructor and has been teaching Pilates since 2017. Additionally, she is a qualified PBT trainer. She is a registered RAD ballet teacher and is completing her AIDT advanced modern teachers qualification. In 2023 she will also complete her acrobatic arts teachers certification through Acrobatic Arts Inc. 

SHAMEELAH KINNEAR-SWARTZ

Hip Hop teacher

Shameelah Kinnear - Swartz known to most as Shami Shamrock is a Cape Town-born professional & street dancer, creative, dance teacher and content creator.

She is one of the driving forces in the Popping Community in and around Cape Town and South Africa. She can be seen in the movies like HONEY 3, House Party 5, and Jiva on Netflix and has even choreographed for International commercials and music videos.

 

Dance Experience:

Shami has been doing Hip Hop, Popping & Locking Dance Styles for over a decade since she started her dance training in 2008. She was found mostly dabbling and experimenting with the styles she would see around her, on tv and in her environment influences such as waving and freestyle dance always seemed to spark her creativity. This was before she considered seriously starting professional training and studying the styles further in 2010. Shami began to receive guidance from older poppers across the globe after sharing her videos and eagerness to learn on her social media. From 2009 till 2010 Shami was part of a Popping Movement called Popkorn that shared information on Popping and training the dance style with younger and newer poppers in South Africa (Cape Town, JHB, PTA). Shami is one of only 2 poppers from South Africa to be trained by legendary POPPING PIONEER POPIN PETE (USA) coached by RENEGADE (KEVIE KEV, UK), as well as trained with Femme Fatale Popping Crew (USA).

 

Training :

Shami has done popping training with popping pioneer Popin Pete in  2015, JRock in 2011 & 2012, has taken classes with  Jazzy J in 2012 in NYC, Marie Poppins in 2019, has taken part in a dance exchange programme training with Femme Fatale who is influential in not only the popping dance style but also waacking and have many theatre shows.

 

Hip Hop: Kumari Suraj, Buddha Stretch, Elite Force Crew

Locking: Kumari, Shabba Doo, Hurrikane,

Popping: JRock, Popin’ Pete, Marie Poppins, Dassy, Lily Frias.

 

Competitions

Dance Winner Sprite Uncontainable 2012,

All style category Top 8 Dance Star 2019

Winner Female All-Style Section at The Gauntlet 2019

Global Dance Supreme All Style Winner 2 on 2 2019

RED BULL DANCE YOUR STYLE S.A Top 16 Dec 2019
Concrete Apostles 11-Year Anniversary: Popping Winner 2022

 

Performance/choreography/teaching experience (workshops  taught)

Shami has taught many workshops for CTDBC (Cape Town  Dance Boot Camp) as well as for various studios in and around Cape Town, Johannesburg and surrounding cities including Gift Of Dance Studio where she teaches regularly and The Clan (Germany 2017) and more.

 

Shami has competed locally &  internationally and choreographed for teams competing internationally, which includes GIFT OF DANCE STUDIOS.

 

 

Choreographic work:
Channel E -TV Holiday campaign 2016

Marteria (German Music Artist) 2016

DEF CLOTHING BRAND 2016

Capso (Feelin’ Alright music video casting & choreography) 2016

Colgate International Commercial (Casting & Choreography)

 

Movies

House Party 5 (2012/2013)

Honey 3 (2015/2016)

Krotoa (2014/2015)

Cinderella story (if the shoe fits) 2015/2016

JAIME BLOK

Tap teacher

Jaime is a familiar face to the Gift Of Dance family.  Over the years with the studio, she has successfully completed a number of DanceCor Examinations in Modern, Hip Hop and Tap, participated in the TDA Eisteddfod of Performing Arts, and has had the privilege of performing at various events in Cape Town, which include the Showcase of Dance, and Dancers for Dancers held at the Artscape.  Additional performance highlights include Disneyland California and Hip Hop Unite in Prague, where she obtained her Senior Protea Colours for Fitness and Hip Hop World Dance Championships.

Balancing her professional life, she will be teaching the Tap classes at Gift Of Dancefor 2023.  

ADRIENNE VICTOR

Acro/Modern teacher

Adrienne Victor started dancing at age 5, with ballet being her first choice of style. Growing up, she soon discovered her love for modern, acrobatic, and hip-hop dance, which kickstarted her competitive journey. Having competed in competitions such as Hip Hop International in 2018 with her crew, Nobility, qualifying for semi-finals and finishing 27th in the world, as well as Dance Star Croatia in 2019, finishing 2nd overall; she has also taken part in many local competitions and eisteddfods  such as Cape Town eisteddfod, SABOD, Move, to name a few.

 

Adrienne began her serious dance training in 2012 with teachers Liezl Kunz (acrobatics), Julie Peterson (modern dance), and Tevin Wiener (hip hop). She joined Gift of Dance in January 2017 and continued her training with Amanda Klotz,, Caitlin MacKay, and Shameelah Kinnear. During her time at Gift of Dance, Adrienne has completed all DanceCor modern exams up to Grade 9 as well as her RAD Intermediate ballet exam. Beyond this, she has had the privilege of being taught by Rudi Smit, Justine Rico, and Josh Beamish as well as completed international workshops with The Royal Family, Comfort Fedoke, Ysabelle Capitule, and Matt Steffanina.

 

Adrienne’s dance experience has given her a number of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. She has been able to travel to Los Angeles and train in prestigious dance academies like IDA, Edge Performing Arts Centre, and Millennium Dance Complex. She was also given the chance to work with the clothing brand, Ellesse UK, in order to create dance content for their social media platforms.

 

At the moment, Adrienne is completing her Strategic Brand Communications degree at Vega School as well as her qualification in Acrobatic Arts Module 1.

CARLÉ THERON

Hip Hop/Modern teacher

Carlé started dancing at the age of 4 at NYDC School Of Dance. From A young age Carlé competed at Eisteddfod Competitions, Move, Dance Star and several productions where she competed as a soloist and in groups. Carle has been a student at Gift of Dance since 2017. In 2022 she joined the Senior Hip Hop crew, 'Elements', where she received her Western Provincie colours and qualified for Protea Colours. Carlé has also completed her grade 9 DanceCor modern exam at Gift Of Dance. She is a dynamic and enthusiastic dancer with experience in the following genres : Modern , Jazz , Lyrical , Contemporary and Hip Hop. She is  hoping to work towards attaining her teachers qualification in modern dance through the AIDT in 2024.

JARRYD NICHOLSON

Administrative Assistant

Jarryd has been admin assistant at Gift Of Dance since 2020.  Since joining the team, he has worn several hats as our “go to” guy for almost anything that is needed.  From Covid19 Compliance officer duties, to hanging drapes for exams and helping with merchandise, he is always willing to help not only the teachers and parents, but also the students.  Jarryd is an excellent asset to the team.  He will be helping with the registration period in the studio venues for term 1 and will be working remotely for term 2 and 3.  He will be back again for extra help in person, during concert time at the end of the year.  We are so grateful for Jarryd! 

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