Principal Instructor & Director @ Shine Since 2005
I come from an extensive background of dancing, singing and teaching. At the age of 5, I commenced training in jazz, tap, ballet (RAD) and singing at the Johnny Young Talent School. During my childhood and teenage years I performed throughout Victoria as a member of the Young Talent Team. Furthermore, at the age of 16, I was selected to perform several shows in Disneyland, Los Angeles, which was a great honour and one that I am extremely proud to have experienced. In addition to the mainstream styles of dance, I have also trained in Brazilian and Latin dancing, having been part of shows at the widely renowned Copacabana restaurant. To sum it up – I lived, breathed and slept dance!
After completing high school, I began to teach dance in order to support my way through University. It was at that time I had an epiphany, it became abundantly clear that I had found my calling in life. I no longer had the drive to perform in every show that I could muster, as it had been replaced with a passion for teaching dance to children that I never realised I had. A few years later of teaching and studying, I finished my University Degree in Business and started working full time. I continued to teach all day on Saturday’s as it was never an option to quit something that I loved and only consolidated my feelings that teaching was my vocation, not my hobby. And so the Shine dream began.
As well as being a mum of three, I have learned a lot about children, teenagers and young adults throughout my 20 years of teaching. Importantly, I feel my strength is connecting with students on a level from which they can understand and improve. I instruct our teachers to do the same, as they inspire students with their love of performing. I am yet to meet a student who has not developed in self-esteem and technique by undertaking dance &/or singing lessons in such an environment. That’s what makes Shine so special.
Dance Instructor @ Shine Since 2018
Cert IV Dance Teaching & Management
Cloee took up Jazz and Tap at a 5yo. As Cloee discovered her obvious passion and talent for dance, she also took up training in other styles – Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Acrobatics to name a few. She spent her childhood and teens attending these dance classes and soaking up as many performances and competitions she could enter.
As Cloee became older, she realised an immense satisfaction in sharing her ideas, choreography and technique in the form of teaching others. Cloee had a natural ability for teaching and decided to continue on the path whilst still performing. Cloee loved teaching so much she decided to undertake a Dance Teaching & Management course at Dance Factory. Since Cloee completed her course, she has been unleashing her knowledge to the rest of the world. Cloee has gained experience in teaching children of all ages over the past few years at several schools around town, but most importantly, she brings great energy to her teaching and is very committed to bringing her funky style to all at Shine.
Dance Instructor @ Shine Since 2017
After showing an obvious love for anything dance, Helen began her performance journey at the age of 6. Helen was one of Shine’s founding students in 2005 – training in Funk/Jazz, Ballet. Tap & Singing. After showing obvious talent, Helen was our first recipient of both the Junior and Senior Student of the Year awards during her time at Shine. Helen was part of Shine’s inaugural elite Showgroup classes in which she had wonderful opportunities to perform at various shows throughout Melbourne including the Myer Christmas Parade, Royal Melbourne Show & the ‘Razzle Dazzle’ premiere, as well as various competitions. Helen is also an accomplished singing and actor, having played lead roles in several school musicals.
Since aspiring to continue dance through teaching, Helen was fortunate enough to be mentored in dance instruction from Director & Principal teacher of Shine – Vanessa Tota. Vanessa has equipped Helen with the skills necessary to pass on her knowledge and love of dance to her students – a task which she not only cherished, but consolidated her love for dance the more she has done it. Not only has Helen been a great teacher at Shine, she also has an intimate understanding of the way Shine operates as a business due to her other part-time role at Shine as our Receptionist
Dance Instructor @ Shine Since 2018
It was only natural that Hannah would take up dancing at a young age, as she took any opportunity to dance and prance all over the house. Hannah started her official dance journey at 3 years of age at her local dance school. It was here that her connection with dance flourished as she soaked up as much Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Ballet as possible. Fast-forward several years and Hannah had not wavered in her love for dance. She completed her Ballet examinations in Cecchetti, as well as Tap examinations in Southern Federation of Dance. Hannah also experienced a vast array of different performances with many solo, duo/trio and troupe routines along the way.
Hannah embarked on a different journey in teaching several years ago as she had a natural talent for it. Hannah gained much satisfaction from teaching, which further consolidated her decision to study Dance at Deakin University. Hannah continued her study at Dance Factory, graduating from her double Certificate IV in Dance and Dance Teaching and Management, and is currently studying a Double Diploma in Musical Theatre and Dance (elite). Being the mum of a beautiful boy, Emmett, Hannah is perfectly suited to teaching young to old!!
Singing Instructor @ Shine Since 2020
Bachelor Muscial Theatre
Masters of Music Studies – Vocal Pedagogy (2022-)
Lucy’s vocation was always going to be in music. Her enthusiasm for music motivated her to embark on official training at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University upon finishing High School. It was during her studies she developed not only her stage career, but also her knowledge of the voice and its anatomy.
After finishing her course, Lucy was picked to perform in many shows in and around Australia. Some highlights include being a soloist in Qld’s Tourism Awards, QPAC’s American Music Night and performing on ABC Radio. A few years on, Lucy decided to base herself in London to experience as many performing opportunities as possible. She performed in several cabarets across London, as well as making her “West-End” debut in A Christmas Carol at the Lyceum Theatre, Covent Garden. Further Theatre credits include, Chicago, Into the Woods, Hair, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change and Carousel. Screen credits include The Crown (Netflix) Bohemian Rhaposody (20th Century Fox), Aeronauts (Amazon), Pennyworth (Warner Bros.) and Little Drummer Girl (BBC).
The other side to Lucy’s career was a blossoming advancement in teaching. For the past 10 years, Lucy has cherished being able to impart her wisdom on students – young and old. Lucy is a very warm, hands-on and passionate teacher who wants each student to feel confident and comfortable in the studio. She specialises in vocal health and technique, making sure students are using their bodies to support and help them produce a healthy, effortless sound! Lucy is a wonderful acquisition for Shine and we’re thrilled to have her!!
Dance Instructor @ Shine Since 2011
Jaymee is a born and bred Bayside girl!! Jaymee was a relatively late starter when it came to dancing, having started Jazz & Ballet at the age of 10. From there, her love of dancing quickly blossomed as she added tap to her expanding repertoire. Having grown up in Moorabbin, Jaymee was in fact an ex-student of Shine! During her time with us, Jaymee showed amazing aptitude for performing and was first-selected to our inagural Senior Showgroup Class in 2008 after winning our most prestigious award – the Senior Student of the Year – in 2007. During her time as a Shine student, Jaymee was involved in multiple competitions as well as being our star performer at several shows including the Myer Christmas Parade, the Royal Melbourne Show and the ‘Razzle Dazzle’ Premiere.
When Jaymee’s Shine student years were over, she decided to follow her dream to become a Physiotherapist. During her time at Uni, Jaymee simply couldn’t walk away from Shine and in fact transitioned to becoming a part-time teacher at Shine in 2011 (after many years learning the ropes as Shine’s Receptionist!). Jaymee was mentored into her teaching role by our very own Director & Principal Teacher, Vanessa Tota. Jaymee was inspired to foster a love of dance for every student who walks into her classroom. By day, Jaymee continues to be a highly sought after Physiotherapist specialising in concussion rehabilitation. Her intricate knowledge of the human body is a bonus in ensuring she teaches students safely and appropriately. Jaymee is, and always has been, a perfect fit for Shine!
Dance Instructor @ Shine Since 2017
Dip. Dance Performance & Cert IV Dance Teaching & Management
Jessica has been dancing all styles since she was very little. After spending several successful years at Shine (being awarded the prestigious Senior Student of the Year in 2009), Jessica went on to complete a 2 year Diploma in Elite Dance Performance and Cert IV in Dance Teaching and Management. All the while picking up invaluable experience as a dancer at shows and events throughout Melbourne. Throughout 2015-2016, Jessica was hand-selected for a main role aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as part of the Dreamworks entertainment. Jessica got to sail the seas and bring so many smiles to many faces as part of her contract.
Upon returning, Jess took up a teaching role with Shine in 2017, before going back once again as Dance Captain for another contract in the USA in 2018. Since returning from her 2nd contract overseas, Jessica was keen to come back to where it all began for her, and, to once again, impart her knowledge, enthusiasm and success on the students at Shine. Her warm and bubbly manner, together with her knowledge of the “Shine Culture” is a huge addition to the Shine team.
Singing Instructor @ Shine Since 2022
Bach. Musiccal Theatre
Zoe developed a passion for Music Theatre at a very young age. Originally from the sunny state of Perth, she began her singing and dancing training at the tender age of 8 and hasn’t looked back since.
In her high school years, Zoe’s talent and commitment was recognised by acceptance via scholarship into the prestigious select-entry John Curtin College of the Arts for Music Theatre. Upon graduating with distinction (Top Music ATAR Award – 2nd highest in W.A), Zoe was warmly welcomed into the Diploma of Musical Theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and then stayed on to complete further study in Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) at WAAPA where she developed a great understanding of what it takes to be a professional on & off stage.
Whilst studying, Zoe appeared in many professional productions in Perth. These include understudying ‘Scaramouche’ in We Will Rock You (His Majesty’s Theatre 2018) and originating the role of ‘Jane’ in Neylon and Peele’s The Beep Test. In 2022, Zoe appeared as a Diva in the highly recognised stage-hit Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Regal Theatre, Perth).
Zoe’s love for being on-stage is equal to her love of sharing her insight off-stage. Particularly with children. For the past 4 years, Zoe has been teaching singing to keen students in Perth and now Melbourne. Zoe specialises in teaching Music Theatre, Contemporary and Classical voice, whilst she centres her lessons around combining good technique with great performance! Zoe bring heaps of energy and a wonderful bubbly nature to Shine.
Director, Accounts & Administration
Vanessa’s right-hand-man in married and business life. Adrian has been an integral part of Shine since its conception. You will see Adrian in-and-out of the Studio every now and again, however his main role is behind the scenes.