Tempo Red Academy Instructors 2019-05-30T15:45:42+00:00

Tempo Red Academy Instructors

Diana Sakaris

Managing & Creative Director at Tempo Red Academy & babyballet® Brookvale, Sydney

Born in Sydney, Diana started dance classes at the age of four. She studied Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and National Dance at Halliday’s Dance Art Centre, where she undertook all her dance training and completed her R.A.D. and Jazz Examinations with Distinction. Diana also completed an associate Diploma in Childcare Studies and Social Science where she blended her artistic talents with her love of teaching children. Prior to founding Tempo Red Academy, Diana served as Head of the Babies and Tiny tots program at Brent Street Studios, as well as teaching across other genres and disciplines. Her work as a choreographer includes pieces for solo and group Eisteddfods, school and community events, festivals and dance workshops. Diana has over 20 years experience as a dance teacher and choreographer and is passionate about training her students to be versatile dancers with the necessary foundations and up to date training of all dance styles, to ensure her students’ success in the professional dance world. Her latest business endeavour was successfully implementing the award winning babyballet® program into her performing arts school catering for ages 18months to 6 years.

Kara Peake


Kara is a Sydney based dance artist and teacher who has studied classical ballet since the age of 3. Kara completed her HSC at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts and later went on to study at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Sydney. In 2016, She graduated with a Bachelor of Dance, Majoring in Ballet and Contemporary. Kara has participated in contemporary dance intensives with Expressions Dance Company in Brisbane, Chunky Move in Melbourne and Japanese Dance Theatre, Baobab and has performed at Sydney’s Platform Shorts 2017, BEAMS Arts Festival and Good Food Month. Kara currently works as a freelance dance teacher on the Northern Beaches whilst also completing her Cecchetti Ballet teacher’s degree.

Deborah Patience

RAD Ballet (Registered Teacher), Progressing Ballet Technique & Body Conditioning

Deborah studied RAD ballet and ISTD National Character as a child with Dalvern Thom and then went on to continue her studies full time with Joan and Monica Halliday, completing all levels including her RAD Advanced Certificate in ballet and achieving high level results and her ARAD status. After travelling extensively and performing internationally, Deborah returned to her teaching career and completed her RAD teacher training qualification with Prudence Bowen and has been an active RAD registered teacher since 1992.

At home in Australia, Deborah has been involved in much commercial work and has performed in a great many shows, events and featured in TV work and photo shoots. Deborah has also judged locally for the Showcase Australian Dance Championships Regional Competitions and Showcase National Finals in Australia and New Zealand. Deborah has also been on judging panels for dance competitions internationally, such as Canada and the USA and was in the very first cultural exchange performance in China.

For 12 years she was the Studio Director of the Deborah Johnson Dance Centre in Castle Hill and had many successes with her students having placements with the Australian Ballet school, Victorian Collage of the Arts, Chicago Ballet, Elmhurst, Royal Ballet School, Royal Birmingham Ballet and the Moulin Rouge Paris. Deborah’s students have had abundant success on the competition circuit, winning many prestigious competitions, including Sydney Eisteddfod and the Intermediate winner of the 2008 RAD Isobel Anderson Awards.

Deborah sold her studio in 2018 and is currently working as a freelance RAD ballet teacher and has worked for some of Sydney’s most prestigious full-time ballet schools such as Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy. She is passionate about continuing her professional development and is highly experienced in exam and eisteddfod preparation. Deborah has also overseen and been appointed Mentor by the RAD for many new teachers undergoing their RAD teacher training qualifications. Deborah has also been selected by the Artistic Director of the RAD, Paula Hunt to join the RAD Examiners Training Program. In 2017 Deborah was fortunate enough to travel to the Institute of Arts Barcelona, where she attended the World Dance Movement Convention and 2019 travelled to Holland to the European School of Ballet where her own daughter has received placement at age 14. Deborah is looking forward to sharing her love of ballet and years of teaching experience with a new generation of dancers  at Tempo Red to inspire and educate, as well as nurture the dancers and dance lovers of the future.

Natalie Taylor

RAD Ballet, Non-Exam Ballet & Body Conditioning

Natalie has been dancing since the age of 4, beginning her classical ballet training at Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy. She began her full-time training at the age of 14 mentored by Lucinda Dunn, a former principal of The Australian Ballet and has been trained in the RAD, Cecchetti and Vaganova disciplines. Natalie has had numerous achievements including being in the Invitee program with the Australian Ballet School, being a finalist in the Sydney Ballet Eisteddfod and competing in the Prix de Lausanne competition in Switzerland, where she received several scholarships. She furthered her classical ballet training at Hamburg Ballet School in Germany on scholarship for 18 months before returning back home to Australia. Natalie is passionate about teaching ballet and passing on her wealth of knowledge she has learnt from all her experiences and is looking forward to inspiring our young ballet dancers here at Tempo Red.

Chantelle Landayan

Lyrical, Contemporary & babyballet®

Chantelle Landayan grew up in Sydney and has been dancing for more than 15 years, being trained in numerous genres of dance. In 2014 she completed her Certificate IV in Dance at Sydney’s Ev and Bow Fulltime Dance Training Centre, and as a result of her hard work and dedication she received a scholarship in 2015 to further her training. Chantelle was lucky to learn closely with mentors such as Sarah Boulter, Adam Blanch, Neale Whittaker, Stephen Tannos, Anton, and many more.

Her love for performing was most recently highlighted in 2015/2016 where she became a Showtime dancer and performer at Luna Park Sydney entertaining a crowd of all ages. In 2016 Chantelle also became a part of several dance productions including DUTI Dance Company ‘Underminds’ and Dance Editorial’s ‘7 Vices Dance Production’ which toured several states in Australia. Later on in 2016 she also became a dancer for Australia’s soul singer Ngaiire, and performed at her ‘Blastoma’ Tour in Sydney. In 2017 she completed an intensive in Los Angeles to train under the guidance of the world renowned international choreographer Dana Foglia. Currently Chantelle is a member of the contemporary group ‘Des Fleurs’, where she creates, trains and performs at industry events. Despite performing one of her favourite places is to be is in the studio creating, teaching and inspiring the next generation of young dancers. She aims to create a fusion of movement and keep evolving her artistry through her experiences.

Pete Evans

Lyrical, Contemporary &  Jazz

After moving to Sydney when he was 19 to further evolve his career in dance, Pete completed two years of full time dance at ‘Ev&Bow’ under the guidance of Sarah Boulter and Lisa Bowmer. Once graduated, he took part in the ‘Dream Dance Company’s’ pre-professional program facilitated by Marko Panzic, which he used to network with other like-minded commercial dancers whom he now works regularly alongside of. Represented by Grayboy the Agency, Pete has continued to work regularly within the Sydney dance scene as well as internationally. Some of his performing and choreographic credits include Honda, ASICS, Telstra, Qatar Airways, the Eurovision Song Contest, Chinese New Year Parade, the NSW School Spectacular and Sydney Trains.

After living in Los Angeles recently for three months, his love for teaching and creating has heightened, leading him to become a sought after choreographer within Sydney. Pete is currently performing in ‘Una Palabra’, an original contemporary dance show choreographed and directed by Neale Whittaker. Pete is excited to inspire our students at Tempo Red and pass on his creative artistry and passion for the performing arts.

Tegan Jeffrey-Rushton

Lyrical, Contemporary & Jazz

Tegan Jeffrey-Rushton began dancing at the age of 8 at Sunshine Coast Performing Arts Centre in Queensland, training in all styles she then completed her Cert II and III in Dance. At the age of 16 Tegan moved solo to Sydney to complete Fulltime studies at ‘Ettingshausens’ and graduated from a second year of Fulltime gaining her Cert IV in dance at ‘Brent Street’ in 2015. During those two years of training she has had the privilege to train under many industry professionals such as- Stephen Tannos, Cameron Mitchell, Rob Mclean and Cat Santos. Tegan has also taken class at ‘Pulse Convention’ in Las Vegas and taken classes in LA and New York learning from world renowned choreographers (2015).

Tegan has had the opportunity to work with artists such as The Veronica’s and Redfoo. She has recently been lucky enough to be a part of The Dream Dance Company- ‘Show Business’- being mentored by the incredible Marko Panic and Katie Sanchez, along with training under other renowned industry legends such as Kelley Abbey and Kate Wormald. Tegan’s focus for the future is to continue to learn and grow as a dancer and teacher and gain more experience and knowledge in every genre. We are so excited to have Tegan as part of our Tempo Red team.

Robbie Mejica

Hip Hop

Robbie Is a Performer/Choreographer who graduated from Ed5 international performing arts course in 2015 under the guidance of William A Forsythe and an incredible faculty including the likes of Leslie bell and Nathan sheens. Robbie began his journey in 2010 within the world of Hip hop as a self trained hip hop dancer. Through this dormant passion for hip hop dancing Robbie was scouted by the Hip hop crew Kookies N Kream and played a part in many of their successes such as Grand finalists in 2012 Australia’s Got Talent where he was lucky enough to back up dance for the likes of Justin Beiber and Timomatic. The crew also found huge success within the national/ international Hip Hop competitions such as Hip hop international and World supremacy Battle grounds.

Robbie continues to expand his knowledge within the dance realm recently graduating from Marko Panzic Dream Dance “Show business” course where he trained under not only Australia’s elite but also internationally renowned dancers/choreographers such as Caetlyn Watson, Sarah burns and Lee Daniels. He is excited to inspire our students at Tempo Red and help them build a love for the hip hop genre.

Madelane Knowles

Hip Hop

Madelane Knowles grew up in Canberra and began to dance at the age of 9. She started at a local studio with the focus being on performing and enjoying classes, which naturally grew her love and passion for dance.

In 2015 at the age of 19, she moved to Sydney to complete a one year full time training course at Ev and Bow dance studio under the guidance of Sarah Boulter and Lisa Bowmer, thereby completing her Certificate IV in dance. In 2016 Madelane did a second year of full time training at Brent Street in the Triple Threat stream, obtaining yet another Certificate IV in dance. Over these two years of full time training, Madelane was under the guidance of teachers and mentors such as Neale Whittaker, Robert McLean, David McLean, Adam Blanch, Stephen Tannos, Mitchel Woodcock, Cameron Mitchell, Matthew Gode, and Bec Morris. Being able to train at both full time studios gave Madelane an exposure and experience in a wide range of dance styles from Ballet to Contemporary to traditional Jazz and Musical Theatre to Hip Hop and Urban styles.

Since graduating, Madelane has been involved in multiple projects such as More Than Movement directed by Robert McLean and Lucy Doherty, Chinese New Year performance choreographed by Sarah Boulter, Dream Industry Night performances choreographed individually by Pete Evans, Lucy Doherty and Feras Shaheen, Pacific Runway Fashion Show directed and choreographed by Sela Vai and also the Cronulla Sharks cheerleading squad directed by Jacquie-Lee Elliot.

In 2018, Madelane travelled solo to Germany to be taught by a selection of world renowned choreographers at Urban Dance Camp. She has also been fortunate in 2018 to work closely with both Megan Lawson and Jillian Meyers from the inspirational group The Seaweed Sisters, working on individuality and creativity through dance, with a principle focus upon expanding what is possible in dance! She is thrilled to be sharing her passion for dance with our students at Tempo Red.

Embla Bishop

Singing/Private Voice & Musical Theatre

Growing up in London in a Swedish speaking home, Embla was surrounded by the world of music and dance from day one. Emblas first professional appearance was in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ at the London Palladium in the West End at the age of eight. She went on to feature in two operas, ‘La Boheme’ and ‘The Magic Flute’ at Farrar Theatre (UK) After moving to Australia in 2009 Embla received a ‘Vocal Arts Excellence’ Award from the Manly Rotary club, and a number of Sydney Eisteddfods in classical and musical theatre voice categories. Embla completed the HSC in 2013 with a band 6 in Dance, Drama, Music and Music Extention. In 2016 Embla completed a three year BA in Music Theatre at WAAPA. Since graduating at WAAPA, Embla has starred in the professional production Oklahoma, Brigadoon, Jesus Christ Superstar and also performed the lead role of Aurora in OzPanto’s Sleeping Beauty. Embla has been teaching for over 5 years in all varieties of music and theatre and has instilled her love for it in many of our students here at Tempo Red.

Victoria Luxton

Musical Theatre

Victoria Luxton is a triple threat performer originally from Perth where she went to WAAPA to complete her certificate in Musical Theatre while training full time in dance. She then chased her dreams to the Sunshine State and completed her Bachelor Of Musical Theatre at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Whilst there she had many performance opportunities including Opera Queensland’s Kiss Me Kate in which she was featured in a tap trio. Since graduating Victoria has performed in Independent musical theatre productions across Sydney. She loves her students at Tempo Red and can not wait to continue teaching in 2019!

Anna Pettifer

Jazz, Musical Theatre & Body Conditioning

Anna started dancing at the age of 8 years old. By the age of 14 Anna was accepted into the Australian Performing Arts Grammar School with a scholarship and attended whilst training at Brent Street Part-time. In 2014 Anna was accepted into the renowned Brent Street Academy to finish her senior schooling whilst in full time dance, attending Brent Street for 2 years full time. During her training she completed her ballet exams with the Royal Academy of Ballet, up to the advanced level and also completed her CSTD Contemporary Technique exam with the guidance of renowned choreographer Jason Winters. She also passed her HSC Dance exams with flying colours receiving a band 6 and two callbacks to perform with the best in the state. Since her training Anna has worked as a dancer professionally and continues to perform.

As well as dance Anna has excelled in music, performing as a core singer at the schools spectacular and as a featured singer at the arts north festival, performing at the opera house concert hall as a soloist two years running. Anna has also performed opening at the Randwick Racecourse and has a passion for the piano. As an enthusiastic and passionate individual, Anna is always excited to work with new talent and help young performers grow into the best artists they can be in a nurturing and encouraging way.

Jennifer Psaroulis


Jennifer has been dancing since the age of 3 and has been a part of the Tempo Red community since the age of 6 competing in eisteddfods around Australia in ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and demi-character.

Throughout the years she has completed all of her R.A.D ballet exams with Distinction and has competed in the Isobel Anderson Awards for the past 4 years. She has been training at both Tempo Red and SCECGS Redlands, where she has been a major lead role in Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote. She has immersed herself through her years at Tempo Red taking classes and workshops with some of Sydney’s leading Choreographers such as Michael Schwantz, Lauren Seymour, Andrew Huynh, Mitch Winter and Yukino McHugh to name a few.

Jennifer also recently completed her Certificate II in Dance with Dance Editorial and specialised in jazz and lyrical. She is currently studying the International Baccalaureate with plans to travel overseas and try different dance programs, working with different choreographers throughout all her genres. Jennifer is delighted to work with the students at Tempo Red encouraging them to advance their technical and performing abilities through her passion of dance and love for her school.

Freya Smith


Freya is going into her 16th year of dance training in a variety of styles including commercial and musical theatre jazz, ballet, contemporary/lyrical and hip hop. She has completed her training at Dance North Academy and a variety of programs/institutes. She has completed up to advanced one in RAD ballet and was also lucky enough to complete a year of Academy Ballet’s Aspire part time ballet program under the guidance of Vicki Attard. An influential aspect of her training was the mentorship she received during her two years at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts dancing in their senior repertory and Classical Ballet companies. This past year she successfully completed a year of full time dance training gaining her diploma of elite performance in dance at the Next Step Performing Arts, which has expanded her knowledge and developed herself as a more versatile dancer. Freya is excited to join the Tempo Red team and work to inspire and extend our recreational students. 

Reid Perry

Tap Instructor

Reid began dancing from a young age at Tap Pups under Dein Perry. During his childhood years he performed at many lucrative events including the Lord Mayor’s New Years Eve Party at the Opera House in 2015, He also appeared on The Footy Show, at the re-opening of Luna Park, at the World Masters Games Opening ceremony and many more.


Reid was lucky enough to make his Tap Dogs debut in 2016 and has performed corporate events with the Tap Dogs them all over Australia. Reid has recently returned from the Tap Dogs 2018/19 World Tour where they performed in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, United States and on London’s West End.

Yukino McHugh

Contemporary & Hip Hop (Guest Teacher)

Yukino McHugh is a creative performer who is passionate about expressing her messages and ideas through her crafts. These crafts embrace Dance, Choreography, Acting, Singing and Modelling. Yukino is an Australian based performing artist who is currently working in the Australian Dance industry and is well known from the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance”, where she was one of the top 20 Finalists.

The show aired on channel TEN and Yukino finished in the top 14 dancers of Australia – She was the last standing female Hip Hop dancer on the show. Being on the show gave her the chance to work with world class artists, such as Paula Abdul and Robbie Williams. Yukino was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to also choreograph a segment for Paula Abdul in the Paula Abdul tribute routine on the show. Yukino is very passionate about fusing different styles of dance together and she believe this comes from having two different ethnic backgrounds and being brought up with different cultures, Yukino has always being passionate about translating, when she can cross different cultures like Hip Hop and Contemporary, Commercial and Arts, she loves mixing the two together and being a translator for the different worlds.

Thomas Egan

Tap (Guest Teacher)

Thomas has performed with Tap Dogs (touring France, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, China and Australia), Singing’ In The Rain, Fame The Musical, Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby”, Kylie Minogue, Timomatic, X-Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, Young Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz, Charlie Bates in Oliver and TVC’s for So You Think You Can Dance.

He is a creative on the show ‘The Tap Pack’, nominated for two Green Room Awards, Spirt Of The Fringe Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a Dance Award. The show has had seasons on the West End in London, Beijing, Berlin and Australia. Thomas Founded The Forge Tap Company (an Australian contemporary tap company) debuting with it’s first work “Alpha” and is passionate about inspiring young tap dancers with his initiative The Forge Tap Project.

He credits Sharon Lawrence (his Mother), Barbra Lynch, Chris Horsey, Paul Davis, the Victorian College Of The Arts and the many instructors he traveled to the U.S to engage with for his training. Thomas Egan is excited to be back at Tempo Red again as the head of our Tap faculty, teaching his unique style of tap to our new generation of dancers.

Andrew Huynh

Contemporary (Guest Teacher)

Andrew first began his studies at Glenda Yee School of Dance across multiple disciplines. At age 16, He moved to Newtown High School of Performing Arts focusing on Ballet and Contemporary. After completing the HSC, he enrolled in the Bachelor of Dance program at Wesley Institute and graduated that program in 2014. Andrew is one of the next unique upcoming artists to hit the industry and has a huge future ahead of him. He has been involved in many collaborated pieces with Stephen Tannos e.g “New Dorp. New York” as well as choreographing his own pieces for major industry events. Andrew hopes to not only achieve all of his own goals, but also encourage and inspire others to follow their dreams.

Lisa Unger

Studio Coordinator / Accounts

Lisa has had many years of experience in live theatre and events. She has a background in arts administration and most recently managed and produced the APRA Art Music Awards and APRA Screen Music Awards, as well as managing the iconic Marcia Hines and her touring band for Peter Rix Management. Lisa also worked for Federation University as Production Manager for the Bachelor of Art (Music Theatre) cohort where she produced all student productions. Lisa has a love of the performing arts and is looking forward to assisting students, parents and team members at Tempo Red.