Alexandra le Maitre

Ballet and Flamenco

Alexandra attended the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg before studying at UCT Ballet School. She studied ballet with Annelise Venter and Flamenco with Hazel Acosta and holds her Associate qualification with the Cecchetti Society, a Licentiate qualification in the Ballet Faculty of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance and is a teaching member of Alianza Flamenca.

As a member of the Johannesburg Youth Ballet, Alexandra performed lead roles such as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, acted as assistant repetiteur and choreographed Spanish and Contemporary works for the company.

Alexandra has choreographed various works for the Dance Umbrella and Arts Alive Festivals as well as studio shows, concerts and for fundraising events. She was co-founder and co-director of Ritmo Spanish Dance Company and danced the role of Carmen in their production; she was nominated for an award for Best female Contemporary Dancer for her performance in Del Alma. Alexandra has performed with various Spanish Dance Companies such as Danza Noventa, El Rincon Flamenco and in Peña Flamenca with Antonio del Castillo and Tanya del Ronda.

Alexandra has attended various Flamenco courses both in Spain and South Africa as well as Imperial Ballet Summer Schools in Chichester, England. She is a member of the Management Committees of Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre and Alianza Flamenca.

Trish McKenna

Tap

Trish is an examiner for the ISTD in Modern Theatre and Tap. She was a professional dancer, singer and actress for many years appearing in the original production of Godspell and in numerous other musicals, variety shows and in tv dramas. Her choreography projects include Return to the Forbidden Planet, Music of the Night, Jaques Brel, A Tribute to Billy Joel, Stepping Out and Thouroughly Modern Millie. Trish directed and choreographed the Blues Brothers as well as several other stage productions and spent many years staging Corporate events for various companies

Clare Matthes

Modern and Tap

Clare’s dad always swore she was born belting out “tah dah” while proudly splaying jazz hands. At three she started ballet and by 10 she was keen on modern and tap too. Clare initially trained with Bernice Lloyd and Dianne Archbell who taught the Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus, while her tap, modern and drama were eventually all taught at the Waybury School of the Arts in Rosebank.

Clare joined Alexandra le Maitre’s ballet class at Le Gal Dance Centre and fell in love with the Imperial Ballet syllabus which sparked her interest in becoming a teacher. It was then that she chose to teach rather than pursue a career performing.

While studying at university, Clare qualified as a dance teacher in all three dance disciplines and now enjoys choreographing “first dances” for wedding couples and often teaches ballroom to beginners. She has taught for various dance schools in Johannesburg including the Paula Lopes School of Dance, the Katz School of Dance and the Dance Junxion.

Marga Sander

Accompanist

Marga obtained her BMus (Hons) from the PU for CHE under the supervision of Bernarda Swart. She received training as accompanist from the late Anna Bender and singing training from Sarie Lamprecht. She plays numerous roles in the world of music including those of music director, arranger, accompanist, singer, adjudicator and teacher.

For the past 6 years, Marga has been the music director of the UJ Arts Academy. She has been a part of the production team for 11 years, working on Chicago (2000), árchie & mehitabel (2002), Jacques Brel (2003), Ain’t Misbehavin’(2004), Anything Goes (2005). She made her conducting debut with Ian von Memerty’s Jump for Joy (2006) and has been the music director for West Side Story (2006), Cabaret (2007) Footloose (2008), Rocco de Villiers’s Jozi Ma Sweetie (2009), Purr Factory (2010) and Black Street Jazz staring Abigail Khubeka.

Recently Marga has worked on Richard Loring’s Hairspray and Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, Cats, Phantom of the Opera as well as Carmen the Ballet and Carmina Burana with the Joburg Festival Orchestra. She is currently assistant music director and 2nd conductor for Dirty Dancing SA.

She is part of the Boverhoff and Sander Piano Duo. One of her highlights was the 2011 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, performing Mahler 5th Symphony, written for 4hands on1piano.

Marga also plays for ISTD, RAD Ballet classes and exams, sings in Richard Cock’s Chanticleer Singers and works as a freelancer.