Southern Ballet Theatre Trust Board


Patrons Fiona Tonkin, ARAD & Lorraine Peters, QSM, ARAD Life Member, ABBO
Founder Lorraine Peters, QSM, ARAD Life Member, ABBO
Board of Trustees Vanessa Martin (Chairperson)
  Deborah Davids  
  Graeme Thomson  
  Marion Champ  
  Lucinda Rees




Patron and Founder

Lorraine Peters Q.S.M., ARAD (Life Member), A.B.B.O

Lorraine PetersLorraine Peters, Master Tutor and Choreographer, established her own very successful Ballet School in 1951 and ten years later founded the Christchurch Ballet Society. New Zealand trained; Lorraine Peters has dedicated her career to dance training of excellence and the development of ballet in Christchurch. In 1975 she became Founder and Artistic Director of Southern Ballet Theatre and five years after returning from the U.S.A founded the Southern Ballet Junior Company. During her career, she has trained numerous dancers who have gone on to join professional ballet companies at Principal and Soloist levels. Past students have achieved Adeline Genee Medal, Sir John Logan, Campbell Award, Alana Haines Award, Young Performer of the Year, and many others. She has choreographed numerous full-length original ballets for the company and has guest conducted major and grade seminars. In 1991, Lorraine Peters received the Queens Service Medal in recognition for her achievements to ballet in New Zealand. Lorraine leads the artistic team, giving her valuable experience in all areas of the school and companies.



Fiona Tonkin ARAD    

World acknowledged ballerina, Fiona Tonkin is also our Patron. Fiona trained under Miss Peters QSM tutelage at Southern Ballet until she was 17 years of age leaving to accept an invitation to join the New Zealand Ballet Company. Fiona’s career advanced rapidly, going on to receive standing ovations in Russia and in London in the presence of her Majesty the Queen. A lovely photo of her was taken with her Majesty the Queen.Fiona is now Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet Company.


Teaching Staff

 BBO Reg Teacher, Polestar Pilates Teacher - Antoinette McKay   
Antoinette grew up and learnt to dance in Christchurch and spent many of her teenage years at Southern Ballet in the Arts Centre. After finishing her schooling Antoinette trained at the New Zealand School of Dance and then the National Theatre School in Melbourne. Antoinette was fortunate to have trained under Ann Jenner (ex principal of the Royal Ballet) Gary Norman and Joanne Michel (ex principals of the Australian Ballet) and Gailene Stock (current director of the Royal Ballet School in London) to name a few. In 1990, Antoinette was the winner of the inaugural New Zealand Ballet National Award, a prestigious competition. On finishing her training, Antoinette headed to Europe and danced with the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland. She had the opportunity to dance a large variety of roles including soloist roles but her favorites were the classics. Antoinette was fortunate to work with some well-known names in dance including current director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet Ethan Stiefel. Antoinette took a break from dance on returning to New Zealand until 6 years ago when she started up her own junior ballet school in Prebbleton. As the ballet school grew, so did the demands on Antoinette's time so at the end of last year Antoinette decided to discontinue with her own school so that she could focus primarily on teaching and  her family and working within the Southern Ballet environment has allowed her to do this. It has also allowed Antoinette to study another passion of hers - Pilates. Antoinette loves teaching and sets high standards which have seen her students attain excellent results.

Senior Ballet Company/Senior Boys/Professional Open Class - Glen Harris A.B.BO. (Hon) A.B.B.O. (Full Teacher Reg)

GlenWeb1Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Glen Harris began his classical training at the age of seven. His training is founded in the British Ballet Organization. Upon completion of his training at Southern Ballet, he went to begin an extensive dancing career around the world where he first joined the Australian Ballet in 1981 and was a featured soloist in many roles. His career then took him to Europe where he was invited to join the Opernhaus Ballet in Zurich. After two years in Switzerland, he went to the U.S.A where he joined the world-renowned Joffery Ballet dancing with them for six years. In 1994, Glen left the world of ballet for a time to appear on Broadway in the Lincoln Centre Production of "Carousel". He danced the lead role of the "Fairground Boy" choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan. After that Glen joined the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York and enjoyed nine years performing in a vast repertoire with many international stars of opera and ballet. Glen taught for the Miami City Ballet School from 2002 - 2004 where he set daily classes, choreographed the end of year productions as well as setting Balanchine's "Nutcracker" for the Miami City Ballet. Glen returned home to Christchurch and to Southern Ballet Theatre, where he has been the Senior Tutor. Glen is the director of the Senior Ballet Company & tutors and & choreographs their productions. Glen also tutors boys' classes, Professional Open Classes and the very popular Adults Ballet Classes. Glen also tutors the open classes for the Junior and Intermediate Ballet Companies.


Senior Ballet Tutor - Lioudmila Solovieva Vaganova (Hon), A.B.B.O. (Dist) (Full Teacher Reg, Hons)


Lioudmila Solovieva graduated from the Perm State Ballet School, Russia, in 1983 and danced as Soloist in Russia until 1992. On her Directors recommendation, she was invited to take up a soloist position with the Opera & Ballet Theatre in Cairo, Egypt, until 1997. During her career, Lioudmila has danced Principal and Soloist roles in the following classical and contemporary repertoire: Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, The Fountain of Bakhchisaray, Le Corsaire, Porgy and Bess, Cleopatra, Bolero, The Creation of the World, 491 Fahrenheit, Paquita and many others. She has also performed on the prestigious stages in Moscow, St Petersburg and many of the international dance centers around the world. Lioudmila teaches in the Senior School, achieving an excellent student success rate in examinations, and is the director of the Intermediate Ballet Company;  tutoring and choreographing their productions.




Junior Ballet Tutor - Amanda Ganev BBO Reg Teacher, ANZAMD


Amanda is Christchurch born and started her training at Southern Ballet in the Arts Centre when she was 5. During her time there she has trained in both RAD Ballet and NZAMD Jazz. She counts herself fortunate to have had inspirational teachers, among them Pamela Rathbone, Greer Robson and Russell Kerr QSM. Joining Southern Ballet Companies ignited her love of performance and stage craft, which later lead her to gain a place alongside NZSD students and tour the South Island performing 3 works by Paul Jensen, including the wildly popular Hairy Maclary. Amanda then took a break from dance to travel extensively. Seven years later she returned to her home town to marry and raise a family. Amanda tutors in the junior school and relishes the opportunity to keep growing as a teacher and contribute creatively at production time.


Faculty Manager, Jazz Tutor & Director of Jazz Companies - Sarah Johnstone NZAMD Registered Teacher – Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Hip Hop and Tap


 Sarah is returning to Southern Ballet. Sarah learnt ballet under the guidance of Lorraine Peters (Founder of Southern Ballet). She also studied jazz and contemporary. She was motivated to train full time and progressed to a successful competitive career. This presented many opportunities to dance and work with national & international artists including a career highlight of performing as soloist dancer for the music sensation Julio Iglesias during his World ‘Tango’ Tour. She continued her dance education studying Ballroom & Latin American becoming an Australasian Champion and also performed on cruise liners. Mentoring young dancers has been Sarah’s passion for the last 10 years teaching the NZAMD syllabus in her own school. To ensure her coaching is relevant and current she has travelled internationally and been inspired by exciting industry tutors and choreographers. Sarah’s aim is to share her passion for dance and work with students to fulfil their own dance dreams, building a strong technical foundation and providing them with the skills to perform to their full potential. Sarah has two children, Sophie and Sam who both dance.


Contemporary and Jazz Teacher – Viana Ta


Viana began her dance journey training in RAD Ballet at Sharon Howells School of Dance in Christchurch, New VianaWeb20Zealand.In her last year of NCEA, she was accepted to train at Urban Dance Centre (Sydney, Australia) under the guidance of artistic director, Jason Winters. After completing her first year, she decided to continue on to obtain her Diploma in Performing Arts at ED5 International (Sydney, Australia) under the direction of William A. Forsythe for the next two years.During her time in Australia, Viana’s highlights have been: dancing alongside Australian Musical Theatre star, Bobby Fox at The Annual Premiers Gala Concert (chor. William A Forsythe), the Arnotts Charity Gala Ball 2016 (chor. Michael Corbett), the Netball World Cup Opening Ceremony 2015 (chor. Shannon O’Shea)Most recently, Viana has just completed Broadway Dance Centre's elite ISVP Pro Semester in New York under world-renowned industry choreographers and artists. She was lucky enough to perform in pieces choreographed by Marc Kimmelman, Ryan Daniel Beck, and Shiela Barker.Viana loves teaching and some will remember her from teaching at our Summer School last year.For 2019, Viana is looking forward to dancing with Epic Entertainment, as well as bringing all her international experiences to her choreography and teaching.

 Contemporary and Jazz Teacher – Eden Warner


Senior Ballet & Contemporary Tutor and Theatre Technician - Sean James



A graduate of the NZSD, Sean has been performing ballet, contemporary and musical theatre roles with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Southern Ballet and numerous local choreographers. He has also enjoyed touring with "Chess" and "Cats". Sean works in Christchurch and around the South Island in various technical roles such as stage manager, sound engineer, lighting designer, and theatre technician. Currently he is involved with many of the festival seasons produced yearly in Christchurch, and performance groups such as Daniel Belton & Good Company, Vivek Kinra, Sheryl Robinson, and a wide range of touring shows that utilize the Southern Ballet Theatre. Sean lights and 'techs' the Southern Ballet Theatre for many of our company and school productions.



Ballet & Flamenco Tutor - Maureen Coulter

ARAD, Registered Teacher RAD, MA, PhD, Lamda TCC, Post Grad. Teacher’s Certificate


Maureen Coulter operated her own dance school in Christchurch—the Maureen Perry School of Dance—for a number of years, teaching ballet and national dance at junior and senior level. Wishing to broaden her experience, Maureen studied at the University of Canterbury, ultimately graduating with a PhD that explored the image of the dancer as an aesthetic icon in French and Irish literature and drama.  While studying, she continued to teach ballet, Ballet History and Dance Aesthetics, free-lance and also taught at Southern Ballet before going to Hong Kong.

Maureen recently returned from Hong Kong where she worked as a secondary school teacher for eleven years. During that time, she taught IGCSE English Literature and Drama, established Performing Arts programmes, and directed, choreographed and designed costumes for student musicals and various drama productions. She also spent one year as a part-time tutor in Dance Aesthetics and Dance History at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

While in Hong Kong, Maureen pursued a lifelong interest in flamenco dance, studying and performing flamenco with the Clara Ramona Danza Flamenca school. She attended workshops with some of Spain’s top flamenco dancers such as Isaac De Los Reyes, Nino De Los Reyes, Miguel Angel Espino, Rosana Romero, Sofia Rodriguez and Triana Marciel-Prats. Now back in Christchurch, Maureen is thrilled to be able to bring her flamenco knowledge and experience to Southern Ballet students.



Classical and Contemporary Dance Tutor - Polina Loman Polina

Polina is a graduate of the State University of Culture and Arts in Saint-Petersburg, Russia where she majored in classical and contemporary dance techniques. After graduation she performed for different theatres in St. Petersburg. While performing she participated in various workshops with choreographers from Europe and USA. Also Polina gained Master Degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, specialising in Art Management.

Since she has always had desire for teaching, Polina has developed her professional tutoring skills through working as a dance tutor over 10 years with different schools in Russia and Australia.



Stretch and conditioning Tutor - Kathryn Holdsworth


Born in Christchurch, Kathryn spent her childhood training in ballet, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She represented New Zealand as an elite rhythmic gymnast for seven years, travelling all over the world to compete in international events. Kathryn was a New Zealand Champion and Gymnast of the Year before turning to coaching. She is a qualified Senior Coach in rhythmic gymnastics and was both a Head and Elite Coach at clubs in Christchurch. Kathryn has coached multiple gymnasts to win national titles and compete for their country. Her highlight was being the coach of the New Zealand rhythmic gymnastics team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Kathryn is excited to share her knowledge of stretching, conditioning and general body preparation with the dancers at Southern Ballet.



Theatre Manager - Marion Champ

MarionMarion is in attendance at the office from 11.00am to 7.00pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. She will answer any queries you may have. Marion is in charge of the office and has had vast experience is all fields of office work. You will find her most approachable and always willing to be of assistance.




Office Assistance - Anneke Van Heyningen

Anneke is a former Southern Ballet student, after a few years training and dancing in USA Anneke has returned to Christchurch to attend university. Anneke is in attendance in the office on Fridays 3.30-5.30pm and Saturdays 9am -1pm.



Coordinator - Felecity Giddens

Costumier - Nicola May

Costumier - Charlotte McNaulty

The wardrobe team is an asset to the Southern Ballet with their wonderful creative talents designing and making the many costumes required for productions. The team  is supported by parents who volunteer their time and skills to assist with costumes and props.



Full Time Pianist - Wayne Twohill
B.A, L.T.C.L.

Wayne Twohill30 years ago, Wayne started playing for ballet with Janice Squire in Thames. For the last 20 years, he has played for various schools in Christchurch and has played for R.A.D, B.B.O and Ceccetti during this time. Wayne is the resident pianist for the R.A.D in Christchurch & has recently played for highland dancing exams. Wayne has been a full time pianist at Southern Ballet since 2005. Wayne has also played and toured with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company as their travelling pianist for part of their NZ Tours on several occasions.