Artistic DirectorKatie Hurst-Saxton


Southern Ballet Theatre is delighted to introduce Katie Hurst-Saxton as the new Artistic Director. With an impressive 23-year career in professional dance and teaching in New Zealand and Australia, Katie has come back to her hometown of Christchurch. Her dance journey started at the age of 5 under Ann Judson's guidance, and by 12, she was already in full-time training. Under the mentorship of Sherilyn Kennedy, Carl Myers, and Russell Kerr ONZM QSM at the International Ballet Academy, Katie was invited to participate as a student extra in Kerr’s Swan Lake with the Royal New Zealand Ballet at just 16 years old, making her the youngest dancer to join RNZB. This opportunity led to Katie's exceptional performances as a Principal Dancer, earning her accolades worldwide. Katie, with 13 years of experience as a classical ballet instructor, started her teaching journey in Australia before returning to New Zealand. She spent two years teaching at SBT and then danced with the RNZB in Wellington for another two years. After retiring from dancing, Katie shared her knowledge at En Pointe Dance Academy in Wellington and the Valerie Lissette School of Dance in Hamilton. Katie expresses her gratitude for being appointed as the next Artistic Director of SBT. Having admired the school since childhood, she aims to enhance the wonderful foundation laid by Lorraine Peters QSM and continue guiding the SBT family towards a prosperous future.