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Meet the Team

Jennifer Craddock


With a successful dance career under her belt and over 20 years of teaching, Jennifer Craddock understands the dance world inside and out. From rubbing shoulders with the Minogue sisters, to partying on stage with Marcia Hines, Jen has worked with some of the industry’s best!

Now her love for dance extends to her students.


Jennifer is also a trained Pilates Instructor, allowing her to share her knowledge of the industry and passion for healthy movement. To Jen, dance is more than a beautiful art form, it is a way of life! A way to establish life-long friendships, promote good health and most importantly, have fun in a safe and nurturing environment. 

Her CV is extensive, having performed at the MTV Music Awards, Aria Awards and also holding the position of the Princess Cruises Line Captain. Outside of her performance work, Jen has a reputation as one of Sydney’s finest choreographers and teachers, choreographing for many corporate events, including Bendon, Lynx, Peugeot, Goldwell, DanceExpo, Commonwealth Annual Ball, Expomania, Limelight events and Clinique (you know, just to name a few). Then of course, there’s her teaching - Sydney Dance Company, McDonald College, ED5 International as well as guest classes in all major cities in both NZ and Australia.

Jen began teaching at the Neutral Bay School of Dance in 2002, taking over as Director in 2010, and hasn’t looked back. She absolutely loves teaching, and her warm and positive nature, along with her skill and experience, gives her students a fun, encouraging environment where they can be challenged in a healthy way and grow as performers.

Nerida Harrison

RAD Ballet

There is one word that best describes Nerida. She’s RAD! Our expert RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) ballet teacher, her eye for detail and attention to her students is second to none. Working with students from pre-primary to open, her commitment is proven as her students continue to grow.


Nerida started her classical ballet training at the tender age of five at the ‘Helene France School of Ballet’. Completing her RAD examinations, she continued to study Jazz with Kerry Woods and then became a student of the Young Entertainer’s Company, forming Rhythm ‘n’ Motion, which saw Nerida’s professional career take off overseas.


Returning to Australia, she dabbled in the corporate world until her heart lead her back to dance, gaining her Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Licence in 1998. 


Now the Chairperson of the RAD Regional Panel for NSW, Nerida coaches her students through their own ballet journey, seeing them through RAD examinations for more than 20 years.


Combining discipline with encouragement, Nerida is an enthusiastic teacher who cares about her students at NBD, she has been teaching RAD ballet at NBD for almost a decade! Her grounded nature and enthusiasm are a great motivator to our ballet students as they progress from pre-primary to the highest levels of RAD.


Ainsley Oates

Singing / Glee Club

With an angelic voice and a personality to match, Ainsley makes a wonderful singing teacher. Teaching our Glee Club, she passes on her passion for all things musical theatre to the students of NBD.


Beginning her training as a young child, Ainsley was invited to be a part of TDP (Talent Development Program) where she worked with performers such as Jackie Love and Peter Cousens. Graduating from ED5 International in 2013 with a Diploma of Performing Arts (vocal major) she has continued to inspire others through her singing lessons.


Ainsley has performed at the 2013 Premiers Concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, as a club vocalist with Control, back-up vocalist for the Robbie Williams Tribute Show and a wedding vocalist with Voci D’Amore. She has also performed in several children’s productions such as The Party Pirates and plays Elsa at themed events (our young students think this is the Coolest. Thing. Ever.).


A firm believer in continuous development, Ainsley consistently grows as an artist by attending courses at NIDA, The Actor’s Studio, screen acting classes at the Sydney Screen Actors Group and Sydney Actors Collective as well as singing lessons with esteemed vocal coaches, Pat H Wilson (Hi-5) and Kym Parrish (ED5).


Ainsley is a great role model for young performers and her work ethic and drive are infectious! 

After a break to start her family and enjoy maternity leave Ainsley will be back for her 6th year teaching at NBD.


Sydney Humphries

Wednesday Jazz and Soloists

An inspiration to watch, Sydney captures the attention of our students in a heartbeat with her beautiful technique and incredible flexibility, making her the most wonderful jazz and technique mentor.


Beginning her dance journey in Hobart, Tasmania, Sydney fell in love with many styles of movement including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and acrobatics, as well as singing. Learning and growing as a dancer at Hobart’s Body Language Dance Studio, she soon made the big move to Sydney to study dance full time. 


Honing her contemporary skills at Ev & Bow Full Time Dance Training Centre, followed by two years at ED5 International studying various styles, Sydney has developed as a dancer through well-rounded training, which no doubt attributes to her gorgeous technique.

Outside of teaching Sydney works as a dancer, performing and choreographing for various corporate events and dance workshops and conventions around Australia.  Her biggest achievement has been her recent work producing, directing, choreographing and performing in her new cabaret show After Midnight The Cabaret, the show was a huge success in the 2022 Fringe Festival.


2023 will be Sydney's 5th year with NBD, Sydney feels grateful to be able to pass on her knowledge and love of the arts to students who are passionate about performing. Whether their reasons for dancing at NBD are to build their confidence and make new friends, or they are contemplating a professional dance career of their own, Sydney hopes to help them develop and continue their journey of discovery through dance.

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Melanie Cannon

Lyrical Contemporary / Pre Junior Performance Team

An incredible educator Melanie brings a wealth of knowledge, passion and dedication to her classes.


Beginning her training in England, where she completed her RAD and ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) Ballet and Modern Contemporary exams (Distinctions in both!), Melanie was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Doreen Bird College of Dance and Musical Theatre in London, where she honed her skills and trained for an additional four years.


Upon graduation, Melanie’s passion was at an all-time high and she was feeling the pull toward teaching so she could pass her dance knowledge and experience to students, sharing her love for dance. She went on to complete a BA Honours Degree in Dance Teaching, which has opened the door to many opportunities since moving to Australia in 2015.


Melanie has worked with REDed (a dance education program delivered to schools across NSW), taught co-curricular dance classes at both primary and secondary schools, choreographed competition troupes and most recently the musical production of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ for the International Grammar School. Melanie’s passion and pure love for the industry has also given her the opportunity to work with ‘Dance Ability’ for two years, teaching both children and adults with learning disabilities to find joy in music and movement.


Her kind spirit and passion for teaching is evident in all of her classes. Melanie enjoys working with the kids of NBD and watching them shine in the studio.  

2023 will be Melanie's 5th year teaching at NBD, after having a year maternity leave she is super excited to be back teaching Contemporary and Pre Junior Performance Team. 


Debbie Keenan

Tuesday & Friday Jazz + Junior, Inter & Senior Performance Team

Leading the way in both our Jazz classes and our Jazz performance groups, Debbie is an accomplished dancer with a passion for watching her students grow. She loves teaching her students the ability to express emotion through dance and has so much to share with NBD!


Studying full-time dance at The Space Dance and Arts Centre, Debbie has had a colourful career filled with international travel and Australian highlights. She has performed with Lion Heart Dance Company, featured in several music videos and has choreographed full productions in Melbourne. Teaching a variety of styles since the age of 14, Debbie specialises in Jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop, having taught at various schools throughout Melbourne as well as travelling to India & Germany to teach on an international scale. 


2023 will be Debbie's 4th year as part of the NBD team. Our students can expect Jazz classes full of fun and hard work with Debbie. Inspiring her students to be the best they can be and watching them improve is her goal. 

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