Marian McDermott T.T.C. Owner and Principal of Step Beyond Studios

Marian McDermott has been teaching ballet for 30 years so far! She began her ballet training at the age of eight. She studied in Wellington, attained an advanced level in ballet training and went on to perform both ballet and contemporary dance. She was a founding member of Wellington based "Footnote Dance Company."Marian also trained and worked as a Primary School Teacher and has found this training helpful in her lengthy ballet teaching career. She taught ballet for Deirdre Tarrant and at the "Limbs Dance School". In 1990 she established the highly popular community ballet programme at "The Performing Arts School of New Zealand".

Marian McDermott

In 1995 Marian established the then named "Marian McDermott School of Dance" in her home suburb of Torbay and this school grew so rapidly that in 2004 she rather reluctantly had to make the decision to finish teaching at the PAS so she could concentrate on the Torbay dance school.

Marian has developed a unique and inspiring teaching approach, which she demonstrated at a major International Dance Conference in Canada in 2000. Her lecture/demonstration "The Benefits of a Positive Teaching Approach in the Ballet Class" was acclaimed as ground breaking. Upon returning to New Zealand she somewhat unexpectedly became the focus of much media attention regarding her work.

In 2008 Marian established the now highly acclaimed One Step Beyond Dance Company, a youth dance company, to cater for the needs of her most dedicated and talented senior students.

Each year Marian works hard to produce entirely original and very creative ballets for her ever growing school giving all the students an opportunity to perform on stage in ballets designed specifically for them.

Meet Our Tutors

Gemma Herbison BSC
Gemma Herbison BSC
Gemma is an energetic and enthusiastic teacher who loves sharing her knowledge with students. She has a background in ballet and contemporary dance and is also currently a Pilates instructor and medical student, and is passionate about the role of conditioning in dance. Gemma started dancing when she was six and built a strong technique base throughout her time with Marian. She was a founding member of One Step Beyond Youth Dance Company and has had the opportunity to work with choreographers and various coaches nationally. In 2014 she completed a BSc at the University of Otago is now in her fourth year of an MBChB at the University of Auckland. Gemma is interested in the integration between dance and medical research and in 2016 attended the International Association of Dance Medicine conference in Hong Kong. Along with learning technical foundations, Gemma provides her students with an opportunity to learn more about how their bodies work through the integration of Pilates techniques and dance.
Anna MacRae
Anna MacRae
Since 2001 Anna has been working in Europe as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She taught for professional dance companies and dance festivals, institutions and independent professional classes such as; SEAD-Salzburg, Tanzquartier Wien, Tanzhaus Zürich, k3 Hamburg, TanzFabrik Berlin, and CONdance Vienna. Anna danced for Cie. Willi Dorner in Vienna, for Meg Stuart’s company Damaged Goods in Berlin, and for French choreographer Boris Charmatz and French Director Laurent Chétouane. Anna’s own work toured to Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Romania. Her trio “with subtitles” premiered in“eXplore” Festival in Bucharest 09. “with subtitles” was also presented in the last[8:tension]ImpulsTanz 2010 and “LOUD ENOUGH” premiered in Vienna and in the “eXplore” Festival Bucharest in October 2011. Since returning to New Zealand in 2012 Anna has been teaching dance to children and professional dancers (Independance and Douglas Wright Dance co.) and tutoring Unitec dance students with their choreographic pieces.
Amelia Meineke
Amelia Meineke
Jacqui Rose has been a dancer for over 30 years, beginning classical dance when she was 8 years old. She trained in Melbourne, Australia, dancing full-time with the National Theatre Ballet School in St Kilda and has had the opportunity to train under many esteemed teachers, including Eileen Tasker O.A.M, Ann Jenner, Joanne Adderly and Gaylene Stock. She has completed Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) examinations up until the Advanced Level and has also completed a Certificate in Full Time Dance training. Jacqui was also an associate student with the prestigious Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. Jacqui currently dances at Step Beyond Studios in the advanced class and believes strongly in the school’s philosophy to teaching dance. As a teacher, she is passionate about helping her students to build confidence in themselves through movement, and focuses on the importance of finding the balance between strong technique and artistic expression. Jacqui’s area of speciality in dance is ballet, however has also has a strong background in many other forms of dance including contemporary, jazz, character, Spanish and musical comedy. As well as a dancer, Jacqui has completed a Masters in Psychology and is when she is not dancing, works in Private Practice as a Registered Psychologist.
Emma Barnes
Emma Barnes
Emma enjoys sharing her love of dance with others and strives to give her students individualised feedback to challenge and inspire them. She has been learning ballet at Marian McDermott School of Dance (now Step Beyond Studios) since she was five years old and contemporary dance since she was nine. Emma was a member of One Step Beyond Youth Dance Company for five years. In 2014, she travelled to Scotland to perform in the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival with the company. Emma was also heavily involved with dance in high school. In 2014, she received one of the top awards for dance at Rangitoto College and she led the Stage Challenge team to first place. In her final year of high school, Emma was awarded an NZQA scholarship for dance. Emma is now in her fifth year of university, studying a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) conjoint with a Bachelor of Arts.

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