About our Team
Studio Director & Teacher - Modern Jazz, Tapping, Classical Ballet, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics, Performance Groups
Sharon is the Director and Principal Teacher here at Pure Dance Centre. She grew up in Bundaberg and started dancing at the late age of nine under guidance from Dianne McLellan, Kayleen Kirchner, Diane Smith and Gail McDougal. Sharon’s love and passion for dance and all its elements propelled her to complete her CSTD Teachers Diploma in 1988. In 2006 Sharon gained her school teachers qualification – Bachelor of Learning Management (with Distinction) – Middle School – Math & Science at CQU.
Sharon has had extensive training in all genres, but her favourite by far is tapping. She has competed in many competitions and performed at many venues and events. Over the years, Sharon has prepared and entered students for examinations. She has also choreographed many routines, for soloists, small groups and large groups, for competition, community groups and events.
Her caring compassionate nature, nurtures our very young beginning dancers and acrobats; Fostering the love for dance while teaching safe dance practice and correct technique. She teaches children from as young as 2½ years of age all the way through to adults.
Sharon has an intellectually impaired brother who is the catalyst for this next chapter at Pure Dance Centre. Growing up around people with disabilities it is very clear they are quite often disadvantaged. With the Rhythm Works Integrated Dance program, this will allow Sharon and Pure Dance Centre to open doors for the many who have never had such opportunities before.
Sharon has previously run her own studio in Bundaberg before having to move away for family commitments. She has performed with Conroy Dance Centre and worked at Clarissa Hill Dance Centre, Ignite Dance Studio, Jan Well Studio of Dance and Bundaberg PCYC Gymnastics.
Her proudest achievements are marrying her husband Paul and having two beautiful, now adult, daughters. Jessica has completed her Bachelor of Public Relations and Event Management at USC and Madison has begun a Bachelor of Business – Management at QUT.
Teacher - Acrobatics, Classical Ballet, Modern Jazz, Tapping, Performance Groups
Dancing since age 6, Samantha has extensive training in all CSTD genres. Over the years Samantha has performed at many competitions from small local eisteddfods, such as Redcliffe, to international competitions such as Sydney Eisteddfod. Samantha has training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Acrobatics. She has performed as apart of groups, duos and as a soloist. Samantha completed two years of full-time training obtaining her Advance Diploma in Performance in Dance specialising in Classical Ballet and Contemporary through the Queensland National Ballet. Samantha has been teaching since 2010 across many genres. She has completed all her CSTD exams in Jazz, Tap and Ballet. Since 2010 she has obtained four Teacher certificates in Modern Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Acrobatics. She also now holds her Teachers Diploma in Modern Jazz. Currently, Sam is studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at USC.
Teacher - Vocal Coach
Samara Marinelli started teaching in 2007 whilst at the University of Queensland studying a dual degree, Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education majoring in Viola. Samara has a great interest in developing the musical skills of her students, and helping them to achieve their musical goals. Samara is regularly educating herself to better her teaching skills, and is currently partaking in further education and professional development.
In 2017, as well as teaching students privately, Samara is employed as a Strings and Vocal Tutor at Ipswich Grammar School and as a Senior Tutor with the Australian Girls Choir. Samara has previously taught at Our Lady’s College Annerley, A.B. Paterson College, Hillcrest College, Northpine Christian College and Bethany Lutheran Primary School. Samara has also taught group music and singing at many dance schools in the Ipswich and Gold Coast regions, and has worked as a Musical Director for Brisbane musical theatre companies.
Samara also regularly performs as a musician and singer, playing Viola with the Brisbane based ADY Ensemble, singing in her self-devised show at the 2015 Queensland Cabaret Festival at the Judith Wright Centre, and as a guest singer at the Ipswich season of Women in Voice at the Ipswich Civic Centre.
Regular Guest Teacher - Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern Jazz, Commercial Jazz
Riley first started dancing at the age of seven in his hometown of Bundaberg, QLD. In 2009 he made the decision to commence full-time training and did so at the Australian Dance Performance Institute in Brisbane. Upon his graduation here in 2010 he successfully auditioned for the New Zealand School of Dance majoring in classical ballet, commencing training in Wellington, New Zealand in January 2011. However, 18 months later Riley saw his passion for contemporary dance unfold and made the transition to the contemporary stream the School also offers.
Over Riley’s time training overseas he performed works by the Australian Dance Theatre and Sydney Dance Company, some as leading roles. He was also chosen to travel to Canada to attend the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Summer Session Program, performed in dance festivals in Auckland and in Christchurch, choreographed a well-received work for the New Zealand School of Dance’s annual Choreographic Season in his graduating year and worked alongside highly regarded choreographers from the contemporary dance industry.
Throughout 2014 Riley visited Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane seconding with companies, performed at Melbourne’s infamous Malthouse Theatre under the direction of Lina Limosani, and modestly established a base as a freelance contemporary dance artist.
In 2015 Riley launched his very own youth company – Riley Baldwin Youth Projects – and has most recently moved to Brisbane to take up permanent teaching.