Dance Venture Staff
Renate Cumalkovs A.R.A.D Director and Classical Ballet teacher
After pursuing a professional dancing career in the eastern states, Renate returned to Perth and founded Dance Venture in 1980. Starting with only six students, the school has developed and grown over the past 33 years to become what it is today. Renate has assisted many young people in their endeavours and former students are working in choreographic, teaching and dancing careers throughout Australia and overseas. Renate was employed for over 20 years at John Curtin College of Performing Arts as a specialist ballet teacher and choreographer. She is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance and is often asked to ‘Guest Teach’ at R.A.D scholarships and events. She has adjudicated at ballet competitions. She has worked as ballet mistress for Perth City Ballet and choreographed for musical comedy and drama.
Classical Ballet teacher
and Director (Junior School)
Kerry has taught ballet for over 30 years, 22 of those years spent with Dance Venture. She is an experienced and proficient Royal Academy of Dance teacher holding the R.A.D. Advanced and Solo Seal Certificates. Kerry danced professionally for over 10 years, performing with Perth City Ballet and the West Australian Ballet Company and had the opportunity to work with, and learn from many internationally renowned dancers, choreographers and teachers. She performed extensively throughout Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Singapore and gained the rank of Principal dancer, giving her experience in a variety of roles and dance styles. Kerry also holds a Residential Child Care Certificate and a Certificate II Children’s Services and has worked with children with special needs.
Stephanie Mehrtens A.R.A.D
Classical Ballet teacher
Stephanie has been a student at Dance Venture since she was 7 years old and started as a teacher’s assistant when she was 15. In 2004 she graduated as a specialist ballet student at John Curtin College of the Arts and continued to the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Dance. Since then she has performed as a guest artist at John Curtin, performed with Perth City Ballet and completed her RAD Advanced 2 exam. In 2012 she commenced her study to be a ballet teacher within the Royal Academy of Dance and has been fully qualified since 2014.
Steph will be travelling in Europe for the first Semester of 2019.
Classical Ballet teacher
Samantha has been dancing since she was 5 years old, taking classes and competing in classical, contemporary, jazz and tap styles of dance. Samantha achieved her Advanced level RAD exams and has undertaken her High School ATAR in Dance. She has had several years teaching experience – four years as an assistant at the Studio of Classical and Contemporary Dance in Bunbury before commencing teaching at Dance Venture in the Junior School in 2015.
Jo trained at the Studio of Classical and Contemporary Dance completing up to Intermediate in her RAD Ballet Exams. In 2016 Jo began studying a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). In 2017, she was accepted on an international exchange program for one semester at the Conservatory of Dance at the State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase College. Jo graduated from WAAPA in 2018, where she was a joint recipient of the Palisade Award for Most Outstanding Dance Graduate. In 2019, Jo will join LINK Dance Company as part of an Honours Degree in Dance where she will tour and perform nationally and internationally. Jo has worked with a variety of renowned dancers and choreographers and performed works by Natalie Allen and Brooke Leeder touring to Kuan du Arts Festival in Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Contemporary teacher - relief
Cheyenne trained at the Studio of Classical and Contemporary Dance completing up to Advanced 1 in her RAD Ballet Exams. Prior to this she trained and completed up to Grade 5 in the Cecchetti classical ballet syllabus. Cheyenne graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) Degree and has also completed another year to obtain her Honours Degree in dance. During her Honours year Cheyenne was a part of LINK Dance Company (WAAPA’s post graduate dance company), which tours and performs internationally to Europe and also nationally to the east coast of Australia. This allows the company’s dancers the opportunity to work with a variety of world-renowned choreographers. Cheyenne will be completing her Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) during 2018.
Tenielle graduated in 2016 with an Advanced Diploma in Dance from the Australian Performing Arts Network (APAN) Academy .
She has danced in Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando and Sydney. Tenielle was cast as the lead cheerleader in High School Musical’s Australian production in 2015. Professionally, she has worked as a supporting dance artist for Jusice Crew, Veroncia Bravo and Johnny Ruffo and alongside Rhonda Burchmore, Todd McKenny, Rachel Bek and Lucy Durak for Musicals in Concert.
Tenielle has performed on Telethon with APAN for the last five years and was a Perth Glory Cheerleader in 2015.
Judy has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Philosophy and English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ. A qualified librarian Judy has worked in public, academic, and special libraries and as a consultant for the private health sector. She has also worked in Records and Information Management and as Freedom of Information Coordinator for a State Government Department. Now retired, in her spare time (when she is not travelling) she manages the ballet school, dealing with financial and administrative aspects of the business.