Our Teachers

Melinda Cooper

Creative Director/Owner

"Each student is unique and I devote my time to motivate and inspire each individual student to express themselves through dance and find the grace, beauty, pose and elegance that a dancer can achieve. A student can learn some of life’s most important lessons in the dance studio that they will carry with them forever"

Melinda (RAD RTS) started dancing at the age of 6 at Gosford City School of Dance. In her teenage years her teacher Susanne Easter inspired her to be a dancer and dance teacher. At the age of 16 Melinda attended full-time dance tuition with Tanya Pearson and Janece Graham while also performing with the Sydney Festival Ballet Company. Melinda then joined a well-known production company and spent many years dancing and travelling around the world. On Melinda’s return to Australia she worked as a Personal Assistant before marrying and starting a family of four children. Melinda studied with the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance and gained the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and is a registered member of the Royal Academy of Dance. Melinda is certified in the Acrobatic Arts Curriculum. Melinda has always had a passion for inspiring and teaching students. After many years of teaching dance Melinda observed how the students mood and well-being improved through movement. Melinda teaches on the premises that the mind and body are connected. Melinda has a Diploma in Mindfulness and a Diploma in Dance Therapy Psychotherapy.

Melinda holds a current First Aid and CPR Certificate, and has a ‘Working with Children check’.

‘It takes an athlete to dance but an artist to be a dancer’

Leana Rack

Teacher

Introduced to dance at the age of 8, I spent my early years in life studying RAD classical ballet and dance, completing my intermediate RAD exams. Whilst a senior student I taught ballet, jazz and contemporary to the junior school. I spent two terms at the London Contemporary Dance School in the UK before returning to Australia completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts ( Dance / Drama ) at Deakin University Melbourne in 2001. 

Introduced to yoga at 19 I have spent more than 20 years committed to the practice of yoga. I have practiced classical Mysore Ashtanga under the guidance of Dena Kinsberg for over 10 years and Nikki Elwin as an advanced practitioner. Completing 200 hours of Hatha Yoga in India in 2006 and was an apprentice for 12 months at Gold Coast Yoga Centre in 2016. I have completed my Reiki 1 & 2 healing levels. In 2018 I received my Barre Attack certification in Sydney and currently teach adult barre classes regularly. I am passionate about movement, yoga and dance. 

Sienna Mackie

Assistant Teacher

Hi I am Sienna, I am 12 years old and I love being Miss Melinda assistant teacher.  One of the reasons I love dancing is because of my friends.  Everyone at North Coast Dance Academy is so kind and caring and I love seeing them every week.  When I get older I would really love to be a professional dancer as well as a dance teacher.  Every Monday and Thursday after school I can’t wait to dance, see everyone and help teach the younger students.