Faculty & Staff

Amanda Thiele, ARAD, RTS, ISTD

Artistic Director

Amanda is a certified Canadian RAD Ballet, and ISTD Jazz and Hip Hop Instructor. She also has 5 years experience of preparing students for their prospective acting and musical theatre exams for both Trinity and LAMBDA Music and Drama Academy’s. After passing her Advanced RAD Ballet, as well as her CDTA Jazz certificate with Honors, she studied Dance on scholarship in the USA. She then continued her studies in Theater, Voice and Dance at the ‘Randolph School of Performing Arts,’ in Toronto, Canada. The highlights of her international professional performance career of 15 years includes the Broadway tour of the musical, “The Producers,” with world renowned choreographer Susan Stroman, writer Thomas Meehan, and direction under Mel Brooks. The other highlight for her was playing the role of Cassie in the off Broadway production of “A Chorus Line” in New York, under direction of the original cast member and renowned choreographer, Mitzi Hamilton. Amanda is also a classically trained singer. She continues to perform various arias at galas and corporate events, and is signed with record label, NessBMusic Group, New York.

Bivin Mathew

Dance Instructor

Bivin Mathew is a professional dancer, choreographer and a YouTuber. His dance videos and tutorials are available in YouTube channel ‘Bivin Mathew’. He is the host in the largest dance community in the internet called ‘ItsMrich’ which has over 400,000 subscribers as an online dance tutor. He has been in this field for more than a decade. While it has been said that he ‘moves in ways that don’t seem real’, it should be noted that his videos are not aided by camera tricks. Bivin reflects his body movements in real time, and are un-choreographed mostly. Since he is a core popper and animator his dance style is extremely unique and different from other dance forms. Apart from animation he also does professional hip hop choreography and bboying.

Raquel Pessoa

Dance Instructor

Raquel is a qualified Paediatric Occupational Therapist and has been working with children for 12 years in this field. She has a particular interest in children’s motor development and feels that dancing can be used as a means to stimulate this area. She danced since a young age and received her teacher qualification in Modern Dancing in 2007 and has since taught dancing intermittently on a part time basis.

Liudmyla (Mila) Bondarenko

Dance Instructor

Mila completed her higher education specializing in Choreography, making her qualified as a Ballet Master of Modern Classical Choreography, and a teacher of a unique discipline. After finishing a Choreographic Diploma at Kiev College, she participated as a classical Ballet Dancer in the “Kiev Theatre of Opera & Ballet,” and toured with classical productions associated with theatre in France, Italy and Switzerland. Since her arrival in the UAE, she has participated as a Choreographer and Dancer in various shows and festivals, including the role of a Choreographer and Ballet Director for ‘Umm Al Emirate’, under her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bent Mubarak. Mila is also the representative and member of “Arab Dance Culture”,  and was invited by Emirates Airlines to dance for the Melbourne Cup, Australia in 2013. She is also the Founder, Choreographer, and Dance trainer of the “Action Dance Group”.

Melissa Day

Musical Theater & Drama Instructor

Melissa originally trained as a professional actress gaining her Post Graduate in Musical Theater at Mountview Academy of Theater Arts in London, she has appeared in a number of short films and small television roles as well as in touring productions.  This training led her to become a qualified teacher of acting for LAMDA (London Academy of Dramatic Arts) awards and she has taught Musical Theater and Acting to children of all ages for many years.  As a Mother of 3, Melissa became increasingly aware of the pressures of children today which led her to compliment her acting training by becoming  a Yoga teacher for ages from birth to adults and to specialize in Mindfulness and Relaxation for children.  Melissa has been teaching young children for 16 years now, and still gains so much pleasure form watching them develop their skills and confidence.

Fleur Ritchie

Musical Theater & Drama Instructor

Fleur grew up in New Zealand and gained her Diploma of Performing Arts at Selwyn Performing Arts School in Auckland.  She has performed in over 45 musicals and plays with highlights being Little Red Riding Hood in “Into the Woods” and Rizzo in “Grease”.  She spent 2004 travelling New Zealand as both a performer and the tour manager for The Ugly Shakespeare Company visiting over 200 schools performing “Romeo and Juliet” and providing Shakespeare workshops for students.  She appeared as “Gilmer” in two professional productions of “Godspell”.  She wrote and musically directed her own oratorio “Shellshock” in 2001, and in 2007 her straight play “Charlie” was selected for and performed at Bats Theater in Wellington for the New Zealand Fringe Festival.  In 2008 she moved to Melbourne where she performed her own devised cabaret piece during “The Way to Cabaret” season at Melbourne’s Butterfly Club Theater.  Since moving to Abu Dhabi Fleur has worked with the American Community School Advanced Choir students for their solo unit providing one on one performance lessons and directing “Songs for a New World”.

Elie Robinson

Zumba Instructor

For Elie, the perfect combination of  dancing to Latin rhythms while getting fit at the same time made her fall in love with Zumba.
An Eco-Fashion Designer and Creative Upcycler by trade, she decided it was time to share her passion and spread the Zumba love through teaching.
Her high energy class will keep you smiling and sweating at the same time!

Lea Bote

Front Office Associate

Lea graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the Philippines in 2011. She began her career as a part time model, and as a Customer Service Representative followed by an Advocacy Supervisor at Teleperformance based in Manila. In 2014, Lea moved to Abu Dhabi and worked as an Office Administrator at Chadwick Technology. Lea is now the Front Office Associate at Motion Studios of Performing Arts.