Talent, skill and strength is evident when Teresa Barnhill dances.

Dancing To Success


For local, talented dancer, fourteen year old, Teresa Barnhill, the dance future is indeed looking bright.

Teresa, who has been dancing since she was five years old, has just been accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance Associate Programme based in Wellington.

The programme identifies Ballet and Contemporary Dance students who have the talent for a career in dance performance, and acceptance is strictly by two hour audition, plus a written application and photograph from the prospective student.

Associates travel from throughout the country to the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington for four weekends of tuition a year, and one full week in July. Training in Contemporary Dance and Classical Ballet is offered with the July week also including Hip Hop in the schedule.

Teresa competes and performs in Contemporary, Ballet (Classical), Lyrical and Jazz Dance and for the past two years has been training with the award winning Levings School of Dance in Christchurch. She has had some outstanding successes over the past year with those of note being:

  • The Australian Gold Coast Showcase resulting in: Contemporary Solo (fourth in age group) and being part of the first placed National Champions, Levings School of Dance small team Contemporary section, who were also the winners of the Battle of the Stars Final, resulting in their teacher winning a trip to Bali. First place National Champions, Levings School of Dance, small team Classical Ballet and third place, Levings School of Dance, small lyrical team, (which was only choreographed one week before the girls performed).
  • What Now TV performance ballet team.
  • New Zealand Dance Awards 2017 – first place equal in Lyrical Solo Competition in age group, and nominated for the soloist section of the Best Dance Studio Award.
  • Contemporary Examination with Distinction.
  • NZ School of Dance – Winter School.
  • Performed and competed at the Australian Dance Festival with a contemporary team of twelve girls from Levings School of Dance.
  • Follow Your Dreams Competition – first place in Open Category (age group).
  • Intermediate Level Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Examination  with Distinction.
  • November 2017 Audition for the New Zealand School of Dance Wellington and accepted for Contemporary Major in 2018.
  • November 2017 Christchurch Christmas in the Park.
  • November 2017 Awarded: Levings School of Dance top Trophy for Most Promising Dancer.

Achieving these results requires organisation, time and commitment and Teresa trains at least ten hours per week, plus extra hours at home and at weekends. Consistent and constant training provides her with technique, artistry, flexibility, strength and stamina while school holidays or weekends will often find her performing in competitions, something she has done since the age of nine.

“I would encourage anyone that would like to further their dance ambitions to enrol in ballet classes,” Teresa said. “I have so many thanks to say for those that have instructed or supported me, but would like to mention my teachers from Levings School of Dance, Avril Levings, Chloe Morris-Levings, Felicia Levings and Claudia Levings for their training and dedication, along with Frances Scott of Malvern Ballet for her ongoing support and training,” she concluded.