Okiwi Hawkins

Okiwi trained under the watchful eye of JK Danceworks. Okiwi trained in all styles of dance receiving his Solo Seal Diploma and Teachers Cert with NZAMD Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Contemporary. Completed Glen Wood Tap exams as well as RAD Ballet Exams.


Okiwi comes from a Musical Theatre Background after training at The National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA) In Christchurch, in the past having the opportunity to be apart of Musicals such as

2012 "RENT" (Role: Angel) - Sunshine Coast Performers

2011 “CATS” (Role: Macavity, Bill Bailey)- NASDA Production

2011 “Mother Courage” (Role: Swiss Cheese) NASDA Production

2011 "42nd St" (Role: Company) NASDA Production

2011 “The Music Man” (Role: Tommy Djilas) NASDA Production

2010 "Curtains" (Role: Company) NASDA Production 

2010 “Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat ” (Role: Company ) Showbiz Christchurch

2009 “Miss Saigon” (Role: Company) Showbiz Christchurch

2009 “ASB Classical Sparks” (Role: Company) Showbiz Christchurch

2006 " High School Musical"  Impact Production


Okiwi has had many Choreography, Performance and Teaching credits including; National Young Performer of the Year Awards, PACANZ, Finalist, Cancer Society New Zealand Benefit Gala – Dance captain, Showcase National Dance Championships – Battle of the Countries New Zealand Representative, NZAMD Intermediate Boys Combo Demonstrator, ASB Classical Sparks Chant et Danse, The Aura Burnett Winner, The Auckland Caledonian Competition Society, “Winter Extravaganza” - Reg Prom Australia, New Zealand's Winter Debut, “Summer Fun” - Reg Pro Australia, New Zealand Summer Debut, Pitch – CPIT Fashion Schools Fashion Week, Christchurch City counsels New Year Countdown, Showtime Productions “Carnival Cabaret Group”


Okiwi aims to bring forward what he learned from his training and professional career to each and every student that he crosses paths with. Okiwi also does work with Local Musical Theatre Companies with Choreographing Shows and Routines for Trinity Singing and Drama exams. With his knowledge of the performing arts, dance and acting industry, he will use this to benefit all students. Teaching all students the importance of professionalism inside and outside of the studio, giving the students local, national and International opportunities to perform and work with choreographers/friends within the industry. This is a big focus at Empire and for Okiwi, he strives for every student to be employable in any field that their future may take them. 

Artistic Director

Miss Anna Gordon

Miss Anna has a history of competitive Gymnastics, Trampolining and tumbling at a National & International Level. Having New Zealand titles in all three sports, Australian Tumbling & Trampoline titles and placing third at the World Trampoline Championships.


Miss Anna spent most of her working life as a personal trainer helping clients achieve their health, fitness and sport-specific goals.


From 1999 - 2014 Miss Anna was Head Coach and Owner of the Nationally successful Greymouth Gymnastics Club, there Miss Anna coached both recreational and competitive gymnastics to a very high standard

Miss Anna is looking forward to helping the very talented dancers of Empire gain some new acrobatic skills in 2018

Acrobatics Tutor

Miss Chloe Kemp

Miss Chloe brings over 8 years of teaching experience. Miss Chloe has trained in numerous genres of dance and found her passion within the Hip Hop style. Miss Chloe is a registered UDO international Hip Hop Teacher and is looking forward to teaching our new RBM New Zeland Hip Hop Syllabus


Miss Chloe is passionate about teaching and loves seeing students work hard to reach their potential. Miss Chloe has trained many dancers at all levels from preschool classes through to National and International Level Crews. Her love for Hip Hop has seen Miss Chloe work with leading Hip Hop Choreographers here in New Zeland and Overseas. 


 "My teaching goal this year is to help all my students push out of their comfort zones and develop their Hip-Hop to new heights while still having fun!" 

Hip Hop Tutor

Miss Lily Mclean

Miss Lily has trained all styles starting at the age 3 with Ballet and loved it all ever since.

Miss Lily has successfully passed NZAMD Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary exams. Miss Lily also has sat RAD Ballet.

Miss Lily has been a part of Empire Dance Company for over 4 years and taken part in Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Acro, Musical Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, Conditioning and Steach class. Miss Lily is also a part of the Empire Competitive Team that travels and competes both nationally and internationally. 

Miss Lily has been teaching with Empire for the last 2 years and has loved every minute of it. 

"I love watching the student grow and reach their goal. I can’t wait to start teaching this year."

Wakefield Campus Tutor

Miss Maree Strange

Mrs Maree Strange has been immersed in theatre and dance since the wee age of 8. Originally

Maree trained in Tap Dance completing the British Syllabus and went on to use this skill in Musical

Theatre. Her Love for performing has led her to perform lead roles in Musicals such as Fame,

Westside Story, Anything Goes and Hello Dolly. She didn’t stop at Musicals and immersed herself

into plays, directing and choreographing musicals such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for

young people to Stepping Out with and an adult cast.

This passion for theatre lead to Maree to starting up Dinner Theatre at its Best in 2009 where she

ran a team of up to 9 actors whom she trained and also performed with as Sybil Fawlty in Faulty

Towers and Francesca Lambsey in Murder at Hotel Balle Balle, a Bollywood Murder Mystery that she

wrote and created.

Maree’s most recent role in 2017 was Queenie in Black Adder where she received a Napta for Best

Female Actress in a Play.

Maree has been lucky to teach Musical Theatre at Norris Studio and is super excited about being

part of Empire Dance Company since moving to Tasman and bringing in skills of script acting and


“I love theatre and I love to share this love. The art of theatre is a heap of fun while learning to

overcome feeling vulnerable when that spotlight is on you. I am looking forward to teaching a whole

lot of skills in the the art of performing and theatre etiquette”.

Musical Theatre

Miss Tegan Gordon

Miss Tegan has a fitness coaching and nutritional background. Recently opening here own business Gordon Performance and Nutrition. Tegan is not only a Personal trainer but has won consecutive national titles in Bodybuilding Shows. 


Miss Tegan recently completed her Level 5 in exercise prescription, Nutritional requirements for exercise, fitness assessment & exercise technique and Injury management and massage. Miss Tegan also gained her Level 4 in Group Fitness Instruction


Miss Tegan is passionate about health, fitness and nutrition and looks forward to working with every student at Empire Dance Company. 

Conditioning and Nutrion Tutor

Miss Sophie Renwick

Sophie began dancing at the age of 4 and has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Musical theatre and Acrobatics. She has successfully completed all NZAMD Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary exams as well as competing both nationally and internationally with great success. In 2017 she was a top 6 finalist at PACANZ.


Sophie trained with Empire Dance Company for 5 years and now trains fulltime at Patrick Studios Australia in Melbourne where she was honoured to be awarded best female dancer 2019. 


She has a great passion for musical theatre and has had many fantastic opportunities such as being a dancer/vocalist in ‘Chicago’ the musical choreographed by renowned choreographer Andrew Hallsworth, assisting the fantastic Steven Grace in a fabulous production by the Melbourne Theatre company ‘Home, I’m darling’ and performing as a dancer/vocalist at Marvel stadium in Melbourne for Southern beat productions.


Sophie is extremely excited to pass on the knowledge she has obtained from training overseas and can’t wait to watch every student succeed in whatever performance path they choose.

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