Classical Tutors

New Zealand School of Dance Classical Ballet Faculty

Garry Trinder Director

Garry TrinderBorn in England, Garry Trinder trained at the Royal Ballet School, Rambert School of Ballet and Maurice Béjart's MUDRA. As a dancer, he worked with Scottish Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and London City Ballet. Garry's extensive career includes six years as artistic director of the Hong Kong Ballet and two years as director of dance at South Africa's NAPAC Dance Company. He was appointed director of the New Zealand School of Dance in 1998. Garry holds a master's degree from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and an Advanced Diploma in Education from Newcastle University. In addition to his role at NZSD, he is associated with many international ballet competitions including the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland and the Youth America Grand Prix in New York. Since 2011 Garry has assumed the role of President of the Jury for the Asian Grand Prix ballet competition in Hong Kong. Garry was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013, for his services to dance.


Christine Gunn Classical Tutor and Head of Associates

Christine GunnChristine Gunn was born in South Africa to English parents. She attended Elmhurst Ballet School from the age of 13, then went on to the Royal Ballet School Teacher Training Course under the directorship of Valerie Adams. Christine spent six years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, travelling extensively conducting workshops and refresher courses on the Art of Teaching. Christine performed with the Associacao do Ballet do Rio de Janeiro, becoming a soloist and later Ballet Mistress. Christine started as a full-time tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance in January 1980 and became head of the Associates Programme in 2001. Christine is also a Practical Teaching Supervisor for the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and was honoured with the RAD President's Award in 2004.


Nadine Tyson Classical Tutor

Nadine TysonNadine Tyson graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 1991. Nadine first worked with the Royal New Zealand Ballet during her second year at the NZSD and was awarded a Shell Scholarship the following year. In 1995 she became a permanent member of the RNZB. In 1997 Nadine was named ECNZ young dancer of the year and used the award for a six week study tour in 2000 to visit leading companies in the USA and Europe including Rambert Dance Company, English National Ballet, Netherlands Dans Theatre, Dutch National Ballet and Bayeriches Staatsbalett. Nadine performed many principle roles during her time with the company. Career highlights include being coached by Janet Vernon for the lead in The Protecting Veil, Dinna Bjorn and Charles Mudry for Sylph in La Sylphide and Patricia Ruanne for the title role of Raymonda. Nadine Retired from the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2004.


Qi Huan Classical Tutor

Qi HuanQi Huan, born in Anshan, China was a principal dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) until joining the faculty of the NZSD in 2014. Qi studied dance in Shenyang, and then at the Beijing Dance Academy (BDA). Following a serious knee injury, Qi taught at the BDA (2003 - 2004). Dancing with the RNZB since 2005, Qi has performed many leading roles including Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle, Sir Russell Kerr’s Swan Lake and Petrouchka, Garry Harris’s The Nutcracker and Don Quixote, Christopher Hampson’s Cinderella and Romeo & Juliet, Greg Horsman’s Sleeping Beauty, David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin, MacMillan’s Concerto Pas de Deux, Benjamin Millepied’s 28 Variations, George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Jorma Elo’s Plan to A, and Michael Pink’s Dracula. He started teaching again in 2012 with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, New Zealand School of Dance, Queensland Ballet, Wellington Dance Academy and Singapore Ballet Academy. He ventured into choreography, creating two short dance pieces, and starred as Albrecht in Johan Kobborg and Ethan Stiefel’s filmed production Giselle. While teaching at the NZSD Qi has performed with ballet superstar Gillian Murphy in Singapore and San Lucas Cabo, and has been invited to perform as a guest artist with Queensland Ballet.  


Sue Nicholls Head of Scholars

Sue NichollsSue Nicholls originates from Wellington, and is a Distinguished Graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance. She is a former dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet). She teaches throughout New Zealand and internationally, is a Vocational Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance and tutors for the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and various other training courses. Qualifications include the RAD Professional Dancers’ teaching Diploma (Distinction) and a Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) in Ballet and Contextual Studies validated by Durham University.


Turid Revfeim Classical Tutor

Turid RevfiemBorn in Auckland, Turid began dancing in Taupo and Auckland. She was accepted into the National Ballet School (now NZSD) in 1979. After graduating, and touring with the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) in ‘Nutcracker’ and ‘Giselle’, she headed to Europe. There she spent four years as a soloist with the Theater der Stadt Koblenz in Germany. She also danced at the prestigious Bayreuther Festspiele each summer from 1982-86. Turid re-joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 1986, and was promoted to soloist in 1993. She completed a Bachelor of Arts while dancing with the company, and in 1997 worked as rehearsal assistant and stage manager for the Eric Languet Dance Company. She retired from dancing in 1999, becoming Artistic Coordinator with RNZB. The company has performed four of her works; 'Si Supieras' in 2004 & 2005, 'Three over Four' and 'Bernarda Alba's House' in 1999, and 'Kleines Requiem' in 2000. In 2003 she was appointed RNZB Ballet Mistress, making her mark in the role for 11 years.  


Sarah Fitzsimons Classical Tutor & Rehabilitation

Sarah FitzsimonsSarah originally studied dance in Sydney before going to the Royal Ballet School in London. A Genee finalist, she was then invited to join the Royal Ballet Company at Covent Garden. Her performing career continued back in Australia with Darc Swan Dance Company, Opera Australia and the Australian touring cast of Phantom of the Opera for which she was also Assistant Choreographer in South Africa. A passion for teaching led her to complete the Australian Ballet School's Advanced Diploma of Teaching and obtain RAD teacher registration. Sarah taught in Sydney at the McDonald College and Brent Street Studios before becoming a full time classical tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance in 2001. To complement her teaching, Sarah trained as a Pilates instructor and has recently become a licensed GYROTONIC® Trainer. She currently combines running her own Pilates/GYROTONIC® studio with teaching classical and rehabilation at the school.


NZSD students are also fortunate to work with an impressive range of guest tutors, the contemporary faculty and specialists in health, music and dance history.