home > about > staff

Carissa A. Neate, Director of Carisma Dance & Fitness

carissa a. neate-lammers

A.R.A.D. Registered Dance & Fitness Professional Royal Academy of Dance and Fitness Australia

Director of Carisma Dance & Fitness

Internationally experienced artist, teacher, choreographer and trainer committed to providing quality, creative dance and fitness to all levels. Registered Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance. Qualified And Master Trainer in Fitness as well as highly skilled in teaching other styles such as Ballroom, Latin and South American Dancing.

Carissa began dancing at the age of 3, dancing callisthenics and jazz. At the age of 8 she discovered ballet and her love for this grew over many years of training with Elayne Cherry and then for a year with Sheila Laing.

Following her dream, Carissa moved to Melbourne to undertake full time training at the National Theatre Ballet School . With the guidance of Beverly Fry, Carissa achieved her Diploma of Dance in 2003, Solo Seal in 2004 and received the Kathleen Gorham Most Outstanding Dancer in 2004.

Upon completing her diploma Carissa received a scholarship to travel to the USA and danced in the Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Performing in New York Season. After this, Carissa was selected by the Albany Berkshire Ballet, New York as a soloist and danced with the company for three years in their Christmas season.

Upon returning to her home, Adelaide, Carissa broadened her experience performing and leading dances as the dance captain in the MS Society’s My Fair Lady. Rehearsing with them in their next production of Carousel, Carissa fractured her foot and the time away from performing enabled her to look into different fields, in which she found a wonderful new passion and love, teaching.

Carissa then undertook training with the Royal Academy of Dance for her teaching Certificate and under the wonderful guidance of Elayne Cherry, gained her registered teaching status in 2008.Continuing her love of teaching Carissa then gained experience teaching Ballroom and Latin at various studios and has recently choreographed Adelaide High School Musical, Back to the 80’s.

Her love of fitness resulted in qualifications to become a Registered Fitness Professional. In 2009, Carissa completed her Certificate 3 and 4 of Fitness and is now enjoying imparting her knowledge of Dance and Fitness onto all ages.

In 2009 Carissa opened her own personal training business - Carisma Dance & Fitness and in October 2010 was very excited to take on the opportunity of becoming the new owner and director of  Elayne Cherry Dance Centre, 251 Waymouth Street. In 2010 she amalgamated these businesses to now have her own dance and fitness complex- Carisma Dance & Fitness Studios.

In 2011 Carissa created Tiny Twirls and Mini Moves Kindergarten program and is now regularily working in many schools. Carissa is also involved with Adelaide High School and has choreographed their last two productions- Back to the 80's and Leader of the Pack and their cabaret evening in 2012.

Key achievements

  • Master Trainer- Certificate 3 and 4 Fitness A.I.F. - 2009
  • Fitball Qualified Trainer - 2009
  • Registered Teaching Status Royal Academy of Dance, London - 2008
  • Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies RAD - 2008
  • Teaching Qualification - Ballroom, Latin, South American - 2007
  • Soloist, Albany Berkshire Ballet - New York, USA, 2004 - 2006
  • Awarded Solo Seal, RAD - 2004
  • Awarded Kathleen Gorham Most Outstanding Dancer - 2004
  • Diploma of Dance, Majoring in Classical Ballet - 2003


  • Australian Fitness Network
  • Fitness Australia
  • Royal Academy of Dance
  • Ausdance
  • International Association for Dance Medicine and Science


emma martin

Junior School R.A.D. Ballet & Junior Contemporary

Emma has been part of the Carisma family for many years, starting dancing as a little fairy and elves dancer and completing all of her ballet exams up to and including her Grade 8 and Advanced One. Her passion for teaching and inspiring the younger generation has grown over the last few years, especially from her experience partaking in SACE Dance Yr 11 and 12 with the studio. Since starting University and studying Physiotherapy she has enjoyed working with the students in Ballet, Limber and Junior Contemporary. Enjoying passing on her knowledge of not only dance but of the body and muscles and how we can make them work best for us.

queenie wu

Junior School R.A.D. Ballet

Queenie is currently undertaking year one of the RAD CBTS program and is an eager an enthusiastic member of the Carisma team. Her passion for teaching has inspired her to not only learn further through the RAD on their teacher training program but undertake her Bachelor of Education at University as well. Currently studying her Advanced Two with Carisma- Queenie is enjoying not only learning about dance herself but passing on all her knowledge to the younger generation.

kimberley dodd

Junior School R.A.D. Ballet

Kimberley achieved her Bachelor of Education in 2014 and has enjoyed teaching within schools over the past few years. Her hobby of dance has proven to be a lifelong passion and she is now enrolled on Year One of the RAD CBTS program. Her love of ballet and dance has helped to her to achieve her Grade Six and Intermediate exams over the past year and she is now looking forward to her further exams as a teacher with the RAD as well as continuing her own dance development with the new vocational work.


nicolette alberts

Junior School R.A.D. Classical and Adult Ballet

Nicolette has been dancing since the age of four, following in her older sister’s footsteps at the Annette Langham School Ballet. She studied the Cecchetti method up at Advanced 1 as well as jazz ballet and contemporary before teaching for three years. In 2010 Nicolette graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours. At the beginning of 2012 Nicolette began teaching for Carisma Dance and Fitness and continues to take classes to further her dance education. Nicolette loves teaching ballet and believes it helps to friendships. One of her favourite aspects of teaching dance is the challenge of working with different types of students, because everyone learns at various paces and in a variety of ways.

michele buday

Grade 7 & 8 R.A.D. Classical

Michele trained under Beverly Wrowlers in RAD. Her first job was in Disney on Parade where she toured in Asia and Australia. Michele then went to Perth and joined the WA Ballet Company.

Michele changed to contemporary dance with ADT and was a founding member of Leigh Warren and Dancers. After finishing her dance career Michele moved to Hong Kong with her husband and child and taught at Danse a Lili Ballet Academy and Hong Kong Academy for the Arts. Michele then moved to Brisbane and taught at QUT (Queensland University of Technology). Since returning to Adelaide in 2006 Michele has continued teaching at Scotch College, Carisma Dance & Fitness, Terry Simpson Studios, Adelaide College of the Arts and modelling and dance modelling for children at Mostly Kids.



kim mead

Guest Teacher- R.A.D. Junior School Classical

Kim Mead studied at Sheila Laing Academy of Performing Arts and is a fully accredited Ballet Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance . She has three young children of her own and over 15 year’s experience teaching dance to girls, boys and adults of all ages and abilities. Kim believes learning ballet, musicality and classical technique gives you a great foundation for all styles of dance. Throughout her years of teaching she has taught many dancers some who dance for just enjoyment, some who have turned to future career in dance and some who dance to  keep fit. Her passion for dance and teaching shines through in the dance studio and she is such a caring and supportive teacher who guides and motivates every student to reach their full potential.


helen cooper

Guest Teacher- Senior School R.A.D. Classical

Helen Cooper undertook her classical ballet training in Sydney at The McDonald College and Ecole Classique, before beginning her performance career as a youth artist with Ballet d’Action.  Whilst working in the classical ballet and commercial jazz arenas, Helen also began working as a student teacher where her love of teaching ballet began to develop.  In 2000, major knee surgery took Helen out of dance for a number of years, but led to her undertaking her teaching certification in Classical Ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and becoming an RAD Registered Teacher.  In 2007 Helen returned to dancing and undertook further classical training to attain her Associate status with the RAD, before joining Ballet 5:8 in the United States as a Company Artist where she danced Soloist and Principal roles in the company’s original repertoire.  The US also provided opportunity to study the Russian Vaganova classical training system, further broadening Helen’s teaching experience and methodology.   Helen’s passion is to give her students a broad and deep understanding of ballet in both its technique and artistry, and to instil a love of dance in all her students. In 2015 Ms Cooper became a registered Examiner with the RAD and enjoys travelling across Australia and seeing all the different schools and students and creating enjoyable examination sessions.

katie maxted

Guest Teacher- Junior & Senior Contemporary

Profile to come



georgina lochert

Junior, Inter & Senior Jazz & Tap

Profile to come

judy swan

SACE dance & Senior Contemporary

Ms. Judy Swan (B.Ed., Grad Dip Management, Arts; ARAD; Associate ISTD), has had extensive training and professional performance experience in classical ballet, contemporary dance and jazz dance technique, including training at the Laban Centre, London. Her post-graduate studies were in Arts Management and her teaching experience extends across primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education, having also taught for a number of private dance studios. Judy is currently the State choreographer for the Australian Girls Choir. Judy works as a moderator (assessor) for SACE Dance, holds the position of Chief Supervisor (Online Materials) for SACE and contributed extensively to the writing of the current SACE Dance curriculum. Judy has established a number of highly successful dance programs within secondary schools in Adelaide, having choreographed and directed a number of large-scale productions. Judy has initiated a number of programs on a state level that have successfully promoted Dance in education and has mentored tertiary dance education students. Committed to educating the 'whole' dancer, Judy enjoys sharing her lifelong passion for dance.


hanna minchin

SACE dance & Senior Contemporary

In 2010 Hanna commenced study in a Bachelor of Dance and Performance at Adelaide College of the Arts working with nationally and internationally renowned choreographers such as; Gabrielle Nankivell, Paul Gazzola, Kristina Chan, Peter Sheedy and Xiao Xiong Zhang. While attending AC Arts Hana received the opportunity to create and present her own work in the 2012 Adelaide Fringe. The show was called Rip, Drag and Ruminate.After graduating in 2012 she began collaborating with another local dance artist to create a short work for the 2013 Fringe. The work was performed in platform shorts and was entitled “Camping out loud while thinking”.  In 2013 Miss Hanna commenced a Masters in Teaching, specializing in dance and performing arts at the University of South Australia. After completing her Masters she worked in both public and private schools across Adelaide.In early 2015 she started Salsa lessons and soon developed a strong passion and energy for this style. This led her to Cuba in late 2015; where she had the opportunity to not only take lessons in Salsa and Afro Cuban Dance but also to view a range of live performances throughout Cuba. This experience has allowed Hanna to further her knowledge of Cuban dance culture and has opened her up to more dance styles and genres from around the world. Through out Miss Hanna's training as a child and adult she has had the chance to study ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap and participate exams. She looks forward to working with the Carisma Students to achieving their dreams in dance.