Astrid Chiochiu (ARAD, ATOD affiliate) began dancing at the age of 4. Winning multiple championships and bursaries, Astrid studied with the Queensland Dance School of Excellence, at the age of 16. She owned and operated a RAD ballet school for 6 years. Astrid went on to represent Australia as a Professional Dancer throughout Europe, where she met her husband Anatolie. For 11 years Astrid danced throughout Europe, Asia and the United States and has held positions of Company Manager, Soloist, Lead Adagio Act and Line Captain for various International Companies. Astrid spent 5 years training Professional Dancers in LA and Las Vegas for Production Shows and has been an Assistant Director, Choreographer, Talent Scout and Trainer for NYK and Crystal Cruises. Astrid is excited to teach in Australia again and pass on her International knowledge and experience to her students.
Anatolie Chiochiu was born in Moldovia, an Eastern European country near Romania. Anatolie began ballet, national and folk dancing at the age of 10. His professional career began at the age of 17 in the national, folkloric company JOC. JOC has 100 professional dancers and performs throughout Europe. By the age of 20 Anatolie was the male soloist for JOC and travelled throughout Europe performing within various companies. After meeting his wife Astrid, Anatolie started performing onboard cruise lines. There he was Male Line Captain, Soloist and Lead Adagio Act. Once settling in Australia, Anatolie taught Ballroom and South Amercian Dancing in Brisbane for several years. Anatolie’s experience and patience make him an ideal partner of the Five Star Dance Academy team bringing his European style to dance.
Emma Smith, born in England, became a member of the Northern Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) at the age of 11. She studied LAMDA Drama, ISTD and RAD Ballet along with ISTD tap and Modern. Her final year in the UK was spent with the Leap Dance Company studying OCN dance in Contemporary, Ballet, Street Jazz and Hip Hop. Emma has performed and choreographed hip hop routines for many shows and sponsored events, as well as being head cheerleader for Hull FC for four years. After moving to Australia in 2004, Emma has worked at Movie World, been a Latin style dancer and choreographer and performed at many high profile events. Joining Five Star Dance Academy in 2012, Emma brings her skills and experience to pass onto our students.
Graduating full time through RAW Dance Company, in 2016 Milena Lydzbinski received her Diploma in Musical Theatre. Exploring the relationship between music and dance, Milena has been professionally trained in Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, House, Commercial Jazz, Musial Theatre, Cabaret, Latin, Flamenco and many more. She began her years competing at numerous dance Eisteddfods and stage productions, before carrying out her passion for dance professionally. Having a strong music and performing arts background, Milena achieved the role of a Company Dance in Creative Generation: State Schools on Stage, in her final years of schooling. From then on, she has been a part of the RAW teaching team, training and travelling in an all-girls Hip Hop crew. Milena is excited to continue her passion and begin teaching her experiences, at Five Star Dance Academy.
Born and bred in Mount Isa, Lauren began dancing at the age of 5. She graduated from the Queenland Dance School of Excellence in 2001 and furthered her Performing Arts training, studying fulltime at Brent Street Studios.
Immediately following formal studies, Lauren was employed as a dancer working on Japanese cruise liner M.S. Asuka which travelled around Asia, Australia and Europe. Having caught the travel bug, Lauren joined Carnival Cruise Lines in 2004. She performed as a dancer, magicians assistant and singer swing in a variety of musical theatre styled productions.
In 2008 Lauren returned to Australia where she continued to dance professionally and teach at several dance studios around Sydney. Since then she has joined the Five Star Dance Academy family, along side one of her first dance teachers and mentors, Miss Astrid.
Yelena Smith, born in Siberia - started dancing at the age of 5. At age 10, she joined the National Folk Company "Yuonst" (means - Youth) in the city of Barnaul, Siberia, performing at National and International festivals and competitions. In 1992 Yelena moved to Kazakhstan to study with the Kazakhstan's College of Dance and Art, specializing in Classical, National and Traditional Kazakhstan dance as well as Ballroom and Modern. Graduating in 1998, a professional dancer and qualified dance teacher, Yelena signed with the South Korean Company "Asia Entertainment". For seven years she choreographed and performed in shows all around Korea before moving to Australia in 2006 and working for "AusDance for schools". Yelena joined the Five Star Dance Academy teaching facility in 2014 and just loves every minute teaching the students and exciting them about dance.
Kirstie McIvor began dancing at the age of 4 in babies ballet, tap and jazz classes. After her first dance concert she found her love for performing which lead to many solo and group local dance Eisteddfods and competitions. Early in her dance career she found a love and passion for tap dance where she completed all ATOD exams with honours. After completing her year of full time dance at Raw Dance Company she has decided to apply her knowledge and teach what she has learnt throughout her years of experience to others, and hopes to bring her passion for dance to Five Star Dance Academy.