About us

Our mission

To positively stimulate and energise our students mentally, physically and emotionally, leading to inquiring minds, intelligent movement and passionate future dance artists who are confident individuals and have experienced the joy of dance with us.

In our dance classes, we hope the diligent and passionate ballet or contemporary dance student at KMS Dance Studio will feel motivated to dance bravely, ask questions and set individual goals with the aim of discovering and developing their own true potential.

As tutors, we consider it a privilege to instruct, guide, encourage and inspire our young and young at heart dance students to be the best they can be, to believe in themselves and above all experience the joy of dance.


Kathleen-Malee SmithKathleen Smith

Director and Tutor

BA, Cert.TT, RAD Solo Seal, B.B.O

 After a professional ballet career in Germany spanning over 10 years, Kathleen-Malee returned to New Zealand in  2003/04. Her desire to pass on her knowledge and experience gained as a professional dancer means that she now enjoys teaching, choreographing and coaching, and is thrilled to share her passion and enthusiasm for the art of ballet with her students. More recently she has just finished a fantastic year specialising in tutoring Classical Ballet at Auckland's Unitec.

 Kathleen trained under Ann Judson in Christchurch, and achieved her final ballet exam, the RAD Solo Seal award, at just 15 years of age. She then travelled overseas to train in Monte Carlo, Banff, Hamburg and London, and participated in the Prix de Lausanne and Varna ballet competitions.

Kathleen was a professional classical ballet/contemporary dancer with the Dresden Semperoper Ballet, where a varied repertoire, guest choreographers, international guest artists and world renowned ballet masters provided a platform for her personal artistic growth.

An offer to become a founding member and soloist of the Thoss Tanz Kompanie, saw Kathleen move to Kiel and subsequently the State Opera House in Hannover with German choreographer Stephan Thoss, where she danced first soloist/principal roles. The company toured Europe, performed in galas, including the world renowned Bayreuther Festspiele, and premiered many pieces which now belong in the repertoire of international ballet companies.

Since returning to New Zealand, Kathleen danced with Footnote, completed a BA and attained her Certificate in Tertiary Teaching from AUT University. She taught part-time on the AUT Bachelor of Dance programme, as lecturer and rehearsal director for the AUT BDance Company alongside Timothy Gordon. Kathleen has adjudicated ballet competitions, taught Master Classes and coached/choreographed dancers participating in national and international ballet competitions.

She has coached dancers who are now following their dream at notable places such as The Royal NZ Ballet, Queensland Ballet Apprentice Programme, Paris Opera Ballet, New Zealand School of Dance and the Australian Ballet School. Her specially choreographed Contemporary solos have helped students achieve success in many of the regional ballet awards and national competitions such as PACANZ and AHA, and at the Sydney Eistefford.

Kathleen's Dancer in Development full-time ballet students accepted offers to study at the New Zealand School of Dance (Classical Major), Queensland Ballet Academy, Prudence Bowen Atelier and more recently English National Ballet School and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. The DiD team are very proud and excited to see their students fly high!

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