Director, Ballet Mistress
Karen joined PACT Ballet in Pretoria in 1991 as an aspirant and won the Madge Cade Award for the most promising beginner. At PACT, she quickly rose through the ranks to achieve Principal dancer status. Karen was one of the six founding members of The South African Ballet Theatre.
On September 14th 2006, after a long and successful career as one of South Africa's best loved Ballerinas, Karen retired from state performance and announced her promotion to Artistic Director for The South African Ballet Theatre. In 2008, after the birth of her first child Grace, she resigned from the SABT. Karen is now the Principal and Ballet Mistress at Elite, where she is passionate about training young students who aspire to enter into a career of dance.
Director, Teacher and Administrator
After studying and working in Holland, Lucinda worked in New Zealand and Cape Town and owned her own businesses in the early childhood development and care taking, and event planning sectors. In addition to raising her 3 children, Lucinda has also had teaching roles at Balmoral Girls Primary School in Queenstown (a nursery school), Montessori School in Pretoria, and the Christian School of Arts.
Since 2015, Lucinda has been the primary school teacher and administrator of Elite Academics. Lucinda loves watching as her students grow and discover and excel. Elite faculty work in harmony together to protect, nurture and mentor students so that they reach their artistic and academic goals and achieve their dreams.
Director, Contemporary & Conditioning
Holly Gruver comes from the United States where she grew up and received ballet training in both Vaganova and Cechetti methods through Ballet Arts Minnesota. She trained on scholarship at Interlochen Arts Academy, Gus Giordanno Jazz Dance Chicago, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey and has won numerous awards competing in ballet, contemporary and jazz styles. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (honors) in Dance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Holly has performed around the world in original works of Nathan Montoya, Joe Orlando, Ann Reinking, Martha Graham’s (Diversion of Angels), Balanchine’s (Serenade), as well as original works at the International Arts Festival, Schladming Austria. In 1997 she began intensive training in the Lou Conte Dance Studios in Chicago, home of Hubbard Street Jazz Dance. Holly has been teaching dance and fitness to all ages since she was sixteen years old and has choreographed for numerous schools, churches and University productions as well as musicals in the US and South Africa.
Holly is Comprehensively certified in Pilates and is the Founder and Chairman of Johannesburg Arts Conservatory and Studio-27. Holly serves on the Elite College of Excellence Faculty as the Head of Contemporary and Pilates Conditioning, and also teaches the Elite Methodology (Ballet). Holly is passionate about offering classical Ballet and Contemporary training to students in South Africa and honoured to be on Faculty with such a dynamic and lovely people.
Leanne Bowring teaches modern dance at Elite which includes contemporary and jazz as well as AIDT syllabus work and exams. Leanne co-owns the BOWRING LEVIN SCHOOL OF DANCE in Rivonia, Johannesburg. This school has been going strong for over 25 years, producing top quality dancers who have gone on to pursue careers in dance in South Africa and abroad.
Leanne, a former member of Adele Blanks’ FREE FLIGHT DANCE COMPANY and Debbie Rakusins’ ONE UP ON JAZZ DANCE COMPANY is an award-winning choreographer and founded the BOWRING LEVIN DANCE COMPANY.
Leanne has produced and choreographed many stage productions such as; THE FIVE SENSES, THE DANCE GALLERY, ELEMENTS, LET THE GAME’S BEGIN, CIRQUE DU DANCE, DANCE AHOY, MOVIE SPECTACULAR, THE WIZ, BROADWAY MAGIC and STORYBOOK MASH-UP.
Leanne has taken competition dance teams to compete, highy successfully, in the IDO Dance World Championships in Germany and Poland, as well as the American Dance Awards in New York and Miami. In 2017, Leanne’s student won Female championship winner of the world, beating 24 other countries to achieve this coveted title.
Foundation Phase Assistant
Melody started working at ELITE in 2015 and was soon promoted to Foundation Phase Assistant due to her gentle and loving nature and her interest in being more involved in the classroom. Her passion for the children is rare. She looks after them and cares for all their needs, taking care of their lunches and clothes and protecting them. Melody is a valuable assistant to our teachers and an asset to our school.