Aaron Gilmore. Owner & Director of Phoenix Dance.
Born just out of Christchurch, Aaron is a pretty typical Kiwi fella. Except for one thing: instead of getting into more mainstream sports, 30 years ago he started dancing. First with Irish, but finding it too hard not to move his arms, it didn't last long. So; at the age of 9, it was off to Ballroom and Latin American dance lessons (his mother wanted him to learn the wedding waltz for the eldest of his three sisters' coming marriage). At first it took a bit of persuasion but he soon began to love it.
For Aaron, dance and movement is a way of life. "It is a way to lose yourself, yet find yourself at the same time. It allows you to express yourself in a way that nothing else can. It connects you to others and makes you feel alive." he says.
Aaron feels very lucky with the opportunities he has had with dance. He's traveled and represented New Zealand overseas, competing at the highest level and for a time lived, danced and trained in Australia and England.
A Dancing With The Stars veteran, winning with the graceful Lorraine Downes, Aaron was a popular pro choice. He recalls his time fondly "The people involved were a magic group and I have made some wonderful friends. Dancing with, and getting to know my partners and the crew involved was fantastic. I had a great time making the show and had heaps of laughs. A big bonus was that it was for charity. I had the pleasure to be involved with a range of charities: The Children's Cancer Foundation, Parents Inc. Hospice New Zealand and The New Zealand Spinal Trust. They are awesome groups and a really special bunch of people. I feel very privileged that I could dance for them, and work with and continue to raise money for such worthy causes. They really do provide such valuable services."
Nowadays, Aaron is based in Auckland with his two children, Ethan and Grace. As the Owner and director of Phoenix Dance Studios Aaron is committed to growing dance in New Zealand.
Shae Mountain - Teacher, Performer and Watch Aficionado.
Shae has been dancing since the age of ten. Starting competitions dancing first in the juvenile age category: he won his first of many New Zealand Titles in 2006. Since then he has been a top ranked competitor, across all age groups, in Ballroom and Latin American dance styles.
In 2009 Shae and his partner were Junior Australian Open Champions in both Ballroom and Latin.
As a youth, and an adult dancer, he has won many events in New Zealand; including the New Zealand Youth Open Ballroom and Latin, the New Zealand Ten Dance and the New Zealand Closed Ballroom Championships. He is a regular finalist in all major Australian competitions.
Shae represented New Zealand at the 2013 World Championships in Paris.
Kimberley Hill - Teacher, Performer and Magic Mum
Kimberley has worked as a professional dancer for over 15 years, dancing commerically for NZ’s top dance entertainment companies; performing for many large scale events and shows as well as dancing in various film and television productions. She was a long standing member of the Sky City Cheerteam and a NZ Breaker Girl. Now a busy mum, Kimberley gets her dance fix through teaching Dance and Dance Fitness Classes.
Professional Dancer, Certified 'Jungle Body' Instructor, Barre Fitness Instructor, a Diploma in Fitness Training, and a Magic Mother to two lovely little fellas. What a great asset to the Phoenix team.
Nick Mountain - Teacher, Performer and Master Chef (mostly).
Starting in 2007 at the age of 9, Nick's passion and talent for dance grew quickly. A natural on the competition floor, success soon followed.
In 2012 Nick became the New Zealand Junior Champion in 3 competitive styles and the Australian Junior 8 Dance Champion. 2013 the New Zealand Youth 10 Dance Champions title was won and Nicks passion was firmly set.
Through 2015 and 2016 Nick won many titles in the Youth Ballroom and Latin sections; finishing 2016 as the New Zealand Closed Amateur Ballroom Champion, with partner Sasha Paunovic; A title he hopes to defend this year.
As well as being a fabulous dancer and coach, Nick is a qualified chef.