About Us

rts a Go Go! is an award winning company run by Upper Hutt residents, husband and wife Rachel Main and Stuart Grant.

Rachel and Stu are both qualified and experienced teachers who both have a passion for working with children and developing creativity through the arts.

 

 

Rachel is a registered teacher and was a school teacher and performer before starting Arts a Go Go! in 2008. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Teaching, plus a Certificate in Education Leadership. Rachel also has an Advanced Diploma in Modern Dance. Rachel has been very involved in musical theatre over the years and has performed on stage in a number of both lead and ensemble roles. She trained in drama teaching in Auckland as part of her teacher training and was Teacher in Charge of the Arts at an intermediate school before having her family. She has directed many shows and dance productions for children, and directed and trained children in singing and dance. As a performer, she has been part of a professional singing, dancing, storytelling entertainment group for young children.

In 2013, Rachel was selected as one of four finalists in the "Leadership Category" of the "Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards". Criteria included: outstanding leadership, building and leading teams, being passionate about their role and the people they work with, having determination and the will to succeed, having belief in achieving extraordinary things, a willingness to learn, a desire for constant improvement, the initiative to pursue an idea, to trust and empower teammates, work hard and have fun, and have leadership integrity.

   
   

Stu was director of Capital E, an internationally recognised performance and creative technology facility for children in Wellington, where he worked passionately for 17 years. He was also the founder and director of the Capital E National Arts Festival, bringing two weeks of professional national and international theatre and performances to thousands of children and school groups every two years. Prior to that, he was head of Drama, Art and Music at a Hamilton middle school.

His own acting experience includes many years in professional improvisation theatre and various plays. Stu has created and directed a number of productions for children.

He has an honours degree in arts and the media and has been invited to speak internationally on children and creativity. In 2015 Stu travelled to Edinburgh at the request of the British Council to peer review the Edinburgh Children's Festival and was also invited to attend the International Children's festival in Okinawa, Japan, to forge relationships with Japan for New Zealand professional theatre. 

Rachel and Stuart have three children.

   
   

Dance Teacher and Tawa Manager: Lisa Kelly

Arts a Go Go! is extremely fortunate to be able to use the skills of dance teacher Lisa Kelly. Lisa has been dancing most of her life and feels so lucky to have a job that is her greatest passion. She trained in NZAMD Jazz gaining an Advanced Certificate whilst growing up and went on to full-time training at the Wellington Performing Arts Centre gaining a Diploma in Commercial Dance.

Lisa has performed in many shows & corporate events in Wellington. Lisa spent 4 years dancing and teaching in London where she was based at the famous "Pineapple Dance Studios" & undertook further training in Musical Theatre as well as teaching dance classes in London primary schools. Lisa performed with theatre companies in shows and cabarets and was also lucky enough to perform in a music video which was a career highlight.

In 2015, Lisa was in the Wellington cast of "Evita" and in 2016 took a year off to live in Canada where she also taught dance. Lisa now also runs her own dance school in Wellington "Over teh Rainbow Dance."

Lisa loves teaching children and passing on all she has learnt over the years in a safe, fun, and encouraging environment.

   
   
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Irish Dancing Teacher: Shannon Hullett

Shannon has been an Irish Dancer since the age of 5. She has competed all over New Zealand and Australia. She has placed in the top 5 at the New Zealand Nationals multiple times which qualified her for the World Championships. In Australia, she was ranked in the top 20 which was one of her greatest achievements. Throughout her years as a dancer, she has loved taking the time to give direction and guidance to younger dancers in order to help them to grow and learn just as she did. Shannon currently attends  Victoria University where she is completing a Bachelors Degree in Classics and History. She looks forward to meeting your child and passing on her passion, skills and knowledge of Irish Dance.

   
 

 

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Drama Teacher: Katie Howes

Katie is a registered teacher and has been teaching Drama, Dance and English for 10 years. For 2018 she is on refreshment leave from her position as Head of Drama and Performing Arts at Wellington College, and enjoying being involved in the arts outside the education system. Katie trained in Performing Arts and Education at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch and since then has had teaching positions in Rotorua and London. Alongside teaching Katie has always been actively involved in the Arts community and tried her hand at all aspects of production; acting, props, set, wardrobe, lighting, management, and directing.  She is a strong advocate of the skills that Drama can provide people no matter what pathway their life may take. From creativity to communication, teamwork to problem solving, confidence to ownership, and hopes to support your child in their ongoing development of these skills.

   
   
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Dance Teacher: Anna Bate

Anna has a Masters in Dance Studies, with first class honours from The University of Auckland, a Post Graduate Diploma in Dance Studies, with distinction from The University of Auckland and a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts, with a major in contemporary dance from UNITEC, Auckland. She is a freelance contemporary performer, teacher (including tertiary) and choreographer both in New Zealand and internationally.

She has just completed choreographing a work for Footnote Dance NZ. Anna highly values the creative, flexible and critical thinking skills that can be attained through a physical arts practice.

   
   
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Music Teacher and Business Support: Joanne Roelofs

In charge of the pre-school music programme is Joanne Roelofs. Joanne has a Bachelor of Music (composition) and Diploma of Early Childhood Music Teaching from The Institute of Registered Music Teachers.

She holds Trinity College of London Grade 8 Piano and is the choral director of Upper Hutt's "Hutt Valley Singers" and "Major Minors Children's Choir". Joanne also plays the trombone and has been a member of Wellington Youth Symphonic Band, Victoria University Orchestra, Victoria University Big Band, Evening Post Wellington Brass Band (now Pelorus Trust Brass Band) and Titan Hutt City Brass Band. Joanne also runs her own music education business "Joanne Roelofs Music".

Joanne provides the piano accompaniment for our extension competition singers. 

She and her husband Marty have a five-year-old son.

   
   

Drama Teacher: Hannah McKenzie Doornebosch

Dr Hannah McKenzie Doonebosch started performing on stage in California when she was four years old and has been performing every since. Hannah is a playwright and scriptwriter with a background in acting, directing, and design.

She has performed in Australia, Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland and her writing work has represented New Zealand overseas. Hannah has been involved in amateur and professional productions across the country and spent many years with Canterbury Children's Theatre.

Hannah has a BA in theatre and film, an MA in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing with a focus on scriptwriting. Hannah's plays have won the David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize in Scriptwriting, the Dominion Post Scholarship, been read as part of the Writers on Mondays festival, shortlisted for Write Out Loud Wellington and the Adam Play Awards for best New Zealand play, and have won Write Out Loud Wellington and best New Zealand play by a woman playwright. Hannah is a script supervisor and assessor and a script and performance tutor.

She also has a passion for working with young people. In addition, Hannah is a costume designer and regularly creates costumes for clients across New Zealand.

   
   

Amalia Calder

Drama and Singing Teacher: Amalia Calder

Amalia Calder is a freelance actor and graduate of UCOL Theatre School. She is also a Mum, early childhood teacher, playwright, dancer, director, casting director and runs her own Production Company; Minnie Moo Productions.

A professional in the arts industry for 19 years, she has extensive experience working with children and young people, both on and off stage. Amalia also loves to sing and dance, she teaches Salsa and dances many different styles of Latin as well as swing! She managed and performed in her own Children's entertainment duo; Dan & Dani from 2007-2015. Amalia is also the Creative Director of KidzStuff Theatre for Children.

She is very much looking forward to meeting you all helping in your creative journeys.