Dance Academy Cast
Xenia plays Tara Webster. Born in Sydney, Xenia started dancing at the age of nine. In 2009, she was accepted into full-time training at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy. Xenia is primarily a ballet dancer, but she has also trained in contemporary dance, national character, Spanish, and jazz. In 2008, she was selected to compete at the Sydney School Dance Competition. Dance Academy is her first television show.
Alicia plays Kat Karamakov. Alicia began acting professionally when she was very young, and she has taken dance classes since she was four. She made her feature film debut as a young Miranda Otto in The Dead Letter Office. Her TV credits include Halifax f.p., Rove, In Melbourne Tonight, and a recurring role on Neighbours. As a teenager, she played Kaitlin in Summer Heights High, Amber on As the Bell Rings, and Leah on Tangle. Alicia spent three years at the Victorian College of the Arts learning classical ballet, contemporary dance, tap, jazz, character dance, lyrical, and acrobatics. She also studies funk and hip-hop.
Dena plays Abigail Armstrong. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dena comes from a long line of performers, and is one of three sisters all working professionally in the entertainment industry. Dena began dancing at the age of three and was on stage before she turned four. She moved to Australia in 1996, where she studied at the Jane Moore Academy of Ballet, and became an associate of the Australian Ballet School. At 16, Dena joined the cast of The Lion King for their Melbourne and Sydney seasons. She was the winner of Australian Dance Idol in 2005, and moved to New York in 2006 to train at the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Dena's TV credits include Scooter: Secret Agent, City Homicide, X Factor, EliteXC, and Flight of the Conchords. She relocated back to Australia to join the cast of Dance Academy.
Tom plays Sammy Lieberman. Tom began working professionally as an actor in 2007. He played the lead role of Zac in the TV movie Emerald Falls, and made his stage debut in Lockie Leonard for Merrigong Theatre Co. In 2008, he starred in the short film The Ground Beneath, and was nominated for best Young Actor at the AFI awards. For the same role, he won the Best Actor award at the St. Kilda Film Festival and the Ourense Film Festival. Tom played Dexter Walker on Home and Away, and starred in the feature film Thirst. Tom has studied a variety of dance styles including ballet and hip-hop. He has a first dan black belt in Taekwondo.
Jordan plays Christian Reed. Jordan has been acting professionally since he was cast as Simba in the Australian tour of The Lion King, a role he played for two and a half years. Jordan trained at Brent Street for over 10 years, and has studied ballet, jazz, hip hop, drama, and singing. In 2008, he had a guest role in the first episode of Blue Water High. He went on to play Jai Fernandez in Home and Away, which saw him nominated for the Most Popular New Talent award at the 2009 Logies.
Tim plays Ethan Karamakov. Born in South Africa, and raised in Ireland, Tim moved to Australia at the age of seven. He developed an interest in singing and was accepted into the Australian Children's Choir. That led to an audition for a stage production of The Sound of Music, in which he was cast in the role of Kurt. Tim was offered a principal role in the Australian Opera Company's 1995 production of The Magic Flute and spent the next five years working with Opera Australia. He performed over a hundred times at the Australian Opera House in twelve productions, including Neil Armfield's Billy Budd, Baz Lurhman's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as Carmen, Tosca, Macbeth, and a reprisal of his role in The Magic Flute for its 1999 season. When he finished school, Tim studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. In 2009, he played Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, in the feature film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In 2011, he played Angus McCathie on the Australian soap opera Home and Away.
Thomas plays Ben Tickle. Dancing since the age of two at the May Downs School of Dance, Thomas has extensive training in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and acrobatics. He has also had training in latin and ballroom at Danceworx, as well as vocal and dramatic training. Tom's professional work began on stage in 2000 in The Magic Faraway Tree for Garry Ginivan Productions. He has also been seen in productions of Singing in the Rain, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz, Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, and Oklahoma. A career highlight was performing in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. While Dance Academy is Tom's first main cast television role, he has appeared in various television commercials and short films, including a guest role in Southern Star's Blue Heelers.
Issi plays Grace Whitney. Issi has been dancing since she was three-years-old, attending Loretto Kirribilli throughout most of her life. She made the transition into acting at age 14 after taking her first drama class. Straight out of high school in 2010, Issi made it to the top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance series three, which jump-started her career. She studied dance full time at Sarah Boutler's Ev & Bow and even took on a minor role on Rescue Special Ops.