Heartspace Staff

Kirsty Sziron

Kirsty began dancing at 3 and trained under Rosemary Sims, mostly at the Boronia Academy of Dance (which later became Dancer's Edge) in Victoria. During this time, she appeared on the children's television show 'The Early Bird Show' as a regular dancer. As a teen, she started teaching all styles of dance and became a professional basketball cheerleader for the National Basketball League (NBL) teams Melbourne Magic and Southern Melbourne Sweathog Saints.

After finishing High school Kirsty completed a full time performing arts course at Bartuccio's in Melbourne, becoming a professional commercial dancer.  Her work included, TV commercials, modelling, appearances in ‘Neighbours’, ‘The man from Snowy River’ series, corporate events, musicals and music film clips. During this time Kirsty fell in love with contemporary dance and joined award winning professional contemporary dance company D-xytria with Artistic Director Elissa Meyer Thomas. Kirsty has taught at Melbourne dance schools – KDW, Smooth Moves, Itchy Feet, Kenlaurel Dance Studio and some of the Sunshine Coast dance schools – Performing Arts Factory, Fierce, Encore Performing Arts and bDifferent Dance Academy.

When Kirsty met Kester, they decided to form 'The Lightworkers dance duo' and their mission was to bring Contemporary Dance out of the closet and make it accessible to audiences by creating multi-performing arts nights, in venues such as bars, clubs and festivals in Melbourne and throughout Queensland.

They choreographed dances to the music they composed together. This dance duo also taught at over 70 schools and toured to regional, rural and outback schools as well as Aboriginal communities delivering their own dance, drama and music programs addressing core learning outcomes. This was often achieved through the government funding, ‘PCAP’ as an Artist in Residence. Settled now in Maleny for the past three years, Kirsty enjoys teaching dance, drama and teacher aiding at the River School and the new Maleny Independent School.

Kester Chalkley

Kester started dancing at a young age and took up music in his early teens. His ballet training included Cecchetti, R.A.D., Boravanski and Vaganova methods. He completed year 11 & 12 at Victorian College of the Arts School of Dance and spent 18 months at the Australian Ballet School before becoming a freelance professional ballet dancer. He went back to the VCA to achieve a Bachelor of Dance, honing skills in all major methods of contemporary dance including Graham, Cunningham and Limon, followed by a Post Grad. Dip in Animatuering (Majoring in Improvisation). Here he completed a 20-thousand-word thesis on the connection between dance and childhood development.

Dance has taken Kester overseas to Hong Kong, England and Scotland as well as throughout Australia. In 2000, he started his dance company with his wife Kirsty and toured extensively, covering the Eastern side of Australia, visiting many towns and schools including indigenous communities as well as suburban schools. He has taught over 80, 000 children in his time as co-director of the LightWorkers Dance Duo. 

Running concurrently alongside his dance career has been a music career as well. In the mid to late 90's his band Frenzi achieved national success with Triple J airplay and television airplay of both his video clip on Rage and Recovery, and live performances on Pay TV. His music, co written with Kirsty, has been played at many festivals including the Woodford Folk Festival, and combined with his dance duo performances, throughout Qld, NSW and Vic.

Kester achieved top marks in his Bachelor of Learning Management (Primary Education) from CQUniversity, achieving a Degree with Honours, and has gratefully taken on the role of Music Teacher at the Ananda Marga River School in Maleny. Dance, music and drama have been an integral part of his life and Kester is thrilled to be bringing his love for and skills in the performing arts to Maleny.

Isabella Gray

Studied EmpowerDance Cert 2 covering safe dance practice, contemporary and street dance technique, the arts industry, stretching and appropriate first aid for injury, basic anatomy, evaluating dance performance, and creating fitness programs adapted to our own strengths and weaknesses. 

Worked as Junior dance assistant with MF Dance Hinterland in 2017 and Hinterland Hip Hop in 2018, performing and assisting junior classes, as well as choreographing her own hip-hop routines. 

Issy participated in Maleny State High School’s Dance Extension program for 2 years, becoming heavily involved in eisteddfods, inter school contemporary performances with Melissa Lanham, and choreographing alongside Maleny teachers. 

In 2016 and 2018 she assisted with Maleny State Primary School productions, choreographing routines, helping with makeup and being part of backstage crew. 

Isabella joined Heartspace the same year, taking on ballet, contemporary, and hip hop, and assisting backstage and at rehearsals for both the Mid-year and End-of-year concerts.

She regularly attends Pro Dance Workshops and classes including House Of Sole, The Mob Industry, Mad Dance House to name a few.

Evie Barnes

Chances are you have probably already met Evie Barnes. Maleny is her home and she is a much-loved local dance teacher who has a broad spectrum of dance experience under her belt.

This includes dancing at Sunshine Coast Performing Arts Centre (SPAC) where she completed her level 7 CSTD Jazz exams and acrobatics. She studied dance at high school as well as performing in eisteddfods, arts exposed nights and the Colours of Love production. Evie has worked with choreographer Melissa Lanham on the contemporary dance piece Vincent Van Gogh (School Production), and participated in the level 2 Cheer Team at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

In addition to her teaching roles she also dances for fun at the House of Sole and attends workshops for self-improvement and because she loves it! Evie is professional, dynamic and passionate but what really makes her stand out is how she builds such a beautiful connection with her students. We feel very fortunate to have her on board.