Casey Davidge - Principal

Casey has trained extensively in many styles of dance, including jazz, funk/hip hop, commercial, tap, ballroom and cheer.  She trained at elite dance schools in Melbourne and Bendigo, before returning to the East Gippsland area to share her passion through teaching. Casey holds a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management, Diploma of Beauty Therapy (Elly Lukas),  Certificate in Special Occasions Make-Up (Napoleon Perdis Academy), holds Assistant Coach Certification for Acro Dance Australia, and has been Principal/Owner of Urban Funk Dance since 2006.

Already a thriving commercial dance school and the first of it's kind for the East Gippsland area, Casey has grown and developed the styles taught at UFD from the signature jazz funk style, to also include dance fusion, hip hop, musical theatre, acro and contemporary.

Casey and her team have enjoyed many years of local and state-wide success at eisteddfods, dance festivals and the Crown International Dance Festival with the performance teams, with students furthering their careers with entry in Ministry of Dance, film and television work, and their own subsequent dance studios opening to satisfy the area's need for dance.

Alongside her commitments to UFD, Casey teaches at various primary and secondary schools, has run the debutante program at the local high school, and is involved with the local community theatre group.

Casey has choreographed for Bairnsdale Independent Theatre Company's (BITE) "Jack The Ripper" production, Nagle College "Grease" and "Wizard Of Oz" productions, and Bairnsdale Production Line Theatre Company's "Chicago" (nominated for Choreographer's Award GAT 2013), "Annie" (2014) "Beauty and the Beast" (2017) , "The Wedding Singer" (2018), "Mamma Mia" (2020/2021) productions. 

 

2022 will see her choreographing again for BPLTC'S "Grease" Production, alongside her commitments to the studio and being a mum to two busy girls!

 

 

Kelli Matheson - Hip Hop Director

Beginning classes at age 5, Kelli quickly fell in love with modern dance. She trained all through her school years and found her true love for dance at Bairnsdale Jazz Funk, what UFD was formerly known as. Under the teachings of BJF founder, Renee Hallahan, and her sister, Carly Hallahan, Kelli was able to experience many more facets of commercial dance. Kelli spent many years competing in the advanced troupe before leaving the area after finishing high school.

Upon returning to Bairnsdale in 2008, Kelli came home to UFD, this time as a teacher. She formed the area's first ever Hip Hop Performance team and quickly began to dominate in local and state-wide competitions. The UFD Senior Hip Hop troupe has consistently placed in the top 2 in area competitions and her eye-catching and original routines have blazed the trail for other troupes to follow in her path.

Her career highlights include a top 3 placing at the Crown International Dance Festival in 2019, where the troupe has competed against dance schools from all over the country,  and dancing with LA Danceforce and Alison Faulk (Magic Mike choreographer), as well as top 2 placings each year since the team began competing at regional dance eisteddfods in 2010.

Kelli's teams continue to dominate in the hip hop arena and she is looking forward to hopefully a normal competing year again in 2022, as well as being a mama to her 4 children and various work commitments!

 

 

 

Tara Murray - Senior Teacher

 

Tara began dance classes at 11 years old in Coffs Harbour, initially training in jazz. She quickly found she had a passion for classical and switched styles to ballet.

After moving to Bairnsdale, Tara fell in love with jazz again and continued to do ballet, also picking up pointe, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and acro.

Tara has competed with several solos/duos/trios and troupes at regional dance eisteddfods since age 12. She has participated in workshops at the Australian Ballet, Melbourne City Ballet, NIPA and various hip hop events in Melbourne, including Hip Hop Nationals. Tara has also completed ISTD exams in her training.

Since enrolling at UFD in 2015, Tara has represented the school in both Jazz and Hip Hop Performance Teams, competing in many eisteddfods and the Crown International Dance Competition

 Tara has enjoyed success at various local eisteddfods with her Jazz Performance Teams, as well as privately trained soloists. She combines her love for teaching with work, study and being a mother to her young son.