Holly Diggle - Studio Founder, Owner, and Director
Holly’s first exposure to dance was as a child in Edinburgh, at a studio that had a strong sense of community. People of all ages and skill levels danced together, connecting with their souls and each other through the body. Holly went on to study dance, obtaining a BA in Dance Performance (Theory and Practice) and a Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management. She also holds an RYT 200hr Yoga Teacher Certificate and a 50hr Kids Yoga Teacher Certificate, both accredited with Yoga Alliance, and is a qualified Acrobatic Arts instructor.
Earlier in her career, Holly performed professionally across Australia and overseas. Her work in Mirramu Dance Company’s ‘River’ earned Holly a nomination for ‘Most Outstanding Female Performer’ in the Australian Dance Awards. She won the ‘Most Outstanding Choreography Award’ and the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for her contact improvisation performances with Keira Mason-Hill at the Short and Sweet Dance Festival.
Inspired by her experiences in the industry, Holly wanted to create a space for children and adults to discover the healing power of dance and the simple joy of movement – without being subject to objectification, adultification, unrealistic expectations of perfection, and the pressure of competition. So, she started Dance Northside, a studio that provides fun, age-appropriate, recreational dance classes and community-focused performance opportunities. Taking a holistic approach to dance education, Holly’s hope is that her students become not only competent dancers, but happy, self-assured, and well-rounded individuals. As a certified Youth Protection Advocate in Dance, Holly is helping shift the dance industry’s focus onto child safety and wellbeing.
Holly’s desire to create a safe and inclusive space also comes from her own lived experience of neurodiversity. As someone with dyslexia and ADHD, Holly understands that whilst such conditions present a challenge, they can be superpowers when channelled effectively and are in no way an impediment to success. This makes Holly all the more aware and convinced of the need to offer dance classes in a nurturing and supportive environment, where people of any ability can reach their full potential.
Holly has over two decades of teaching experience in a variety of settings, including dance studios, schools, and universities. In addition, she has worked with refugee groups, women in recovery, and youth at risk. Holly’s specialty is contemporary dance, and her classes are dynamic, technical, and highly physical. Her teaching philosophy and methodology are centred around providing a positive, confidence-building experience for her students, supporting them to become physically and mentally strong.
Today, alongside raising her two young children, Holly really enjoys teaching Little Leapers, Acro, and Adults Contemporary at Dance Northside. She also loves connecting the community by running events and in-house performances, as well as mentoring her staff and student leaders. The people are what make Dance Northside such an amazing place to be, and Holly sees building those relationships as the most rewarding aspect of her role.
Holly is grateful to have received recognition for her achievements as a studio owner. In 2014, she was honoured to be acknowledged as a notable alumnus of the ACT public school system, for going on to become a leader in her chosen field. Holly has been named a finalist in the Canberra Women in Business Awards (2018), Australian Small Business Champion Awards (2022), Canberra Region Local Business Awards (2022), and AusMumpreneur Awards (2022). In 2022, she won a Women With Altitude Brave award.
Holly thanks you for choosing Dance Northside. Welcome to our community!
Cara Martin - Customer Relations Manager
Caitlin met Holly in 2012, through the primary school dance competition known as Wakkakirri. Since then, Caitlin has taken contemporary, jazz, and ballet classes at Dance Northside. She has also been part of the Dance Northside Performance Team, allowing her to gain experience in other styles of dance and perform extensively across Canberra. Caitlin now works as Studio Administrator and teaches Kids Contemporary and Junior Contemporary, while undertaking a degree in International Relations at the Australian National University. She gains so much happiness from dance, and aims to inspire that same joy in her students.
Kasha also took tap dancing classes at Kim Harvey school of dance in 2016 to learn something new for a year whilst still at Dance Northside.
Kasha started as an assistant teacher in 2020, undergoing training with a number of Dance Northside staff. Kasha loves to share her passion with young dancers and is excited to see their smiling faces and watch them improve and have fun!