Leading NZSD for 25+ years

Our Board

Strengthening NZSD's legacy

Our School

A team of the very best tutors


Frequently asked questions

The New Zealand School of Dance has an impressive faculty teaching classical ballet and contemporary dance. The Board of Trustees, Professional Advisory Panel, staff, health practitioners, and supporters work together as a strong team with tutors and NZSD students towards this goal.


The School has been led since 1998 by director Garry Trinder

Born in England, Garry Trinder trained at The Royal Ballet School, Rambert School of Ballet and Maurice Béjart’s MUDRA. As a dancer, he worked with Scottish Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and London City Ballet.

Garry, former Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet and Director of Dance at South Africa’s NAPAC Dance Company, holds a master’s degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire and an Advanced Diploma in Education from Newcastle University. He is associated with international ballet competitions like Prix de Lausanne, Japan Grand Prix, and Youth America Grand Prix. Since 2011, he has been the President of the Jury for the Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong. In 2013, Garry was honored as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contributions to dance.

New Zealand School of Dance Board

The School is fortunate to have the guidance of these trustees who, between them, have a wealth of experience, and backgrounds in a number of industries. 

The NZSD Foundation board of trustees work alongside our staff to continue strengthening a legacy of over 50 years at the forefront of dance training in New Zealand.

Several members of staff and one of our full-time students also sit on the Board as staff and student representatives.
NZSD Board
Peter Mersi (Chair)
Andrew Stewart
Tony Murray
Simon O’Connor
Dame Helene Quilter
Katrina Todd
Heather Verry
Kaumātua Ross Himona
NZSD Foundation Board
Andrew Stewart (Chair),
Denis Kirkcaldie
Heather Verry
Garry Trinder (ex officio)

The Professional Advisory Panel is a discussion forum to evaluate the professional standards of the New Zealand School of Dance

Advisory Panel
Dame Helene Quilter, Chair
Katrina Todd, Deputy Chair
Adriana Harper, External member
Sarah Knox, External member
Sarah Foster-Sproull, External member
Ty King-Wall, Artistic Director – RNZB
Nicci Theis Mcewan, External member
Garry Trinder, Staff representative
Ways to Support

By supporting the New Zealand School of Dance Foundation, you are investing in the dancers of tomorrow. Building on a legacy of over 50 years at the forefront of dance training in New Zealand, the Foundation supports the future growth and development of the School as a centre of excellence.


You might want to know

Entry Requirements

The general age requirement for full-time students is 16 to 18 years old. Any exceptions can be confirmed during the interview.

Registered students must have completed Grade 11 in New Zealand or equivalent (graduated from junior high school in China) and have any of the following classical ballet levels: Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 1 (RAD Advanced 1), International Dance Teachers Association Advanced 1 ( IDTA Advanced 1), British Ballet Advanced 1 (BBO Advanced 1), Cecchetti Advanced 1 (Cecchetti Advanced 1) or Ballet Australian Intermediate (BAL Intermediate) will be given priority for admission.

All classes in our college are taught in English, so students need to master English proficiency or take language courses while studying. If the student's English proficiency is below level B1 of the EU European Language Framework standards, he or she must take an English learning course before admission.

The B1 level is defined as: "Can understand the main points of general expressions of common matters in work, study and life; can handle most situations that may occur if traveling in this language area; can explain familiar topics or personal interests Can make simple and coherent expressions of hobbies; can describe past experiences, activities, dreams, ideals and pursuits, and can briefly explain and explain one's own opinions and plans."

Student Visa

International students accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance full-time course are are required to apply for a New Zealand Student Visa.

When the School receives the Response to Offer of Place form and relevant payments and the annual tuition fee has been lodged with the Public Trust, we will send information for the student visa application including:

  • A Letter of Acceptance
  • Receipts
  • Verification of accommodation arrangements

For full details on visa applications, employment in New Zealand while studying and any other requirements visit the Immigration New Zealand website or email the NZSD Administration Manager.

Student Loans and Allowances

International students are not eligible to access any New Zealand government-funded loans or allowances to help cover their study costs.  

International students must arrange a student visa and insurance before arriving in New Zealand.


The New Zealand School of Dance will ensure that each international student has appropriate and current medical and travel insurance for the duration of their planned study period at the School.

The NZSD Administrator will arrange insurance for international students with Uni-Care from the date of travel to New Zealand.

Students usually pay for a visit to see their nearest General Practitioner (GP) and claim the cost back.

If students need to see a specialist, they must first see a GP to get a referral to a specialist.

Pre-approval for medical care over NZD$1,000.00 is recommended prior to incurring expenses to make sure it will be covered by the policy.

Hospital Stays:

If a student is admitted to hospital in an emergency this will be covered.

Students should contact Uni-Care if their stay in hospital is longer than 24 hours.

English Language

All classes at the New Zealand School of Dance are taught in English. Students need to understand conversational English, and may be required to study the language while at the School. Students must undertake an English language course before arriving at the School if their level of English is lower than B1 of the CEFR

Support for International Students

The School has support systems in place to assist international students. A student support manager provides advice to help students adjust to full-time training and life in New Zealand. The New Zealand School of Dance has agreed to observe and be bound by The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 published by the Minister of Education. The code is available from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.  

New Zealand School of Dance – Self-Review of Code of Practice.