Who we are
DANZ is a not-for-profit organisation governed by a board and administered by a management team led by the Chief Executive. The Board is responsible for setting policy and strategic direction while the management team is responsible for developing dance in New Zealand by investing funds, developing initiatives and delivering tailored programmes to meet identified needs.
Jonathan Baker (Chair) is a Lecturer in the Business Faculty at Auckland University of Technology where he teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland, researching the application of contemporary marketing theories to performing arts strategy, and acts as a consultant, mostly facilitating strategic planning for arts organisations. Jonathan previously served on the Board of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and as a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland, School of Music. He holds an MBA (with Distinction) and a Bachelor of Music (Hons).
Doreen Bestmann has a keen interest in dance-related governance having previously held leadership positions, including president, for the Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand (MEDANZ). She brings to the Board extensive business and leadership skills, specifically in strategic planning and evaluations, project and change management and financial management. Doreen’s past experience in working with, understanding and managing the different types of dance communities and their varied needs will be valuable to ensuring they are represented and supported appropriately at a national level.
Karen Fraser Payne is a Trustee and General Manager of Touch Compass Dance Trust and a Board member of Hohepa Auckland. From a back ground in corporate affairs for Auckland Airport and as a private secretary for several tourism Ministers, including John Key, Karen has diverse and extensive skills and experience in leadership, management, public relations and governance, specialising in disability issues, aviation, tourism and inclusive arts.
Merenia Gray is a graduate from the New Zealand School of Dance and has enjoyed a successful career as a dancer, teacher and choreographer both nationally and internationally. She brings to the Board an excellent comprehension of dance and their practitioners of all genres and she specialises in Māori contemporary dance. Having benefitted from a close association with DANZ through its mentoring programme and work on projects through roles with Kōwhiti, The New Zealand Dance Company and Tempo Dance Festival NZ, Merenia views this as an opportunity to support the strategic vision of DANZ, and looks forward to contributing to the DANZ Board who has helped her to shape and advance her career.
Sheryl Lowe has an enduring passion for the arts, dance and dance fitness, and brings to the Board wide-ranging professional experience in the international and domestic promotion of New Zealand arts, culture and trade, along with expertise in strategic communications, organisational monitoring and governance, arts management and cultural exchange. She believes strongly in the value of the performing and other arts to the cultural, social and economic well-being of New Zealand, and the benefits that dance brings to the health, diversity, creativity and harmony of our communities. Sheryl is looking forward to assisting DANZ to meet the evolving needs of the many communities it serves; supporting the growth of dance appreciation and literacy in New Zealand; and advocating for increased recognition of the role of dance in defining and projecting New Zealand’s national identity.
Teokotai Paitai Ta’i (short for Teokotai) involvement in dance, is woven throughout his life as an arts practitioner, arts administrator and arts producer. His governance experience spans from sitting on a regional Pacific board within the Health sector, and a national Arts Board, here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Kristal Snow has more than 14 years of experience in financial advisory and management, having worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and in her current role with NZME. She has a passion for dance and throughout her life has been involved in dance, as a dancer, dance teacher and choreographer, in styles ranging from tap and contemporary through to ballroom and Latin American.
Perry Walker has an extensive and wide-ranging interest in the arts, having been involved in fostering artistic endeavour both at amateur and professional levels. He is a Communications Consultant, a Director of Bats Theatre, an Advisory Trustee for the Asian Events Trust, and was Trustee/Chairman for Arts Wellington from 2002-2008. Perry brings to the DANZ Board a desire to promote creativity and cultural well-being to the communities he lives in, together with a wide range of experience and skills at executive and governance levels.
Anton Carter – Chief Executive. Anton’s love for the arts started with his introduction to DJing in Christchurch in the 80’s. His career has included managing arts collective Pacific Underground, working in television and film, being Creative New Zealand’s Senior Pacific Advisor and dabbling in areas of government in policy and strategy roles. He was a member of music band Rhombus and toured extensively around New Zealand and Australasia. His current hobbies include; hosting a weekly radio show, watching dance and reading books about social change.
Linda Lim - Communications Manager. Linda joined DANZ in 2010 following a short term contract to write the Strategic Plan for a Wellington Dance Festival. She has extensive experience in areas of communications, sponsorship and funding, and event, relationship and project management. She is a founding Trustee of Asian Events Trust and during her spare time is the Programme Director for the annual Chinese New Year Festival that takes place in Wellington.
Faye Jansen - Dance Education and General Enquiries. Faye is trained in theatre and continues to work in this field in stage management and producing. Over the years she has worked in a variety of office administration roles. Faye is also involved in community groups like the Tugaki Tokelau and Youth Education Trust who run the annual International Dance Day event in Wellington.
Tatiana Zveguintseva - Finance and Membership. Tatiana is trained in administration, database and IT. Originally from Russia, her interests are arts and crafts and supporting the Russian community in their cultural activities.
Leah Maclean - Communications Coordinator. Originally from a small town in the Waikato Leah moved to Wellington to study Communications at Massey University. She has been with DANZ since 2015 and takes care of the social media, website and regularly writes for the DANZ Magazine.