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WIDance website

Meet the team behind WIDance

Artistic Director/Board Member
Sumara Fraser

Image of Sumara Fraser

  Sumara (pictured on left) is the driving force behind the magic that is WIDance.
   Since graduating from the Performing Arts School (now Unitec) in 1994, Sumara has worked consistently
     as a contemporary dance performer, tutor, and choreographer with various companies across Aotearoa;
     including Manawa Nui, Footnote Dance and Touch Compass. Establishing WIDance in 2010, Sumara is a
    dedicated advocate for accessibility in the arts and is committed to ensuring everyone has the chance to dance.

Support Crew

Duncan Armstrong

Duncan Armstrong
Duncan has been dancing professionally since 2015. A founding member of WIDance, as a dancer and support tutor. Duncan is also known for his stunning performance work with Touch Compass and can be seen acting on stage and in short films; including the award winning ‘Last Man on Earth’ directed by April Phillips. When not performing you might find Duncan fine tuning his skills on the drums and bass guitar.

Kate Waterman

Kate Waterman
Kate has been a part of the WIDance whānau since 2018 and recently began teaching our new youth community class in 2024. Drawing on her experience in caregiving, circus arts and dance, she enjoys helping people express themselves in creative and unconventional ways. When Kate isn't dancing, she's either playing board games or supporting her client living with a brain injury. 

Anna Burns

Anna Burns Anna is an experienced teacher and performer and brings an incredible energy as a support tutor to our outreach workshops.
With a BEd in Art and Special Needs, Anna works as an art and drama tutor to young adults on the Kapiti Coast. She also loves teaching Zumba Gold six times a week and is a pure joy to have on our team.

Felicity Hamill

Felicity Hamill
Felicity officially joined the whānau in 2022 as stage manager for our 'Platform 12' season in 2022.  She currently contributes as our main social media poster, website wrangler and admin support. With an extensive  background as a performer and crew person in the Screen Sector, Felicity is excited to reconnect with her dance roots and is passionate about removing barriers to the arts.

Meet our Board

Daphne Pilaar

Daphne Pilaar
Daphne has been pivotal to the success of WIDance since day one. As a dancer, support tutor, and our WIDance Board Chairperson; Daphne is a special part of the fabric that weaves us together. Alongside WIDance, Daphne is a primary school teacher, grandmother of six, coordinator of the community theatre group Drama Christi, and performs  with Crows Feet; a Wellington Women's dance collective.

Deborah Pope

Deborah Pope
Deborah has worked with premier visual, circus, opera and theatre companies both locally and internationally.
Since returning to New Zealand 18 years ago, Deborah’s company Awkward Productions has produced multiple Wellington Circus Festival productions and helped create the capitals much loved ‘The Circus Hub’. Deborah designed and delivered New Zealand’s first Circus/Dance Degree at Whitireia Polytechnic.

Craig Bennett 

Craig Bennet Craig has been a board member since the WIDance trust was founded in 2010, but his involvement with WIDance goes back to the start of our Saturday morning classes; with his daughter Kezia being a foundation member in 2007. Craigs extensive background in accounting and audit comes in handy for his role as WIDance treasurer; a calm, comforting presence on our team.

Laura Stuart 

Laura Stuart
Appointed to the WIDance board in 2024, Laura rekindled her love of dance when she joined WIDance classes in 2016, and loves the freedom of movement and expression that comes with dancing.
In her spare time, she enjoys dancing with her baby girl and watching the joyful moves that she expresses at the sound of rhythm and music. 

John Taylor

John Taylor Joining the WIDance Board in 2024, John has been involved in disability support services in Aotearoa for over 37 years and continues to work in a variety of roles including direct service roles, operational management, policy formation, political advocacy, governance, organisational development, training, research and consultancy.
In June 2023, John was recognised for his work within the disability sector with a Kings Birthday Honour: an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

Zoe Christall

Zoe Christall
Zoe has had a varied career in both theatre and events as a director, production manage, events coordinator, creative producer and writer. One of the founding members of theatre company Blue Flicker Productions, Zoe has also worked closely with performers in the disability sector as the Regional Programmes Coordinator for StarJam charitable Trust. Committed to an arts sector that is accessible to all, Zoe is honoured to be joining the WIDance Board in 2024.

Our Supporters

Many individuals and organisations have contributed to the launch and continued development of WIDance.

It takes a village to raise a dance family and we couldn’t do it without your hard mahi.
We continue to thank the following for their energy, time, contributions, and ongoing support: 

Trustee Members

Daphne Pilaar

Sumara Fraser, Deborah Pope, John Taylor, Laura Stuart, Zoe Christall

Acting Secretary
Deborah Pope

Craig Bennet

Our Funders

 Wellington City Council - Arts and Culture Fund
Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage
 Lottery Community Grants
The Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS)

Our WIDance Whānau

Our Incredible Dancers
Family and Caregivers
Support workers
Our generous volunteers

Additional Support Crew
Guest Tutors
Photographers - Jenny McDonald, Marcus Oakland, Judith Jones, Tony Kuepfer
Performance Crew and Staging Technicians

Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards
Arts Access Aotearoa
Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre
 Royal New Zealand Ballet Education Team
Royal Academy of Dance New Zealand
The Shed Creative Space
Thumbs Up Trust
Idea Services
Our extended whānau of Inclusive Dance Organisations in Aotearoa and abroad



Our Funders
Wellington Creative Communities
COGS logo
LottoNZ logo
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