Emma Silke-French, our Dancing for a Cause ballroom dance tutor:
Emma is a born and bred Nelsonian and competed in the sport of ballroom dancing from the age of 6. She has represented New Zealand on more than one occasion and holds many NZ titles in all styles and age levels, in both amateur and at professional level.

Emma and her husband turned professional in order to be able to give back to a sport they both love. They had the privilege of not only becoming NZ professional champions but also training some of Nelsonís top competitive dancers. These dancers in turn have gone on to compete overseas and some to open their own dance studios.

Some career highlights for Emma include representing New Zealand at the age of 16 at the World Youth Dance Sport championships in Budapest; winning a professional title with her husband and watching her young students reach their goals of competing on the international stage


Sally Gordon

Sally has had over 25 yearís competitive dancing experience, achieving many awards in all styles and training from top national and international teachers.  She was privileged to represent New Zealand at the World Latin American Championships in Sweden while competitively dancing.

In 2003, the Sally Gordon Dance Studio was formed when Sally returned to live in Nelson and turned professional to teach.  Having taught for the past 15years Sally enjoys making beginners feel welcome, teaching wedding dance choreography, helping medallists achieve top marks and coaching competitive couples to get results in all Ballroom, Latin American and New Vogue dance styles. Sally holds NZFATD Licentiate Latin and Associate New Vogue qualifications and adjudicates at NZ National and local Championships.

Sally is passionate about dance and wishes to support the continuation of Dancesport with her involvement and the wider community for a good cause


Chrissy Gillespie
I started dancing at the age of 8. Mum took me to my first dance class with Barry Scott and from then on, I was hooked. Over the years I have danced in many different comps all over New Zealand and was very successful in many of them moving through the grades with every one of my lovely dance partners.

My hobbies are not limited to dancing i also have a love for hunting and boxing and I'm looking at competing in boxing fights soon. Having these awesome and totally different hobbies they keep my days rather full with working as a full-time house painter during the day as well. My weeks are busy but I wouldn't swap my life for anything.


Anthony Hewson
Anthony started dancing at the age of 6, competing nationally and in Australia throughout his childhood and teenage years.  This isn't his first foray into show business, does anyone remember Battle of the Ballroom?  He brushed off his dance shoes again 5 years ago when introduced to the Nelson dancing scene.  Anthony loved being back on the dance floor and got on with his partner Sarah so well that they soon married.

Two small children have put a halt on competitive dancing for now however Anthony is thrilled to be part of this charity event for Hospice.  These days when Anthony's not engineering toy train tracks he can be found leading the creche at his local church or working as a horticulturist.


Sarah Hewson
Sarah started ballroom dancing at 8 years old, a passion she then enjoyed through study in Dunedin and 2 years living in Scotland.  Dancing in the UK quickly became a fantastic dream life with all sorts of opportunities to travel, compete, and watch the best dancers in the world.

There is however no place like home, especially when home is Nelson. Sarah eventually found another competition partner, Anthony, and this partnership was so successful it produced a ring and a family - not so conductive for dancing! Sarah feels honoured to be part of this event, bringing some sparkle back to the Trafalgar Centre for the benefit of our wonderful Hospice.


Brooke Silke-Atkins
I started dancing at the age of 5, where I took up ballet. At the age of 8, ballroom dancing captured my attention, and I have competed at both local and national levels. Along with ballroom dancing, and ballet, I have also been actively involved in jazz, hip hop, and contemporary dance styles at various periods throughout life, and gained many rewarding achievements across all styles.

I am also a volunteer at the Nelson Tasman Hospice, so being able to utilise my love for dancing in a manner which can benefit such an amazing place is extremely rewarding and exciting.


Oliver Black
Oliver Started dancing at the age of 13. He competed both nationally and internationally in Ballroom, Latin and New Vogue styles. Having danced and competed thru high school Oliver went on to study costume construction at Toi Whakaari.

Oliver is enjoying being back dancing and is excited to be involved with Nelson's first Dancing for a Cause, He has a huge appreciation for all the work and support provided by the hospice and cant't wait until show night.

Tony Hocking
I started dancing in my 20s and have never really stopped. Although I now only dance socially. I have been lucky enough to have both lived and danced in Nelson, Christchurch and Auckland. And my passion for dance has never stopped
There is always a shortage of male dancers so I have been able to have my choice of dance partners over the years.
I feel truly privileged to be able to contribute to such an amazing organisation such as the Nelson Hospice, and am looking forward to seeing you all at the Trafalgar center on the 26th of May.
Key People