Meet the Team

Matthew Aker / Owner

After 4 fantastic years of working as an instructor for a number of Arthur Murray Studios around the world I decided it was time to open my own studio and in 2008 took the plunge and opened the doors at Social Dance Studios.

Before I even found a location I had a vision of what I would like my studio to be. I wanted a grown up, sophisticated studio that specialised in social dancing and where students were like family. I was keen to develop a studio where everyone shared a love of dancing and were dedicated not just to their own dancing but everyone’s in the studio.

Now, ten years later that vision has come true. We have built an exciting social studio which people see as their second home. It’s also the friendliest studio I have every worked in; often when a new student arrives, before the staff or I have a chance to say hi, other students have already introduced themselves and offered them a coffee or a cold drink!

As an instructor I specialise in working with couples and love watching all my students grow and develop as social dancers. We also have a lot of long term students and it’s been a privilege to work with them over the years to see them become confident and proficient dancers.

Now, after ten years, is the fun part, we have an amazing team of staff, an amazing bunch of students and the sky is the limit as to how much we can grow as a studio. I look forward to meeting each and every person that begins their dance journey here and is able to call Social Dance Studios their home for Dancing.

Dani McLeod – Owner/Manager

I started dancing at a young age. I fell in love with Latin and Ballroom dancing because of my father. After watching him participate in dance classes, I became enthralled and thought this could be something I would love to pursue. So, my generous dad signed me up and I started my lessons straight away. It was captivating and I enjoyed it so much.

I realized from then it was more than just hobby. I qualified to become an instructor and I was soon teaching couples, wedding couples, singles and choreographing routines for special events and competitions.  It is a passion, that I now call my career.

I have worked in the industry for 10 years and with Social Dance Studios for 8 years as a senior instructor, studio manager and now part owner as of 2017.

My love for dancing lies with teaching singles and couples how to socially dance. More importantly, showing people the benefits of dancing and how dancing can change your life is enormously rewarding.

Collin Del Rosario –  Instructor

I have always had a fascination with partnership dancing, where a man and a woman are able to move to the music together in perfect synchronisation. In particular, I became captivated by the elegance and smoothness of Hollywood’s Fred Astaire, where he was able to win the hearts of the fair ladies and the audience,through dancing. After a few films, I started to realise that this nature of being a gentleman and the concept of chivalry had long been gone in today’s society. As a result, one day I decided to search for a ballroom dance studio in the Hills District, thankfully enough, Arthur Murray Castle Hill was the first on my Google search.

Like many other student, I applied for a Complimentary Lesson with the plan of learning what I can, going home and practising what I can, I knew I couldn’t afford lessons since I was a fresh high school graduate with little pocket money.

After going through the basics of some dances, Matthew asked me, “What are you doing right now and why do you do it?” I replied, “I’m studying a Bachelor of Nursing at UTS, I want to work my way to specialise in Paediatrics and aim to work at Westmead Children’s Hospital. I’ve always loved dancing and it’s brought me happiness and joy; and if I could lighten up the day of any depressed child with dancing, I would.” Since my drive to dance was to make the other person happy, Matthew offered me a job right then and there.

Six months later, I’m starting to gain more students and teach group classes, and I’m always excited, due to the fact that there’s always something new to experience and learn, and there’s always someone new to meet. The part about this job I love most, is seeing the growth of students from doubtful in their own ability to firmly confident, the smiles I see in their achievements is contagious and I can’t help but smile myself and congratulate them.

Of course, my gratitude towards the Arthur Murray Castle Hill team cannot be measured, since they have given me so much and have supported me along my journey, I’m excited to see where this job will take me in the future and the everlasting friendships that will be created.


See you on the dance floor!