Matthew Smith

About Matthew

Matthew is a dancer/teacher/choreographer/student of 20 years.  He became a certified teacher of the Axis Syllabus in 2008 having begun training with Frey Faust in 2000. He recently returned to NZ to finish his studies in Osteopathy.  This year he completed his bachelor of applied science (Human Biology) and will over the next two years complete his masters in Osteopathy.  Matthew has a keen interest in education and has taught at Spin Off and Proda and at the National Academy of Dance, in Oslo and for Carte Blanche in Bergen, as well as at S.E.A.D, Tanz Quartier and the Impuls Tanz Festival in Austria and in many Axis Syllabus events, internationally.

He is teaching throughout Europe, Israel/Palestine, Canada the U.S and in Benin, West Africa. In New Zealand he has taught for Independance, the New Zealand School of Dance and The University of Auckland.  He teaches regular class at Wellesley Studios in Auckland, Teaching a beginners class and an open contact class.

Last year he began a project called "More Men Moving More".  Which is a movement based class geared towards elderly men and is in collaboration with the Mens Health Trust of New Zealand.

In New Zealand he danced for most of the established companies such as Commotion Company, Black Grace and Touch Compass. In Europe he has worked with Random Scream of Belgium, Carol Brown Dances of London/NZ, Company Willi Dorner and Theater Combinat of Austria and with Impure Company of Norway. He has also been performing for the Austrian artist Klaus Obermaier in“Apparition”. He was a long term member of Impure Company (Norway). Performing in many works including  "Now the field is open" with the hip hop crew deepdowndopism.

From time to time he makes work. He created a solo “Role-ing” for his wife Benedikte Onarheim and a duet with her “this piece won’t change the world” where he proposed to her inside of the piece, as part of En Kveld in Oslo.  He is working on a duet with Eroca Nicols as part of a long-term collaboration. He premiered his first evening length work in 2011 with the work "Spin" in Zagreb, Croatia for Studio Dance company. He also created a 40min work for the students of SEAD, "Observing Observing” in 2008.

He is also a certified Pilates teacher working at the Pialtes Body Studio in Auckland

Teacher's statement

I focus, as all Axis teachers do, on generating an open and friendly environment in which my students can learn.  It is important they have the confidence to try and fail.  The process is a collaborative one and the learning is bidirectional.  I am constantly looking for ways to facilitate/accelerate the learning process.  The Axis Syllabus utilises many criteria with which to view human movement and thus provides a subtle and thorough set of tools.   These have enhanced my teaching/dancing and allows me to cue my students into safe yet dynamic movement material.