Our Staff

Kate Usher - Executive Director
Kate Usher is a Brisbane based Producer and Curator. Kate graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 2008 with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Dance), a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration in 2009 and a Masters in Creative Production and Arts Management in 2011, where her thesis 'The Business of Dance: Identifying the Skills and Knowledge for becoming a Self Producer' was awarded the grade of High Distinction. Kate is currently enrolled in a MBA (Non Profit Studies) at Queensland University of Technology.

Kate is the Co-founder and current Curator of Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane. A fledgling international dance festival growing in strength working in tandem with the dance community and industry friends.

Kate’s most recent position was with the World Science Festival as the Producer for Street Science! Prior to that Kate was at Metro Arts as their Associate Producer working across all art forms in contemporary performance. Kate’s formative professional years were at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in the Arts Programming team, where she worked on numerous projects such as: in-theatre performance, commercial projects, large scale events and bespoke festivals. With her freelance producing practice, Kate has also worked for Woodford Folk Festival, La Boite Theatre Company, Brisbane City Council and Artslink. Kate is a keen advocate for Independent Dance and was a member of the Ausdance Queensland management committee 2010 - 2016. Furthermore, Kate still enjoys rolling and flying in a good contemporary class.


Ashleigh Musk - Projects Producer
Ashleigh Musk is a Brisbane-based dancer, creator and producer. After graduating from the Queensland University of Technology (Australia) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance Performance) in 2012, Ashleigh moved overseas where she completed a Postgraduate Diploma of Contemporary Dance at the University of Kent / Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds, UK) in 2013 and a Postgraduate in Production and Cultural Event Management at the University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) in 2016.

Alongside her work in producing and arts management, Ashleigh has also worked with various international companies and choreographers, including Ben Wright, Frauke Requardt, Expressions Dance Company, Tami Dance Company, Gary Clarke, James Wilton Dance and Jamaal Burkmaar Dance, most recently performing in the New Adventures Choreographic Showcase in London. She has choreographed for and performed in festivals throughout the world, including the Guandong Modern Dance Festival (China, 2011), 2High Arts Festival (Australia, 2011), Sismógraf (Spain, 2016), Swallowsfeet (UK, 2016) and Ripollesdansa (Spain, 2017).

For the past five years, Ashleigh co-founded and implemented a cultural project in Figueres, Spain, using dance as the main art form but which also expanded into other disciplines including circus, music, theatre and installations/digital art. The project, AGITART, involved various lines of work: an annual international festival, educational and audience engagement projects, a touring dance company, programming for the city theatre and collaborations with various cultural key stakeholders in Spain. 

After recently returning from overseas, Ashleigh is keen to start working with Ausdance QLD alongside her other creative pursuits.


Stephanie Pokoj - Administration and Communications Officer
Stephanie completed a Graduate Diploma in Creative Industries in 2017 majoring in advertising and communications in the arts (QUT), as well as holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts - Dance Performance graduating in 2004 (QUT) . 2017 saw Stephanie expand her practice into arts marketing putting her skills in graphic design, film editing and website design and management into effect working closely with the Independent Arts sector and freelance commercial contracts. Stephanie joined Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane team in 2018 as the Marketing and Development Coordinator consolidating  her academic knowledge whilst working on a major project refining her expertise and expanding her experience in Communications and Marketing.

In addition to her new endeavors in Arts Marketing, Stephanie keep close to creativity and contemporary dance maintaining a practice as a Brisbane dancer and choreographer. Over the last 15 years Stephanie has worked and trained in Australia and UK focusing on the intersection between dance, theatre and installation works. Most recently Stephanie was part of Supercell 2017 as a dancer performing in “They Gather” choreographed by Bridget Fiske & Joseph Lau, as well as being able to present her work “Unconsciously Done” as part of the INDEX program. She has also performed and choreographed for Bleach* Festival, Outcast Performing Arts, Lucid Dance Company and other independent artists.


Dr Anja Ali-Haapala - Dance Development Consultant
Anja is a dance researcher and practitioner. Central to Anja’s research work is a commitment to audience research that unpacks the experiences of spectating dance performances through privileging audience voices. She has also undertaken projects on the topics dance and health, youth dance training, and career transition for professional dancers. Through her research projects, Anja has worked with Expressions Dance Company, Queensland Ballet, QUT Creative Industries, Sydney Dance Company, and The Australian Ballet. Her findings have been presented and published internationally, and have had tangible impact on the dance industry.

Anja’s dance practice is all about community teaching and promoting the joy in dancing. She has also taught in school, tertiary and private dance training contexts. Anja’s teaching credits include Phluxus2 Dance Collective, Raw Dance Company, Queensland Ballet, QUT Dance, and schools across Brisbane, North Queensland, and Great Southern (WA). Anja was awarded her PhD in Creative Industries in 2016 and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (First Class Honours) in 2011 by QUT.
www.ali-haapala.com.au