Dena Amy Kaplan is a South African-born Australian actress, singer dancer, and DJ who was born on 20th January, 1989 She is best known for her role as Abigail Armstrong in Dance Academy.
Dena comes from a family of artistes and TV personalities. Her mother and grandmother were both ballet dancers, her father was a musician and her grandfather was an actor. She has an older sister Gemma-Ashley Kaplan and a younger sister Ariel Kaplan who are actresses and dancers. Ariel Kaplan is best known for her role as Lisa Atwood #2 on The Saddle Club. Dena was motivated to start taking ballet lesson after watching Gemma and she followed in her footsteps.
Dena moved to Australia in 1996, at age seven and currently she lives in Sydney, Australia.
She attended Mount Scopus Memorial College and had dance training at numerous schools, including Australian Ballet School, Jane Moore Academy of Ballet and City Dance Centre. Her first appearance onstage was alongside David Campbell in The Production Company’s Carousel where she played Louise, a non-singing solo ballet part in the second act of the show. Her second major appearance was as a dancer/singer in Disney’s musical production of The Lion King. She moved to New York City to study at the Ailey School and Broadway Dance Center, and was cast in a Broadway musical, but was unable to accept the offer.
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Her first television role was in 2005 on the Network Ten spy series Scooter: Secret Agent as one of the party girls. In 2007, she made yet another appearance as Deborah Statesman in an episode of Australian police drama City Homicide. In 2009, Dena played Keli in an episode of Flight Of The Conchords and starred in the film In Her Skin alongside Rebecca Gibney. In 2010, she was cast in the series “Dance Academy” and in that same year was cast as Stephanie Wolfe in City Homicide. In 2011, Dena starred as the love interest in Chris Sebastian’s music video for “Flow”. During 2013 she was cast in the role of Sarah Brennen in Camp.
Dena Kaplan is an ambassador for Soi Dog Foundation and Dena together with her sisters are ambassadors for The Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation.