Cariba Heine is an Australian-South African actress and dancer. She is best known for her role in the television series, ‘H20: Just Add Water.’ In the series, she played the role of a rebellious young girl with supernatural powers. She was born in Johannesburg to a showgirl mother, which initiated her early interest in performing arts. The family moved to Australia when Cariba was three years old. She started training in various dance forms early in her life, and later learned acting and singing. She grew up to become a reputed dancer. She toured around Australia and the USA doing stage shows. Her musical career hit a roadblock when she suffered a hip injury. Thereafter, she turned to acting and in 2006, she had her career breakthrough with ‘H20: Just Add Water.’ She followed it up with television drama ‘Blue Water High’ and a TV film ‘A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne.’
Childhood & Early Life
Cariba Heine was born on October 1, 1988 in Johannesburg, South Africa to parents Kevin and Michelle Heine. Cariba grew up in the family with an elder brother Kyle. When she was three years old, the family moved to Australia.
Cariba was fond of her mother and inherited the love for dancing and performing arts from her. At a very young age, Cariba was enrolled in a dancing school, where she was trained in many different forms of dancing. Her mother ran a dancing academy in Canberra and this further propelled Cariba to spend more and more time learning different forms of dance.
Dancing was consuming too much of Cariba’s time. Her mother thought getting her home schooled was the best course of action. She did it in order to facilitate Cariba’s love for dancing as she was very quickly turning into a talented dancer.
Cariba further enrolled into gymnastic classes and learned diverse dancing techniques from different academies. Overtime, she became expert in Jazz, tap dance, classic ballet dance, acrobatics and gymnastic moves. To further grow her range as a performing artist she attended National Capital Acting School where she was further trained in acting and singing.
During her teen years, she started touring around with her groups and as a solo artist and further established a name as a very talented young dancer.
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She had a glorious dancing career in Australia and danced at some prestigious venues, such as the Stargazers Convention in Sydney. She was the youngest of all the dancers who performed at the venue. She also performed in many stage shows around Australia and even went to United States for some shows. Upon landing there, she got the chance to perform in the music video for Will Young’s song ‘Leave Right Now’. The song was released in 2003 when Cariba was 15 years old.
She formed a duo with Dale Mulloy and they performed shows across Australia. They performed hip-hop and funk dancing, which was a highly adored dancing genre by the young Australians. By the time she turned 15, Cariba was already a dancing star in Australia. The duo parted ways after performing together for 3 years.
At the peak of her dancing career, Cariba faced an injury that brought an indefinite halt to her dancing career. She was advised to keep herself away from dancing and to focus on acting instead. Cariba started auditioning and by the year 2003, she started appearing in short films.
One of her earlier short films was titled ‘Ballistic Sessions’, which ran into a few film festivals. Post that, she appeared as herself in the Australian dancing show ‘Strictly Dancing’ in the episode titled ‘Heat 12’.
She was looking around for a breakthrough role when she was signed up for the family/fantasy drama series ‘H20: Just Add Water’ in 2005. When she got the call for the audition, she came to know that she was to play the leading role and had to learn swimming. She hired a swimming trainer before she appeared for the auditions and following the auditions, she was selected to play one of the leading roles as Nikki Chadwick.
The show revolved around the lives of three mermaids who face everyday trouble with almost always a twist in the end. The fantasy drama was critically appreciated and won several honours for the special effects and the performances. It was later broadcasted in 120 countries around the world and Cariba played Nikki for 78 episodes of the show.
The overwhelming success of the show opened several doors for Cariba into the industry. In 2007, she appeared on an episode of Australian comedy show ‘Stupid, Stupid Man’ as Mindy in the episode titled ‘The Boyfriend’. She also appeared in the drama series ‘Blue Water High’ for 3 episodes and played the role of Bridget Sanchez.
In 2009, after playing a guest role in the series ‘The Pacific’, she appeared in her debut feature length film titled ‘A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne’. Cariba played the titular role of Caroline in the film which was based around true events. Her performance was appreciated by the critics and the audiences. She ended the year 2009 with a key role in short film ‘At the Tattooist’.
In 2010, she started appearing in ‘Dance Academy’ which was an Australian drama show based on lives of dancers. Cariba played the recurring role of Isabelle in the series for 9 episodes. In the next couple of years, she did a web series ‘The Future Machine’, a TV film ‘Blood Brothers’ and a short film ‘Quietus’. She was also supposed to play a key role in the highly ambitious independent film ‘Lord of the Crows’ but the film could not get the funding across.
In 2012, she appeared playing a major role in the disaster drama film ‘Bait 3D’. The film was released as an out of competition entry in the Venice Film Festival and upon its worldwide release it mostly received a mixed reception. Some critics even went as far as saying that it was an enjoyable film due to its awfulness.
She followed it up with a mini-series ‘Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War’ in which she played the role of an actress. 2015’s ‘Hiding’ was another series where Cariba played a major role. The crime drama series was well received by the audiences for its dramatic intensity and performances.
In 2016, she appeared in the spin-off to the series ‘H20: Just Add Water’ titled ‘Mako: Island of Secrets’. Cariba reprised her role from the original series and appeared in two episodes.
After starring in two more short films in 2016, she played a three episodes’ long role in the series ‘Designated Survivor’ as Peyton Lane.
Cariba Heine is in a relationship with Jamie Timony since 2008. In 2018, there were rumours doing the rounds that they may be engaged but neither one of them confirmed the speculations.
Cariba is known as a perfectionist among her fans. She used to practice dancing 25 hours every week and for her series ‘H20: Just Add Water’, she trained extensively to learn swimming for the auditions.