Her stage debut as Louise in Roger & Hammerstein’s Carousel, staged by Australian theatrical stalwart The Production Company, was a role that required young Kaplan to act and dance.
She proved more than able to the task in a performance praised by critics.
and in the same year was cast as Stephanie Wolfe in City Homicide.
In 2011, Kaplan starred as the love interest in Chris Sebastian's music video for "Flow".
She was the winner of Australian Dance Idol in 2005, and moved to New York in 2006 to train at the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
Dena's TV credits include Scooter: Secret Agent, City Homicide, X Factor, Elite XC, and Flight of the Conchords.
Dena has since added singing to her repertoire of skills, and audiences were able to see the makings of a triple threat when she was cast as Abigail Armstrong in the hugely popular Dance Academy.
Dena turned the brutally competitive Abigail into a deeply complex, compelling, and very, very likeable character, while displaying her excellent training in a wide range of dance genres from ballet to hip hop.
In Season 1, Abigail auditioned for the National Academy of Dance.
Abigail has always been the best student in her dance classes, and that's not a title she's going to give up easily.
She's always willing to push her body to the limit.
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.
Kaplan's mother and grandmother were both ballet dancers.