Principal: Michela Dent-Causon, L.I.S.T.D.
Maestro Enrico Cecchetti Diploma,
B.A. Dance (Adel. Uni.)
Australian Ballet School Adv. Teachers Diploma
"I started dancing in 1973 at the Essendon Academy of Ballet and continued there through my formative years of training . In 1983, I studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, and in 1984/85 with Carole Oliver in Ballarat as well as Mr. Willoughby.
I attained my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Dance at the Adelaide University. in 1988. I have also attained my Associate and Licentiate status exams in the Cecchetti Method (Teaching Qualifications) and have attained the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma with Distinction. From 1991 to 1997, I owned and operated Indooroopilly Academy of Dance in Brisbane.
On Mr. Willoughby's retirement, my husband and I moved back to Melbourne in 1998. In 1999, I studied at the Australian Ballet School for a Teachers Diploma becoming qualified in the methodology of the system of training taught there.
The Cecchetti Society is now a registered training organisation within Australia and therefore I am able to teach dance at Certificate 4 Level - the Australian Standards qualification."
Associate in the Cecchetti Method 1990
Associate Diploma in the Cecchetti Method 1992
Licenciate in the Cecchetti Method in 1992
(3rd level in teaching qualification in an Internationally Recognised Syllabus)
Bachelor of Arts (Dance) University of Adelaide 1986 -1988
Advanced Diploma of Teaching from the Australian Ballet School 1999
Enrico Cecchetti Diploma 1995 and 1996. Distinction for both
Fellow Cecchetti Ballet 2007 (still to do an anatomy paper)
Certificate 4 in Cecchetti Ballet
Dance Background - Teaching Experience
1998 - now Owner of Essendon Academy of Ballet
950 Mt Alexander Rd, Essendon 3040 till 2007 and currently at 35 Halsey Rd, Airport West
• Teach ballet to 3 yr old to adults, preparing students for exams each year and put on a performance at the end of each year.
• School operates 6 days a week
• Have taught contemporary and jazz over these years
1993 – 1997 Owned and operated Westside Ballet Centre and IndooroopillyAcademy of Dance in Brisbane
• Taught ballet, contemporary and jazz to various age groups.
• School was open 6 days a week.
1991 – 1993 Taught full time for Westside Ballet Centre in Brisbane
1989 –1990 Taught Contemporary at Ascot Vale Ballet School
1989 – 1990 Would Guest teach at Essendon Academy of Ballet
1986 - 1988 Taught contemporary at schools as part of the degree course in Adelaide
Dance Technique background
1973 – 1985 Essendon Academy of Ballet - Classical Ballet
1983 Victorian College of the Arts – Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Character, Improvisation.
1984 - 1985 Carole Oliver School of Ballet - Classical Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary
1982 –1985 Victorian Cecchetti Scholar – Classical Ballet
1986-1988 Bachelor of Arts (Dance) Contemporary Dance, Classical Ballet, Jazz, Ballroom, African Dance, Composition, Kinesiology,
1991- 1997 Qld Ballet Company – classical ballet classes
1996 Contemporary classes at Expressions Dance Company
1997 - 1998 Indooroopilly Academy of Dance – Tap
2001 - 2003 City Dance Centre – Classical Ballet
1999 Australian Ballet Teachers Diploma – Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Character Dance.
Lauren began dancing at 3 yrs of age at Dancepoint under the tuition of Nicolette Braybrook. Whilst there, she studied Pre-Primary to Grade 5 in the Cecchetti Method. In 2007 Lauren moved to Essendon Academy of Ballet to continue her dance studies and has since completed all the major examinations in the Cecchetti Syllabus. In 2015 she gained her Associate Teaching Status within Cecchetti Ballet, the first teaching qualification. She has a Bachelor of Psychological Science with a major in Counselling, and is now in her final year of a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) and a Graduate Certificate in Religious Education at Australian Catholic University.
Michelle BORDeRICK * guest teacher
Michelle Borderick started dancing at the age of 5 under the tuition of Shirlene Jones. There she studied up to Advanced 2 and completed her Associate Diploma within Cecchetti ISTD. She taught Classical Ballet and Modern. In 2002 she began teaching st Western Academy of Dance; teaching ballet, pointe, jazz, pas de deux and tap. She is a qualified Primary School teacher, with over 20 years experience. Michelle's other passion is Taekwondo and currently holds a 5th dan in the sport.
Sarah is from Yeppoon in Northern Queensland. She started dancing at a young age at Diamond Dance Academy/ Dance Infusion and continued her study there completing her Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary exams in the CSTD syllabus. She also attained her teaching Certificate in Jazz with the CSTD. Sarah then moved to Melbourne to continue her dance study at Ministry of Dance. There she completed a Certificate IV in Dance in 2013 and a Diploma in Dance (Elite Performance) (2014). Whilst at Ministry of Dance she was able to work with Adrian Ricks, Jackie Scott and Jason Coleman performing at various events such as "Australia's Got Talent".
"Kai Mann-Robertson is a talented Performer hailing from Melbourne & Geelong. With a vast experience as a Dancer, Choreographer & Filmmaker, Kai graduated Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance, and has jumped headfirst in the creative world, working with industry heavyweights and talented performers.
Kai has worked with Musical Theatre legends in the Rob Guest Endowment’s concert production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Royal Melbourne Zoo; and in conjunction with BBC Worldwide for The Dr Who Symphonic Spectacular - 50th Anniversary Special (2014), and theAustralia/New Zealand National Tour (2015). Recently, Kai appeared in Pursued by Bear’s Australian debut of Tony Nominated High Fidelity – The Musical, as well as Tony Ayres’ feature film Cut Snake, the Chris Lilley TV series Angry Boys, and Fresh Blood’s Donnatelegrams. Other credits include Up Here – a contemporary dance feature film by Paul Malek; Headcase – a Contemporary Dance-Theatre production by choreographer Xavier McGettigan; and the 2013 Finals of Australia’s Got Talent.
As a choreographer, Kai has been worked nationally in Australia with performers of all ages. He has taught dance and drama in many schools across Victoria, as well as interstate working with young performers in Canberra, Adelaide and Queensland."
Mr Athol Willoughby O.A.M.
Former Principal of Essendon Academy of Ballet
Senior Examiner Cecchetti Ballet Australia
Received Order of Australia Medal in 2007 for his contribution to dance.
My lifelong passion for dance is now fully engaged in passing on my skills and artistry to young people. My long career as a professional dancer coupled with teacher training, has prepared me as teacher, mentor and coach in the discipline of classical ballet. I specialize in daily technical training, repertoire, rehearsal direction, pointe, choreography and pas de deux.
My experience with companies such as Sydney Dance Company and in my work as Rehearsal Director with Tasdance has given me a strong insight into the preparation and teaching of contemporary dance including technique and repertoire
2011 – 2014: The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Secondary School
2010: West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Perth Technique Class/ Ballet
John Curtin College of the Arts Secondary School, Perth
1994 – 2007: Sydney Dance Company,Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, Principal Dancer, Tasdance, Co.loaded, Project based dance Productions including writing, directing and performing in dance-narrative film ‘Merge’ (20 mins) which was screened on the ABC in 2007 and 2009
1980 – 1993: West Australian Ballet Company, Principal Dancer, London City Ballet, Principal Dancer, Le Ballet du Nord, France, Guest Artist, Ballet Classico de Zaragoza, Spain, Guest Artist, Scottish Contempory Dance Theatre, Guest Artist, Australian Stars of Ballet, Guest Artist.