DIRECTOR

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Olivia Jenkins

ARAD PDTD  BA (Hons)

Olivia began training in Sydney with Joan and Monica Halliday until their retirement, then full-time with Marie Walton Mahon in Newcastle. At 14 she moved to Paris studying with Monique Arabian, then at École Nationale Supérieure de Danse de Marseille. At 16 she gained a scholarship to English National Ballet School.

Olivia danced in Europe for 10 years working with Balletto di Teatro Massimo, Cannes Jeune Ballet, English National Ballet, and 5 years at Stadt Ballett Koblenz, Germany.

While working in Germany Olivia completed a Bachelors degree in Professional Practice (Ballet) from London University, achieving First Class Honours.

Before returning to Australia, Olivia gained a Distinction in the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance, London. 

Olivia has been a Guest Teacher around the world including for the RAD International Summer Schools in Tokyo and Singapore in 2014, and London and Italy in 2015, and the 2016 and 2017 McDonald College Summer School in Sydney. In March 2016 she taught the competition classes for the RAD Isobel Anderson and Joan & Monica Halliday Awards. She taught daily class to the competitors of the Genee International Ballet Competition in Sydney December 2016. In July 2017, she taught the competition classes for the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship and the Robert & Elizabeth Albert Junior Scholarship. She also taught at the International Ballet Workshop 2017 in Melbourne alongside Dusty Button. In 2018 she taught at the Royal academy of Dance week long summer school in Adelaide, and at the International Ballet Workshop on the Gold Coast alongside Ken Ludden, Director of the Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet in New York.

Olivia is committed to safe dance training and has trained in the Progressing Ballet Technique method. As well as in Dance Physiotherapist Lisa Howell's Level 1 Injury Prevention and Level 2 Pointe Safety Courses.


TEACHERS

 

Cathie Goss

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Ballet

Cathie is a former soloist of Royal New Zealand Ballet. She was Assistant to the Director of Australian Dance Theatre in South Australia before moving to Western Australia where she worked as Associate Artistic Director of the West Australian Ballet. Since returning to Sydney Cathy has worked with Sydney Dance Company and with Bangarra Dance Theatre as Rehearsal Director.

 

Catherine moore

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Ballet

Catherine trained in the Russian Vaganova method and RAD, before moving to Hungary to train at the Hungarian Dance Academy. Upon graduation she became a member of  The Miskolc Ballet, Hungary. She has now returned to Sydney and is imparting her knowledge to the students of Danceworks Sydney.

 

 

 

 

 
 

Mitchell Rayner

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Ballet

Mitchell began formal dance lessons at the relatively late age of 13 in his home town of Newcastle. In 2001 he commenced at the Robyn Turner Ballet School, where he studied classical, jazz, contemporary and character dance, before taking up full-time dance studies there under the guidance of Tessa Maunder in 2003. Mitchell was accepted into The Australian Ballet School in 2005 and received a contract with The Australian Ballet in 2008 where he went on to perform roles in many traditional ballets as well as new works by various esteemed choreographers such as Graeme Murphy & Alexei Ratmanksy.

 

Valerie Jenkins

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Cecchetti Ballet

Valerie Jenkins is a highly respected teacher of the Cecchetti style of ballet. She began teaching ballet many years ago, and even taught Olivia Jenkins ballet when she was 10yrs before Olivia moved to France (although there is no relation).

Her students benefit from her patience and dedication while learning a graceful style of ballet which expands their experience and versatility as dancers.

 

Wanda Wojtulewicz-Levine

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Character

B Sc Arch (Hons), B Arch (Hons) 

Wanda has a uniquely broad range of knowledge in National and Character Dance, with more than 25 years teaching experience, and has directed major dance events for over 10 years at the Sydney Opera House as Assistant Director of the National Folkloric Festival and Artistic Director of the Festival of Cultures.

Her education was grounded in the Russian Moiseyev style, and most of her teachers came through its rigorous training and tradition. She has studied dance at prestigious institutes in Moscow, and the repertoire she teaches includes character and national dance from many cultures.

She has taught extensively in ballet schools, tertiary institutions and for performance groups, and has had guest engagements for WAAPA, the Royal Academy of Dance, the Cecchetti Society, Ausdance, NIDA, and the University of Natalia Nesterova (Moscow). She has choreographed for productions by Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image and Sport for Jove. Wanda was a regular adjudicator of the World Dance sections for Sydney Eisteddfod and is a Trustee of the Guillermo Keys-Arenas Dance Trust. 

 
 

Angela Hamilton

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Contemporary

Angela has extensive international experience both as a performer and a choreographer of contemporary dance. She is the Founding Director/Choreographer of Twisted Element contemporary dance company..   

She is a gifted teacher and inspires her students with her dedication to creating original  choreography.

Students are encouraged to push their boundaries and develop a wide range of skills enabling them to perform exciting and memorable routines.

 

Zac Jaffar

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Lyrical & Jazz

Zac trained at Tisch University of Performing Arts, New York, completing a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre and Choreography. Zac is an accomplished dancer, singer, actor and choreographer. His theatre and television credits include: The Arena Spectacular Grease, Into the Woods, MAUI the Musical, The King and I [New York], Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and Pyjama Games. 

 
 
 

GUEST TEACHERS

Marie Walton-Mahon

RAD RTS

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Ballet

Marie is internationally regarded as one of Australia’s best ballet teachers, training numerous professional dancers working in famous companies throughout the world. Marie has developed a unique method to help dancers reach their potential - “Progressing Ballet Technique”, taught at Danceworks Sydney.

Alisha Coon

ARAD

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Dance Therapy & Ballet

Dance Therapy is Alisha’s speciality. Following a professional dancing career Alisha trained in Victoria to become expert in methods to assist those with disabilities to benefit from dance, including those with Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimers and children with impaired motor skills.

Martin James

 

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Repetiteur

As a former Principal of Royal Danish Ballet Martin brings a wealth of knowledge to his repertoire classes.

 

 

Jessica
Hesketh

Theatre Jazz & Contemporary

Jess has an individual liquid style sought after by many choreographers which she imparts in her unique classes.

Omer Backley-Astrachan

Contemporary

With a background in the dynamic Israeli contemporary dance scene Omer teaches and choreographs with a fresh in-depth approach.

Sasha Lian

 

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Contemporary & Jazz

Sasha specialises in contemporary dance and musical theatre. She has performed in commercial videos with Lily V, and recently was an ensemble member of The Bodyguard - The Musical.

She brings to her classes a knowledge of current dance trends in contemporary and commercial dance. 


PATRON

Joan Halliday

OAM ARAD

A legend is one description of Joan.  She has been one of the foremost teachers in Australia.  Together with her sister Monica, Joan was a performer in the Borovansky Ballet - Australia’s first professional ballet company. The sisters went on to found a premier dance school in Sydney, where Olivia Jenkins began her training.