In September 2004, after 25 years of teaching Classical Ballet in the Macarthur area, Ms Simms realised the area needed a Dance school specialising in Classical Ballet, providing strong Classical Ballet techniques, musicality and artistry in a caring and nurturing environment. The Macarthur Ballet Studio opened and within a year also started offering Jazz and Modern Expressive classes.
Ms Simms’ students receive excellent examination achievements with The Royal Academy of Dance for both graded and vocational levels. Ms Simms' students have received places at “The Australian Ballet School” and “The Royal Ballet School" in London.
In 2012 Ms Simms travelled to London to celebrate the graduation performance of “The Royal Ballet School” then to New Zealand to see a student perform in the Semi Finals of “The Genee International Ballet Competition”.
Now known as the only Ballet school in the Macarthur area, the school has expanded due to a growing demand to also offer:
- Modern expressive
- Hip Hop
- Stretch and strengthen classes
- National Character
- Performance troupes
Skye Ashley Harrison RAD RTS
A former professional ballerina Skye began her dance training at the Sharon Hardy School of Dance in Campbelltown at 3.5 years of age. By age 11, her National Character teacher Rita Dubovsky transferred Skye to begin her training with The Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy in St Leonards. At age 14 she began her professional training as a full time student under Tanya Pearson, which led her to audition for overseas schools in Europe by 15. Skye accepted a place with the Ballettschule of the Hamburg Ballet, John Neumeier and commenced her training in Hamburg, Germany at age 16.
Touring with the company to Japan and successfully being involved with the company's productions of Swan Lake and La Bayadere the following year she was offered a full contract with the Hamburg Ballet Company.
Skye performed in over 50 different productions in the Corps De Ballet as well as some Soloist roles with the company including traditional classical productions, neo-classical pieces and contemporary works. She has travelled all over the world with the Hamburg Ballet performing in Theatres and Opera Houses in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Athens, Barcelona, Baden Baden and Vienna just to mention a few.
At 22 years of age and after 6 years of professional dancing Skye returned home to pursue a career in teaching dance. Since then she has been sort out to teach in various prestigious schools throughout Sydney and specializes in Classical Ballet technique, Stretch and Strengthening, National Character, Neo-Classical and Choreography. Many students who have trained with Skye have gone on to train or dance professionally in Australia and overseas.
Skye has been teaching at The Macarthur Ballet and Dance Studio for over 4 years and enjoys passing on her knowledge and love of dance to the students in the Macarthur region.
The Studio is delighted to offer students the opportunity to learn from such a Beautiful Ballerina.
Sarah has a wealth of knowledge in the performing arts industry, starting off life as a commercial dancer, moving into event production and choreography and all the while remaining passionate about sharing her love of dance with her students.
While working in the events industry, Sarah was involved in many events including production managing the Sydney 2000 Olympics, choreographing for the NSW School Spectacular, National Schools Coordinator for the Wakakirri Story Dance Competition as well as being on the technical team for the 2004 Athens Opening Ceremony, 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2006 Asian Games as well as a multiple of corporate events.
Sarah is committed to ensuring that she provides the best training for her students, and each year furthers her own training by working with choreographers and teachers such as Bill Prudich (Edge PAC, Los Angeles), Milton Meyers (Ailey School, NYC), as well as taking classes at world renowned studios EDGE Performing Arts Centre, Broadway Dance Centre, Millennium Dance Complex, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, Steps on Broadway, Alvin Ailey Dance Centre, Peridance Centre, Merce Cunningham Dance Centre, IDA Hollywood.
Students that Sarah has trained have gone on to dance at Moulin Rouge Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Follies Du Lac, Royal Palais, Tropical Island Berlin, Mod Dance Company. Students have also gone on to further study at Raw Dance Company, Academy Ballet, VCA, WAAPA, Brent St Fulltime, ED5 International, Conlon College Fulltime, Tanya Pearson Fulltime, National College of Dance, Boston Ballet School, Wesley Institute, Danceworld 301.
Sarah holds a Bachelor Design and Technology with a major in Business Management and a Bachelor of Education (Secondary). She is a recognized HSC Dance Tutor, with students being selected for HSC Callback in 2008, 2006, 2003 & 2001.
Sarah is a member of the BAL and Pullars Dance Academy; and is also a certified Zumba® Fitness instructor holding Certificates in Basics 1, Basics 2, Zumba® Toning and Aqua Zumba®.
While Sarah’s classes are challenging, she is committed to ensuring that every student gets the most out of each class and most importantly develops a love for dance and has FUN!
Allison Durrington RAD RTS 502634
Allison is an accomplished Dance Teacher in Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Modern, and has enjoyed teaching in the southern Highlands, Macarthur and Liverpool areas over the past 30 years. Miss Allison holds the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) teaching certificate in classical Ballet and FATD (Federal Association of Dance Teachers Association) teaching certificates in Tap and Jazz. Over many years, Miss Allison taught at APA Macarthur alongside Mr Brett Morgan, Former Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company, guiding students through RAD Graded and Vocational Graded Ballet Exam classes, Pointe classes, Tap, Jazz and Modern classes, Troupes and solo’s.
In 1992, with demand for an RAD Ballet school in the Wollondilly area, Miss Allison opened a Dance School at Picton, which ran successfully for 5 years.
Over the last 3 years Allison sent 103 students for RAD graded ballet exams from Primary through to grade 8 and 47 Vocational Graded students from Intermediate Foundation through to Advanced levels.
Allison is committed to passing on her love of dance and ensuring she provides the best training for her students by completing continuing professional development courses;
- April 2010, RAD Grade 6,7,8, Intermediate and Advanced Foundation comprehensiveTeachers courses.
- April 2010 First Aid course.
- October 2010 My Pointe Workshop, with Vicki Attard, former Australian Balletsoloist.
- January 2011 RAD New Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate Syllabi Teacherscourses.
- January 2012 RAD New Grades 1-3 Syllabi Teachers courses.
- August 2012 Mrs Marie Walton Mahon – Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced 2.
Past students have gone on to further study at The Academy Ballet in Alexandria, National College of Dance in Newcastle, Australian Ballet Junior School programme in Melbourne, Ev & Bow in Sydney, WAAPA (West Australian Academy of Performing Arts), Tanya Pearson Full Time, Conlon college and ED5 International.
Lindsay Ellman-Brown ARAD LRAD
Masters in Creative Industries QUT
Lindsay was born and raised in Zimbabwe and then moved to London in 1985 and trained at the Royal Academy of Dance in London. Returning home to dance with the National Ballet of Zimbabwe, she ran her own school for 10 years, before immigrating to Australia. She also choreographed and produced full-length ballets for the National Ballet of Zimbabwe.
She holds a Dipoloma and Licentiate from the RAD, as well as a Masters Degree in Dance Teaching from QUT. Becoming an RAD Examiner in 1999, Lindsay travels extensively both nationally and internationally, examining and teaching.
Timothy Farrar - Guest Teacher
Timothy Farrar, a graduate of The Australian Ballet School performed with the Queensland Ballet Company between 1996 and 2000, touring to the United States. It was at this time he choreographed his first work Into Collision and also had his choreography featured in the short film Ballet Boys. In 2001 Timothy joined The Australian Ballet and worked there until 2007. Touring with the company to China, Japan and the UK.
While performing with The Australian Ballet he continued his choreographic development creating three works for the Body Torque seasons as well as travelling to Singapore Dane Theatre to create a work for this company. In 2006/2007 while at The Australian Ballet he also received a travelling choreographic scholarship to observe companies such as Nederlands Dance Theatre, Scapino Ballet and Rambert Dance. Timothy also joined Sydney Dance Company in late 2007.
From 2010-2012 he has toured to Edinburgh Festival with Opera Australia. Performed featured roles in seasons with Expressions Dance Company helping them win an Australian Dance Award for their production of Where The Heart Is. In early 2011 he created No Place Nowhere for EDCs Launch Pad season, while in July 2011 he created Pint Size for the graduating year of the QUT Dance program.
Timothy has been developing his filmmaking talents by creating several short dance films with artists from The Australian Ballet, Expressions Dance Company and various freelance dance artists. He recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Screen Culture at AFTRS Sydney culminating in the creation of his documentary The House Project.
In 2012 he returned to Edinburgh Festival with Leigh Warren and Dancers to perform in the Double Bill of Breathe (Frances Rings) and Impulse (Leigh Warren). Earlier that year he performed in Parri Passu a multimedia dance work also choreographed by Leigh Warren.
He is currently teaching at NAISDA, Studio Tibor, Ev and Bow Academy and ACPE.
Kevin Privett - Guest Teacher
Kevin has worked with numerous performance projects and dance companies including Queensland Ballet, Dance North Australia, Opera Australia, South Australian State Opera and Leigh Warren & Dancers. Kevin has worked with choreographers Jason Pit, Jane Parini, Gavin Webber, Graham Murphy, Anthony Hamilton, Tim Farrar, Francis Rings and Martin Del Amo. Television and film credits include Mao’s Last Dancer and Dancing for the Presets at the Arias. He most recently Completed Yoga Teacher Training at Body Mind Life.
Kevin has danced with:
Queensland Ballet in the Northern Queensland tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Queensland Ballet Company in their Brisbane season of The Sleeping Beauty, Queensland Opera Company in their Brisbane Season of The Pearl Fishers and The English National Ballet Company in their Australian production of Romeo and Juliet.
Mitchell Turnbull PDTD RAD RTS
Mitchell began dancing at the tender age of 6 taking classes in Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Modern.
After graduating from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in 2004, Mitchell embarked on an international/national career in commercial dance; performing in Europe, South America and USA which included contracts with Royal Carribean Cruises, appearing in CBS "Americas Next Top Model" along side Tyra Banks, The Australian Club Entertainment Awards and MO Awards.
In 2009, he was awarded a full scholarship with Ajkun Ballet Theatre in New York as a company trainee. Mitchell was given the opportunity to perform as a featured artist, performing all over New York at Alvin Ailely American Dance Theatre, New York City Centre and Riverfront Recapture in Hartford, this then lead to a position with Connecticut Ballet Company, USA.
Mitchell was contracted with MOD dance company in 2011 for their first national tour of Graeme Murphy's "Suite Synergy" as a featured artist. In the same year he took part in a secondment with the Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide. Sydney season 2012 of Aida with Opera Australia choreographed by Graeme Murphy.
He completed the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance professional dancers teaching Diploma in London, UK 2014 with a distinction.
In between the various dance contracts, Mitchell would always come back to pass on his knowledge and love of dance to students at numerous dance studios. This made him realise that he enjoys the challenge of teaching.
Joady Chambers - ARAD- Guest Teacher
I began my early training in Sydney at the Rogerson Ballet Academy. My training was RAD and I completed all major exams with honours and received my Solo Seal.
After winning the RAD Bursary I was accepted into the Australian Ballet School at fifteen and moved to Melbourne. During my three years at the Australian Ballet School I trained extensively with Lucette Aldous and after graduating Classical with Honours was accepted into the Australian Ballet Company. During my first year I danced the lead in a number of productions, including Our Waltzes and City Dances. I was promoted to Soloist in my second year with the company and during my career I danced many soloist and principal roles including; Kitri in Don Quixoti, Olga in Onegin, Cygnets in Swan Lake, Lise in La Fille ma gardee.
During my career I worked with many international and Australian choreographers including Graeme Murphy and Barry Mooreland who created his new ballet, Cinderella during my time as a guest artist with the West Australian Ballet.
After leaving the Australian Ballet I taught as a freelance teacher extensively and then took up a position at The MacDonald College in Sydney. During my teaching career, I have taught children from Pre Primary through to Advanced students auditioning for professional ballet schools and companies. I have prepared children for RAD exams and have choreographed routines and coached children who wished to compete in eisteddfods and other competitions. I have 4 children and have lived in the Southern Highlands for 14 years.
Michelle fell in love with dancing at age 6 and followed that passion all the way through to completing a Bachelor of Arts Dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Whilst completing her degree she had the opportunity to work with some wonderful choreographers including Melanie Lane and Justin Rutzo. The last four years Michelle has spent in London, experiencing and learning from some amazing teachers at The Place, Pineapple Dance Studios and Nikki Kavanagh at Coda Dance Company. Whilst in London, Michelle expanded her skills by becoming a certified teacher of Barre Concept and taught Barre classes in many prestigious gyms.
Michelle has been teaching Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Tap genres for the past eight years. She has a passion for choreography and showcasing the specific talents of all her students. She believes in the discipline and hard work that dance encourages in young students however believes that dance should first and foremost always be a joy.