IBW Teachers


Ballet Academy East, New York, USA

Advanced Ballet, Repertoire & Pointe, Advanced Ballet & Repertoire

Elizabeth Walker’s childhood ballet training began with Patricia and Don Cantwell in Charleston, South Carolina and continued with Ann Brodie in Columbia, South Carolina where she experienced performing at an early age in numerous classical ballets and in original choreography with the civic company Columbia City Ballet. As a young teenager Ms. Walker attended the intensive ballet summer course at the North Carolina School of the Arts, then she made her first trips to New York City to study at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. Following two summer courses at SAB, Ms. Walker was invited to stay for full time study on full scholarship at the age of 15. She received a Princess Grace Foundation - USA Dance Scholarship and Nancy Davis Reagan Award in 1988 and was the first recipient of a scholarship in the name of Alexandra Danilova and the Mae L. Wein awardee for Outstanding Promise in 1990. At the age of sixteen Ms. Walker was invited by Suki Schorer and Merrill Ashley to take part as a demonstrator in “The Balanchine Essays,” a nine hour video series cataloguing George Balanchine’s technical instructions and advancements produced by the George Balanchine Foundation. In 1989 Ms. Walker and other advanced students from SAB performed in the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, alternating and sharing programs with the students of the Kirov Ballet School at an exciting political time in history. In 1990 she originated the role of the Princess in a new ballet of Puss in Boots commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein and choreographed by Robert La Fosse.

In 1990 Ms. Walker was invited to join the New York City Ballet as an apprentice, becoming a full corps de ballet dancer in 1991. Through her many years in the company, Ms. Walker performed in a large span of repertory by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and Christopher Wheeldon, as well as many guest choreographers. She danced featured and soloist roles in ballets such as Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Bournonville Divertissment, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Chaconne, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée, Peter Martins’ Swan Lake, and Jerome Robbins’ Ives Songs, and principal roles in Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto and ballets by Lynne Taylor-Corbett and David Parsons. Other repertory danced in national and international freelance concerts include principal roles in Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tarantella, Who Cares?, and Stars and Stripes. Her last performance with NYCB was in June 2009 on the occasion of the Dancers’ Emergency Fund Benefit.

Other highlights of Ms. Walker’s time in NYCB include dancing in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (1993 movie); performing during the Balanchine Celebration in 1993, a 10th year memorial festival in which the company performed 73 works by Balanchine in 8 weeks; several “Live from Lincoln Center” TV broadcasts, and numerous tours to Europe, Asia, and South America. Ms. Walker served several years as an elected representative on the company’s Dancer Committee that helped facilitate communication and negotiations with NYCB management. She was a regular spokesperson for NYCB, addressing patrons and audience members in New York City. She traveled as an ambassador for NYCB to other cities to talk to younger ballet students about the rigors of a professional ballet career, how to maintain dancer “wellness,” and to teach the Balanchine technique.

Peter Martins and Kay Mazzo invited Ms. Walker to join the faculty of School of American Ballet, and from 2001-2007 she continued to both teach and perform. In 2007 Ms. Walker joined the faculty of the PreProfessional Division at Ballet Academy East in New York City under the artistic directorship of fellow NYCB alumna Darla Hoover. In her 12 years at BAE and current position Ms. Walker has taught all ages and levels in the syllabus based program, and assisted and directed rehearsals of many familiar Balanchine ballets as well as new works by guest choreographers. For many years Ms. Walker has been a guest teacher in summer programs at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary and at New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) under the direction of Daniel Ulbricht. Excerpts of her teaching can be found on the website balletinform.com.

Ms. Walker loves to impart knowledge, inspiration, musical awareness, and joy to ballet students of all ages. She loves the challenges presented by a wide variety of dancers, but also appreciates the common threads of humanity that bring the physical art of dance to its transcendent potential to express what would otherwise be inexpressible.




(Teaching in Perth, Auckland and Sydney only)

Jane has been a dance teacher specialising in Classical Ballet since 1997. As a young student, she trained under Rhyl Kennell attaining her Cecchetti Advanced 2 and she won the Cecchetti Gold Medal in 1982. Her studies continued at the Victorian College of Arts under directorship of Anne Woolliams and trained with Elaine Rae obtaining her RAD Elementary and Intermediate Certificates. Jane was accepted into the Australian Ballet School graduating after 3 years with a Diploma of Dance (Distinction). At the ABS, Jane had the incredible opportunity to work and learn from Margaret Scott (Director), Gaileen Stock, Gary Norman, Terri Charlesworth, Robert Ray, Leigh Warren, Christine Howard and Ai-Gul Gaisina. During this time, she received a scholarship to study at the Princess Grace Ballet School in Monaco where she was coached by Marika Besobrasova. She danced with the Australian Ballet Dancers Company then joined The Australian Ballet Company under Maina Gielgud. Jane performed soloist roles including ‘Peasant Pas’ from Giselle and ‘Cupid’ from Don Quixote as well performing in Etudes, Checkmate and Taming of the Shrew.

After her dancing career, she obtained an Advanced Diploma of Dance Teaching (High Distinction) from the Australian Ballet School under the directorship of Gaileen Stock which included: Ballet Methodology (Vaganova), Contemporary, Character, Child Psychology, Anatomy, Music, Dance History, Choreography and Benesh Notation. Jane is a qualified and Registered teacher and Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance conducting Examinations and feedback sessions. She has studied the Australian Ballet System Training (Vaganova), International Character Syllabus with Alida Segal, Contemporary dance with Margaret Wilson and Progressing Ballet Technique with Marie Walton-Mahon. Jane also holds a Fitness Instructor Certificate, has a great interest in body conditioning and for past 20 years continues to train in the Pilates method.

Jane has taught at many dance schools in Melbourne, including the Australian Ballet School and has adjudicated for many Eisteddfods and Cecchetti Awards.
Jane has been a member of the VIC/TAS RAD Panel and was the Chairperson from 2011-14. Jane is a current member of IADMS, Australian Ballet Society.




(Teaching in Brisbane and Melbourne only)

Born in Brazil, Iona is an accomplished dancer and teacher with a passion for helping young talents navigate the world of dance. Her introduction to performing arts happened in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro at a very young age, and her passion saw her venturing to Holland at 19 where she went through a full year of pre-professional training at Henry Jurriens Foundation. Soon after, Iona started working with a number of companies and independent choreographers such as Opus One Dance Company, Lorn MacDougal, and Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. She realised her love for teaching in this city after she became a regular at Dance Street Studios.

In 2006, Iona joined the West Australian Ballet where she performed in various productions including Simon Dow's Red Shoes and Alice, and danced a featured solo in Francis Ring's Debris. In 2008, she joined the Queensland Ballet under the direction of Francois Klaus and Li Cunxin. She also worked as a guest dancer with the Melbourne Dance Theatre (now the Victorian State Ballet), and served as Dance Captain of the Melbourne City Ballet in 2013. Her favourite roles are Carabosse in Francois Klaus' Sleeping Beauty and Eunice in Streetcar Named Desire. She has been a guest teacher and tutor in dance schools in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, and is looking forward to expanding her portfolio in Australia and overseas.



Senior Ballet, Repertoire & Pointe, Intermediate Ballet & Repertoire


Photos of Dusty Button: Mitch Button

Dusty Button is a Principal Dancer with the Boston Ballet, USA. She trained in New York at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre. In 2007, she was invited to the ABT II company where she performed the lead role in Adam Houghland's Vanished. In 2006 she was awarded the Bronze Medal at the Youth American Grand Prix. She completed her training with London's Royal Ballet School on scholarship, graduating with Honours, and was presented with the Dame Ninette de Valois bursary. She joined the Boston Ballet corps de ballet in 2012, was promoted to soloist in 2013 and principal in 2014. She has also performed with the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Japan's K Ballet, The Ace Awards, Broadway Underground, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Space Coast Ballet and Ballet Hawaii. She has choreographed works for Birmingham Royal Ballet and Boston Ballet's BB@home series, as well as for various companies and organisations in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles and New York. Button has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Dance Europe, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Informa and many others. She was featured on the 2015 Pointe Magazine cover where she was labelled as “A new brand of ballerina.” Pointe also remarked: “Onstage, Dusty defies categorization.”



(Teaching in Perth and Hobart only)

Born in Brazil, Iona is an accomplished dancer and teacher with a passion for helping young talents navigate the world of dance. Her introduction to performing arts happened in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro at a very young age, and her passion saw her venturing to Holland at 19 where she went through a full year of pre-professional training at Henry Jurriens Foundation. Soon after, Iona started working with a number of companies and independent choreographers such as Opus One Dance Company, Lorn MacDougal, and Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. She realised her love for teaching in this city after she became a regular at Dance Street Studios.

In 2006, Iona joined the West Australian Ballet where she performed in various productions including Simon Dow's Red Shoes and Alice, and danced a featured solo in Francis Ring's Debris. In 2008, she joined the Queensland Ballet under the direction of Francois Klaus and Li Cunxin. She also worked as a guest dancer with the Melbourne Dance Theatre (now the Victorian State Ballet), and served as Dance Captain of the Melbourne City Ballet in 2013. Her favourite roles are Carabosse in Francois Klaus' Sleeping Beauty and Eunice in Streetcar Named Desire. She has been a guest teacher and tutor in dance schools in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, and is looking forward to expanding her portfolio in Australia and overseas.


(Teaching in Brisbane and Melbourne only)



Born in Adelaide, Brett began dancing at an early age at the Sheila Laing Dance Centre and completed his training at The Australian Ballet School in 2003. His professional career began at West Australian Ballet, where he received a Helpmann Award nomination for his portrayal of Valmont in Simon Dow’s Dangerous Liaisons. In 2006 Brett appeared as a guest artist with Hong Kong Ballet, where he returned in 2007 as a soloist. During his time there, Brett danced principal roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Coppélia as well as Romeo in Rudi van Dantzig’s Romeo and Juliet. Brett has most recently been a soloist with The Australian Ballet and while there performed principal and featured roles throughout the company’s repertoire. Recent highlights include Danilo in The Merry Widow, the White Rabbit in Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland©, Alice Topp’s Little Atlasand the roles of Diaghilev and Petruschka in John Neumeier’s Nijinsky.

Brett has taught a variety of age ranges for programs provided by each of the companies he has worked with and has been part of their education tours traveling across regional Australia.


(Teaching in Sydney and Auckland only)


Junior Ballet & Repertoire, Intermediate Pointe/Pre-pointe, Senior Body Conditioning

RAD Examiner, RAD RTS, LRAD,
ARAD BA (Hons) in the Art and Teaching of Ballet RAD London (University of Durham)
Grad. Dip Choreography VCA (University of Melbourne)
Certified Pilates Instructor (DMA)

With 18 years of teaching experience, Crystal has taught extensively in Australia, London, Singapore and Hong Kong. Students range from Grades to Professional level. Her teaching strongly combines the application of feedback provided from Pilates System, Progressive Ballet Technique System and physio exercises devised by dance physiotherapists including Lisa Howell to build one’s body awareness. Her dance training aims to educate youngster about the importance of body conditioning and the ability to allow feedback from body awareness to excel dance technique in the class context.

Crystal first received her ballet training at Jean M Wong Ballet School in Hong Kong at a young age, where she completed all her RAD examinations and received scholarships when participating in their International Summer Dance School consecutively for 2 years. She then pursues full time training at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) in 1994. Participating in performances with the Hong Kong Ballet Group, in 1995, she was awarded the Heinz Bosl Memorial Scholarship. Crystal has obtained her BA (Hons) in the Art and Teaching of Ballet at the College of the Royal Academy of Dance London Headquarters. After graduated in 1999, she moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she further pursue her study in Graduate Diploma in Choreography at the Victorian College of the Arts. Trained and worked under Craig Phillips, she became a certified Pilates Instructor at Dance Medicine Australia (DMA) since 2000 and has worked closely with dancers in Australia.

Crystal has performed various independent projects in London; she was invited by Choreographer Yuri Ng to guest in his award-winning piece “Le Beau” (Boy Story) for City Contemporary Dance Company while they were touring in London. Television credits include appearances on Hong Kong Television Broadcasting, BBC UK and Channel 4 UK.

 Her teaching journey in Australia embarked in Melbourne between 2000-2005, where she taught for various schools, including Dance World Studios (Dance World 301), working closely with Gelsey Kirkland. Gelsey has played a profound role in inspiring her methods of teaching. Upon moving to Sydney, Crystal joined Ecole Ballet & Dance Theatre in 2005 under directorships of Ashley and Jane Killar, closely working with Pre-Professional, Vocational, Grades and HSC students regularly. Over the last 3 years, her HSC choreographies and coaching helped students to receive Call Back Nominations for their yearly showcases.

In recent years, apart from teaching regularly in Sydney, Crystal has been involved in guest teaching and adjudicating in Canberra including Canberra Dance Festival and Scholarship Audition Classes at Betsy Sawers Grades & Vocational Awards hosted by RAD ACT Panel. This year, she has completed the prestigious RAD examiner’s training program under the guidance of former Artistic Director Paula Hunt and has joined the RAD examiner’s panel.

Crystal has toured to Perth and Melbourne with International Ballet Workshops (IBW) to guest teach alongside with Ken Ludden from Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet in their British Series Workshops in January 2018 and she is excited to be returning for 2019 workshop teaching alongside with Dusty Button. 



(Teaching in all cities)


Ballet Master, Master Teacher, Repetiteur, Choreographer
Former Ballet Mistress Royal New Zealand Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet
Repetiteur for: Riccardo De Nigris, Michael Pink, Timothy O’Donnell
Boston Ballet Guest Teacher

Nadia Thompson obtained her Solo Seal and was awarded the Adeline Genee Bronze medal by Margot Fonteyn. Dancing as a leading artist throughout Europe and the USA with Boston Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre and London City Ballet, Nadia performed all major roles in the classical repertoire and created many modern and contemporary works working with, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris and Lila York to name a few. She has taught and coached throughout Europe, Australia and the USA and now stages ballets for Michael Pink, Timothy O’Donnell and Riccardo De Nigris.

Guest Appointments as Master Teacher and Repetiteur:

United Kingdom: English National Ballet, Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet
Europe: Augsburg Ballet, Ballet Im Revier, Ballet Schule Otevrel, Croation National Ballet, Delattre Dance Company, MM Contemporary Dance Company and Agora coaching project, Polish National Ballet, Wiesbaden Hessisches Staatsballett
USA: Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Harvard University, Hinsdale Academy, Joffrey Ballet II, Kansas City Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, Orlando Ballet, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Walnut Hill School of the Arts, Wellesley College, White Oak Project, Trey McIntyre
Australia: Imperial Dance School, Judge for the McDonalds Sydney Eisteddfod, Queensland Ballet Company, Queensland University Dance School of Excellence, West Australian Ballet
New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Ballet, New Zealand School of Dance
Canada: Richmond Academy
Japan: NBA Ballet Tokyo
Boston Ballet Guest Teacher




(Teaching in Auckland and Sydney only)

Graduate of Las Scala Di Milano, Riccardo’s professional dance experience has included 10 years performing to principal level in International companies and 7 years working as a guest choreographer. He has performed leading roles in many new creations from some of the most outstanding choreographers on the world circuit.

Riccardo De Nigris was born in Trani, Southern Italy and trained with the prestigious La Scala Di Milano, where he performed with the company in his graduate year. Riccardo continued his professional career with Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre in Houston, Texas, the Czech National Theatre, Brno, and is currently a soloist with Augsburg Ballet in Germany under the direction of Robert Conn. During his career Riccardo has been featured in numerous works from world renowned choreographers, including William Forsythe, Mauro Bigonzetti, Itzik Galili, Robert North, Young Soon Hue, Michael Pink, Mauro De Candia, Bridget Breiner, Mario Schroder, Kevin O’Day, Christian Spuck, Amanda Miller, Maurice
Causey, Demis Volpi, Alejandro Cerrudo, Georg Reischl, Angel Rodriguez, Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Marco Goecke and Francesco Ventriglia. Many of these artists created roles for him and have had an influence on him following his passion of also choreographing. In the 2012/13 season, the Augsburg Allgemeine awarded Riccardo the prestigious theatre award for Outstanding Artist.

As a choreographer, Riccardo has already showcased his talents in several creations for the Augsburg Ballet, among them a series of solos, Po Poff, Modo, and Summer from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as well as several ensemble pieces for the young choreographers series, Destillationen. His versatility lends itself to the theatre's yearly Opera Ball and Augsburg's annual International Ballet Gala, where he charms the crowd with vibrant crowd-pleasing finales each year. Stepping into the realm of Opera and Musical Theatre, Riccardo choreographed the State Theatres season finale musical, My Fair Lady and the Operas’, Die Fledermaus and Carmen.

In February 2015, Riccardo was awarded the audience prize for his choreography, Can I Say Something?, at the Genesis International Choreographic Competition for the Milwaukee Ballet in the USA. His choreography, Dove Sei, Chiribim, To be….Continued, Samba 4 Us and Tico Tico have featured in numerous galas throughout Germany and the Czech Republic.

This past season Riccardo premiered his new work, Ascending Glide for Augsburg Ballet's triple bill, Of Men and Gods. He shared the evening alongside two choreographic greats, Edward Clug and George Balanchine. Riccardo was hailed as one of the young new choreographers to watch in 2016 after his premiere of Ascending Glide. He recently premiered his new Narcissis/Bolero for Augsburg Ballet on April 7th, 2017.




Contemporary (Teaching in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane only)

Jan graduated from The Academy of Music Drama and Performing Arts in
Bratislava in 2002 with a Masters of Arts in Modern Dance and Pedagogy. He then lived for two years in Paris, working with Clair Heggen in Theatre du Mouvement, dancing the leading role in Cities which toured France and the Nederlands. Jan joined Slovakia’s flagship contemporary dance company directed by Zuzana
Hajkova. He danced for two years with Company Studio Danca Banska Bystrica,
touring to Europe and India.

In 2007 Jan created an independent work The Story of The Immigrant, a
collaboration with American choreographer Margot Mink Collbert in Las Vegas.
This piece toured to the USA, Denmark and Serbia. He has worked six summer seasons in Austria as a leading member of the ballet for the Summer festival of Opera Seefestspiele Morbisch. In 2013 he worked with the Director of Impuls Tanz Vienna, Ismael Ivo on a solo piece called Rojo Tango in collaboration with singer Erwin Schrott in Austria. He has also worked with Prof.M.Sladek, a famous German and Slovak pantomime.

Jan collaborated with the Slovak National Theatre many times - as a performer in several operas such as The Bartered Bride and character roles such as composer Eugena Suchona, in Mauro Di Candia's ballet, Angelika among others - and as a choreographer on the opera Faust, directed by M.Cicvak.

In 2015 Jan opened his solo work with three short films in the Slovak National
Theatre De Profundis in collaboration with Slovak filmmaker A. Sestakova. This work received an award for cultural exchange between Turkey and Slovakia. The films and solo toured to Prague, Korsic and Istanbul.

Jan has choreographed A Midsummernight's Dream for The Mahens state drama
theatre in the Czech Republic, Wind and Fire for the circus company Anrgolla and
Carman Flamenco for the music group Los Remedios.

For 13 years Jan directed his studio in Bratislava. He had his own company called
Tangere Dance Company and was granted commissions from the Slovak Ministry
of Culture. Jan has choreographed and produced five full length works with
original musical scores.

Jan met his wife in the Slovak National Theatre and moved to Sydney Australia in
2016, where he has gained his NESA accreditation as a proficient teacher. He has
been teaching freelance throughout NSW, including working with the crew on My
Fair Lady for Opera Australia in 2016. Jan has started mounting new creative projects with Tangere Dance in Sydney.


Body Conditioning, Junior Ballet, Junior Repertoire
(Teaching in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane only)

Dip. Classical Ballet, ARAD, CID Unisco



Lily trained at Dance World Studios Melbourne and The New Zealand
School of Dance before joining The Royal New Zealand Ballet. There she premiered Salterello, Monestanco Pas de deux, which was created on her by Christopher Hampson. She has toured Marsha/Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcraker for Ontario Ballet Theatre, directed by Ronda Nychka in Canada.

Residing in Europe, Lily worked with David Campos in Barcelona, Spain, as Soloist. Original works were created for her in Eurasia, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Ne Nehlede and Turn Me On. Mike Dickson for Dance Europe reviewed Lily in Don Quixote as “an attractive young woman with long, elegant lines and classical poise.” Lily has also represented Ballet Jorgen Canada at Harbour Front for Dance
Ontario with the lead pas de deux from the ballet Rendezvous, created on her by
Robert Desrosiers.

In 2013 she was invited as a guest to dance Aurora/ Puss in Boots in The Sleeping
Beauty for South African Ballet Theatre. In 2015 Lily danced her last season with The Slovak National Theatre before returning to Australia to become a mother. She met her husband on stage in Angelica, a ballet by Mauro di Candia.

Over her 18-year performance career, Lily has had the opportunity to perform
choreography by Uwe Sholz, Youri Vamos, Francois Klaus, Mark Baldwin, Mavin
Khoo, Michael Pink, Javir de Frutious, Renato Zenella, Balanchine, Jacek
Przybylowicz, Newton Moraes and Jean F. Emiles, to name a few. She has also worked with prominent people such as Monserat Leon, Lindsay Fisher, Mary Mckendry, Christien Bowman, Matz Skoog, Kevin Richmond, Peter Schaufuss, Roser Munoz, Igor yebra, Fiona Tonkin, Magdalena Popa, Mathew Powell, Tim Podesta and Yumiko. She has been contracted and performed in theatres in China, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Canada, Spain, Andorra, Denmark, Austria, Slovakia, France, Monaco, South Africa, The United Kingdom and on board Cunard Lines iconic liners. A career highlight was performing in Monte Carlo for Prince Albert of Monaco, in the Production Apassionata for Belinda King Productions UK.

Lily began her teaching career alongside her international dance career and
specialises in teaching those aiming for international careers. She coaches
regularly in NSW and Sydney for prominent dance schools and has choreographed several pieces for Dance in Education.

Lily is the creator of Dancing with Breast Cancer and uses dance to help cancer



Senior Ballet, Repertoire & Pointe, Intermediate Ballet & Repertoire

Ken Ludden took his first dance classes at the age of 3. He went on to study and excel in ballet, and at the age of 15 met Dame Margot Fonteyn. The next year Fonteyn arranged for Ludden to live with her mother, Hilda Hookham, in London and study at the Royal Ballet School, and soon after was moved to company class with the Royal Ballet Company as a student, not a company member.

Ludden began dancing professionally at 18 and had an international career. During that time, he developed a dance partnership with American ballerina Sallie Wilson, and the two had four ballets created for them, which they toured around the world. Ludden also choreographed ballets starting at age 18.

In 1978, he founded Summergate Dance Theater to provide professional stage artists work during their off season weeks. In 1982, the company became National Arts Group, and the company performances became known as Les Ballets du Monde. Ludden still directs both groups and continues to provide performance opportunities to dancers from all over the world.

Ludden’s work with Fonteyn had many facets, including teaching her private classes with Nureyev and guests they invited. They worked on productions, both on stage and off, and joined efforts in some writing projects and creation of ballet class accompaniment albums. Ludden is the only person to whom Fonteyn gave written permission for the use of her name, and together they created the Academy Method of teaching, and co-founded The Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet.

His directing credits include: the Stadttheater Luzern Ballet Company, the Kennedy Center Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev, Mary Go-Round (a television pilot), AIDS Theater Festival Productions, the US Memorial Service for Dame Margot Fonteyn, and assistant director (to Frank Rizzo) of the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and many others. He has choreographed over 100 ballets, and as a choreographer was the US offering in the first cultural exchange with the USSR in 1989.

In 2018, Ludden celebrates 50 years of teaching classical ballet. He has taught and coached many leading dancers including Principals of the Boston Ballet, ABT, Donetsk Ballet, Moscow Festival Ballet, Kirov Ballet Soloists, and individual leading artists. Currently, he works regularly with 50 dancers, each a principal dancer or top soloist in the major ballet companies around the world.

(Gold Coast only):


Junior Ballet & Repertoire, Intermediate Pointe/Pre-pointe, Senior Body Conditioning



Olivia trained with Joan and Monica Halliday and Marie Walton Mahon followed by École Nationale Supérieure de Danse de Marseille and English National Ballet School. She 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. Olivia has a First Class Honours degree in Professional Practice (Ballet) from Middlesex University, London, as well as a Distinction from the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance, London. She has been a Guest Teacher around the world including for the RAD International Summer Schools in Tokyo, Singapore, London and Italy as well as the McDonald College Summer School. She taught the competition classes at the Isobel Anderson Awards 2016 and the daily ballet class at the Genee International Ballet Competition in Sydney 2016. Olivia teaches at her studio Danceworks Sydney.


(Auckland & Sydney only):


Junior Ballet & Repertoire, Intermediate Pointe/Pre-pointe, Senior Body Conditioning


Photos of Rain Francis: Greg Stoodley

New Zealand born Rain Francis trained at Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and the New Zealand School of Dance. She is very active in the Australian dance scene as a performer, creator, teacher, film-maker and writer. Rain has worked as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in the USA, UK, Australia, NZ and Ireland; she performed with the National Ballet of Ireland from 2005 to 2009, dancing many classical and contemporary roles and creating new works on the company. Since 2013 she has danced with Opera Australia, performing in Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, The Ring Cycle and the Australian tour of Faust. In 2011, Rain launched Rain & Lucky Dance Theatre, a project-based contemporary company. In that year she was also commissioned to conceive, choreograph and direct her first full-length work The Dream Machine. She has won several awards for her choreography, including first place at the Australian Choreographic Competition and the People's Choice Award at Short + Sweet. Rain is now the Director of International Ballet Workshops and is also a regular guest tutor in Australia and abroad. She opened her own school, Rain & Lucky School of Dance, in 2016. Rain holds a Diploma in Dance Performance and Diploma in Dance Teaching & Management.






Born in England, Mr. Taylor studied at the Rambert School of Ballet. As a dancer he worked in Germany, firstly in Dortmund then Bremen where he was promoted to soloist, then at the Opera House in Kiel as a principal dancer. He danced a wide repertoire of mainly classical works and had particular success in Swan Lake dancing with Joyce Cuoco and Galina Samsova. As Prince Albrecht in Giselle, he danced with Liliane van der Velde and Susanne Kirnbauer from the Vienna State Opera Ballet. After several seasons, Mr Taylor was promoted to resident choreographer in Kiel and was eventually invited to become the Ballet Director at the theatre in Koblenz 1982. In the 29 years that he directed the Koblenz Ballet, he developed a wide repertoire of classical and modern works and had the pleasure of working with many guest choreographers including Rosemary Helliwell, Richard Wherlock and Martin Schläpfer. As a guest choreographer, he had the opportunity to work in several European countries and also enjoyed teaching and coaching. Mr. Taylor has also worked a great deal with actors which lead him to be involved with most of the top German-speaking theatres. He retired from his position of Ballet Director of the Koblenz Theatre in 2011 and was immediately made resident teacher for classical dance with the Tanzcompagnie Gießen / Stadttheater Gießen. He currently teaches all around the world, recently including Italy, USA, China and Australia.


SUMMER 2016 series teachers