ABS History


In March 1964, The Australian Ballet School opened its doors to the first students, and in 2014, celebrated 50 years of excellence in classical dance training and education.

It all started in the declining days of the Borovansky Ballet; that a group of enthusiastic and talented dancers, choreographers, designers and musicians gathered at the home of Margaret Scott to talk about the need of a national dance company supported by a strong and independent school.

In 1962, Margaret Scott was commissioned by The Elizabethan Theatre Trust to prepare a report on the possible founding of a national school to complement the newly established Australian Ballet.

The School came into being through the advocacy of Dame Margaret Scott and formed part of Dame Peggy van Praagh’s Artistic Policy for the future of dance in Australia: to establish a school for professional dance students that would work to develop a national style and directly provide the Company with trained dancers; therefore, providing select students with ‘specialised professional training in ballet and the allied theatre arts’.

In March 1964 the School opened its doors to the first students, just 15 months after the formation of The Australian Ballet.

The Australian Ballet School’s aim is to produce artistic, educated and outstanding dancers of international standard. Under its first three individual and inspiring Directors – Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE, Gailene Stock CBE AM, and Marilyn Rowe OBE – it has remained the national centre for elite vocational classical dance training.

Under its newest Director Lisa Pavane the School continues to train dancers of the highest calibre for The Australian Ballet and professional companies in Australia and around the world.