Ballet Mistress, Classical Teacher
Joanne graduated from The Australian Ballet School and danced with The Australian Ballet at the beginning of her career. Joanne’s first Principal role was performing the Swan Queen in Swan Lake opposite Alexander Godunov. She has also danced the lead or solo roles in famous ballets including Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Don Quixote and more during her time as a Principal Artist. Joanne has also worked with choreographers and producers such as Graeme Murphy AO, Glen Tetley, Alicia Markova, Choo San Goh and Serge Lifar.
Before joining us in 2003, Joanne travelled overseas to work with Nederlands Dans Theatre under choreographer and director, Jiři Kylián. Our students are privileged to benefit from the tutelage of Joanne.
Ballet Master, Classical Teacher
Andrew has devoted many years to the development of our aspiring dancers, taking particular interest in the advancement of males in ballet.
Andrew began his career at The Australian Ballet where he danced as a Senior Soloist before moving to the Birmingham Royal Ballet as a Principal Dancer. Eventually, Andrew joined the Houston Ballet as a Principal Dancer and has had the pleasure of dancing the leading roles in productions by Maina Gielgud, Graeme Murphy AO, Rudolph Nureyev and more throughout his expansive career.
Before joining The Australian Ballet School, Andrew was a Principal Instructor and Men’s Program Coordinator at the Houston Ballet Academy.
Head of Teaching and Learning
Lynette Wills danced as a Principal Artist at The Australian Ballet for 17 years after graduating from The Australian Ballet School.
Lynette began her career touring with The Dancer’s Company (The Australian Ballet’s Regional Tour) before being promoted to Senior Artist. During Lynette’s time at The Australian Ballet, she toured extensively overseas and travelled to Italy, London, China, Japan, United States and Taiwan. Her first Principal role was performing Gamzatti in La Bayadére, and she also performed The Baroness von Rothbart in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake many times. In 2005, Lynette visited a Cambodian dance company as The Australian Ballet’s ambassador in a joint initiative between the Company and CARE Australia.
Conditioning Specialist and Rehabilitation Specialist
Katrina was born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales in 1968. Attending school in Wagga Wagga up until the end of Year 9 all the while fostering a passion and love for dance, music and drama at every spare moment. At age 15, Katrina shifted to Melbourne to attend the Australian Ballet School. Katrina graduated from The ABS in 1986 and performed 3 seasons with TAB before heading into musical theatre. Katrina performed in several musical theatre productions such as West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast, finishing a 10-year performing career with a principal role in Showboat.
Katrina has since had two children, and in 2001 established a Pilates studio and a Pilates teacher training business. Katrina has been teaching the Pilates method for 25 years. Katrina has a long history with working with professional athletes and is currently consulting for North Melbourne football club. Katrina also teaches as part of faculty for her own businesses Aligned for Life Pilates and National Pilates Training.
Katrina returned to the Australian Ballet School in 2016, as a Conditioning and Rehabilitation Specialist. Katrina has contributed to the health and wellbeing of our students taking care of the conditioning program and student rehabilitation, alongside and as part of the health team.
Kevin Jackson trained with The Australian Ballet School, graduating with an Advanced Diploma of Dance and a Corps De Ballet contract with The Australian Ballet for 2003. Kevin progressed through the ranks of The Australian Ballet, being promoted to Principal Artist in 2010. In addition, Kevin completed a Vocational Graduate Diploma in Elite Dance Instruction through The Australian Ballet School during his time with The Australian Ballet. Kevin retired as a Principal Artist from The Australian Ballet in 2020.
During his eighteen-year career, Kevin danced a wide range of Principal roles, including George Balanchine's Apollo, Jerome Robbin's A Suite of Dances, Prince Siegfried, Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake, Onegin and Lensky, John Cranko's Onegin, Oberon, Sir Fredrick Ashton's The Dream. Kevin danced in works by Australian choreographers Stephen Page, Stephen Baynes, Tim Harbour and Alice Topp and international choreographers Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Sir Peter Wright, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato and Jiří Kylián. His created roles include Ivan, Graeme Murphy's Firebird, Romeo, Graeme Murphy's Romeo and Juliet, Prince Désiré, David McAllister's Sleeping Beauty and Spartacus, Lucas Jervies' Spartacus.
Kevin won a Helpmann Award for his portrayal of John Neumeier's Nijinsky in 2017 and was a nominee for the Benois de la Danse in 2018, where he danced in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Kevin's guest appearances include American Ballet Theatre performing De Grieux in Sir Kenneth Macmillan's Manon, 2014. Houston Ballet, The Nutcracker Prince in Stanton Welch's The Nutcracker, 2016 and West Australian Ballet, Albrecht in Aurélien Scannella and Sandy Delasalle, Giselle, 2019.
Mr Jackson Joined The Australian Ballet School as an Artistic Teacher in 2022.
Lucas Jervies is an Australian choreographer and director who works across ballet, contemporary dance, cabaret, opera and theatre. He is a graduate of The Australian Ballet School and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (in Directing).
As a dancer, Lucas performed both classical and contemporary repertoire with The Australian Ballet, Dance Works Rotterdam and Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. As a choreographer, Lucas has created dance for companies worldwide, including The Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Louisville Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, Korzo Theatre Den Haag, Noverre Society Stuttgart Ballet and CoDarts Rotterdam University for the Arts.
Other credits include choreographing Spartacus for The Australian Ballet, adapting and directing Roald Dahl's The Witches for Griffin Theatre Company, and directing and choreographing Hidden Sydney: The Glittering Mile, an immersive cabaret for Vivid Festival. Lucas was choreographer for Belvoir Theatre's award-winning production of Mr Burns; dramaturge for The Australian Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty; movement director for the Helpmann Award nominated opera Fly Away Peter for Sydney Chamber Opera; choreographer for AIDA Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour for Opera Australia; and director and choreographer for Apples and Eve with Expressions Dance Company for Queensland Theatre’s Greenhouse Series.
Lucas has held positions as Affiliate Director at Griffin Theatre, Artistic Director of Buzz Dance Theatre, Rehearsal Director at Sydney Dance Company, Resident Choreographer at Louisville Ballet, and co-director of JACK Productions. Lucas was appointed Contemporary Teacher at The Australian Ballet School in 2021.
Born in Waihi, New Zealand, Ty King-Wall started dancing at the age of seven. A Junior Associate of the New Zealand School of Dance, he left New Zealand at 16 to study full time with The Australian Ballet School. Upon graduating dux with honours, Ty joined The Australian Ballet in 2006. Since joining the company, Ty has danced in principal roles across the company's repertoire, and performed in Paris, Beijing, London, New York, and Tokyo. He received the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award in 2010 and was promoted to Principal Artist in 2013. He had the roles of Ceyx in Tim Harbour's Halcyon and Crassus in Lucas Jervies' Spartacus, created on him.
In addition to his performing career, Ty holds a Bachelor of Arts (Classical Studies/Psychology) through Massey University, and a Master's in Arts and Cultural Management through the University of Melbourne. Ty retired from dancing in April 2022 and was elected to the role of Dancer's Director at The Australian Ballet the same year. Ty was appointed Classical Teacher at The Australian Ballet School in 2023.
Irina trained at the prestigious Perm Ballet School in Russia before joining the USSR State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. During her time as a Principal Artist there, Irina danced the lead or solos roles in many famous ballets including Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Don Quixote and more!
After receiving a laureate from the Grand Prix International Competition in Baku (USSR), Irina accepted a position with the Kirov Ballet (later The Mariinsky Theatre) in St Petersburg. Irina also studied at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet where she graduated as a fully qualified teacher of the Vaganova method before joining us in 2001 as a Classical Teacher and Curriculum Development Assistant.
Sergey studied ballet at the prestigious Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg and upon graduating, danced with the Ashkabad Opera and Ballet Theatre. Sergey was invited to join the Kirov Ballet (later Mariinsky Theatre) after winning second prize at the Grand Prix International Competition in Baku (USSR).
During his 11 years at The Mariinsky, Sergey performed soloist roles in famous ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet and more. He has additionally worked with acclaimed choreographers such as Ratmansky and Neumiere and has toured Europe, the US and Asia.
Sergey joined the School in 2004 and has since contributed to the development and success of our young dancers.
Sabrina graduated from Academié de Dance Classique de Montecarlo and began her career dancing with the Stuttgart Ballet. As a Principal, Sabrina performed the leading roles in many of John Cranko’s ballets. Eventually Sabrina joined Birmingham Royal Ballet as a Principal dancer where she performed in works by Ashton and MacMillan. Over the years, Sabrina has worked with many prominent figures in the ballet world including Marcia Marcia Haydée, David Bintley, Peter Wright and Maurice Béejart among others.
After retiring from performing, Sabrina joined the Houston Ballet Academy where she became a Ballet Mistress and Principal of the Upper School. She has also been invited to teach at the Houston Ballet Company, Colorado Ballet Company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Architanz in Tokyo over the years.
Sabrina joined The Australian Ballet School in 2017 where she has coached and mentored our female students, providing an incredible wealth of knowledge over the years.
MELANIE MORAVSKI DECHNICZ
A graduate of a Bachelor of Performing Arts, (Monash University) Melanie danced and trained with Virsky, Ukraine’s most prestigious dance company in Kyiv in 2001. She has also trained under many renowned Ukrainian choreographers including Mykola Kanevets, Sergei Zubatov, Sergei Makarov and Valery Debelyy.
In 2009 Melanie was awarded with the title Merited (Performing) Artist of Ukraine by the Ukrainian President.
Artistic Director of Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company and The Lehenda School. Melanie is also the Character Lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatoire of Ballet. She has taught at dance ensembles and schools nationally and internationally, including The Australian Ballet School Summer School (annually) and The Roma Pryma Bohachevsky Ukrainian Dance Workshop.
Melanie is trained to deliver the ‘Ballet Conservatoire’ training syllabus developed by Christine Walsh, former Principal Artist of the Australia Ballet Company, based of the Vaganova method.
Christine Vavladellis began her journey with The Australian Ballet School in the year 2000 at the age of 10. She progressed through each year level and graduated in 2009 with an Advanced Diploma of Dance. Christine achieved her Bachelor of Health Sciences, with a major in Anatomy and Physiology, at La Trobe University in 2012 and went on to achieve a Master of Educational Leadership and Management, also at La Trobe University. Christine completed the Graduate Diploma in Elite Dance Instruction Course at The Australian Ballet School in 2014.
Before teaching, Christine had the opportunity to travel with The Australian Ballet Dancers Company regional tour four times, and enjoyed performing the role of young Clara in The Nutcracker: Gift of a Dream by Leigh Rowles on two of these tours. Another performance highlight for Christine was dancing as a Cygnet in Swan Lake Act 2 for the School’s 2009 Graduate Exhibition.
Christine started teaching at The Australian Ballet School in 2012 and currently teaches Early Learning Program students aged 3-10, and the After-School Program students in Levels 1-3. Christine also teaches conditioning classes for Level 1-3 students and additional Interstate Training Program classes. As an early learning specialist, Christine believes that learning in a fun, creative and engaging environment is vital for each child’s learning development. Christine believes the joy of dance should be nurtured, and the curiosity of each child fed with inspiration and the desire to keep learning.
Philippa grew up in Perth, Western Australia, where she began dancing as a child. She completed her training at The Hamburg Ballet School in Germany and danced professionally for 6 years with Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier before returning to Australia, where she retrained as a Counsellor, obtaining an advanced diploma and a graduate certificate in Counselling and Family Therapy.
Philippa has been working with performing artists for the last 10 years in private practice as well as providing online performance mindset training for dancers through her online platform StageMinded.com. Philippa is currently School Counsellor at The Australian Ballet School, where she has enjoyed being part of a leading team of health professionals supporting dance students’ wellbeing and performance since 2017.
Guest & Melbourne Community Access Teacher
Natalya has been teaching for over twenty years, participating in all Summer and Winter School programmes and guest teaching at the ABS since 2000.
Studying in many styles of dance, Natalya has had an extensive performing career in television, film and musical theatre. Natalya’s most recognised role was Maria in Saturday Night Fever, touring Australia, Asia and New Zealand – for which she received a Green Room Nomination. Dream Ballet Laurey in Oklahoma! (The Production Company) and dancing in front of Queen Elizabeth II at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester were career highlights.
For the past 20 years, Natalya has taught in prestigious schools around the country; and in the last 10 years, Natalya has played a major role in establishing the dance programme at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Musical Theatre). Natalya is thrilled to be a part of The Australian Ballet School’s faculty to assist, motivate and inspire our young budding participants.
Megan has been working with our students since 2010 and has completed a Vocational Graduate Certificate in Elite Dance Instruction.
Megan joined The Australian Ballet in 1991 and performed in works such as The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Giselle and Symphony in C. Following her passion for teaching, Megan later became a Principal Teacher at the Christine Walsh Dance Centre and in 2000, Megan was Ballet Mistress for the Sansouci Music Festival in Berlin.
Megan returned to The Australian Ballet where she became Assistant to the Artistic Director and Ballet Coach. Megan also returned to the stage in 2009, performing in Alexei Ratmansky’s Scuola di ballo.