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Teacher Training Programme


Teacher Training (10689NAT)
2 Year full-time, part-time options available

Launch your career in vocational dance teaching

Follow the footsteps of past and present professional dancers who have launched their careers as vocational ballet teachers through undertaking the Graduate Diploma of Elite Dance Instruction (GDEDI) at The Australian Ballet School.

The Australian Ballet School is Australia’s national vocational dance training institution which maintains a close liaison with the industry through the major performing companies around Australia and internationally. Graduates of The Australian Ballet School are employed by these companies across the world.

Our school provides an accredited post graduate qualification in vocational dance teaching, designed to enhance career pathways for past and present professional dancers who wish to move into a vocational teaching role following their professional careers. The course is designed for those who are interested in engaging in advanced learning in teacher training through a holistic, flexible and customised programme, that caters for course participants’ individual learning needs and professional work schedules. It aims to create future leaders in the field of vocational ballet training, who are equipped with depth of knowledge, excellence in teaching skills, and an advanced understanding of ballet pedagogy, to teach and inspire the next generation of vocational dance students.

Our graduates’ achievements and successes are reflected in key positions they currently hold as vocational ballet teachers, ballet masters, artistic directors, and rehabilitation coaches in leading schools and companies both in Australia and internationally.

The Course Advantage 

The School recognises that vocational dance teachers need to be trained at the highest standard in order to deliver the rigorous and student centred training required for their students to excel and fully explore their talents. We achieve these high teacher training standards through providing a unique personalised learning environment in which our course participants flourish in our well established centre of excellence in teacher training, located onsite at the Australian Ballet School. This personalised approach is designed to empower our course participants to meet the high teaching standards required for vocational ballet students to continuously advance in their training. This approach also supports our vision to nurture highly skilled, curious and self-directed teachers who are well positioned to contribute to the advancement of the field of vocational ballet teaching.

Our personalised training provides course participants with many advantages in the process of developing their individual teaching style, depth of knowledge, and an applied understanding of current vocational ballet teacher techniques, skills and practice.

One-to-one mentorship system with experts in the field 

A large part of the course is delivered through a mentorship system where course participants learn on a one-to-one basis with experts in the field. This enables participants to benefit from the close guidance and practical support of an experienced mentor in developing advanced knowledge and skills in vocational ballet teaching. This greatly enhances opportunities for success and improved performance as they gain extra skills and understanding of vocational ballet instruction from the ongoing feedback they receive from the partnership.

While the delivery of the course is mainly through a one-to-one mentorship system, participants also enjoy the benefits of collaborative learning in small groups and flexible online learning study options for specific theoretical aspects of the course.

Individualised learning programs 

Within the mentorship system each course participant’s programme is tailored to meet individual learning needs and professional work schedules. This individualised learning environment in which course participants undertake their training provides them with the opportunity to fully explore the nuances of learning and develop an in depth understanding of vocational ballet teaching techniques, skills and practice. It also provides participants with a nurturing environment in which they are supported to develop their individual talents and distinctive teaching style.

World class delivery of flexible online learning 

Our school is a leader in the development of world class online learning materials. Selected units and components of course work were developed in response to the growing demand for online learning components of work, as course participants experienced the benefits it afforded in terms of accessibility to learning in time and place, and opportunities for collaborative and reflective learning.

Online course work is designed to cater for diverse learner needs, with access to the support of an online mentor who is an expert in teacher training, and has the additional advantage of Special Education and English as an Additional Language expertise, to cater for participants’ work and study skills needs. The content and design of online work requirements enable course participants to engage with individual and group learning opportunities in this fully supported environment. The flexibility of online delivery is also a significant advantage, particularly for participants who are current professional dancers who have busy work schedules.

Face-to-face orientation programmes are also incorporated to assist participants to effectively engage with online learning, including familiarisation with online navigation, learner expectations, work requirements, online study skills, information technology, peer and teacher help.

Collaborative learning in small groups 

While the delivery of the course is mainly through a one-to-one mentorship system with experts in the field, participants also enjoy the benefits of collaborative learning on site in small groups. They also engage with structured online learning involving collaborative work for selected theoretical aspects of the course. Work is selected for delivery in small groups where it is an advantage for course participants to collaborate and learn with each other to build knowledge, and engage in discussion to share perspectives and expertise.

On-site teaching practice with students of The Australian Ballet School  

Course participants have the valuable opportunity to complete all practical course work in onsite studios during regular classes with students of The Australian Ballet School. All classes are undertaken under the close supervision of the Executive Head of Teacher Training and the Pedagogic Instructor and Specialist Ballet Coach. Extensive feedback is provided from the two experts following the conclusion of every class taught by the participant.

Personalised professional development planning for career development 

Participants are provided with a unique opportunity to focus on their future career pathway in vocational dance teaching through developing the knowledge and skills required to develop and apply self-analytical skills in designing a professional development plan that establishes future directions for professional growth.

Accredited Postgraduate Degree at fourth year Honours degree level 

The Graduate Diploma of Elite Dance Instruction qualification is positioned at Level 8 on the Australian Qualifications Framework scale, which is equivalent to a Bachelor Honours Degree fourth year.

 The Australian Ballet School is also a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulation (NVR) Australia. The School is formally approved to deliver, assess and issue qualifications for nationally recognised training. We have developed and provide the nationally recognised Graduate Diploma of Elite Dance Instruction. It is designed to train teachers to prepare students at virtuoso level for the transition into the dance profession. Registration standards are endorsed by the Ministerial Council of the Department of Education and Training

Kevin Jackson at his graduation ceremony  
Left to right: Sheryl Bates:  Executive Head of Teacher Training & Digital Resources Curator, Kevin Jackson: Principal, The Australian Ballet, and Michela Kirkaldie: Pedagogic Instructor and Specialist Ballet Coach 

Download Application Form

Course Details 

How is the course structured? 

The course structure includes a strong focus on the methodology of vocational dance training, based on an eight level system derived from the Vaganova method. This eight level system draws upon traditional classical technique, preserving the best that was formed by our predecessors, while being sympathetic to the demands of classical dance technique necessary for today’s professional artists. This is enhanced with the study of pedagogy, coaching, music, anatomy, nutrition, psychology, professional development planning, and work health and safety. An extensive part of the course structure involves a practicum component, providing hands on teaching experience for all course participants, entirely with students of The Australian Ballet School in onsite studios.

How is the course delivered?

The Graduate Diploma of Elite Dance Instruction is delivered over two years full-time with course participants studying for 35 weeks per year. It is possible for participants to undertake the course part-time over a longer timeframe. The delivery of the course follows a mentorship model providing participants with one-to-one and small group instruction by experts in the field. Online learning is integrated into selected theoretical components of learning and each participant’s learning programme is tailored to meet their individual needs and professional work schedules.

Left: Kirsty Martin, teacher at The Australian Ballet School and former Principal of The Australian Ballet 
Right: Michela Kirkaldie, Pedagogic Instructor and Specialist Ballet Coach

Core units of competence

The following units are accredited and copyright owned by The Australian Ballet School and delivered as part of the Teacher Training Course.

Develop a multi-level training program for elite dance students

Plan, deliver and assess dance at an elite level

Design and implement an individual professional development plan in dance teaching

Foster the health and well-being of elite dance students

Provide coaching to elite dance students

Select and apply music for dance exercises

Units of competency imported from training packages.

Implement and monitor WHS policies, procedures and programs to meet legislative requirements

What support facilitates are available?

The Australian Ballet School has a range of support mechanisms available to its ballet students, which can also be of assistance to participants completing this course.  The School has a comprehensive Health Team, which includes a Body Conditioning Specialist, Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention Specialist, General Practitioner, Physiotherapist and Pilates/Strength Training Specialist. It also has Special Education and English as an Additional Language teachers to assist with language and study skills.

Specialist staff of The Australian Ballet School can be available to participants of this course to assist with issues or additional information, should they require it.

What are the entry requirements to apply for the course? 

Generally, entry to the course will be available to applicants who can demonstrate evidence of a minimum of three years’ experience as a professional dancer with a high-profile company and the attitude and aptitude appropriate to a vocational dance teacher. Intending applicants will be required to submit the application form available through this website. If successful, applicants will be invited to participate in an interview process and provide a portfolio which addresses specific selection criteria. Course numbers are limited, but applications and intake may be at any time.

It is expected that intending participants will have, as a minimum, computer literacy equivalent to operating a personal computer, operating a word processing application, and sending/retrieving information by using web browsers and email.

What are the course fees? 

Fees as of October 2020 are:

Australian Students: Total course cost approximately $25,500 

Course texts: Approximately $300

Payment plan available, with installments across the duration of the course.

How can I find out more about the course? 

For more information, contact The Australian Ballet School on 03 9669 2807

Research and Preservation of Training Programmes  

Our centre of excellence is a leader in the development of world class digital resources for the preservation of training programmes and the School’s heritage. Our teacher training staff are committed to the process of safeguarding and managing our collective knowledge and practices, to enable access to training materials for a variety of purposes. This will ensure our training programmes endure, whilst continuing to evolve, for present and future generations of students, staff and the wider dance community.

Take a peek at this video capturing Christine Howard’s reflections on the development of her Character training program at The Australian Ballet School, developed over the past 40 years.