The Academy are extremely blessed and grateful to have such talented, supportive and esteemed dancers, teachers and professionals who endorse and acknowledge the Academy as an elite centre of training in Classical Ballet and Dance.

Our Patrons are at the heart of our organisation – giving essential  support to the Academy. They aid us to train and develop a new generation of elite dancers through regular guest teaching or adjudicating examinations/auditions at the Academy. This provides the Academy students with world class opportunities and creates a close involvement with industry professionals and dancers of such a high calibre world wide.

Damian Smith

Damian Smith

Former Principal Dancer, San Francisco Ballet

Damian was raised in Newcastle, NSW beginning his ballet training at Robin Hicks School of Dance, then The McDonald College, he left Australia at 16yrs old to go to The School of American Ballet in NY, joining the French company Ballet Du Nord as a Soloist in 1992 – 1996 then The San Francisco Ballet Company in 1996 – 2015 becoming a Principle dancer in 2001 for the past 14 years of his career until retiring in 2015.

He has performed over 110 ballets in more then 25 countries, and throughout the last 20 years has been a Principal Guest Artist with;

  • The New York City Ballet
  • The Royal Ballet
  • The Dutch National Ballet
  • The Boston Ballet
  • The Hong Kong Ballet
  • The Hamburg Ballet
  • The Australian Ballet

He has also starred and performed in many Gala’s and Special Events, such as the “Nijinsky Gala” in Hamburg, The Australian Ballets 50th Anniversary and the “Ballet Stars Of America” for 4 years running.

Damian is also the recipient of the the Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2015 for “Sustained Achievement”.

Amber Scott

Amber Scott

Principal Dancer, The Australian Ballet

Amber Scott first started training at Anne Fraser in Qld, she then moved to Melbourne where she studied at the National Theater Ballet School in St Kilda. Amber thus joined The Australian Ballet School at age eleven. After graduating as dux, Amber joined The Australian Ballet in 2001. In 2003 she spent four months on a dancer exchange at the Royal Danish Ballet, giving her the opportunity to learn the Bournonville technique firsthand. A lyrical and musical dancer, Amber relishes the many different genres in the company’s repertoire. Performing traditional fairytale and dramatic full-length ballets are career favourites. Amber was promoted to principal artist of the Australian Ballet in 2011.

Guest Appearances
• Odette/Odile in Russell Kerr’s Swan Lake with Royal New Zealand Ballet 2013
• Fall for Dance Festival, New York City (Glen Tetley’s Gemini) 2011
• The Stuttgart Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Gala (Molto Vivace pas de deux) 2011
• The Dancers Company tour 2004, 2003 Awards
• Telstra Ballet Dancer Award and Telstra People’s Choice Award 2004
• First Place Junior Asian Pacific Competition, Tokyo 1999
• Adeline Genée Awards, bronze medal 1998

Content courtesy and rights reserved to The Australian Ballet Company.Image courtesy of James Braund Photography

Daniel Gaudiello

Daniel Gaudiello

Former Principal Dancer, The Australian Ballet

Brisbane-born Daniel Gaudiello strapped on his first pair of dancing shoes at the age of six at the

Johnny Young Talent School, then at Promenade Dance Academy. Later he completed the Queensland

Dance School of Excellence and Queensland Ballet professional year before being accepted into The Australian Ballet School, where he participated as an exchange student with The National Ballet School of Canada and the School of American Ballet. Daniel joined The Australian Ballet in 2004 and in early 2007 participated in classes with some of the world’s finest ballet companies in London, Amsterdam, Munich and Paris. Daniel made his choreographic debut with a piece called Notte in Bianco for ‘Bodytorque. To the Pointe’ in 2009 and was promoted to principal artist in 2010.

Daniel’s repertoire highlights include: Franz in Coppélia 2010, Basilio in Don Quixote 2010, Lescaut in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon 2008, Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum© 2004, and Petrouchka in Petrouchka 2009.

Daniel’s guest appearances include: English National Ballet in Le Spectre de la rose, London and Barcelona 2009 Awards, Australian Dance Award nomination for Dyad 1929 2010, Green Room Award nomination for Petrouchka 2010, Helpmann Award nomination for Graeme Murphy’s The Silver Rose 2010 • Telstra Ballet Dancer Award Winner 2007, Freda Irving Scholarship 2006, BJ Sutton Scholarship.

Biography courtesy of the Australian Ballet

Image courtesy of Michael Kai

Adam Thurlow

Adam Thurlow

Former Artist, Paris Opera Ballet, English National Ballet & The Australian Ballet

Adam Thurlow was born in Melbourne and trained with his twin brother at Lorraine Blackburn School of Dance and the Australian Ballet School. Adam’s professional career began with the Australian Ballet under the direction of Ross Stretton where he performed many soloist and principal roles. He was promoted to the rank of soloist after only two years.

In 2002 Adam joined the English National Ballet as a soloist dancing many lead classical and contemporary roles. In 2003 Adam became the first and only Australian to join the Opera National de Paris where he worked with many of the world’s top choreographers. In August 2006 Adam returned to the Australian Ballet & was also made a Principal of Melbourne Ballet Company before leaving for a freelance career in 2008. Adam has had the great pleasure of working with choreographers such as Nureyev, Balanchine, Cranko, MacMillan, Killian, Bejart, Forsythe, Duato, Taylor and Hoy.

Career & Repertoire highlights include lead roles in the following ballets;

Don Quixote, Manon, Giselle, Swan Lake, Apollo, Theme and Variations, Nutcracker
Coppelia, Etudes, Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda, Cinderella, Paquita, Le Sacre du Pritemps.
Adam graduated with Honours and as Dux of his year at the Australian Ballet School.  In December 2010 Adam received an “Australasian Dance Assessment Sponsorship for Excellence” for Project 8 “Palette” with the Melbourne Ballet Company.

Employment History

  • The Paris Opera company (Opera National de Paris)
  • The Australian Ballet
  • Melbourne Ballet Company
  • English National Ballet
  • The Australian Ballet School
  • Cecchetti Ballet Australia Inc

Image courtesy of James Braund Photography

Jiayin Du

Jiayin Du

Former Artist, The Australian Ballet, Currently Teacher at The Australian Ballet School

Jia Yin Du born in Liao Ning, China began his dance training with Liao Ning Dance School of China. His natural talent was noticed at an early age at a competition in Paris in 1996 where he was awarded the Silver Medal.

In 1997, Jia Yin took China and Tokyo by storm winning First Prize/Gold Medal in two competitions: the China National Ballet Competition and Tokyo Asia Pacific International Ballet Competition. The only direction was upwards from there as Jia Yin‘s brilliant dancing won not only the competitions but a dual scholarship from the Australian Ballet (Gary Norman) and Jean Wong Ballet (Hong Kong) propelling his career internationally.

In 1999 he started training at the Australian Ballet School. Within a short span of a year, he joined the Australian Ballet Company and this marked the beginning his diverse and lasting relationship with the company. His career began under the directorship of Ross Stretton and concluded under David McAllister’s artistic direction.

As a talented and energetic artist, Jia Yin performed many soloist and leading roles in major classical ballets such as Don Quixote, Coppelia, La Bayadere, La Sylphide, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Spartacus, Raymonda, Merry Widow, La Fille Mal Gardee, Manon and Three Musketeers.

Amongst his highlights have been showpiece pas de deux such as the Flower Festival of Genzano, La Favorita, Paquita, Flames of Paris and Grand Pas Classique.

His modern and one act repertoire includes William Forsythe’s The Vertiginious Thrill of Exactitude, Jiri, Kylian’s Stepping Stones, Stephen Baynes’ Beyond Bach, Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, Nicholai Fontain’s Almost Tango, Stanton Welch’s Velocity, Krzysztof Pastor’s Symphonie Fantastique, Nacho Duato in Por Vos Muero and Natalie Weir’s Mirror, Mirror. Also Symphony in C, Voluntaries, Suite en Blanc, Etudes and Les Presages.

Jia Yin has been Principal Guest Artist for the Australian Ballet’s Dancer’s Company, and Liao Ning Ballet of China Gala Performance.
Image courtesy of James Braund Photography

Michael Braun

Michael Braun

Former Principal Dancer, Queensland Ballet & Royal New Zealand Ballet

Michael Braun has had an illustrious dancing career. From Australia and New Zealand through America, Canada, Europe, South Africa and China,

he has danced many roles such as the prince in Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty and more including classical and contemporary repertoire by Forsyth, Dawson, Fruitos, Elo, Balanchine, Thoss, Stuart and Hoy.

As a student Michael achieved the RAD Solo Seal and was awarded the SODA scholarship before beginning his career in 1998 to work with the Queensland Ballet as a soloist and moving on to The Royal New Zealand Ballet as a principal dancer in 2005, where he remained until 2010.

Since then he has worked with the Australian Ballet Company, Peter Jackson’s WETA Workshop and has appeared in several galas and performed as a guest artist and principal dancer with the West Australian Ballet, South African Ballet Theatre, Victorian State Ballet and others.

Expanding his knowledge and experience further, Michael has taught at several of Australia and New Zealand’s most prestigious ballet schools, given input into enhancing dance modules for colleges, co-choreographed

A Midsummer Nights Dream and given many workshops on ballet, contemporary and stagecraft around the country.

Kellymarie Sullivan

Kellymarie Sullivan

Soloist, Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin,

Kellymarie Sullivan received her classical ballet training at the National Theatre Ballet School & Australian Opera Ballet Company. She is currently a Principal in the Staatstheatre Shwerin in Switzerland and has been with the company since 2004.

One of the predominant stages of her dancing career included Companies in Sydney, Melbourne, Frankfurt/Main, St. Gallen and Nordhausen. Her wide-ranging repertoire includes the big title roles of character portrayal.

She has performed in many leads and danced as Victoria in “Dorian Gray”, the fall in the “Four Seasons”, the woman in “Lover‘s Tale” (Choreography: Marc Bogaerts), the Cassandra in “Oristie”, the title role in “Lysistrata” (choreography: Dominique Efstratiou), Titania in “A new Midsummer Night’s Dream” ( choreography: Annett Göhre and Cayetano Soto) as well as lead roles in “Jeanne d’Arc”, “Antigone”, “Triassic Bolero”, “Rite of Spring” and “Elvis”.

In 2006 she received from the Society of Friends of the Mecklenburg State Theatre Schwerin the first dancer to the Conrad-Ekhof prize, which is awarded to exceptionally talented young artists.

  • Soloist at the Stadtheater, St Gallen Switzerland
  • Soloist at Jubileum The Knabenkantorei, Basel Theatre
  • Soloist at Klangbilderverein, Zug Circo Fantastico; Lorzensaacham Ch: Oliver Dahler;
  • Soloist Stadttheater Nordhausen, Germany;
  • Currently Soloist Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater Schwerin

Image courtesy of Kelly Sullivan