TEACHING FACULTY

We ensure that each member of our faculty has a passion for dance and love for artistry and technique.

The IDS teaching faculty includes qualified professionals who have a wealth of performing, training, and industry experience. All teachers are carefully selected experts in their fields with a great understanding of anatomy and how it applies to dance.

 

Any parent can feel confident that their child will receive the highest standard of teaching and that our training methods are safe. Our Director, Miss Nicole, guides our teachers and students by overseeing all classes ensuring consistent and clear communication is maintained across the school.

 

All staff hold a current Working With Children Check and a range of qualifications and impressive credentials as detailed below:

 

 

 

 

NICOLE JACOBSSON-KNEEBONE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/PRINCIPAL

BA VCA, RAD/BBO AFFILIATE MEMBER, LISA HOWELL PERFECT FORM PHYSIOTHERAPY DANCE TEACHER TRAINING LEVEL 1 & 2 (2016)

 

Trained in Australia’s classical hub (Ballarat) from the age of three, Nicole studied Classical ballet (RAD, Cecchetti and BMAAD), Jazz, Contemporary and Tap (ATOD) at the Terri-Maree Dance Academy and Anita Coutts School of Dance.

 

Nicole later studied a Bachelor of Dance and Drama at Deakin University before being accepted in 2002 into the Bachelor of Dance course at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) where she majored in contemporary/classical dance and choreography. Her studies included classical ballet, contemporary/modern, jazz, tap, drama, anatomy, physiology, character and psychology, kinesiology, duo work and contact improvisation.

 

After completing her Bachelor and pursuing an extensive career in freelance teaching, performing and competing throughout Victoria, Nicole founded Independent Dance Studios (formerly Contemporary Independent Dance) in early February 2009. ​

 

For over three decades Nicole has dedicated her life to dance, enabling many dedicated students to pursue dance as a career and lifelong passion.

 

Nicole’s wealth of experience and passionate approach has enabled her to achieve what has taken others several decades – a supportive, inspiring community, talented, technical, passionate dancers, a credible, professional, committed faculty, state-of-the-art studios and amenities and award winning choreography, soloists and troupe teams.

 

Nicole’s colleagues, peers, students and families alike enjoy her deep sense of commitment, knowledge, professionalism, artistry, technical mastery and teaching style. She has built around her, a supportive network of teaching staff and impressive industry connections. She believes that whilst students may not choose dance as a career, it is vital that correct training be taught right from the beginning, so that the doors of opportunity are wide open.

 

IDS has been recognised with multiple industry awards, including the Matt Lee (SYTYCD) Technique Award at the 2013 Phoenix Festival of Dance and winning troupe performances at the prestigious Royal South Street Ballarat (established for over 125 years).

 

It is often commented that Nicole's commitment to her dancers, her supportive nature and kind, experienced approach ensures IDS students enjoy their dancing years as well as their childhoods.

Former students of IDS have been accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), The Australian Ballet School (ABS), The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS), the National Theatre Ballet School (NTBS), Queensland University of Technology, Australian Conservatoire of Ballet, Studio Tibor Sydney, Spectrum Full Time Dance, Transit Dance and are now themselves choreographers, teachers and performing professionals.​

 

MARY RENOUF-FRYER

FORMER ARTIST OF THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET & MAJOR EUROPEAN COMPANIES

 

Miss Renouf was classically trained by the marvellous Kathleen Gorham O.B.E. from the age of  ve years. Passing all her Royal Academy of Dance examinations with honours she joined The Australian Ballet School (ABS) at 15 years of age. She graduated from the school and was invited into The Australian Ballet Company, having participated in the inaugural year of The Dancer’s Company in 1980.

Whilst in second year at The Australian Ballet School, Miss Renouf was chosen to represent Australia in the first International Ballet Competition held in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A. In 1982 she and her husband (fellow Australian

Ballet dancer) Adrian Fryer went to Europe and danced as soloists with Vienna Staatsoper Ballet, Klagenfurt Stadtstheater (Austria), Kiel Stadtstheater and the Bavarian Staatsoper (Munich, Germany).

On return to Australia Miss Renouf and Mr Fryer opened their own ballet school in South Gippsland which they ran for a period of time before returning to Melbourne. Miss Renouf started teaching classical ballet at the National

Theatre Ballet School in 1991 and in 1993 was appointed Registrar/O ce Manager, the position also including extensive teaching.

 

In October 1997 she and her husband left the National and opened their own adult dance studio, City Dance Centre.

She also then commenced freelance teaching, working with many notable schools in Melbourne, including the Victorian College of the Arts, Danceworld 301, The Dance Factory, Jane Moore Academy of Ballet, Dance School of Distrinction

and many other local ballet schools, Chunky Move and Opera Australia. Overseas guest teaching has taken her to Napier New Zealand, Los Angeles U.S.A. and Taipei Taiwan.

 

ADRIAN FRYER

FORMER ARTIST OF THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET & MAJOR EUROPEAN COMPANIES

Mr Fryer graduated from The Australian Ballet School (ABS) in 1978. He then joined The Australian Ballet Company in 1979 and performed a number of soloist and principal roles in the Merry Widow, Pineapple Poll, Les Rendezvous, Anna Karenina, Swan Lake, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Three Musketeers and Carmen.

In 1982 Adrian travelled overseas (with wife Mary Renouf) to Europe where they danced as soloists in major Ballet Companies including the Vienna Staatsoper Ballet, Klagenfurt Stadtstheater (Austria), Kiel Stadtstheater and the Bavarian Staatsoper (Munich, Germany).

Mr Fryer’s overseas teaching engagements have included Hawkes Bay Summer School, New Zealand (1994-5), a teaching tour to various dance schools throughout Los Angeles, California (2000) and the Taiwan International Dance Festival (2001).

Upon returning to Melbourne Mr Fryer and Ms Renouf established two ballet schools of their own, one for children and then later the other for adults, City Dance Centre, which they ran for 13 years. Mr Fryer has also taught for Opera Australia, Chunky Move, the Victorian College of the Arts (VCASS), DanceWorld 301, Ballet Theatre of Victoria and

Dance School of Distinction Ballarat (among others). 

Mr Fryer regularly adjudicates competitions both in Austrailia and overseas and has sat on the assessment panels of The Australian Ballet School, VCASS, ACB and Jane More Academy of Ballet as well as sat on the Board of the Australian Institute of Classical Dance.

Mr Fryer and Ms Renouf have one daughter, Eloise Fryer, who danced with The Australian Ballet Company for nine years and is now their Artistic Coordinator.

 

JUSTINE MILES

FORMER LEADING SOLOIST & TEACHER FOR THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET COMPANY

Initially from Sydney Justine trained in her early years with Anne Mosdell and then the Halliday School of Dance.

 

Justine was accepted into the Australian Ballet School under the Directorship of Dame Margaret Scott and after graduating with Distinction was selected to join the Australian Ballet under the Directorship of Maina Gielgud.

 

She quickly achieved rank of Leading Soloist, working with such greats as Sir Robert Helpmann, Rudolf Nureyev, Galina Ulanova, Anne Woolliams, Yiri Kylian and many others. She has danced Principal and Soloist roles in many ballets including Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Merry Widow, les Sylphides, Pas de Quatre, La Bayadere, La Fille Mal Gardee, Four last Songs, Apollo, Gala Performance, Equus and La Sylphide.

 

Justine was also a Guest Principal Artist for the National Ballet of Canada and the Dancers Company.

 

Justine has been teaching for 18 years, also taking on the role of Ballet Mistress for the Melbourne Ballet Company in 2006 - 2009 and choreographing “In Memorium” and “Phases” for their opening and subsequent seasons. She has guest taught for the Australian Ballet and currently teaches the Australian Ballet “Studios” program.

 

Justine is also a Dance Adjudicator and Ballet Examiner and was judge for the Royal Academy of Dance 2018 Isobel Anderson Awards in NSW.

 

She has also been a guest teacher for the Royal Academy of Dance summer, autumn and winter schools taking masterclasses and repertoire classes in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

ELENA SANINA

As a russian-born folk dancer for Moscow’s “Lege-Artis” Elena has performed extensively throughout Russia and Europe. She has trained in the Character discipline for many years both nationally and internationally.

Elena has been a passionate teacher of Character work for many years, sharing the discipline with a sheer enthusiasm and skill which is rare to find.

Elena delivers Alida Segal’s National Character Syllabus as part of the Character work included in the IDS Half Day Classical Extension Program. Elena joins Alida Segal in assessing the half day program students annually and as required.

 

 

CATHERINE BAM

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Bio Coming Soon

REBECCA JACOBSSON

R.A.D CBTS, BBO REGISTERED TEACHER, THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET SCHOOL, CERT III AND IV IN DANCE, RAD/BBO AFFILIATE MEMBER, NATIONAL THEATRE BALLET SCHOOL, STUDIO TIBOR FULL TIME SYDNEY

Rebecca’s extensive dancing and teaching career has seen her reach many heights. Rebecca trained since the age of two, in classical ballet, jazz and tap at the Anita Coutts School of Dance and the Carole Oliver Ballet School (now Dance School of Distinction) in Ballarat.

 

At the young age of eleven she was accepted from thousands into the Australian Ballet School where she gained her Certificate III in Dance whilst studying classical, pas de deux, pointe, character and contemporary.

 

From 2010 - 2011 Rebecca undertook a Certificate IV in Dance and a Diploma of Arts (classical ballet) at the National Theatre Ballet School. This included classes in classical, pas de deux, pointe, character, contemporary, flamenco, jazz, musical theatre, mime and drama.

At the invitation of Tibor Horvath, Rebecca joined his pre-professional full time course (Studio Tibor) in Sydney in 2013. She refined her classical at a professional level and was taught be international and national classical masterminds.

Rebecca’s extensive performance history includes the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Victorian State Theatre, the National Theatre, Her Majesty's Theatre, Smith Auditorium Sydney and more.

 

Rebecca has won many championships including at the Phoenix Festival of Dance (Baroque Contemporary Award 2013, 2016, Cameo Lyrical Award 2016, Nova Neo Classical Award (2015,2016), The Royal South Street Pirouette Modern Championship (2013) and the infamous City of Sydney Eisteddfod (2015,2016). 

 

After further galvanising her classical training and love for the art form, Rebecca made the decision to pursue her desire to teach. In 2015 Rebecca completed her Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) and is now fully qualified in the world renowned classical ballet syllabus, Royal Academy of Dance. She is a much-loved and inspiring classical teacher.

 

Rebecca is renowned for her interpretative artistry, classical technique and versatility, calm and informative teaching style and her love and adoration of classical ballet.

 

PRSCILLA DANIELS

Priscilla was a core dancer on tour with the hit broadway musical "The Lion King". A talented and breathtaking performer, she began dancing in 1999 at the West Pointe Ballet Academy and continued with the Anita Coutts School of Dance (ACSOD).

 

Priscilla fell in love with classical ballet from a young age and her natural talent quickly ensued. She has completed all RAD examinations up to Advanced 2.  

 

Priscilla has also completed VCE Dance where she received top marks and was a selected as a VCE Dance Representative in the Season of VCE Excellence in 2011.

 

Priscilla began full time dance training at the acclaimed Dance Factory in inner Melbourne. After auditioning among some of the state’s best dancers Priscilla was accepted and began her intensive training.

 

At Dance Factory Priscilla attained her Diploma of Dance and Performance.  The course covered various dance styles including: contemporary, classical ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, acro, drama and singing.

 

Priscilla has also worked with contemporary dance company SCIMM. Founded by industry professionals Tim Barnes and Scott Pokorny, SCIMM Dance Company is a professional Melbourne based company specialising in a strong technical foundation fused with a commercial flare.

SOPHIE PICKAVANCE

Sophie has extensive classical training in the Russian Vaganova method, Royal Academy of Dance, British Ballet Organization and Cecchetti. She upholds a Certificate IV in Fitness and a Certificate IV in Pilates.

 

Sophie is a fully-qualifed Pilates instructor with many years of training and teaching technique acquired.

Sophie leads a strengthening programme, specialising in Pilates movement and body conditioning which as part of our Half Day Classical Extension Program.  This aims to strengthen each student’s body to suit the requirements of the unique extension program, nurturing them as they adjust to enhanced classical training.

 

Sophie has trained with many renowned classical schools and institutions around Australia, originating from country Victoria.

 

KEYANE DALTON

Keyane has recently returned from extensive travels internationally. Having previously taught for IDS in 201, she is a much-loved member of our IDS community. Keyane is a passionate and consumate professional dancer and teacher with oodles of knowledge, talent and drive. Adored by all her students we are thrilled to have Keyane's theatrical leadership and enthusiasm leading our musical theatre, jazz, tap and lots more!

 

Keyane began dancing at a very young age with the Rebecca Anderson School of Dance, before she extended her passion for theatrical dance, with Bev Palmer Performing Arts theatrical school.

 

Keyane is a recent graduate of BAPA and upholds a Bachelor of Musical Theatre. Her amazing talent as a performer has seen her win a staggering amount of accolades at competitions across the state.

 

ALYCIA SIOMOS

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Bio Coming Soon.

KAYLA MURPHY

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Bio Coming Soon

DANIELLE TAYLOR

Danielle Taylor is an experienced educator and dance specialist who’s wealth of knowledge and teaching studies have earnt her many accolades.

 

Danielle has completed a Bachelor of Secondary Teaching/Arts with Deakin University, majoring in Dance/Drama and English Literature, while also undertaking and completing her Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management with Transit Dance.

 

She is the Director of Dance Dream Academy in Mount Waverley and has been responsible for the delivery and creation of VCE Dance across several institutions and studios, including Sacred Heart College and Ashwood College.

 

Danielle is a registered Nurse (upholidng a Level 2 First Aid) and a pracising Dance Teacher with a passion for insipiring the next generation of artists. Danielle Taylor is a Professional Affiliate Member of the Australian Teachers of Dancing (ATOD). She has also completed VCE Dance as a student with great success, which in part inspired her to pursue further education and develop herself as a dancer.

 

As an educator Danielle’s aim is to deliver best-practice VCE Dance training to dedicated students in an supportive, inspiring environment. 

ALIDA SEGAL

IDS delivers Alida Segal’s National Character Syllabus as part of the Character work included in the IDS Half Day Classical Extension Program.

 

We are privileged to welcome Alida, who will join our Character Mistress Elena Sanina, in assessing the half day program students annually and as required.

 

 

 

EMMA HORSFIELD (GUEST TEACHER)

STUDYING RAD CBTS, TRANSIT DANCE 2016, SPECTRUM FULL TIME DANCE 2015, IDS FOR THE LOVE OF DANCE AWARD 2014

 

Emma began dancing at the age of four at the Joanne O'Kelly School of Dance. An instinctive passion led to her compete from the ripe age of just six years old.

 

Emma has completed all of her Cecchetti classical exams up to level Advanced One with Honours. In 2007 Emma was selected as a finalist for the Cecchetti Society’s Noelle Aitken Junior Encouragement award and awarded an Honorable Mention. 2008 saw her receive an Honorable Mention in the Cecchetti Society’s William Carse Young Performers Award. In 2009 she was selected as a bronze finalist for the Victorian Cecchetti Medal Test and in 2011 was a finalist for the Silver Medal Test and a participant in the Victorian Cecchetti Scholars Program.

 

Emma has been a fierce soloist, duo, trio and troupe competitor for over a decade, placing in many competitions across the state including the prestigious Royal South Street Ballarat (RSS) and Phoenix Festival of Dance. In 2016 Emma was the winner of the Phoenix Festival of Dance Nova Neo-Classical Award and in 2014 Emma was selected as a finalist in the Phoenix Festival of Dance Baroque Senior Contemporary Award and the Nova Senior Modern Award.

 

Emma was selected for the touring cast of Macbeth in 2014 and completed both VCE and VET dance as part of her year 12 studies with outstanding results. Emma holds the prestigious IDS for The love of Dance Award (2014) and the IDS SCW Team Player Award (2014), among many other accolades. 

 

Emma's keenness to learn and excel was fostered in a week-long Intensive Excellence Program with IDS in 2015, where she participated in pre-professional level classes at Studio Tibor and Ev & Bow in Sydney. Her experience in stage productions both within school and among amateur theatre companies has developed her strong stage presence and performance skill.

 

In 2015 Emma completed a year of full time dance with Spectrum Dance before being accepted into Transit Dance pre-professional full time course for 2016.

Emma is currently studying her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) with the Royal Academy of Dance , mentored by our Director, Miss Nicole and is a dedicated and much-adored teacher at IDS.

 
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MONDAY/TUESDAY 9:00AM - 9:00PM

WEDNESDAY 9:00AM - 9:00PM

THURSDAY 9:00AM - 9:00PM

FRIDAY 9:00AM - 10:00PM

SATURDAY 8:00AM - 6:00PM

SUNDAYS CLOSED

 

 

 

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PHONE: 0438 350 561

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