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:








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), Queensland Ballet Academy (QBA), The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS), 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.​





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.




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.




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.


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.




Claire began her training at Utassy Ballet School before being accepted into the Australian Ballet School under the Direction Dame Margaret Scott (AC, DBE) and was a member of the graduate touring ‘Dancers’ Company’ under the direction of Marilyn Rowe (AM, OBE) and Gailene Stock (AM). Upon graduation, Claire went on to dance with Scottish Ballet,  for over ten years, where she performed many roles such as Princess Florine, White Cat, Fairy of Beauty/Woodland (Sleeping Beauty), Fairy Doll (Kirov repertoire), Tinkerbell (Peter Pan), Nutcracker (Sugarplum) Divertissement, Walspurgisnacht Grand pas De Deux, White Swan Pas Deux, Pas de Quatre (Giselle), Monotones First Movement (Ashton), Cupid variation (Laurencia), Pas de Trois (Swan Lake), Swanhilda (Coppelia), Principal female (Vespri), Waltz Girl (Les Sylphides), Diversions (Kenneth MacMillan) and Leading Lady in Lila York’s ‘Rapture’. She also performed in Galas, with the highly praised ‘Belong Pas de Deux’ (from ‘Till the Mesiah Comes’ – Norbert Vesak),

In this time Claire was extremely fortunate to be coached and influenced by many inspirational artists, in particular Galina Samsova, Lynn Seymour, Kenneth MacMillan, Sorella Englund, Galina Messentseva, Lila York, Pat Neary  and Andres Prokovsky . And she has been equally fortunate to perform for, and meet, the Queen and Prince Phillip, and Princesses Margaret and Anne.

Since retirement, Claire has worked as a freelance classical ballet teacher/lecturer, choreographer, examiner and adjudicator for various institutions and Dance societies in both Scotland and Australia for over 17 years. former students have been accepted into prestigious schools such as the Royal Ballet School, the Australian Ballet School, Dutch National Ballet Academy, English National Ballet School, Mannheim Academy of Dance Germany, New Zealand School of Dance, John Cranko School of Ballet (Stuttgart), QLD Pre-Professional Course and the Dance Academy. And past students have gone on to perform with companies like the Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Western Australian Ballet, Munich Junior Ballet Companyy, Manila Ballet, Badishces Staats Theatre Germany and Northern Ballet (UK).

Claire has completed and been awarded a Diploma of Elite Dance, Teaching Certificate, a BA Degree in Economics and Human Resources Management and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.


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.




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.



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.



Kayla has trained under the tutorship of Nicole Jacobsson for many years as a dedicated and hardworking student. 


During these years she competed in the competition circuit winning numerous championships and awards. Some of her highlights as a competitor took place in 2019 where Kayla was the winner of both the Phoenix Festival of Dance Nova Neo-Classical Award and the Baroque Senior Contemporary Award and the 14 & Over Contemporary Championship at CSTD. Additionally, Kayla placed in the esteemed Royal South Street Pirouette Modern Championship and received the 16 & Over Aggregate. In 2019, she also competed in the prestigious international Alana Haines Awards in New Zealand. 


Kayla has completed all her Royal Academy of Dance Vocational Exams with Distinctions up to Advanced 1 and is currently undertaking Advanced 2. Due to this recent completion of her exam work she is well versed in the necessary skill set required to undertake these exams. Kayla has also received extensive classical training for many years and participated in the Classical Extension Program from 2018-2019 performing the lead roles in Independent Dance Studios productions of Giselle (2018) and The Sleeping Beauty (2019). 


Whilst undertaking such a heavy workload at dance in 2019 Kayla also undertook her year 12 studies with high-ranking results. As a result of this diligence, Kayla will be completing a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in the near future. Kayla completed VCE Dance in Year 12 with outstanding results and was invited to perform in VCE Top Class Dance. 


Kayla has always demonstrated an inherent passion for teaching and completed a year as Independent Dance Studios' first-ever Junior Teacher in 2019 which aided in cementing her love of teaching.


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.


Alycia first found her love for contemporary dance at IDS. Training under Miss Nicole’s guidance finding her passion to study contemporary dance and make dance her vocation. Alycia’s early performance history with IDS includes many accolades both as a soloist and competing in many award winning troupes at leading Eisteddfod’s including RSS Ballarat, Phoenix Festival of Dance and Sydney Eisteddfod. Alycia was a treasured student and will now return as an admired teacher! 


Alycia began her Contemporary full-time journey at Transit Dance Pre-professional in 2017, completing both her Certificate IV in Dance and Diploma in Dance (Elite Performance). She has trained under the guidance of Artistic Director Paul Malek and has performed in multiple show seasons over the three years, working with influential choreographers such as Gabrielle Nankivell, Adam Wheeler, Amber McCartney, Daniel Jaber and Alice Lee Holland. In 2018, she received the ‘Most Outstanding Dancer’ award from Transit Dance. She performed in the Dance Architect 2018 Winner Season ‘The Women’ choreographed by Kayla Douglas. This year, she will continue her journey with Transit Dance in the Graduate Program and work closely with Transit Dance Company under a Performance Apprenticeship.


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 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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EMAIL: info@independentdance.com.au

PHONE: 0438 350 561

ADDRESS: 117 Wedgewood Rd, Hallam 3803

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