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Faculty

A Comprehensive Dance Education at a Very Unique Ballet School. The National Theatre Ballet School is devoted to delivering exceptional dance training to all ages.

Damian Smith
(Artistic Director)

Damian brings with him more than 25 years international experience as a dancer with companies such as the Boston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Ballet Du Nord, New York City Ballet and 18 years as Principal Dancer with the highly acclaimed San Francisco Ballet.

He has been chosen more than 20 times to be the original cast for some of the world’s best choreographers, including Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky and Nacho Duato, and worked with them on the creation of their new ballets.

Beginning his dance training in Newcastle with the Robyn Hick School of Dance and the Marie Walton Dance Academy, Damian completed his studies at the MacDonald College before being accepted into the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York at just 16 years old. His appointment at National Theatre Ballet School marks a welcome homecoming and an exciting new chapter for Damian and the School

Susan Sargison
(Associate Artistic Director)

Susan commenced her performance career at an early age starring as Clara in the Tasmanian Ballet Company’s’ production of the Nutcracker. In 1979, Susan moved to Melbourne to attend the Australian Ballet School performing with the Dancers Company and the Australian Ballet under the direction of Dame Peggy Van Praggh.

Her professional stage appearance’s included productions of Coppelia, Carmen, Giselle, and The Three Musketeer’s. Susan was also fortunate to be the choreographic muse for Robert Ray’s productions of Poems and City Dances. After graduation, Susan worked with the Heidelberg Ballet Ensemble, Rex Reid Ballet Company and The Victorian State Opera in their production of Aida. Moving into Musical Theatre, Susan undertook overseas contracts to dance in Singapore and Japan.

Continuing her dance journey Susan proved herself a reliable Australian dancer and was engaged in regular work in the West End’s Commercial and Musical Theatre industry. As one of Charles Augins Dancers at Pineapple Dance Centre she undertook contracts to dance in Portugal and Vienna.

Returning to Australia in 1987, Susan performed as a member and Understudy to the lead in the original cast of ‘Seven Little Australians’. Other credits include a dancer on Countdown and the Melbourne commercial circuit as a Jillian Fitzgerald dancer. Ms. Sargison operated her own dance school in metropolitan Melbourne in the capacity of Artistic Director for 25 years. During this time, she also taught at Tertiary Dance Institutes teaching Certificate IV and Diploma students in Classical Ballet, Pas De Duex and Contempory.

Since 1991 Susan has been an active Adjudicator at numerous Dance Competitions and Eisteddfod’s throughout Australia. In 2012 Susan was appointed to the board of Examiners for The Royal Academy of Dance and also the Southern Federation of Dance.

Claire Campbell

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.

Jane Inglis-Keen

Jane has been a dance teacher specialising in Classical Ballet since 1997. As a young student, she trained under Rhyl Kennell attaining her Cecchetti Advanced 2 and she won the Cecchetti Gold Medal in 1982. Her studies continued at the Victorian College of Arts under directorship of Anne Woolliams and trained with Elaine Rae obtaining her RAD Elementary and Intermediate Certificates.

Jane was accepted into the Australian Ballet School graduating after 3 years with a Diploma of Dance (Distinction). At the ABS, Jane had the incredible opportunity to work and learn from Margaret Scott (Director), Gaileen Stock, Gary Norman, Terri Charlesworth, Robert Ray, Leigh Warren, Christine Howard and Ai-Gul Gaisina. During this time, she received a scholarship to study at the Princess Grace Ballet School in Monaco where she was coached by Marika Besobrasova.

She danced with the Australian Ballet Dancers Company then joined The Australian Ballet Company under Maina Gielgud. Jane performed soloist roles including ‘Peasant Pas’ from Giselle and ‘Cupid’ from Don Quixote as well performing in Etudes, Checkmate and Taming of the Shrew.

After her dancing career, she obtained an Advanced Diploma of Dance Teaching (High Distinction) from the Australian Ballet School under the directorship of Gaileen Stock which included: Ballet Methodology (Vaganova), Contemporary, Character, Child Psychology, Anatomy, Music, Dance History, Choreography and Benesh Notation. Jane is a qualified and Registered teacher and Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance conducting Examinations and feedback sessions.

She has studied the Australian Ballet System Training (Vaganova), International Character Syllabus with Alida Segal, Contemporary dance with Margaret Wilson and Progressing Ballet Technique with Marie Walton-Mahon. Jane also holds a Fitness Instructor Certificate, has a great interest in body conditioning and for past 20 years continues to train in the Pilates method.

Jane has taught at many dance schools in Melbourne, including the Australian Ballet School and has adjudicated for many Eisteddfods and Cecchetti Awards.
Jane has been a member of the VIC/TAS RAD Panel and was the Chairperson from 2011-14. Jane is a current member of IADMS, Australian Ballet Society.

Alida Segal
(Character)

Alida Segal is regarded as one of Australia’s most respected dance lecturers and choreographers specialising in National and Character Dance. Graduating from the Moiseyev School of National and Character dance in Moscow, USSR, she has worked with professional companies and leading training institutions as an advisor, teacher and choreographer for more than 28 years.

Her early dance training includes studying classical ballet under Kathleen Gorham, Eileen Tasker, Madame J. Ciunovas and Laurel Marten OBE and Character dance under Madame Marina Berezowsky. Being offered a place at the Victorian College of The Arts, she decided to further her dance training overseas and travelled to Moscow where she graduated with honours from the Moiseyev School of National and Character Dance.

She went on to study Teaching Methodology and Choreography and was awarded a Diploma in National and Character Stage Dance from the USSR’s Ministry of Culture.

She was later offered a position in Doctorate studies in Choreography at Moscow’s State institute for Performing Arts and was the sole Australian delegate at UNESCO Symposium “Preservation and Development of Folk Dance held in the USSR.

She has performed across Australia with Kolobok Dance Company and at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow, with the Moiseyev School.

Her many teaching and choreographic engagements include The Australian Ballet school (lecturer and member of assessment panel), The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet, Shalom Australia Dance Company, the Queensland University of Technology (Dance Department), The Victorian College of the Arts and The National Theatre Ballet School. Also being fluent in both English and Russian she is often called upon to translate and assist visiting Russian teachers and choreographers working in companies and elite training institutions.

Other engagements include directing, producing and presenting “From Folk Dance to Footlights” for Multicultural Arts Victoria and Assistant Ballet Mistress for VIC Arts Dance Company.