Box Hill Ballet teaching staff

Jan Turner  –  Principal
Fellow C.B.A – C.I.C.B, Cert.IV, Life Member ; Dip. M.D.E.S. (Dancer & Teacher); B.A. Trobe; Cert. Ed. A.T.T.I.; Grad. Dip. Movt. & Dance; Recreational Folk Dance Teachers Cert.; Diploma of Dance (Teaching and Management)
CLASSICAL BALLET – Intermediate & Senior Schools, Adult classical
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Jan received her classical ballet training from Lorraine Blackbourn (OAM) at the Heidelberg & District Ballet School where she also taught for many years.  She attained the highest qualification (Fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) there in 1974.  More recently, she studied and performed under the direction of Jannette Liddell, working in a wide range of dance styles, and becoming a qualified teacher and examiner of the Modern Dance Educational Syllabus (M.D.E.S.) -Jazz.

She was an inaugural member of the Heidelberg Dance Ensemble and for many years danced with ” Skips ” – a performance group specialising in traditional dances from the Balkan countries. She also danced with the Ripponlea Baroque Dancers and continues to dance with the Ripponlea Renaissance Dancers

Jan is a trained School Teacher with many years experience in this field also.  She has completed a Graduate Diploma in Movement and Dance at the I.E.C.D., Kew, and in 1990 was one of the first graduates of the Australian Recreational Folk Dance Teacher Training Course.

In 2004 Jan trained to become one of the first Melbourne Graduates of the “Wu Tao “ Training Course.  Wu Tao, created by Michelle Locke (an ex-dancer with the W.A. Academy of Performing Arts) is a wellness programme which will have you feeling energised, de-stressed and peaceful in an hour.

Jo Mitchell
Licentiate C.B.A – C.I.C.B; Cert IV; B.Business (Business Administration)
CLASSICAL  –  Intermediate and  Senior School
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Jo has been dancing since the age of five and has been a student with our Ballet School since 1994, and commenced teaching ballet classes in 1997.  Jo passed her Associate Exam in 2003 with a Distinction, her Associate Diploma in 2008, and her Licentiate teaching exam in 2013.

Jo also holds  a Bachelor of Business (Business Administration) and Certificate IV in Workplace Training & Assessment.

Mel Freeman
V.C.E Dance; Intermediate (Cecchetti); Dip. M.D.E.S. (Dancer); Cert. IV in Dance Teaching & Management
TAP – All levels
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Mel has been dancing with B.H.B.A. for fifteen years and was an Assistant Teacher with the Creative Movement class for four years prior to commencing teaching in 2009.  She successfully completed her V.C.E. Dance studies and Intermediate Classical exam in 2008, her M.D.E.S. Diploma in 2010, and Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management in 2013.

Mel is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and psychophysiology at Swinburne University of Technology.

Jo Guess
Dip. M.D.E.S. (Dancer)’ M.D.E.S. Syllabus  –  All levels
JAZZ – All levels
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Jo has been dancing with our Ballet School since 1989, successfully completing V.C.E. Dance Units 3 & 4 in 2002.  In 2005 Jo passed her Advanced M.D.E.S. Exam with Honours, and in 2007 her Diploma in M.D.E.S. also with Honours.  Jo ably assisted Jo Mitchell with the younger students (Classical Ballet) for several years, and taught M.D.E.S. Jazz and Teenage Funk from 2007-09, before heading off overseas.

Jo has spent the past 10 years teaching Ballroom and Latin American Dancing full-time to kids and adults in Australia, the U.K. and South Africa, and now runs her own company “First Dance Melbourne” which specialises in Bridal Dance Classes.  She also competes and performs with various Latin and acrobatic groups and is very involved with “Mayibuye”, a non-profit dance-based youth organisation for underprivileged youth in Australia, Cambodia and South Africa.

Lana Pumpa
Advanced 1 (Cecchetti); Dip. M.D.E.S. (Dancer); Cert. III in Childcare’ Cert. III in Medical Administration (2012)
CLASSICAL  –  Junior and Intermediate School
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Lana has been dancing with the Box Hill Ballet Association since 1992, attaining her Diploma in M.D.E.S. some years ago; she commenced teaching the “littlies” in 2009.

Lana has worked in “Before & After School Care”, in a privately-owned Childcare Centre and as a “Nanny”, and is currently working for “Ashford Homes” in Accounts/Administration.

Myah Turner-Revach
Associate C.B.A – C.I.C.B;  Dip. M.D.E.S. (Dancer); Unit 1 VCE Dance; B.Envs. (Melb Uni); B.Envs EGPC (Melb Uni).
CLASSICAL – Junior School
JAZZ  – All levels
CONTEMPORARY – Intermediate and Senior School
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Myah has been dancing with Box Hill Ballet Association since 2008, having previously attended the Lydia Morris School of Dance as well as dancing for JTC as a featured dancer in their Melbourne dance troupe for several years.

She worked as an assistant teacher of children’s beginner ballet classes from 2006 to 2013, and as an assistant teacher of the M.D.E.S. Syllabus at Box Hill Ballet in 2013, progressing to teaching the syllabus at Junior and intermediate levels in 2014 and 2015.

Myah now teaches Classical Ballet in the Junior School, Jazz classes across all levels and commenced teaching Contemporary dance classes for teens and young adults in 2015.

Myah completed her M.D.E.S. Diploma and Unit 1 VCE Dance in 2010, and her Advanced 1 Classical in 2011, and is currently working towards her Cecchetti Advanced 2 classical and Cecchetti Associate (teacher’s) exam.

Outside of ballet, Myah is studying for a Bachelor of Environment in Environmental Geographies, Politics and Cultures, at the University of Melbourne.

Millie Leaver
Advanced 1 (Cecchetti); Dip. M.D.E.S. (Dancer); VCE Dance (Units 1-4); VCE/VET Dance; Cert. II in Dance; National Level 8 Rhythmic Gymnast; Gymnastics Victoria Level 1 Coach; Calisthenics Coaching Cadet; B.Mus (Hons) Melb., AMEB Certificate of Performance (Classical Voice).
CLASSICAL  –  Creative Movement and Junior School
JAZZ – Junior School
TAP – Junior School
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Millie commenced classical ballet and dance classes with BHBA in 2003, winning both the Senior Ballet and Senior Jazz Awards since then.  In 2015, she attained her Diploma in M.D.E.S. Currently, Millie is part way through her Cecchetti Advanced 2 and Cecchetti Associate (teacher) training, and hopes to undertake her teacher’s examination in 2021.

Millie has had many years’ experience in a variety of western dance styles, artistic & rhythmic gymnastics at national levels, calisthenics, Balinese and Javanese traditional dance and musical theatre.  Millie was actively involved in the music, drama and dance programs at school and held positions as Music Captain & Dance Captain during VCE, receiving many awards including Full School Colours in Year 12.  In 2013-14, Millie was selected for Top Class (Dance).

She has performed in numerous shows and in various roles as a singer and dancer with Nova Music Theatre, Babirra, Catchment Players, Melbourne CitiOpera, The Victorian Opera, Melbourne Opera and at MCM/VCA.  Millie has received Victorian Music Theatre Guild nominations, and has worked as Dance Captain for Nova, Assistant Choreographer for Catchment and Choreographer at the VCA/MCM and Melbourne CitiOpera in recent years.  She is also the coach for the Sub-Junior team at Ashgrove Calisthenics Club.

Millie was delighted to join BHBA staff in 2014 as an Assistant Teacher in the Junior School, and since 2016 she has taught classes in Creative Movement, Classical Ballet, Jazz & Tap, and enjoyed every moment of it.  Millie is currently completing a Master of Music degree in Classical Singing and Performance Teaching at the University of Melbourne and likely to commence the Master of Teaching (Secondary) in the very near future.

Kellie Patton
Associate C.B.A – C.I.C.B; TAAD Theatrical Shield; TAAD Senior Silver Tap
CLASSICAL – Junior / Intermediate School. Adult Beginners
TAP and THEATRICAL DANCE – all levels
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Kellie started Tap and Theatrical dancing at the age of 6, and joined the BHBA in 2006 to also study classical ballet.  She has performed in many concerts and musicals, and has completed numerous exams in all three dance styles.

In 2014 Kellie successfully completed her Advanced 1 classical ballet exam, and began assisting and teaching Tap, Creative Movement and Classical Ballet for the Junior School.  In 2015 Kellie continued teaching Classical and Tap classes, adding Theatrical Dance classes to her schedule, and attained her Cecchetti Associate – teacher’s exam.

Brigette Rankin
Licentiate C.B.A – C.I.C.B Cert IV, B.A in Dance V.C.A., Cert. IV in Workplace Training & Assessment, Cert. in Education (Integration Aide)
CLASSICAL  –  Intermediate and Senior Schools
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Brigette’s performing experience began with a Scholarship studying Ballet and Contemporary Dance in New York. She then danced with Dance in Education companies such as Ensemble Dance Theatre and Australian Contemporary Dance Theatre. Brigette attained her Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the VCA in 1990, where she majored in teaching Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

In 2003 Brigette attained her Licentiate in Teaching Classical Ballet and completed her Cert IV in Workplace Training and Assessment in 2007.

She has taught a diverse range of students including Primary, Secondary and Advanced students at a number of ballet schools, and was Dance Teacher at Presbyterian Ladies’ College for over seven years until 2004.

Brigette taught at Stage Presence Performing Arts School from 2000 – 2014, and has been involved with B.H.B.A for approximately five years.

Helen Deyssing
Advanced (RAD), Dip. Ed (Hawthorn), Graduate Dip. Movement and Dance (Melb)
CLASSICAL – Senior School
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Helen has been dancing since she was 4 years old. While her basic training is in classical ballet she has taken every opportunity to become proficient in every type of dance that she has come into contact with, including folk, jazz, expressive and improvised dance.

Helen has studied over many years with teachers such as Peggy Sager, Paul Hammond, Margaret Scott, Matt Mattox, Arthur Turnbull and Lynne Golding, and has danced professionally in Europe (mainly in the Landestheater Innsbruch) and Australia.

Since becoming a qualified secondary teacher Helen has choreographed and directed Secondary School musicals for many years and taught ‘Human Movement’ within a Rudolf Steiner School.

Trainee Teachers
We welcome four new Trainee Teachers this year:
Sarah Kennett, Gen Retallick, Alana Saunders and Jasmine Theuma.
All have been students at Box Hill Ballet for many years, and will be undergoing theoretical teacher training, alongside practical training in the classroom.