Senior Teacher/Former Director
CICB (Licentiate) CBA; Advanced 2 Cecchetti; Certificate in Applied Anatomy & Physiology (part 1); Cert IV Assessment & Workplace Training; BA (Disability Studies)
Dance Classes: ballet, jazz, petite dancers
Melanie can proudly trace the roots of her training directly back to Maestro Cecchetti himself. She trained for over 25 years with Miss Lorraine Blackbourn OAM, an original student of Madame Saronova, herself a pupil of Cecchetti and favoured with his personal certificate. Under the guidance of Miss Blackbourn OAM (Fellow, Senior Examiner and Life Member of Cecchetti Ballet Australia) Melanie obtained her Advanced Certificate with distinction, Associate, Associate Diploma and Licentiate Status with distinction. Melanie also also holder of a Cert IV in Dance Teaching & Management and has a Bach of Arts in Disability Studies (Deakin University) and is an affiliate member of Australian Teachers of Dance (ATOD).
In July 2006 Melanie took over the direction of the Rosebud School of Ballet from its founder Miss Sandra Allan. She is committed to continuing the traditions of high quality dance tuition and instilling a love of dance in students that has been so carefully nurtured by Miss Allan over the last 55 years.Under Melanie’s direction the school has grown to cater for over 350 students each week at beautiful new premises in Merino St, Rosebud West.
“I have lead PSD students and staff over the last 10 years and I am incredibly proud of the many great achievements inside and outside of the dance studio. Students have participated in Cecchetti ballet and ATOD exams with a 100% pass rate and exceptional results. Many of our students achieve very high marks and it is certainly testament to our dedicated and talented staff team. We also currently have students pursuing full time dance studies and careers in the professional world. Whilst these results are wonderful they are not certainly not our only definition of success. As a Director, I am most proud of the kids that have struggled with confidence, faced learning challenges, suffered with anxiety, felt shy or even been bullied at school. I am proud of those kids more than anything, for getting in and having a go and being the best versions of themselves. Time and time again I have conversations with parents who tell me “dance is his/her happy place”. I am so proud of the nurturing culture at PSD and it is this in which I will continue to invest the most energy in.” – Miss Mel
Associate Diploma (CICB), Advanced 1 Cecchetti, ATOD Student Member
Carla joined the PSD teaching team in 2009, Carla has worked extremely hard to complete 3 years of intense study and has successfully obtained her Associate Diploma with Cecchetti Ballet Australia, Cert IV in Dance Teaching & Management and a Diploma in Professional Pilates Instruction. Her dedication to continuous improvement and ensuring that she brings her absolute best to each class is greatly admired by the PSD community.
“I love that when I dance I can go to another world and forget about my worries. I get to be the best version of me! I love teaching as it has taught me to appreciate each student as an individual. Each day brings something different and interesting. This keeps me on my toes – which I absolutely love! Nothing gives me more joy than watching all my students be the best that they can be, doing what they love! I love that I can be a role model, and hope that my passion for dance inspires my students”. – Miss Carla
Senior Teacher & Former Director – Rosebud Ballet School
Miss Sandra Allan’s credentials are extensive. She is a Senior Examiner, Fellow & Life Member – Cecchetti Ballet Australia, holds the prestigious Enrico Cecchetti Diploma Certificate, Cert IV in Dance Teaching & Management, Cert IV in Workplace Training & Assessment and has adjudicated & examined both across Australia & Internationally.
Miss Allan founded our school as The Rosebud Ballet School in 1961 and we stand today as one of the longest established Cecchetti schools in Victoria.
Miss Allan’s tireless commitment to dance has inspired many students to progress onto careers in all aspects of the arts, including the likes of Jason Coleman & Chloe Dallimore. Former students have progressed onto the Australian Ballet School and Company, Victorian College of the Arts, Queensland Ballet Company, and become Artistic Directors of regional companies, performed professionally in stage shows in both Australia and overseas and have become recognised professional teachers and noted choreographers.
It goes without saying that we are truly privileged to have Miss Allan as a valued staff member. Her commitment to honouring the work of Maestro Cecchetti and imparting a true love of ballet to her students is unparalleled.
Sarah Turvey has been dancing for 16 years, and is a former state champion trampoline and tumbling athlete, Sarah joins the PSD teaching team with a wealth of current experience and a passion to pass on her love of dance to other kids. She has been assisting in children’s sport and dance activities now for several years and is excited to be able to join the team. She is a talented Singer, Dancer having performed in musicals such as Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz, and is currently studying her VCE.
“I love teaching because I’ve seen the positive effects it can have on the kids as well as the teachers , and I’m very grateful to PSD for giving me this opportunity.”
Annette is an experienced dance teacher, personal trainer and children’s fitness leader with over 20 years teaching behind her. She has level 1 Gymnastic coaching qualification and recently became accredited in the Acrobatic Arts syllabus. She is also undertaking her Certificate 4 in dance teaching and management. She has been involved in the performing arts and acrobatics her entire life, and performed professionally in Australia and Europe in her late teens and early 20s before settling down and starting a family.
Annette, and her youngest daughter (Sarahbell) recently moved to the Peninsula from Hobart, where she owned a dance studio with a very similar philosophy as PSD. Annette is passionate about the positive effects and long term benefits the performing arts has on the emotional, physical and social development of kids.
Laura joined our team late last year but she is certainly not new to PSD with her two little budding ballerina’s attending our classes over the last few years. She has extensive knowledge and experience in early childhood development and we are thrilled to have her on board as an instructor in our Petite Dancers program. Laura has a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary & Secondary), Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology & Marketing) & Cert IV in Workplace Training & Assessment. Laura has extensive experience in the delivery of early childhood programs and is currently also employed as the Coordinator of the Rosebud Toy Library.
“I started ballet lessons when I was 4 and despite growing up in Ireland and my mum & all my aunts learning Irish dancing, I only ever wanted to learn ballet as child. Today there isn’t a day of the week were I don’t dance to some combination of the Fairies, High Five, the Wiggles and the odd eighties hit with my two girls! I love to learn and hope to inspire a love of learning in the children I work with. I love the natural passion and enthusiasm young children bring to dancing. They don’t worry about who is watching, they just feel the music and move” – Miss Laura
Jane has been a member of our teaching team for the last few years sharing her love and talent for all things Tap. Jane is renowned for her natural tapping ability with beautiful sound and impeccable timing. Jane has a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts and has completed both her Advanced 2 Ballet & Elementary Tap with Honours. Jane is also a talented photographer and her business Jane Steel Photography provides photography for our annual productions.
“I dance because it’s what I do. I pirouette in the kitchen, jete down the hallway & tap in the shower. I choreograph dances of all different styles while driving to whatever song is playing on the radio. I even tap while sitting at my desk at work. But without a doubt my favourite place to dance is when I’m with my buddies at PSD” – Miss Jane
“I’ve been dancing since I was two years old and have always been enthralled by the magic of movement. Dance has such an incredible wordless power to connect people, tell stories and express ideas and emotions. And the friendships made and life lessons learned in the dance studio are just irreplaceable. I couldn’t imagine a life without dance and I’m excited to share my knowledge and passion with the younger generation at PSD as I complete my Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance), work towards my Cecchetti Advanced 2 exam and continue to develop as a choreographer and teacher through my work as Artistic Director of Spark Youth Dance Company.
I hope to inspire my students to be not only curious and ambitious in their dancing, but in their lives as well. I can’t wait to create, learn and grow with the wonderful kids at PSD!”
Jasmine commenced her training with Miss Allan 20 years ago at the Rosebud Ballet School. A talented young dancer Jasmine has obtained Honours in examinations, held numerous scholarships and lead roles in productions including Clara in the Nutcracker and Alice in Alice In Wonderland. Jasmine recently completed her Bachelor of Primary Education (Monash University) and now works as a teacher at St. Joseph’s School, Sorrento.
“I love to see my students walk into class with a smile on, ready to dance. Watching my students having fun in class as they work hard to attain new skills and techniques is so important to me. I love dancing, it’s always fun and it allows me to feel energetic and “sporty” without having to throw, catch or hit any sort of ball!” – Miss Jasmine
Sophie has been a student for the last 13 years at PSD and has completed her Intermediate and Advanced 1 examinations. Sophie has been a keen and dedicated assistant in our petite and junior classes for the last 5 years. She is a committed member of our team and is commencing working on her Cert IV in Dance Teaching and Management and Cecchetti Associate.
“Dance allows me to be myself, and to escape the worries of school, the pressures of conformity and to simply enjoy myself! I honestly lose track of time when I dance, because I don’t have to worry about a schedule or being somewhere else – I allow myself to completely commit to my passion. Teaching gives me a joy I can’t describe – seeing a kid’s face light up when you encourage them, seeing their joy at being at dancing with their friends, and the connections you make with each student as you watch them grow in ability and confidence (even if all you do is demonstrate steps for them) is something you really can’t experience anywhere else. I used to adore the big girls when I was little, and I am thrilled I am able to now pass on the experience!! – Miss Sophie
Sophie has been part of our PSD Teacher Training Program for the past few years which has just seen her complete the Cecchetti Associate Exam. Sophie has proven to be an incredibly dedicated member of our team and her natural abilities to inspire your young students are evident. Sophie has consistently received high marks in her examinations, including ATOD Elementary Seal Tap and Advanced 1 Cecchetti. She has also been the recipient of numerous PSD scholarships. Sophie was an integral member of the team who lead the Rosebud Secondary College to victory at the National Wakakirri competition in 2015. She is currently studying Engineering and Biomedical Science at Monash University.
“Dance has been such a big part of my childhood. PSD teaches much more than technique, it has taught me how to be a passionate, committed, and respectful member of the community. I believe every student walks away feeling more confident in themselves and their purpose in life (whether that be dancing, teaching, or even biomedical engineering).
I hope my students enjoy learning in my classes as much as I enjoy teaching them. What’s more motivating than knowing that you’re teaching children new skills (courtesy and resilience included)? I can’t wait for another exciting year in 2017!” – Miss Sophie
Emily has been a student with Peninsula School of Dance and completed her Cecchetti Intermediate last year for which she received Honours. Emily is currently studying Advanced 1 and studies in the PSD teacher training program. She is a dedicated student and member of our D-Step performance crew.
“I love dancing because it’s that time where you can just be free and express yourself. You don’t have to worry about anything else going on at school or home you just forget it all. I love teaching because you get to share your passion of dancing with the students. Helping teach the little kids brings so much happiness because you get to see the joy in their face as they run around with fairy wings and wands” – Miss Emily
Dannielle has been dancing for over 13 years and has been participating in the PSD teacher training program for the last four. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science – Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Deakin University and has commenced work on her Cert IV in Dance Teaching and Management. Dannielle has completed a number of ATOD Hip Hop exams over the last few years and and is looking forward to completing her level 9, 10 and 11 ATOD Hip Hop exams over the next two.
“I love the power of dance. It allows you enter a world where you can be anything you want to be and gives you the unique opportunity to express yourself without the need for words. Peninsula School of Dance provides an incredibly warm and inviting atmosphere and I feel completely at home everytime I walk through the doors. Teaching has brought out a confidence in me that I never knew I had. I love nothing more than being able to see a student finally get something they have been working hard to achieve. I love how every day is different and really enjoy having students look up to me and know that they can come to me if they ever need to. I have had the pleasure or watching PSD grow and expand over the years and love being able to share my passion for dancing with others and see the same joy I get from dancing reflected in the students.” – Miss Dannielle
Cert IV Dance Teaching and Management, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment
“After discovering a love of dance at just three years old, Alarni set out to devote a life to dance. Having trained at some of Melbourne’s top dance schools including Tony Bartuccio Dance Centre, Patrick Studios Australia (PSA) and Kelly Aykers Full-time Dance; Alarni has the technical and teaching skills to cater to all levels of dance. Alarni commenced her professional dance career at age 18, performing in various commercial gigs with some of Melbourne’s top choreographers including Alannah Scanlan and Jason Gilkison (Everybody Dance Now – Channel 10 reality dance show). Alarni made her theatrical debut in the English National Theatre/AKA Australia national touring production of The Cat In The Hat, touring Australia before commencing a full-time teaching and management degree with Kelly Aykers to combine her passion for performing and children’s entertainment. Alarni believes that one dance class can uplift and inspire, and hopes to continue being a role model for kids by helping them to realise any dream is achievable with courage and self-belief!” – Miss Alarni
Cecchetti Fellow, Cecchetti Advanced 2, Bachelor of Arts (Contemporary dance and Visual arts major), Bachelor of Teaching (Primary and Secondary). Trained with Sandra Allan, attended the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary school and taught Jazz and Ballet at Rosebud Ballet School while running own ballet school in Frankston and Balnarring.
Over my many years of teaching dance I have been thrilled and deeply proud of the achievements our former students as they carved out their careers in dance in Australia and overseas. After a break from teaching dance I was thrilled when Miss Mel asked me to become a part of the PSD family. I love sharing my passion for dance with the students and enjoy getting the students to become the best dancer and person they can be. – Miss Shelley
“I did jazz and tap as a small child but never went back to it after moving interstate.
Hairdressing was my first career of choice and after 9 years in this field I moved on to secretarial/administrative positions for specialist surgeons and managed an opthalmic practice for 3 years. Apart from my current role as administrative assistant at PSD, I also do all the admin/book keeping for my husband’s building company and am mum to two very inspiring and wonderful girls! I love seeing all our petite dancers coming in and look forward to watching them grow and develop their love of dance. It’s exciting to be part of this school and I feel honoured to be part of the PSD team.” – Miss Carey
“I’ve danced since I was little, and still love tap even now. Dancing has such a great influence on confidence and it’s wonderful to be a part of it.
My favourite part of dancing has always been the end of year performances, everything from the beautiful costumes to learning routines, and recently teaching those routines. Currently I am studying a Bachelor of Media and Communication/Business at Swinburne University, and though I joined the PSD team only recently, I find it an enjoyable and challenging role that is always evolving. I’ve loved being part of the PSD team, and look forward to all the exciting things to come.” – Miss Tess
“I started to play the piano at 5 yrs of age in England. I enjoyed it and was never ‘forced’ to practise ! I completed my studies through the London College of Music and the Associated Board of Music and then at the tender age of 19 I flew off to Australia to seek new adventures. Everything happened quickly then. I applied for a part time job as ballet accompanist at the Croydon Ballet School and began to teach the three children of that school’s Principal. Numbers grew until I had 24 students and now looking back over 50 years I can recall over 300 students! I loved playing for the ballet and watching the little ones develop their dance skills and their music appreciation. I had my first baby and often had him in his pram beside the piano.
Moving down to the Peninsula found me with another lucky break ! Miss Sandra at the Rosebud Ballet School needed a pianist. It was truly ‘meant to be’. I had my second baby and watched her enjoy dance until teenage years. 35yrs on I still love being a part of the ballet school which of course is now run by Miss Mel and I still play for classes with Miss Sandra. Some of our lovely students are children of those I met all those years ago. I guess one day it will be their grandchildren enrolling. I really hope so!” – Miss Marie
Meet our dedicated team of assistants. These wonderful young people are part of the Peninsula School of Dance Teacher Training program.
They play a vital role supporting students in our Petite and Junior classes.
Pictured from L-R: Harrison Croft; Julia Gregory; Verity LaFontaine-Harvey; Kristin Blight; Madeleine Kelly;
Sarabell Turvey; Olivia Gard; Hannha LaFontaine-Harvey; Hayden Flynn; Eloise Armstrong
More about our teacher training program
Peninsula School of Dance (PSD) provides an environment in which a love of dance is paramount. Some students may go on to pursue careers in dance and the performing arts, others will take their life skills learnt in dance classes into other careers, whilst others will continue the tradition of passing on the love of dance through becoming a teacher. PSD nurtures this very early on by encouraging interaction between its older more experienced students and its newest recruits to dance. Walk into a dance play class on a Saturday and you will always see older students demonstrating and helping our youngest dancers across the dance floor.
Our student teacher program has been developed to encourage those who have a genuine passion for dance, love working with young children and are committed to developing skills in the art of teaching. The program is open to students of PSD who are participating in at least 2 classes per week. It is highly recommended that ballet is one those classes.
The program is divided into 5 levels:
Level 1 – Student Assistants
Requirements: at least 10 years of age & participating in at least 2 hours per week of classes at PSD
Level 4 – Teacher
Requirements: You will have successfully completed your Cert IV in Dance Training & Management and/or have significant demonstrated experience/qualifications in relevant dance genres.
Level 2 –Teacher Assistants
Requirements: At least 14 years of age & participating in at least 3 hours per week of classes at PSD
Level 5 – Senior Teacher
Requirements: You have significant experience & qualifications in relevant dance genres.
Level 3 – Junior Teacher
Requirements: Successfully completed Cecchetti Intermediate Ballet examination and be at least 17 years of age. Training can commence in the Certificate IV Dance Training & Management. For further information please visit the Cecchetti Ballet website www.cecchettiballet.org
“Dance is a big part of me being happy”
Emily, 14, dance student