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,Acrobatic Arts Certified, Diploma of Pilates Professional Instruction, WWC, First Aid Level 2.
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.
Dance for me is not just about learning the steps. It is a place that I can ‘forget’ about the everyday worries, and it always brings out my best self. It has transformed my life. Dance is a big part of my life, and brings me so much joy, I hope to bring this joy to each and every one of my students.
I absolutely love walking into each and every class, ready to inspire my students. I believe each student is unique, and this inspires me to be the best teacher possible! I love that I can be a role model, and I hope that my passion for dance inspires my students.
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.
Laura joined our team after her two little budding ballerinas started attending our classes, now you will find Laura and her daughters at the studios most days. 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. Most recently Laura has trained as a Certified Rhythm Works Instructor. This specialised rhythm and dance program is designed for those with individual learning difficulties and special needs. Laura facilitates this program at our studio on Tuesday afternoons and in local child care centres on a weekly basis.
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
Sophie was a student at PSD for 15 years until 2016, when she successfully auditioned for the Victorian College of the Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts (Contemporary Dance) program. She is currently in her second year of the three-year degree. Prior to moving there, she completed her Cecchetti Advanced 1 ballet examination under Miss Sandra and Miss Mel, and would like to complete her Cecchetti Associate once her degree is finished. Sophie was a keen and dedicated student assistant in the petite and junior classes at PSD for a number of years before being promoted to junior teacher in 2016, and has since loved expanding the range of classes she can teach through the PSD teacher training program. As a little girl, Sophie used to adore the big girls who helped in her dance classes, and now she loves contributing to that unique PSD community and family as a “big girl” herself.
“My favourite teaching moments come from those times a student finally gets something – it could be a complicated step, a scary jump, or finally a perfect double turn, but when their face lights up with understanding and excitement that they’ve got what you’ve been teaching them, it makes it all worth it! I am very passionate about making sure every student in that class understands what they’re doing, has a blast, and feels comfortable and safe enough in the space to give it their absolute all – I love the magic that occurs when kids leave their all on the dance floor!” – Miss Sophie
“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
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
Mandy started dancing at the age of 3 and has been dancing ever since. Mandy’s dance training has been in Contemporary, Jazz and Tap with SFD, TAAD and CSTD, Classical Ballet with Cecchetti and RAD and also Hip Hop. At the age of 13 Mandy performed in the Channel 7 Good Friday Appeal along side Lisa McCune and Gina Jeffreys. It was around this age that Mandy got into Acting, Singing and Modeling.
From the Age of 15 Mandy started doing television and catalogue work and had speaking parts on kids tv shows, Thunderstone and Crash Zone. Over the years Mandy also appeared regularly as an Extra and Featured Extra in Neighbours, Stingers, High Flyers and ‘Blonde’ the Movie. Mandy has also worked on commercials with voice over parts for ANZ, dancing in a Jetstar commercial with Magda Szubanski, and a Docklands and Myki commercial. Mandy started Teaching dance when she was 17 years old and when she finished Year 12 she completed her Diploma in Performing Arts at Dance World Studios. There she was privileged to study under some of the best the industry has to offer including Matt Lee, Eddie Perfect and Anthony Costanzo.
Mandy has taught Dancing, Acting, Modeling and Singing at many schools all over Melbourne for over 17 years. One of her most enjoyable jobs teaching was with the Nation wide school Brightstars where she would travel interstate to write programs alongside talented Performers including Drew Anthony, Director for David Atkins Enterprises and Director of ‘Hairspray’ the musical.
Mandy owned and ran her own Performing Arts School for a couple of years, but stepped away to have her daughter. Mandy loves teaching, choreographing and learning. Mandy continues to further her knowledge with study and training so she can pass on her passion and knowledge to her students in a fun and exciting way. Mandy is super excited to be teaching at Peninsula School of Dance.
Diploma of Art, Performing Arts – Dance 2503 AAB
Certificate 3 in Fitness – SIS30310
Certificate 4 in Fitness – SIS40210
Master Trainer Level 1 – Australian Institute of Fitness
Yoga Teacher Level 1 200hr
Southern Federation of Dance SFD Qualified Teacher
Member of Yoga Alliance Australia
Level 2 First Aid & Anaphylactic Management Trained
Working With Children Check
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
Sophie has been part of our PSD Teacher Training Program from the first moment that she could, which has recently 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 Ballet. Sophie was co-choreographer of Rosebud Secondary College’s Wakakirri dance team in 2014 and 2015 winning at both a state and national level. She is half-way through her Bachelor of Materials Engineering and Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Monash University and loving the challenge.
“Dance has been such a big part of my childhood. PSD teaches much more than technique – I’ve learnt not only about physical health and awareness, but also the fundamentals of respect, compassion and teamwork. I believe every student walks away feeling more confident in themselves and their passions (whether that be dancing, teaching, or even biomedical engineering). I love walking into the studio and feeling a part of something bigger. And I hope that I inspire our students to not be afraid to take challenges and to make every moment count” – Miss Sophie
Hannah has extensive experience in singing, drama and musical theatre. She has been heavily involved in theatre for over 13 years and has specialised in musical theatre since a young age.
Hannah recently graduated from Toorak College, and won the prestigious school prize for music in 2018. Hannah has both theatrical and classical vocal training and has performed in more shows than she can remember.
Hannah is so excited about joining the PSD team. Hannah has experienced first-hand the dedication and passionate approach all the teachers use in delivering an inclusive, fun and engaging class environment. She cannot wait to help inspire students with a love of theatre and help them find their own unique voice.
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
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. Annette is currently enrolled to complete her Masters in Education. 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.
“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!”
Jacinta is a Mornington Peninsula based dancer and teacher. She undertook a 2 year Diploma of Dance at The Space School of Performance Arts in 2015-16 and since then, has continued with her love and passion for movement.
In 2016 she co-created a work for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and in 2017 was a member of the YW2 collective in their inaugural pre-professional year, where she presented her contemporary work ‘nexus.’ as a part of their first season.
In April 2018 Jacinta worked in collaboration with Spark Youth Dance Company to create a new short contemporary dance work for their Triple Bill season called ‘Recess’. She also presented her first self choreographed major work titled ‘Binary’ in September 2018, which was a double bill performance.
Jacinta is an active member of the arts industry, and in her now 7th year of teaching, is excited to continue working with like-minded individuals and students to build experiences and extend her knowledge of dance every day.
I am so excited to be a part of the Peninsula School of Dance Team. I can’t wait to match the students love for dance, with my passion for teaching and create some serious magic!
“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