Faculty


photo Terry Simpson

School Principal (ARAD, LRAD)

Terry trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dance. She is recognised as a dance educator rather than simply a ballet teacher. She believes that dancers require well-rounded training in all facets of dance and prides herself in creating an environment in her school where students can be the best that they can be, whether it is to go onto a career in the dance world, the Arts or in any other avenue. 

As a well-respected RAD Examiner & Mentor she travels throughout Australia and overseas, which gives her high exposure to up to date training methodologies, syllabi content and examiner criteria. Her teaching appointments have included Adelaide Centre for the Arts, Adelaide University Centre for Performing Arts, South Australian Ballet Company and Scotch College

     
Aidan Munn

Contemporary Dance, Boys' Ballet, SACE Composition & Choreography

Aidan has been a dance artist in South Australia for 30 years enjoying a diverse and successful career, working with many fantastic people and outstanding artists. Since 2006 Aidan has directed his career toward choreography and sharing his love of dance through teaching. Graduating from the Australian Ballet School (1989), Aidan’s career includes work with Australian Dance Theatre, Leigh Warren and Dancers, Outlet Dance, Buzz Circus, Da Whyze Guize and SlackTaxi. Most recently he performed in the Leigh Warren Dance production “Not according to plan” ( OzAsia Festival 2013), State Opera of South Australia production of La Traviata (2014) and Akhnaten(2014). Choreographic work includes “Addlogo” awarded Oscart for best contemporary dance (2007), “Virus” (2009) and “Scandalous” (2010). Aidan has choreographed for Adelaide Centre of Performing Arts, No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, Pelican Productions and the State Opera of South Australia.

 

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photo Janet Bridgman

Classical Ballet, Pilates & Repertoire

Janet has been teaching classical ballet, dance theatre, Pilates, repertoire and private coaching at Terry Simpson Studios for over 10 years. She was trained in Adelaide before beginning her ballet career with PACT Ballet, South Africa which provided the opportunity to dance with and learn from many famous names such as Anthony Dowell, Natalia Makarova, Eva Evdokimova, Istvan Nagy, and Merle Park. Galina Samsova and Andre Prokovsky. In 1976 Janet, and her Australian born husband, Anthony Bridgman, joined the London based New London Ballet, under the Directorship of Galina Samsova and Andre Prokovsky. In 1977 the pair joined the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany under the Directorship of Erich Walter. In 1980 Janet accepted a soloist contract with Ballett Frankfurt where she danced firstly under the Directorship of Egon Madsen and then William Forsythe. It was here that Janet danced principal roles in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and Giselle as well as appearing in many of Forsythe’s new works. On invitation from Uwe Scholz, Janet joined the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland and danced the final four years of her 18 year dancing career. On invitation from Meryl Tankard Janet became Rehearsal Director and Ballet Mistress of the Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre where she continued in this role for seven years. Since the departure of Ms Tankard Janet has remained with Australian Dance Theatre to this day teaching Company ballet classes and where necessary reproducing works overseas. In the year 2000 Janet undertook her APMA Pilates training. In 2006 Janet founded Dynamic Dance Pilates - a dance specific Pilates method which aims to refine, strengthen and support the contemporary and ballet techniques.

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Jacqui Stratton-Smith

Classical Ballet & Repertoire

Jacqui Stratton-Smith was born in Adelaide and studied both the RAD and Borovansky techniques before travelling first to Toronto on scholarship and then to London where she completed, in 1989, her final 3 years of training at the Royal Ballet School. Jacqui danced in Europe during the 1990’s with the Staatsoper Berlin (now Staatsballett) and the Kieler Ballet. During her career Jacqui had the opportunity to work with and learn from prominent artists including Alicia Markova, Maurice Bejart, Patrice Bart, Pierre Lacotte, Francois Claus, Roland Petit and Vladimir Malakhov. In addition to teaching in both primary and secondary school settings, at TAFE and for private dance schools, Jacqui, through her classes at Ausdance, has taught past and present artists from the Australian Ballet, ADT, LW & D’s, National Ballet of China, Independent Ballet Wales, Zurich Ballet and many independent artists. Jacqui also has a Bachelor of Speech Pathology.

 

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photo Susan Taylor

Classical Ballet & Repertoire

Susan has had Life-long association with dance with an inspirational & dedicated teacher, Kathleen Short. Proceeding through the RAD examination syllabus through Advanced Teaching Certificate to Associateship status. Established her own Adelaide school in 1971, after a stint in Western Australia as Ballet Mistress and Promotions Officer with the Perth Ballet Workshop. Susan has been a RAD Vocational Graded Examiner from 1982 to 2002. She first travelled to London to complete this which was followed by 20 years of travelling within Australia and overseas examining, teaching and conducting courses. A long career has seen the development of her dance school to this respected studio whose reputation was for educating and training students, many of whom joined major ballet & dance companies or pursued careers in the arts or teaching and was the first private institution to offer Year 12 dance studies in 1989 and she then served on various Secondary School Assessment Board course writing panels & arts subject committees. She has been State Organiser for the RAD and an active member of its Adelaide Panel. She also joined committees and Boards for the AICD and Ausdance and taught at tertiary dance courses at the Adelaide University BA (Dance) and Centre for the Performing Arts (TAFE). Susan was a Lecturer in Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts, where she taught in secondary and tertiary courses from 1994 - 1997. Recent ventures include teaching SACE Dance at Scotch College.

     
Helen Cooper

Classical Ballet

Helen Cooper undertook her classical ballet training in Sydney at the McDonald College and Ecole Classique, before beginning her performance career as a youth artist with Ballet d’Action. Helen also began working as a teacher’s assistant where her love of teaching ballet began to develop. In 2000, knee surgery meant a break from dancing for a number of years - but led to her undertaking her teaching certification in Classical Ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and becoming an RAD Registered Teacher. In 2007 she returned to dancing and joined Ballet 5:8 in the United States as a Company Artist where she danced Soloist and Principal roles in the company’s' original repertoire. The US also provided opportunity to study the Russian Vaganova classical training system, further broadening her teaching experience and methodology. In 2015 Helen was privileged to be appointed as an Examiner of the Royal Academy of Dance and continues to regularly teach and examine around the world. 


 

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photo Daniela DiFabio

Classical Ballet, Fitness & Yoga

Daniela’s dance training began with Susan Taylor and Terry Simpson before continuing her studies at VCA (B. of Dance, Post Grad. Dip. and Masters of Choreography). Pilates Instructor Certificate, Yoga Teaching Certificate and currently studying Certificate 3&4 in Fitness.

She has worked as a teacher, performer and choreographer in Australia, Europe and Asia.

 

 

 

 

     
Oliver Toth

Pas de Deux

Oliver was born in Berlin and began his dance career training in the Hungarian Dance and Arts Academy in Budapest. During his nine years of full-time training in all aspects of performance, he performed with the Hungarian National Ballet and National Opera Company and at the age of thirteen was chosen from hundreds of hopefuls to star in a telemovie. After graduating with a Bachelor of Performance he joined the Hungarian National Ballet performing roles in classics such as Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Spartacus. He also danced modern pieces from world-renowned choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Hans von Mannen and William Forsythe.With a guest contract with a company in Germany, Oliver began a new aspect of his career, in musical theatre, dancing in shows such as West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and Kiss Me Kate. In 1995, Oliver joined the cast of Cats in Hamburg, Germany and was part of the original cast of Cats in Belgium, working with Gillian Lynne and then toured Australia in the world premier version of Cats- Run Away with the Circus in the Big-Top. Oliver has had many highlights throughout his varied career including travelling the world performing in galas and festivals, which featured such companies as the Kirov and New York City Ballet, and in Budapest was honoured to perform with Rudolph Nureyev in Cristoforo.Oliver has taught dance at Sydney Dance Company and the Stella Academy Hamburg. Currently he teaches at ACArts Adelaide and Terry Simpson Studios and runs a successful photography business, Accent Photography.

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photo Shane Placentino

Classical Ballet and Coaching

Shane Placentino was born in Adelaide and studied at Helen Beinke Dance Arts. In 1988 Shane entered the Australian Ballet School graduating in 1990. Joining The Australian Ballet Company in 1991as a corps de ballet member, Shane was promoted to Soloist in 1995 then Leading Soloist in 1997 until 2000. In 2002 Shane joined Sydney Dance Company until 2008. Later that year Shane embarked on a freelance career in stage management for SDC’s 360° then as Assistant Director to Graeme Murphy’s opera AIDA for West Australian Opera. 2009 Deputy Stage Manager for SDC’s We Unfold and Assistant Director for Murphy’s AIDA in Sydney and Melbourne for Opera Australia. In 2010 as Rehearsal Director for SDC’s 6 Breaths/We Unfold season followed by Tour Manager to regional NSW, Venice and Shanghai. Also in 2010 Shane remounted Murphy’s AIDA for State Opera Company of South Australia and Opera Queensland. Venturing into 2011 as Rehearsal Director for MOD Dance Company performing Murphy’s Suite Synergy. 2012 saw Shane as Rehearsal Director for Murphy’s AIDA for Opera Australia in Sydney and 2013 in Melbourne. In 2010 Shane returned to Adelaide and has been a guest teacher at Ausdance SA and Move Through Life. Regularly teaching at the College of Performing Arts (ballet) and Terry Simpson Studios. 

 

 

     
Madeleine Milne

Classical Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop & Tap

Madeleine Milne is a highly versatile performer with a great passion for teaching and choreography. She began her full-time training at the Adelaide Centre for the Arts but moved to Sydney to train in Musical theatre at ED5International.

Currently, she is undertaking a Bachelor of Health Science/ Masters of Physiotherapy at Flinders University and a Certificate IV in Polestar Pilates Mat Instruction.


 

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photo Brooke Arnold

Classical Ballet

Brooke has successfully completed her RAD exams up to and including Advanced 2. She has trained in all facets of dance and has been teaching for the past 5 years and completed SACE Stage 2 Dance in 2012 and in 2014 completed her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies through the Royal Academy of Dance

     
Catherine Wells
Classical Ballet 

 

Catherine Wells completed her dance training at schools in the United States and Australia including Atlanta Ballet, Terry Simpson Studios, Tanya Pearson's Classical Coaching Academy, and Ballet Academy East (NYC). She began her professional career as a full time company member at Ballet Nouveau Colorado where she danced for seven years under the artistic direction of Marie Arts, Robert Mills, Garrett Ammon, and Dawn Fay. Catherine choreographed a work on the professional company in 2008 entitled Prelude and Sarabande. Since relocating back to Australia, Catherine has performed with Daniel Jaber and Dancers in Daniel Jaber's Shades. She is a passionate dance teacher with 15 years of experience teaching in both the US and Australia.

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