Staff

We are currently looking for experienced RAD teachers to join the Swan River Ballet faculty. If you believe our Mission Statement fits your teaching principles, please contact the Artistic Director at info@swanriverballet.com.au

Michele Cleaver-Wilkinson RAD RTS

Artistic Director

Michele Cleaver-Wilkinson

Michele commenced dancing at the age of 5 with Audrey Nicholls & Eve King School of Ballet in Melbourne. She completed her RAD graded exams with Honours, then studied Russian ballet in England for 3 years. Upon returning to Melbourne she continued with RAD Vocational studies.

In Karratha she founded Estelle's Dance & Performance Academy with her daughter, Estelle, in response to the community desire for a RAD ballet school. The school operated from 2000 – 2009 and trained over 300 students per year in Ballet, Character, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop and Contemporary. Yearly exam sessions in RAD and CSTD syllabi and the substantial end of year production at the Walkington Theatre were the school's main focus.

As a Registered RAD teacher, Michele enter students for the first RAD exam sessions in the Pilbara. Now more than 800 students in the Pilbara have successfully participated in ballet exams and she believes success in the exams enhances student's confidence.

While Michele was the Principal of Estelle's Dance & Performance Academy in Karratha, she attended numerous RAD courses and seminars with her students such as the annual Autumn Vocational Program, the Spring Grades Course and Summer School at WAAPA. It is her belief that students in Karratha should receive the best possible training in ballet and that distance should not be detrimental to the dancer.

Since 2010 Michele has taught in a number of ballet schools in Perth including Graduate College of Dance, Silhouette Dance School, Dynamic Performing Arts and Diana Waldron Ballet School and Academie Etoiles.

In 2012 she was nominated and accepted as a member of the WA Royal Academy of Dance Panel. As a Panel member Michele has been involved in the RAD Festivals, the Summer Dance Program at WAAPA, the Solo Seal Presentations and many other RAD courses for students and teachers.

Michele flies up to Karratha on a regular basis to support Terre Rouge Ballet School and ensure the school has the most comprehensive knowledge on all RAD courses, programs, and syllabus matters.

In 2014 Michele performed with her son, Anton, in Perth City Ballet's production of 'Giselle' showing that performing is fun at any age. In 2015 she was able to be on stage with two of her children Avie and Anton in Perth City Ballet's production of "Swan Lake".

Michele is excited to take on a new role as principal of Swan River Ballet which will work in conjunction with Terre Rouge Ballet. The family has decided to invest in the premises at Hamilton House, close to South Fremantle, as it allows for many possible ventures for the whole ballet teaching and learning experience.

Linda McKeon

Teacher

Linda began dancing at the age of six in Bridgetown, Western Australia. She participated in classes in ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap continuing into adulthood, at various schools in Perth and Bunbury. In her early 20’s, Linda spent six months as a dancer in a cabaret-style show for Australian International Entertainment, based in Japan.

Following this she began studying Physiotherapy at Curtin University and has since worked in Private Practice in Bunbury, Karratha and now Perth. Linda is a qualified Pilates Clinician, using exercises to rehabilitate injured bodies and improve performance. As a Physiotherapist, Linda uses hands-on therapy, acupuncture and taping techniques to relieve pain and rest overworked areas. At the same time educating dancers on basic anatomy and function and providing exercises to improve muscle memory and technique.

Whilst in Karratha, Linda spent six years teaching with Terre Rouge Ballet, including classes in RAD Grades and Majors, contemporary and strength and conditioning. She has travelled to participate in courses on RAD syllabus as well as Dance Physiotherapy. Linda enjoys combining the understanding she has of ballet and dance with Physiotherapy skills to help dancers (and non-dancers) understand their bodies better to improve technique now and have greater longevity.

April Vardy

Teacher

April Vardy

April Vardy began dancing at the age of four at North Shore Dance Academy, her local ballet school in St.Ives, Sydney. She then continued her dance and academic studies at The McDonald College in North Strathfield. Here she completed Year 11 and 12, and also her RAD Advanced 2 in which she obtained a High Distinction.

After graduating from school in 2012, she was a part of a one-year full time dance course ‘Evolve Dance’, which was run by Linda Gamblin. Linda has now gone on to be the director of the Pre-Professional course at Sydney Dance Company.

April then went on to continue her dance training at WAAPA; where she studied a Bachelor of Dance. She was then accepted into the Honors Program, LINK Dance Company, at WAAPA, under the directorship of Michael Whaites. In 2017 April is looking to expand her knowledge on dance teaching and put herself forward in the dance industry in Perth.

Aimee Sadler

Teacher

Aimee began dancing at the age of four at John and Bernadette Taylor Ballet School. Here she studied the RAD syllabus and completed all her examinations from Pre-Primary up until Advanced One. In 2012 she began full-time classical training at Academie Etoiles, and completed her Advanced Two with Distinction under the direction of Etti Greenburg.

She then moved to Newcastle, NSW where she completed a Diploma in Dance (Elite Performance) in 2014.
In February 2015 she participated in the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company's International Program in Israel. After completing the 10 month program, Rami Be'er, the artistic director, offered her a 3 month apprenticeship with the Young Company of KCDC from April (2016) through to the end of the season. Whilst dancing here she got the chance to perform for Israel's Independence day and to work and contribute in their repertoires.

Having joined the faculty in January 2016 as a Full-time teacher teaching ballet, contemporary and conditioning, she will continue with us in 2017 whilst she takes part in second year at WAAPA.

Hayley Parker

Teacher

Hayley Parker

"Hayley was born in Cape Town, South Africa, she started dancing at the tender age of 3 and has never stopped! "Once it's in the veins the dance blood just keeps pumping!
She has been a member of the Royal Academy of Dance West Australian Regional Advisory Panel and a Registered Teacher for the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus and is currently a Mentor and Teaching Supervisor for the RAD teaching program.

In 2001 Hayley was part of the singing reality television craze ‘Idols’ in South Africa, she also completed a work experience assignment with the Cape Town City Ballet Company. In 2002 she sang with a touring all girl pop group named “Nova” as well as performing at the prestigious Grahamstown Festival.
In 2003 she was accepted into AFDA (The African Film & Drama Academy) where she completed BA Degree in Performing Arts, her graduation film brought her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the AFDA Awards.

Hayley arrived in Australia in 2008 performing in local productions, she went on to professional performance work for a travelling children’s theatre company with in a show entitled “The Power of One” that focused on bullying issues in schools.

Feeling she hadn’t studied enough she went on to complete a Cert IV in Professional Make-up, Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (RAD) and a Diploma in Wedding Planning and consultancy.
Hayley has studied in prestigious schools in Sydney, London, New York and Perth and is a big believer in continued professional development, she has also entered into competitions achieving success and great results with many first places in all categories for herself and the students she has taught."