Staff

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 & Physiotherapist

Linda McKeon

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.

Christine Jaroszewski-Consani

Teacher

Christine Jaroszewski

Christine started her ballet training at age 8 at the School of American Ballet. By the age of 9 dancing was her passion. At age 11 she joined the National Ballet School in Toronto where she studied for 2 years. She completed her Cecchetti ballet exams with 'Honours'. She returned to N.Y. to the School of American Ballet and also had private coaching with RAD based teacher David Howard and Vaganova-based coaching with former ballerina Yoko Ichino and Sarah Neece.

Other trainers included Geta Constantinescu and Juliu Horvath (creator of the Gyrotonic Expansion System) where she had intensive private training in yoga and ballet for 1 year in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. This experience completely transformed her skills and approach to dancing.

At age 16 she began her professional career in Switzerland, joining the Basel Ballet in 1984 with director Heinz Spoerli.

From 1986-1993 she was a member of Zurich Ballet, directed by Uwe Scholz and was soon promoted to First Soloist. During this time Uwe Scholz created many solo roles for her in his choreographies. Other repertoire also includes the leading roles in these ballets: Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia, La Sylphide, The Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, A Midsummer Night´s Dream, and Don Quixote.

From 1993-1995 she joined Uwe Scholz as his leading ballerina with the Leipzig Ballet in Germany. During this time she also danced in choreographies by contemporary choreographers Mario and Silvana Schroeder.

From 1995-1999 she was a member of Bern Ballet, director Martin Schlaepfer. She performed leading roles in many of his ballets, and in works by other choreographers such as Jiri Kilian, Hans Van Manen, George Balanchine and several others. With this company she danced on tours in Russia, France, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Oman, Israel and in different cities in Switzerland and Germany.

From 1999-2006 Christine became a Freelance performer and teacher of ballet and yoga for dancers in Switzerland. She furthered her studies in yoga anatomy with Gary Carter in Brighton, England. She taught pre-ballet/ballet to children ages 4-17 and "Yoga for dancers" to adults at "Atelier Rainbow" dance school, directress Gretchen Bernard-Newburger in Rueschlikon, Switzerland. She also assisted and participated in choreography for the children.

From 2006-2011 she lived in India and explored different forms of yoga and contemporary movement work such as Feldenkrais, Contact improvisation, and Improvisational skills in performance. She taught ballet and yoga for dancers at the Diploma Course with Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts in Bangalore.

In 2011 she joined the "Ballet am Rhein" in Duesseldorf, Germany directed by Martin Schlaepfer. She finished her professional stage career with this company in July 2017.

She is a certified Level 1 teacher of Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis method. She is also a certified teacher of the American Ballet Theater's National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary to Level 3.

Before moving with her husband to Beaconsfield, Australia this year, she taught ballet and lyrical jazz to adults at Rosenthal ballet school in Duesseldorf. She also taught creative dance and pre-ballet to children in groups from ages 2-6.

She is very happy to share her passion for dance at the Swan River Ballet School!.

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.

Avie Cleaver-Wilkinson

Teacher

Avie Cleaver-Wilkinson

Avie was introduced to ballet at the age of two at the first RAD dance school in Karratha. Spending many hours at the school, Avie completed her RAD exams from pre-primary to Grade 4, as well as CSTD tap and jazz before the age of 11. In 2010 Avie began pointe classes and completed her Grade 5 RAD. It was at Silhouette Dance Studio where she began assistant teaching, and continued, for the next 4 years. During this time she trained in classical ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, lyrical and singing as well as competing in various competitions and completing many RAD, Jazz Addict, and ATOD Hiphop exams. After graduating high school in 2015, Avie began full time training at Swan River Ballet completing her Advance 1 RAD and continued teaching independently as well choreographing.

Her passion for dance led her into accepting a place at Transit Dance in the contemporary pre-professional course. During this year Avie performed in six dance productions including; Falling in Reverse by Jayden Hicks, Dada by Paul Malek and Lachlan Hall, Follow by Nic Eva and Charlie Pratt-White (as part of Melbourne Fringe festival), Young choreographed for UNDRGRND, People Rant choreographed by Adam Wheeler and Aeon by Dominique Cowden (a finalist in Dance Architect) as well as completing her Certificate IV in Contemporary Dance.

Although dance is her driving force, Avie has found a love for acting, finding herself in recent titles such as Library of Love, Hounds of Love, ABC's The Heights, FILCH and The Story of Koko. As well as film, she also performed in the sellout immersive theatre show “Do Not Collect $200”, directed by Harley Hefford and is currently in reheasals for Jesus Christ Superstar with Platinium Entertainment to be performed in early November 2018 and To Sir with Love with Fremantle Performing Arts. She wishes to use what she learns from both her acting and dance background to teach children about performance, creativity and finding the enjoyment in the performing arts.

Ella Goodall

Assistant Teacher

Ella Goodall

Ella found her love for dance when she was just 3 years old. Whilst ballet has been her main focus, Ella has experienced all other types of dance, such as Jazz, Tap, Acro, Contemporary and Irish Dancing, further enhancing her knowledge and understanding of dance.

Ella completed her Pre Primary Exam and Primary Jazz 1 Exam at Betty Bentley, where she was awarded distinctions and honours. As Ella got older, she then moved to Katharine Mantle Performing Arts academy, completing all RAD exams from primary to advanced foundation - achieving distinctions in all exams.

Ella’s love for dance continued to flourish as she began competing in competitions at 10 years old, travelling to Tasmania, Sydney & the Gold Coast. This gave Ella the opportunity to work collectively & cooperatively with a wide variety of dancers, which today reflects in her skillset and teaching methods.

Dance is more than just a hobby or cocurricular activity, as Ella also has incorporated dance into her education. Ella attends John Curtin College of the Arts, where she studies both Ballet & Contemporary. Through her schooling, Ella travelled to London and Montpellier in 2017 to partake in ballet workshops with the Royal Academy of Dance. Ella has also completed her Cert 1 in dance and is currently studying for her Cert 2 in dance at John Curtin College of the Arts.

Ella believes that dance should be fun and accessible to all, and hopes that all students enjoy dance as much as she does.