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Ambassadors

Adam Thurlow

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Born in Melbourne, Adam began his dance training with Lorraine Blackburn OAM, where he studied the Cecchetti ballet syllabus. He then furthered his ballet training at The Australian Ballet School, graduating with Honours and as the Dux of the school. He joined The Australian Ballet where he quickly rose through the ranks and became a Soloist within two years. In 2002, he was offered a Soloist position with the world-renowned English National Ballet. He then joined the prestigious Opera National de Paris, becoming the first Australian to do so. Adam then embarked on a freelance career where he travelled around the world performing as guest principal with companies and danced in many gala performances. Adam has taught at several universities and other educational programs such as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore (NAFA), Cecchetti Society, School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) Australian Institute of Classical Dance, VCASS. Adam is also a patron of 

Cecchetti Society Victoria and Melbourne Academy of the Arts.

Georgia Swan

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Georgia was born in Ballarat, Victoria and started her ballet training at 8 years old. She began at the Carole Oliver School of Ballet and then went on to complete year 11 and 12 at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. After graduating and attending the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, Georgia moved to Brisbane for Queensland Ballets Pre-Professional Program. In 2014 she was awarded the Maestro Enrico Cecchetti Diploma, and in 2015 she was promoted to Jette Parker Young Artist, a year Later Company Artist and in 2018 was promoted to Soloist.  

Photograph credit to David Kelly

Nicole Bernard

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Born in Melbourne, Australia, Nicole began her dance career at Heidelberg and District Ballet School directed by Lorraine Blackbourne OAM.  Nicole completed her Ballet exams up to Advanced 2, and by then she was dancing full time at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School while completing her VCE studies.  Whilst in her graduating year at VCASS, Nicole was nominated Dance Captain, and represented her country as a finalist in Calgary, Canada for the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition. After graduating Nicole danced full time at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet before putting her career on hold to attain a Bachelors in Health Sciences and Masters in Podiatry.  Right after graduating University Nicole accepted her first International contract in America, and has since been dancing all over the World.  Her International accolades include Sydney After Dark Las Vegas, Tokyo Disneyland, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Broadway Christmas Wonderland Japan, Vegas! The Show, and NFL Cheerleader for the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Amy Harris

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Amy was born in Ararat, Victoria and began jazz and tap classes at her local ballet school at the age of three. From the age of ten, Amy trained in the Cecchetti method with Carole Oliver School of Ballet in Ballarat, and as a Cecchetti scholar won bronze and silver medals. In 1999, aged 15, Amy successfully auditioned for The Australian Ballet School. She joined The Australian Ballet in 2002 and was promoted to coryphée in 2007, soloist in 2011 and senior artist in 2012. In 2018 she was promoted to principal artist on stage after her performance as Tertulla in the world premiere of Lucas Jervies' Spartacus.

Jayne Beddoe

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Jayne Beddoe trained under Rhyll Kennell at the National Theatre Ballet School in Victoria and later with Anne

Woolliams at The Victorian College of The Arts. Between 1982 and 1984 she undertook further studies with the Australian Ballet School and won the Lucy Saronova and Dame Peggy van

Praagh awards. 

 

Jayne joined The Australian Ballet Company in 1985 and over the following 9 years was promoted to Coryphée, Soloist and leading Soloist.

 

Since retiring from dancing in 1993 Jayne has been involved with Cecchetti Ballet Australia, teaching, adjudicating and performing guest roles with The Australian Ballet. Jayne currently coaches and teaches at Glen Iris School of Dance .

Riannon McLean

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Riannon McLean is a professional dance artist, creator, mentor and choreographer. Her extensive experience as a professional performer, teacher and creator spans over 23 years both here in Australia and on the international stage. 

Riannon has been contracted to Merenia Grey Dance Company (Wellington), Dance North, Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) and Expressions Dance Company (formally EDC). Receiving continuous recognition for her strong and poignant character portrayals, beautiful maturity, skill and finesse. 

Riannon’s renowned teaching capabilities and mentorship qualities have seen her teach as a guest artist both nationally and internationally for major companies and full time vocational training schools. Predominately working in the youth dance sector, Riannon is currently The Youth Ensemble Director for Australasian Dance Collective, (ADC) Brisbane. A role she established with the company in 2018.

Cameron Holmes

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Cameron started dancing at the age of three at his mother’s dance school, Donna Jean’s Danceforce. He progressed to full-time ballet training at Tanya Pearson’s Classical Coaching Academy in 2016. He first performed with The Australian Ballet in its 2017/18 season of Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty. He joined The Australian Ballet in 2018. In 2023 Cameron was promoted to soloist. Some of Cameron’s career highlights include: ‘Basilio’ in Rudolf Nureyev’s “Don Quixote”, ‘Jerry Mulligan’ in Christopher Wheeldon’s “An American In Paris”, ‘Mercutio’ in John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet”, ‘Mad Hatter’ in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland”, ‘Puck’ in Sir Frederick Ashton’s “The Dream” and ‘Eros’ in Stanton Welch’s “Sylvia”. 

Juliet Burnett

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Indonesian-Australian Juliet Burnett was born on Gadigal land (Sydney), where she trained in the Cecchetti method with Valerie Jenkins, with coaching by Valrene Tweedie and later also with Christine Keith. She then completed her training at The Australian Ballet School, receiving a contract for The Australian Ballet upon graduation in 2001. Juliet is one of Australia’s most recognised dancers after her years at The Australian Ballet (2002-2015), where the roles of Giselle, Odette in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake, La Sylphide, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and abstract classical works by the likes of George Balanchine, Kenneth MacMillan, Glen Tetley and Stephen Baynes. Juliet’s accolades include nomination as Most Outstanding Dancer by Dance Europe 2018, and Winner, Arts and Culture category of the 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australian Awards 2021. Juliet is founder, director and producer of A__PART, a platform connecting Australian and Indonesian artists and communities. 

Samantha Vottari

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Born in Adelaide, Australia, Samantha started her professional studies at the age of 16 under a scholarship at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in Melbourne, Australia. During this time with only 17 years old, she represented Australia at the International Cecchetti Ballet Competition in Manchester, UK, reaching to the finals of the competition. 

At the age of 18, she left Australia to live in New Zealand for 3 years, where she studied on a scholarship at the New Zealand School of Dance and danced choreographic works by Edmund Stripe, Val Caniparoli, Jo Funaki, George Balanchine, Nils Christie. From 2015 to 2018, she danced for the company Victor Ullate Ballet in Madrid, Spain.

In the last four years, she has been dancing with Leipziger Ballet - Oper Leipzig in Germany. From September 2022, she entered the company Compania National de Danza, Spain as Corps de Ballet under the direction of Joaquín Da Luz.

Craig Cathcart

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Craig began ballet training in the Cecchetti method at the age of five with Julianne Allcorn at Spiral Dance Studios in Wahroonga and Drummoyne. From 1990–95, he attended the McDonald College to further develop his classical skills. In 1996 he was invited to study at The Australian Ballet School before dancing with The Australian Ballet from 1999-2006. Craig joined the Norwegian National Ballet in 2007 until he retired from dancing professionally in 2014. Craig is currently the Executive Producer at Queensland Ballet and in 2023, he graduated with a Master of Business Administration from the Australian Institute of Business. Craig is passionate about governance and has served as Director of Ballet Theatre Queensland between 2018-2024. He is thrilled to become an Ambassador for Cecchetti Ballet Australia, coming full circle with his ballet training as an advocate for a method of pedagogy that is rich in history and the training of authentic artists.

Photograph credit to Angharad Gladding

Lina Kim-Wheatstone

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South Korean born ballerina Lina Kim-Wheatstone started dancing at four-years-old and continued studying ballet when she moved to Australia at the age of 10. While she trained full time at Queensland Dance School of Excellence she was awarded the Most outstanding Dancer award and the Queensland Ballet Scholarship. Lina furthered her training as a Pre-professional ballet student at Queensland Ballet and was offered a contract in 2010. She was promoted to Soloist in 2016 and continues to perform nationally and internationally dancing many lead roles.  Lina’s favourite roles include Nikiya in La Bayadere, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee, and Carmen in Carmen and was nominated as the Artist to Watch in the 2014 Dance Australia Critics Survey.

Photograph credit to David Kelly

Simon Dow

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Simon Dow, a former winner of the Cecchetti Medal and graduate of the Australian Ballet School, danced soloist roles with The Australian Ballet before joining the Stuttgart Ballet where he also danced soloist roles.

​Simon joined the Washington Ballet as a principal dancer and shortly afterwards was awarded the Best Partner Award at the Moscow International Ballet Competition. He has choreographed more than fifty original works that have been performed throughout Australia, Japan, China, Thailand, Germany, Italy, France and throughout the U.S. Among these works are five full-length narrative ballets.

 

In 2023 Simon performed in Alice Topp’s ‘Paragon’ as part of the Identity season to celebrate The Australian Ballet’s 60th anniversary and also performed the title role of Don Quixote in Rudolph Nureyev’s ‘Don Quixote’ with The Australian Ballet.

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