Darwin School of Ballet was originally established by Anita Campbell with Lili Vita joining in mid-1973 after her arrival from France. While still in France, Lili was trained in the Cecchetti method of classical ballet and danced professionally in Paris.
Darwin School of Ballet's first concert was held in November 1974 at Nightcliff High School (now Nightcliff Middle School). After Cyclone Tracy, and the departure of Anita, Lili was the only ballet teacher in Darwin. Lili remembers, "Darwin was destroyed - there was no music - nothing worked - but everyone tried very hard to re-build ballet. Everyone came to help and with hard work ballet grew from strength through a strong community spirit." Lili appreciated how supportive Cecchetti Ballet Australia was, how the visiting examiners passionately gave so much knowledge and help to the dancers and teachers.
Cecchetti Ballet Australia, along with Carole Hall, still strongly continue this tradition. From 1975 to 1996, with the beauty of continuation and hard work, Lili put hundreds of dancers for their yearly Cecchetti ballet examinations. Upon Lili’s retirement at the end of 1996, Darwin School of Ballet closed for 1997.
Two students under Lili Vita, Lisa Heath and Julia Quinn were keen to continue Lili Vita's legacy. However, both felt it was not the right time. Throughout 1997 both Lisa and Julia travelled. Julia travelled to the United States to study contemporary dance in New York whilst Lisa (and Ash) backpacked their way around the globe!
In 1998, after consultation with Lili, (and a promise to "put children for examinations … you must put them for exams … it is the only way to get the standard") Lisa and Julia
re-established the Darwin School of Ballet. Over the subsequent 18 years, both Lisa and Julia have operated Darwin School of Ballet with the strength of spirit, philosophy and principles learnt from Lili.