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.  


Our Team

Our passionate team is made up of a number of dedicated teachers.

"If you only knew how much those little moments with you mattered to me." Reminiscingourmoments|Tumblr



Lisa is the Principal of Darwin School of Ballet, and she drives and maintains the founding philosophy behind the formation of the studio: strong focus on technique, discipline, moderate class sizes and encouragement of students to develop to their full potential as well-rounded dance enthusiasts.

Lisa's vision for the studio is to engage both local and national dance artists, where possible, to provide the best opportunities for our students.

Lisa entered the dance world with elite Level 10 gymnastics and competition experience.  On the advice of a visiting national coach, Gene Schembri (the then Australian Men’s Olympic coach) she undertook training with Lili to assist her teaching with gymnasts in her club. Lisa ended up falling in love with the classical style, enjoying the technical aspects married with the artistry, along with the music. She holds a Licentiate Diploma. She is a strong advocate for safe dance practices.



Studio teacher, Julia Quinn, undertook her training as a dancer at  Darwin School of Ballet.  Her time under the tutelage of 'Madame Vita' became the foundations of her own teaching approaches and fuelled her love of the art form.  On completion of her major exams, she went on to study a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Adelaide University, under the leadership of David and Simi Roche. After graduating, Julia, along with resident Darwin School of Ballet choreographer Joanna Noonan, established the Juniper Tree Dance Company in 1981, a youth-focused dance collective.

In 1995 Julia travelled to the United States to undertake an Independent Study Program with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre in New York.  Since her return to Australia, she has strived to 'give back' to her community - a significant lesson learnt through her time with Lili.  She attained a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education through the Charles Darwin University and began her journey in dance via Northern Territory schools programs, leading Ausdance workshops, Dance Animateur at Tracks, local performer (Sunameke, Tracks, SLIDE, Gary Lang), choreographer and her current position as Dance teacher at Darwin High School.


Sharrynne Glover

Studio teacher Sharrynne started ballet at a young age and was accepted into The Graduate College of Dance Pre-Professional Program run by Terri Charlesworth in Perth, that focussed on the Russian syllabus by Madam Marika Besobrasova.

After school, Sharrynne auditioned and was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Moving to Darwin with her husband and two beautiful boys in 2007, she completed her Majors exams with Jan Hedenig at the Palmerston Ballet School.

Sharrynne began teaching at Darwin School of Ballet in 2012, achieving an Associate Level in Cecchetti in 2014 and Associate Diploma in 2016 under the leadership of Lisa Heath.  Sharrynne's passion is ballet and she loves sharing her love and experiences with the next generation of Darwin dancers.



Michele Dott

Michele was classically trained in Victoria by Kathleen Gorham OBE and Karen Stephens ARAD, to Advanced standard. From there she began her journey in teaching classical ballet as their assistant teacher.

Alongside ballet, Michele trained in Modern Ballet through Coral Deague, then Calvin Von Reinhold (a Merce Cunningham student), absorbing the Cunningham technique into her own repertoire.  Her training continued with Advanced Traditional Jazz technique of Ronne Arnold and Contemporary with John Tsakiris (ex-Ballet Rambert).  Michele holds a Certificate in Dance gained at Queensland University of Technology.

Michele arrived in the Territory in 1996, immediately feeling at home.  Since then, she has taught at Casuarina Senior College and remote areas of the NT.  She is continually involved in the local dance community through teaching, choreography and performance with 'NT Dance Company' - Artistic Director, Gary Lang.

In 2011 Lisa invited Michele to join Darwin School of Ballet, where she thoroughly enjoys being able to assist young focused dancers into developing themselves technically.


Joanna is one of the many richly creative artists who call Darwin home and is the resident guest choreographer for Darwin School of Ballet.  As a long term local artist and educator, she has created opportunities for young and emerging dance artists in the Northern Territory for years. 

Joanna received her dance and theatre training from Lili.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Adelaide University, followed by her Masters in Choreography at Utah University in the United States - one of the top Modern Dance institutions in the world.  On completion of her Masters, Joanna opted to return to Darwin to perform, create and teach.

Along with Julia Quinn, she established the Juniper Tree Dance Company in 1991. Continuing with this focus, her youth initiative, SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre, created in collaboration with long-term educator and community dance artist, Sarah Calver and Quinn, is a creative venture that brings together dance with social activism and awareness.

Joanna has been a guest choreographer with Tracks since 2008, and in recent years has worked in Northern Territory schools programs of creative arts and dance. A pivotal educator at Sanderson High School, Casuarina Senior College and Essington International Senior School, Joanna now focuses her time as the Artistic Director of Darwin’s SLIDE.


Darwin School of Ballet gratefully acknowledges key people in our community, who provide support in a myriad of ways allowing us to offer the type of service and experience in which we excel.

Barb beamsley

From a young age, Barb idolised Margot Fonteyn and dreamed of being a ballet dancer, learning ballet with Diana Waldron in Perth.

During her time in Darwin, she has been to classes at several ballet schools but has been involved with Darwin School of Ballet the longest, first meeting Lili through AADE, now Ausdance.  And she first attended Darwin School of Ballet as a student many years ago when Lili was teaching Lisa, Julia and Joanna who were then just kids!

With a degree in Graphic Design majoring in Textiles, a knack for sewing (taught by her mother), an eye for detail and elements of Fashion Technology training, Barb creates the visual and textural magic you see in Darwin School of Ballet concerts.  She is the driving force in terms of the overall 'story' of costumes for our shows, also reminding us of the art of telling stories and engaging audiences.


Chris is a lawyer by profession but is an avid arts lover and supporter. Over the years she has played many roles in the Performing Arts; stage manager, lighting technician and designer, Front-of-House and arts agent.

Her skills, patience, time and humour have been invaluable to our studio. She is an advocate, go-getter and untiring volunteer for Darwin School of Ballet.

Tina mCCourt

Tina has been an ongoing, professional support person, via her Dance World shop providing personal service.  She ensures our students are looked after, are class/exam/show-ready, and is always willing to assist the dance community of Darwin.

Dance World Darwin

(08) 8981 9398

Tuesday-Friday: 10am-5pm
Saturday: 9am-1pm
Closed Sunday & Monday

6 Charlton Ct
Woolner NT 0820




Hailing from Yorkshire, Stan Whiting studied Graphic Design at Leeds Metropolitan University in the early 1990's.

In 1998, he decided a surf trip to Australia was in order. After surfing around the country, he settled in Darwin and decided to stay. Surfing was swapped for motorcycling and after 8 years designing freelance, he bought Eprint in 2008.

Stan has volunteered many hours, prints, posters, programs and design elements to our studio and show events.



9/3 Downes St

Winnellie, NT, Australia, 0820

08 8947 4084




How to sew ribbons on ballet shoes

How to sew ribbons on ballet shoes

Nicole, Joelle and Holly at a ballet clinic with Anne Jenner

Nicole, Joelle and Holly at a ballet clinic with Anne Jenner

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