Christine Walsh AM

Managing Director, Dance

A Principal Dancer in Australia and internationally, Christine Walsh's professional ballet and teaching career has spanned over 40 years. Trained originally in Sydney, Christine Walsh graduated from the Australian Ballet School and rose to the rank of Principal Artist with the Australian Ballet where she danced all the major Principal roles in the ballets Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Onegin, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Don Qiuxote and many others. Christine also danced Principal roles with Roland Petit Ballet de Marseille including Carmen and Coppelia.

Christine's invitations to dance internationally were numerous, including dancing Giselle with the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, dancing as guest artist for the 40th Anniversary of UNESCO in Moscow, and dancing the Principal role in The Sleeping Beauty for the Royal Bicentennial Gala performance for Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II in London.

Since retiring from her professional dancing career in 1989, Christine has concentrated her efforts on teaching, coaching, choreographing and directing productions with her theatrical production company Christine Walsh Enterprises Pty. Ltd. and her classical ballet school The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet. Christine has authored her own classical ballet training and assessment program based on the Russian Vaganova method and she now teaches and examines this program in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau and the Philippines. Christine's entrepreneurial skills have been demonstrated in the many events she has organized with partner Ricardo Ella, such as the tour to the Philippines of The Australian Stars of Ballet and the West Australian Ballet, and the Australian tour of Ballet Philippines in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy. Christine has forged international cultural ties through her work with Austrade in Japan and the Australian Embassy in the Philippines.

Christine has graduated with a Certificate in Education in the Visual and Performing Arts through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and The Australian Ballet School.

In 1991, Christine Walsh was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her service to ballet.

Christine directs the school's annual full-length productions, coaches in her school's comprehensive program, examines and gives teaching seminars throughout Australia and internationally.

Ricardo Ella

Managing Director, Operations

A former actor, stuntman, and Martial Arts instructor, Philippine born Ricardo Ella began ballet training at the age of 19 and 3 years later received a private company scholarship, choosing to study at the Australian Ballet School. Before beginning his professional ballet career, he established a footwear manufacturing company and later a computer hire and secretarial business.

Ricardo's dancing career has encompassed Dance Concert Company (Principal Dancer), Dance Theatre Philippines (Principal Dancer), The Royal New Zealand Ballet (Principal Artist) and The Australian Ballet Company (Coryphee). He danced principal roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Garth Welch's Othello, Graeme Murphy's Orpheus, Andre Prokovsky's Bacchus and Ariadne and Jiri Kylian's Transfigured Night. He has also danced solo roles in The Three Musketeers, Spartacus and many other ballets. For two years Ricardo was the Principal male dancer in the original Australian musical production of Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera.

Since 1989, Ricardo's entrepreneurial skills have been demonstrated with his co-founding of Onstage Artists and Christine Walsh Enterprises Pty. Ltd. theatre production companies with Christine Walsh. In 1990, Onstage Artists organised a tour of The Australian Stars of Ballet and the West Australian Ballet to the Philippines, and in 1991, with Christine Walsh formed the Christine Walsh Dance Centre now The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet. Ricardo has also produced the vocal concert From Baroque to Broadway and co-ordinated a charity concert Phantom Melodies featuring singers trom Phantom of the Opera where proceeds went to Camp Quality for children with cancer and The Salvation Army.

In 1995, Ricardo co-produced The Australian Tour of Ballet Philippines in co-operation with The Embassy of the Philippines, as part of a cultural exchange programme and bilateral agreement with the Cultural Centre of the Philippines. 


Simon Crowther 
(Dip. TAS; Dip Bus. FLM)

RTO Administrator

A former Senior Soloist classical ballet dancer with PACT Ballet and Senior Guest Artist with PACT Contemporary Dance Company in South Africa; Simon was also granted the opportunity to guide individuals toward achieving their ultimate artistic expression in his role as Rehearsal Director/Assistant Repetiteur whilst with those companies. 

Mr. Crowther has been invited to lecture at numerous schools & ballet companies in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to great acclaim.

Simon has collaborated with the ACB in a variety of roles; initially as a Classical, Repertoire and Pas de Deux Lecturer; then appearing in a number of the ACB's Productions and currently as the ACB's RTO Administrator and business advisor.

Mr. Crowther's experience in Vocation and Education Training commenced when he was engaged to manage a commercial RTO where he established a number of relationships with third party organisations to assist in the overall delivery & management of those training operations.

Simon runs his own consultancy working as an analyst commercially.

Valmai Roberts

Former member of the Australian Ballet, soloist of Joffrey Ballet and classical ballet lecturer of NYU School of the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hispanico in New York, the Victorian College of the Arts in Australia, and London Contemporary School of Dance and Richard Alston Dance Company in Great Britain.

ACB Registered Teacher & Examiner, and Classical Ballet Lecturer.

John Sandurski                               CLASSICAL BALLET LECTURER AND TRAINING COORDINATOR

Lecturer at QLD Conservatorium/Griffith University (Bachelor of Musical Theatre), Expressions Dance Company and for Amanda Bollinger Dance Academy.

Former dancer with Introdans (The Netherlands)  and Staatstheater am Gartnerplatz (Germany).

Degree in Ballet Pedagogy (Vaganova) University for Music and Theatre Munich Germany.

Stacey McCallum

Former dancer and actor with the Sydney Dance Company. Former member of Indian Shakespeare Company. Performed in Baz Luhrmann’s film Moulin Rouge and performed for Queensland Ballet as an actor in Cinderella and teaching in their Education Outreach Programme. Lecturer of the ACB Classical Ballet Training and Assessment Program. 

Nickely Burke                    CONTEMPORARY BALLET LECTURER

Artistic Director and Choreographer of Biserk Dance Company (UK). Former Artistic Director Oxford Contemporary Dance School (UK). Graduated with Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications, University of Canberra, Australia and Diploma in Dance Trinity College Laban (UK). Contemporary dance lecturer.

Melanie Moravski Dechnicz

Graduate of Bachelor of Performing Arts (Monash University), majoring in Drama and Theatre Studies, minoring in Contemporary Dance (Deakin University), Trained with Virsky, Ukraine dance company. Currently Artistic Director of Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company and School of Dance and ACB Character Lecturer. Awarded "Honoured Artist of Ukraine". 

Ai Sato

Dip Remedial Massage Therapy, Cert VI Matwork Pilates Instruction

Former graduate of the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet's Diploma of Dance, Registered Remedial Therapist and member of Australian Association of Massage Therapists (AAMT 1938).



Anastasia Gardashnikova

International guest lecturers are invited throughout the year.