Founder: Penny Lancaster
CEO: Marguerite Barber


As Australia’s first recognised Dance-specific Registered Training Organisation (RTO 91600), Australian Dance Institute has been dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in vocational education since its establishment in 2008. We proudly continue to lead the way in dance education and professional development for aspiring dance students and teachers nationwide.  

Our foundation is rooted in a wealth of experience within the dance industry and the Vocational Education and Training sector. Our courses are designed to nurture a diverse spectrum of students. Each qualification seeks to develop knowledge in key areas such as safe dance practice, anatomy, critical thinking skills, artistic expression, and business management.   

Throughout our journey in education, we’ve witnessed the transformative impact of our qualifications. They not only elevate the dance industry but also pave the way for individual student success. Our mission is to provide holistic dance education that not only raises the bar for dance training but also builds the social, emotional, ethical and academic skills crucial for a successful career.    


Australian Dance Institute Pty Ltd RTO 91600 delivers the following courses:  

  1. CUA10120 Certificate I in Dance
  2. CUA20120 Certificate II in Dance
  3. CUA30120 Certificate III in Dance
  4. CUA40120 Certificate IV in Dance
  5. CUA30320 Certificate III in Assistant Dance Teaching
  6. CUA40320 Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management 
  7. CUA50320 Diploma of Dance Teaching and Management

Shelley Wakefield


What do you enjoy about your job? 

Teaching dance is such a rewarding and fulfilling vocation. There is no better moment than when a student who has been working on a particular step or perhaps a balance smiles "that smile". Their eyes light up, and sometimes, a whole classroom erupts to congratulate the dancer. We spend a lot of time convincing dancers, "You can!!!" then there is the perfect moment of "You did it!!"

One of the wonderful things is that I learn something from every student, no matter how new to dance they may be. Everyone's life experience, physicality and reason to dance is different. Their ideas and approaches always teach us a new perspective. This is something that I like to promote in classes; other dancers should always inspire us in class. You never know when they may teach you something new, even if you are the teacher.

Dance is something that people fall in love with. They love their time in the studio, they love working hard, and they love achieving results. Dancers miss the studio when they have not been there for a while; how many people can say they miss their workplace?!

What was the procedure to qualify to be an examiner/teacher? 

As I had danced professionally for more than 25 years, I had a lot of experience that I could use as evidence to be fast-tracked via Recognition of Prior Learning. I studied my Classical Ballet Associate through the ISTD and then a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to understand adult vocational learning processes.

To qualify to be a teacher you need understand the safety aspects of dance, including safe technique, progression and anatomy. It is also necessary to understand the details of different age groups, from tiny tots to professionals, to the lovely adults who come once a week and all that's in between.  

What is the purpose of exams/assessments and why do you think they are beneficial?

As dancers we are people who love to move and sometimes do not want to be slowed down, BUT, with the benefit of experience, these courses provide vital skills for dancers who wish to go into the industry professionally. 

Government recognised courses mean that students can begin to qualify as dancers/teachers from a young age and have their skills recognised on a national level. It also means a certificate backing them for other employment opportunities. Dancers and dance teachers have so many "hidden" skills, making them extremely employable across many industries. 

The Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and management in particular, goes a long way to ensuring that you are hiring a great quality, highly trained, knowledgeable teacher and studio manager.

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