Full Time Ballet Programme

Full Time Ballet Programme

Discover your true potential

Please contact us directly for 2017 audition information

Dancer In Development is a privately run training option for young NZ dancers. It is a tailored two year, independent, industry-focussed programme designed to prepare the talented ballet student for higher study at national or international level. Train together with other dedicated students of similar age/level towards a mutual goal; turning your passion into your career.

Our Mission

To offer a specialised full-time classical ballet training programme of an international standard for young, talented and dedicated students aiming to have a career as a professional dancer. The Dancer In Development programme will give students a solid foundation from which to begin their pre-professional studies, or embark on their first professional engagement. Our students will feel nurtured to grow, challenged to excel, supported to achieve and inspired to take their dancing and artistry to the next level, one step closer to their dream.

 We intend that our programme will prepare exceptionally talented and dedicated students to gain the necessary advantage and be ready to apply for entry to institutions of higher learning (nationally or internationally) or alternatively, embark directly into a pre-professional company programme, apprenticeship or professional dance career. 

  • Suitable for students aged 15-17 years. Younger students may be considered under special circumstances
  • Daily classes Monday-Friday 9.15am-3:30pm - may differ slightly.
  • Optional competition preparation and exam work available and additional to the programme
  • Central Auckland venue with easy motorway access
  • Continuing schooling may be done and this is covered in our information pack

How to apply via email:

  • Please send us your CV detailing your training and experience over the past 5 years
  • Photos in x3 positions - arabesque, 2nd position en l'air & 4th en pointe for girls or plié in 1st position males
  • A link to a recent variation onstage (must be en pointe for ladies)
  • A cover letter explaining why you would like to start full-time ballet training with us


Nicci Theis Mccewan

Guest Classical Repertoire Tutor

"I trained with the National Ballet of Canada and completed my graduation year at the Royal Ballet School, UK. From there I joined The Scottish Ballet where I danced as principal for 10 years. I have danced all the great classics as a principal, as well as many neoclassical ballets. I represented the company at the RAD gala in Brazil dancing Aurora. We toured the world extensively, my highlight was dancing on both the Kirov and Bolshoi stages, and I had the privilege of working with many great choreographers and dancers; Daria Klimentova, Tamara Rojo, Adam Cooper, Galina Samsova and Galina Messensova to name but a few. I was honoured to be coached in my first principal role as Aurora by the great Lynn Seymour. I very much look forward to passing on my knowledge and experience."

Our Dancer In Development tutors:

Full-time training programme - entry by audition/invitation only.

Programme Director/Tutor
Kathleen-Malee Smith

Kathleen trained under Ann Judson in Christchurch, and achieved her final ballet exam, the RAD Solo Seal award, at just 15 years of age. She then travelled overseas to train in Monte Carlo, Banff, Hamburg and London, and participated in the Prix de Lausanne and Varna ballet competitions.

Kathleen was a professional classical ballet/contemporary dancer with the Dresden Semperoper Ballet, where a varied repertoire, guest choreographers, international guest artists and world renowned ballet masters provided a platform for her personal artistic growth. Upon her return to New Zealand she has successfully coached young aspiring dancers and many have gone on to live their dream of enjoying rewarding professional careers, nationally and internationally. Read more here.

Claire O'Neil

Contemporary Dance Tutor

Claire is a performing artist, choreographer and dance educator. She has danced with New Zealand’s finest contemporary choreographers including Douglas Wright and Michael Parmenter, and with Australian companies Sue Healy & Dancers and Desoxy Theatre.

Claire co-directed Company Blue Vault dance company and studied contemporary dance in New York and London before establishing herself in Europe from 2000 until 2011. In Brussels, Claire received a choreographic scholarship with the X-Group at P.A.R.T.S and taught for many of Europe’s finest dance companies and schools.

Claire performed En Servicio with Hans Van den Broeck/Cie. Soit, Twelve Seasons with Cie. Michele Noiret, amongst other diverse dance theatre performances. She has been choreographic director for Australian street theatre company Stalker Theatre, and choreographic assistant for Michele Noiret and The Paris Opera. Her teaching credits include companies such as Wim Van de Keybus/Ultima Vez, The Paris Opera, Rosas, Meg Stuart & Damaged Goods, Norwegian Theatre Academy, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Cie. Pierre Droulers, Cie. Philippe Découfflé, Need Company, Charleroi Danses, and Ballet Preljocaj.

Claire has been creating works under Fidget Co since 2001. In recent years she created Mtyland, Footnote Dance, 2010 New Zealand International Arts Festival; Southern X, Footnote Dance, 2012; If..., Whitirea Performing Arts, 2012; Picnic Party Prison Pack, New Zealand School of Dance 2012 Graduation season; and Brindó / Un Contexto Formal, Unitec’s Dance Graduation Season 2014.

Claire has recently achieved her Masters in Dance at the University of Auckland and continues to teach and choreograph throughout New Zealand.

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