About Us


Founding Director and Principal


Russian born, Tanya Pearson was first trained by Raissa Kousnetzova and later joined the Borovansky Ballet. In 1959, when the company disbanded, she became resident dancer with HSV Channel 7 Melbourne and traveled overseas dancing as a soloist in several shows at London Palladium and in the ballet film “Life Story of Fanny Elsser” in Belgium.

In 1965 she returned to Australia where she danced and choreographed for Channel 10 and the ABC and then established her own ballet school of which she was Principal for 22 years.

In 1971 she was founder and Artistic Director of Sydney City Youth Ballet which later became Sydney City Ballet Company, which has staged professional productions every year for School audiences as well as the General Public.

Tanya established the Glen Street Academy of Ballet and this became one of the largest schools in Australia. In 1986 Tanya was honoured by the French’s Forest Rotary with an award for “Services to the Community” and was also Director of the City of Sydney Cultural Council from 1985-1995.

In 1991 Tanya was appointed Classical Principal of David Atkins’ Dynamite Dance Studios and then in 1993 she established a selective Coaching Academy in Crows Nest which, in 1997 moved to larger premises at St Leonards where it has been located since.

For more than 25 years, Tanya has led overseas study tours for Students and Teachers providing opportunities for students to obtain scholarships and contracts with Selective Schools and Companies throughout Europe as well as compete in major International Competitions such as the International Adeline Genee, the Prix de Lausanne (Switzerland) and the Youth America Grand Prix (USA). In 2009 Tanya was awarded the  “Most Outstanding Teacher Award” at the Youth America Grand Prix.

In 2012 Tanya Pearson was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her lifelong commitment and services to the Arts, particularly ballet.

Tanya is without a doubt one of Australia’s most highly respected and renowned teachers and her dedication to her profession and the dance industry in Australia is acknowledged worldwide. Over the past 40 years she has worked with passion and dedication to train many successful dancers who are now Principals and Soloists in Australia and Overseas and she is in high demand as a guest teacher and adjudicator, not only in Australia but also overseas.


Tanya Pearson first established the ballet school on Sydney’s North Shore in 1971 under the name of  “The Northside Ballet Academy”.

She has been teaching ever since – attracting students not only from all over Australia, but gaining a strong reputation and interest from International students. The Academy has taken on various forms over the years – expanding to include a Full Time Dancers’ Course, Teachers Course and establishing Sydney City Youth Ballet in order to provide students with the invaluable experience of performing on stage in front of a live public audience.

The Academy continues to provide excellent coaching and training to students form the ages of 3 years through to adults. It is one of Australia’s longest running and leading ballet academy’s.


Director and Founder: Tanya Pearson OAM

Artistic Director: Lucinda Dunn OAM

Part Time School Principal: Marie Walton Mahon ARAD RAD RTS

Regular Teaching Faculty: Olivia Ansell, Daniel Asher Smith, Adam Blanch, Wim Broeckx, Jacqueline Clark Mitchell, Kellie Conolly, Mark Dubovsky, Catherine Edwards, Camila Galvao, Valerie Jenkins,  Brian Lynch, Elizabeth McMahon, Lorena Otes, Gilli O’Connell, Katie Pianoff, Danilo Radojevic, Mark Reily, Robyn Ross, Hassan Sheta, Darren Spowart, Kim Traynor.

Pianists: Hunter Brown, Grant Kennedy, Janet Turner, David Vitaver, Yuka Kobayashi


Nicole Sharp – General Manager

Silvia Bianchi – Administrator Part Time Academy

Louise Robinson- Administrator Full Time Academy

Tanya Kerr – Manager Costume Department