Miss Zara Bartley
Co-Director of Bravissimo Productions
Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management
Miss Zara has over 20 years of dance experience and knowledge. Fueled by passion and conviction, Zara completed her Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management with Distinction in Melbourne before returning to Canberra to take on the Directorship of National Capital Ballet School in November, 2010. Having originally trained in NSW, Zara studied extensively in RAD, Laurel Martyn OAM's syllabus, Cecchetti, and Christine Walsh's Australian Conservertore of Ballet (based on Vaganova) syllabus. She has been taught by luminaries as Jacqui Hoole, Suzanne Duffy, Dianne Parrington, Janet Karin OAM,Christine Walsh AM to name a few and to whom she attributes much of her knowledge and inspiration today. This led Zara to Canberra, where she was offered the position of Director of National Capital Ballet School. Zara has been the owner, director, and Primary to Senior teacher of National Capital Ballet School, Canberra now for 9 years this November. Rebuilding the school with a new direction and big goals for her students to achieve their dancing dreams beyond its four walls. Some of the many successes over the years include local, national and international ballet competitions, as well as having a number of students gain entry in to prestigious schools in Australia and abroad. Zara is an avid balletomane, inspiring as much as she is inspires, the reason for which she has sought to continue to invest in bringing out amazing guest artists to her hometown to perform alongside her student from places afield as Cuba, the US, and from Russia including the incredible Joy Womack in her school's 2017 production of The Nutcracker. Zara's focus is upon helping and guiding each dancer, regardless of level or achievement, to realise their individual potential.
Mr Daniel Convery
Bravissimo Productions Director
Co-Director of National Capital Ballet School
Diploma in Dance (Australian Ballet School)
Daniel began recreational training in 1980 at the age of 5 where he studied Cecchetti under the tutelge of Athol Willoughby (former dancer of The National Theatre of Australia and student of Enrico Cecchetti's very own protege, Dame Lucie Saranova). Upon completing all exams, he was successful in gaining a place at the Australian Ballet School, where he studied for 3 years. There he was offered many amazing opportunities in and outside of the school, including several trips to Japan to dance in an international gala.
After graduating from the school, Daniel went to Italy via request to dance with the Italian neo-classical company, Aterballetto and enjoyed three years there also dancing in various galas throughout Italy. Due to homesickness and injury, he returned to Australia where he was lucky enough to fall in to teaching at some of Melbourne's premiere vocational ballet schools including the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS), and Christine Walsh and Ricardo Ella's Australian Conservatiore of Ballet, while still dancing whenever it was possible, guesting once again as well as teaching, in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka and Nara), Belgium, South Africa, and in Sydney and Canberra with various projects and companies, as well as with many vocational ballet schools whenever they required a tall partner for their leads. For the last twenty years, Daniel has relished his teaching posts, loving learning more and more as ballet continues to evolve and be re-invented, and as the technical proficiencies forever continue to increase. As a teacher he has taught and coached for many competitions locally, nationally and internationally (two finalists of the Prix de Lausanne and a third prize winner at the AHA, New Zealand). He has had numerous students, including this year, gain acceptance in to the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, Australian Conservatoire of Ballet, Tanya Pearson's in Sydney, the New Zealand School of Dance, and the Australian Ballet School full time program and Intensive Training Program. Daniel teaches RAD, Cecchetti, and the ACB syllabus, and one of his most recent highlights was going to Russia in 2016, with his then fiance, Zara (Director of National Capital Ballet School, Canberra), to watch classes at the Vaganova Academy, St Petersburg. He is unwaveringly passionate, inspiring, and dedicated not only to his area of immense expertise but also to all the students he invests his heart and soul in teaching and has been a huge asset since joining the faculty in 2014.
Miss Nicole Aspinall
NCBS Troupe Co-ordinator
Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical Instructor
Diploma in Performing Arts
Nicole is originally from Canberra, and moved to Sydney to study dance full-time. She has completed her Diploma in Performing Arts through Brent Street Performing Arts, Sydney. Nicole has trained in all styles of dance as well as training in singing and acting. She also loves working with kids and has a love for teaching and choreography. Some of her career highlights include a range of music videos working as both choreographer and dancer, corporate events such as the Meeting and Events Conference Sydney and the Asia Pacific International Conference for 2017 and dancing behind artists such as Kate Cebrano, Andrew O'Keefe and Damien Leathe. I have also represented Australia at the Hip Hop International World Finals in Las Vegas and am a resident dancer on The Today Show on Channel 9.
Mr Daniel (Yi) Chen
Professional Dancer. Choreographer. Instructor.
Hip Hop, Jazz Funk , Jazz, Lyrical, Musical
Daniel has been a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor since 2012. Focusing on hip hop, jazz funk, lyrical, and more. Working with singers and artists on tour, and music videos. Teaching classes from beginner through to training professional dancers. Daniel has danced and toured in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. Trained in Taipei and Los Angeles. Choreographed for dance showcases and TV shows.
Miss Lil Whitfield
Hip Hop, Jazz & Lyrical Instructor
Lil has been teaching in Canberra for the past 13yrs, starting with hip hop and jazz and progressively incorporating musical theatre, contemporary and lyrical styles. Lil has competed in many local and interstate competitions for all styles from the ages of 13-18yrs and is now focusing on teaching students of all ages to carry on her love of dance.
Miss Jaime Trotter
Junior Ballet Instructor
Jaime has been part of the school since she was 5 years old. Having been trained in Classical Ballet, predominantly in RAD syllabus, contemporary, jazz, and hip hop over her dancing years, she has now stepped into a teaching role. Jaime started assisting the Director, Miss Zara Bartley, for the past 5 years and is now one of the full time preparatory and intermediate ballet teachers. Jaime has recently completed her Advanced 2 RAD examination.
Mr Nicholas Jachno
Diploma in Dance majoring in Contemporary
Nicholas Jachno is a Canberra based Contemporary Dancer. He studied a range of dance techniques at Canberra Dance Development Centre before attending The New Zealand School of Dance, Graduating with a Diploma in Dance Performance majoring in Contemporary.
During Nicholas’ time at the school, he was involved in a remount of Hofesh Shechter's Political Mother for the 2016 graduation season. In his third year he also worked alongside Footnote New Zealand Dance, was an understudy of the 2017 rendition of Tiki Tane Mahuta and worked with Craig Bary to create a solo for the schools 50th Anniversary season Once. The solo was then taken to Sydney as part of the Parachute Festival held by Legs on the Wall.
In 2018, Nicholas has been a part of Malia Johnston’s, Rushes, for the 2018 New Zealand Arts Festival, which received four Wellington Theatre Awards. He was also a dancer and collaborator in a design film project, Kinesis, that was displayed as part of the Lux Light Festival in Wellington and received a Bronze award at the Best Design Awards 2018. Nicholas also worked for Cadi McCarthy as a dancer in Catapult Dance Hubs premiere Season of That Place in Between.
NCBS Guest Faculty over the past 5yrs
Joy Womack- US/Russia
Bolshoi Ballet, Kremlin Ballet, Universal Ballet Korea.
Finalist Moscow International Ballet competition.
Silver at Varna International Ballet competition, Bulgaria.
Gold medalist at Asian Grand Prix & Korean International Ballet Competition.
Guo Chengwu - China/Australia
Australian Ballet, SYTYCD China (Winner).
Ryo Kato - Japan/US
Hong Kong Ballet, Houston Ballet US. Finalist at Prix de Lausanne.
Joseph Gatti - US
Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet
Director of United Ballet Theatre, US.
World Ballet Competition US & YAGP (Winner)
Joseph Phillips -US/Russia/Philippines
American Ballet Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre Russia, Ballet Manila. Word Ballet Competition US (Winner).
Adiarys Almeida - Cuba/US
National Ballet of Cuba, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet.
Taras Domitro - Cuba/US
National Ballet of Cuba, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet.
Sergey Kheylik - Russia/US
Bolshoi Ballet, Russian Imperial, Ballet Teacher at ALDC (Dance Moms).
Avery Gay - US
World of Dance US, SYTYCD US, Little Big Shots US.
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde - Philippines
Director of Ballet Manila.
Simon Hoy - Australia
Director of Melbourne Ballet Company.
Michael Braun - Australia
Royal New Zealand Ballet, Queensland Ballet.
Vicki Attard - Australia
Australian Ballet (principal).
Tanya Hearne-Keenan - Austalia
Former Director of Dance Unlimited.
Marie Walton-Mahon - Australia
Former Director of National College of Dance, Tanya Pearson Academy, Director of Progressing Ballet Technique.
Ella Havelka - Australia
Bangara Dance Theatre, Australian Ballet.
Alexa Heckmann - Australia
Sydney Dance Company.
Hiroko Ito- Japan/Russia/Australia
Bolshoi Ballet Academy graduate, Tanya Pearson Academy.
Past Teachers at NCBS over the past 5yrs
Josef Brown - Australia
Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, MDM Marketing Manager, Dance Academy & Neighbours (TV).
Adam Blanch - Australia
Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company,Tanya Pearson Academy.
Lisa Turner - UK/ Australia
Birmingham Royal Ballet.