Latest News

Back to Latest News back


National Theatre Ballet celebrates 80th anniversary

National Theatre Ballet celebrates 80th anniversary
June 3, 2019

The National Theatre Ballet School (NTBS), located on the Southside of Melbourne, a few blocks from the boardwalks of St. Kilda Beach is Australia’s oldest ballet school and is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a Diamond Gala historical event on 29th June.

Never before has there been a gala performance that has brought together the Australian Ballet, the Queensland Ballet, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the Victoria State Ballet, the Melbourne City Ballet and the National Theatre Ballet. They will come together in a one night only gala performance that will ‘take the road back’ to celebrate the history and influence that the iconic dance training institution has had on the Australian dance scene.

The performances will feature the choreography of recently appointed Artistic Director Damian Smith, one of Australia’s most accomplished dancers. Smith’s international career spans more than two decades. From humble beginnings as an indigenous child growing up in Newcastle, Smith has gone on to star in over 200 performances on the world’s most prestigious stages. He was the principal dancer for many years in the San Francisco Ballet, one of the world’s leading ballet companies.

Appointed Artistic Director in June 2018, Smith has also ‘taken the road back’, bringing his experience back home to Australia to inspire a new generation of dancers and revitalise Australia’s oldest ballet school.

The NTBS was formed in 1939 under the directorship of Jean Alexander and since presided over by such luminaries as Marilyn Jones. It was the first of its kind in Australia to be attached to its own professional theatre company which would recruit students from the school into the company. More than 16,000 students have passed through its doors over the years.

Graduates of the NTBS are dancing all over the world, from Prague to Singapore, from the USA to Malaysia. The NTBS is renowned for its excellence in Classical Ballet training, producing some of the most exquisite ballet dancers across the world. Providing full-time professionally accredited training in Classical Ballet (Elite Performance) and an Emerging Artists program.

Smith explained “the School has been in hiding for many years. It’s quiet, so I’m wanting to light a fire under it. I want to help this old beaux-arts theatre which is a Melbourne historical landmark be a beacon of art development, training and production. I’m really excited."

For Smith, teaching is a way to give back to the community and the craft that have allowed him to create an extraordinary life.

He added “I feel like all the information and all the knowledge that’s been given to me doesn’t belong to me, and it’s my responsibility to pass that on.”

Image above of Damian Smith courtesy National Theatre Ballet School.

Related Articles

31st May 2019 - QPAC Lyric Theatre delivers free simulcast across Queensland of Bolshoi Ballet epicĀ 

6th July 2018 - Royal New Zealand Ballet to get temporary home in central Wellington

23rd May 2018 - New Cairns Performing Arts Centre set for late 2018 opening

19th April 2017 - QPAC and the Royal Ballet take dance into the community

2nd June 2016 - $11.6 million in new funding for leading New Zealand arts organisations

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


Fitness On Demand

Fitness On Demand™ is a market-leading developer of virtual group fitness products. Our innovative video delivery systems offer robust content and a simple-to-use, comprehensive web app. Fitness…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks



Talk To Us For Independent Advice & Specialised Services We're business people, not sales reps IP HUB is one of Australia’s leading advisors on telecoms for both small businesses and…

read more

Marketing / Technology


Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business