Two ballet schools combine

TWO Ballarat ballet schools have merged to offer a bigger and better dance program from next year.

The Academy of Classical Ballet and the Karen Mason Dance Studio, which both have about 150 students, will join forces at the beginning of 2015.

Dance studio owner and director Karen Mason said the move would offer students more learning opportunities, as each school taught a different classical ballet program.

Ms Mason said offering the two programs at the one school would strengthen the dance studio.

The combined school, which will operate as the Academy of Classical Ballet, will also offer students a greater choice of classes, including specialised boys’ coaching and an intensive program for students who wanted a career in dance.

Academy director Kellie Fishwick-Roscoe said their “journey has come full circle” as she and Ms Mason had known each other since they were young ballet dancers.

“We went off and developed our careers, came back to Ballarat to raise families and open our own schools,” she said.

“Now we’re doing it together.”

Ms Mason, who will join the academy’s 12 ballet teachers, will develop the Cecchetti program – a technique devised by an Italian ballet master – when the studios combine under Ms Fishwick-Roscoe’s leadership.

The new school will operate out of the Ballarat North and Sturt Street campuses.

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This article originally appeared on page 16 of The Courier newspaper on 25 November 2014.

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