Classical Academy Director

Hayley Arundel

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A highly skilled, passionate and sought after dance educator, Hayley is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience of Classical  Ballet (English & Russian styles) with her students.  Hayley trained at The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS) and gained a degree in dance from the VCA, before embarking on an international career.  In the United Kingdom Hayley worked with two of the countries most acclaimed dance companies: English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company. Her role as dance artist for both companies saw her tour extensively through England, Scotland, China, Hong Kong and parts of Europe delivering repertoire based workshops, classes and large scale choreographic projects.  In addition Hayley performed for Biserk Dance Company (UK), Project Volume (UK), Moore Entertainment and Sankio Promotions (Japan).  On returning home, Hayley was appointed manager of The Australian Ballet’s Dance  Education Ensemble touring workshops and performances to thousands of school children Australia wide.  Now also a professional pilates instructor, Hayley has an artistic, anatomical, inclusive approach to Classical ballet technique teaching. 

Classical Academy Teaching Staff

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IONA MARQUES

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Iona began her professional career with Cia Dance 2000 in Brasilia, where she performed in Swan Lake (Moscow Ballet version), among other productions. Since then Iona has worked with a number of companies and independent choreographers in Europe such as Opus One Dance Company, Lorn MacDougal and Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, Holland. Also in Amsterdam she has been a guest teacher with Dance Street studios and co founded the production company Movement Network.  Iona joined the West Australian Ballet in 2006 where she performed in various productions, including Simon Dow’s Red Shoes and Alice, and danced a featured sole role in Francis Ring’s Debris.  In 2008 Iona joined Queensland Ballet where she worked until January 2013 under the direction of Francois Klaus and later Li Cunxin. During the time with the company she toured to Japan, China and Europe, as well as Northern Queensland tours, and performed in countless productions. Her favorite roles are Carabosse in Francois Klaus’ Sleeping Beauty, Eunice in Streetcar named desire and her favorite ballets are Gareth Belling’s Refraction, Nils Christie’s Sink and Fearful Symmetries and Mario Schroeder’s Erdbeermund. 

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Jasmin Johnson

Jasmin took her first ballet class at the age of three and immediately fell in love with dance. She grew up in Marietta, GA training in ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern at the Georgia Dance Conservatory. She began intensely studying ballet at the age of 12 upon acceptance to the North Carolina School of the Arts. Over the years she has trained at the American Ballet Theatre, the Orlando Ballet and the Rock School of Dance Education and received scholarships to the Joffrey Ballet, BalletMet and the Orlando Ballet.

At the age of 15, Jasmin left home to continue her training at the prestigious Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts in Connecticut. There, she was fortunate enough to work with a number of incredible choreographers such as Elearnor D’Antuono, Victoria Mazzarelli, Moses Pendleton, Alexi Tchernichov, and Kirk Peterson. While attending Nutmeg, Jasmin was fortunate enough to perform for Pope Benedcit XVI with the cutting edge contemporary company, Momix. Upon graduation Jasmin relocated to Orlando, FL where she was a member with the Orlando Ballet II.

Jasmin moved to Los Angeles in 2011 and signed with the Movement Talent Agency to begin her commercial dance career. She performed with a number of the leading choreographers such as Christopher Scott and was honored to work with him at the Teen Choice Awards dancing with the famed pop group Paramore! She can also be seen on the popular TV show Glee. She was also in the Samsung commercial “Smart Switch” choreographed by Michael Rooney.

She has lead and directed the Vaganova program at the San Marino Dance Academy in Pasadena, CA since 2014. She has also created the Youth American Grand Prix program at the studio, where many of her students have achieved scores over 92.

Jasmin relocated to Melbourne, Australia in March of 2022 and is looking forward to sharing her love of ballet with students across the country!

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Nikki O'Shea

Nikki O’Shea commenced vocational training aged 11 at The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary schooland completed a Diploma in Performing Arts at The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts with Distinction. 

Professionally Nikki has danced with the West Australian Ballet Company and Sydney Dance Company, and throughout Germany Holland and Belgium over a 13-year international career in ballet, contemporary dance, and musical theatre. 

After becoming a Mum, Nikki returned to Australia and worked as a dancer with Opera Queensland and Opera Australia, while simultaneously transitioning to the roles of assistant Director, Dance Captain, and teacher. 

Since retiring from the stage, Nikki has been bringing ballet to a broad range of students, sharing her love and passion for the art form. A kindy Dance Time teacher, RAD grades from pre-primary to Advanced 2, designing a complete program of ballet for gymnasts, ballet for opera singers, adult ballet from beginners to professional, vocational ballet as head of ballet at The Space Dance and Arts Centre and Transit Dance, and most recently ballet for tweens and adults with Down’s Syndrome. Nikki is currently creating a specialised ballet program for the disability sector.

Nikki has a Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance), a Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management. A CertIV in Training and Assessment, CertIV in Small Business Management, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Dance Teaching through the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). She is also a qualified Progressing Ballet Technique teacher. 

Nikki is currently working towards a Masters in dance teaching and loves teaching the Classical Academy students

And esteemed guest teachers and Faculty of Academy of Dance Victoria