The Suzanne Swain Dance Academy offers all students:

  • First Class training in the Ballet Australia Ltd Syllabus
  • Classical Ballet and Examinations
  • Open Ballet class with Kate Ripley
  • Tap
  • Jazz
  • Contemporary
  • Musical Theatre
  • Baby Ballet (Jelly Beans 2.5 to 4 years)
  • Tiny Tots Ballet (2.5 to 4 years)
  • Hip Hop
  • Pointe
  • Stretch
  • Professional Stage Performances and Production
  • Annual Concert at the Arts Centre Gold Coast

The Suzanne Swain Academy teachers are experienced professional teachers and dancers.

suzanneswinSuzanne Swain (M.B.A.L)
Principal and Artistic Director of Ballet

I found my love of dance at the tender age of three years whilst dancing around the room with my Father. I lived for classical dance and was and am totally dedicated to the art of teaching this wonderful dance genre. I started formal studies under the tuition of dancer Sir Kenneth
Gillespie who had come from the renowned Russian-Style School of Edouard Borovansky which was established in Melbourne.  Sir Kenneth Gillespie later founded the Tasmanian Ballet Company.

I was also lucky enough to dance with one of my classmates, the celebrated dancer and choreographer, Graeme Murphy. Graeme went on later to become a dancer with the Australian Ballet and then Artistic Director of the highly respected Sydney Dance Company. Graeme and I danced together in many classics including the “Nutcracker” where I danced the part of Clara to Graeme’s Toy Soldier.

I have also performed in several classical Ballets including “Coppelia” and in the mythical sequences of “Sylvia”

I started teaching my first class while working at the Barbara Walker School of Dancing in Sydney where I became a teacher and member of the British Ballet Organisation (BBO)  and then later transferred to Ballet Australia Limited (BAL)

I strongly believe that when teaching a student Ballet there is a discipline and a physical development that installs confidence in a Ballet student. Ballet also develops a control of emotion, delivers a sense of achievement and creates a strong sense of self-worth and value, which the student will always carry through life.


Jane McPhie has been dancing, teaching and choreographing professionally for 10 years. She began her performance career at 16 working for a small cabaret venue in Brisbane. Ten years on and her career has taken her from America, Asia, Europe and back, dancing on some of the most famous stages in the world.

Some of her performance career highlights include working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a dance captain and aerial performer and performing as a soloist with the Moulin Rouge in Paris. As a teacher and choreographer she has had the privilege of working with several different dance studios across Queensland and choreographing for many local and international production companies.




aisaAisa Rodgers

Aisa grew up in Mackay, North Queensland and started dancing at the age of 3 where the love of all things dance was instilled.

Aisa trained in a number of styles, completed dance exams, and competed in various competitions all throughout her schooling years. She moved to the Gold Coast in 2015 after receiving a spot in the Ikin Dance Australia Full-time course, and continued to learn about dance, teaching, and also fitness.

Aisa is now certified in all of these areas and a vast experience in performing within the industry, including performing for, and cheering on the Gold Coast Titans.

She continues training and performing in order to keep bettering herself and also to have the latest and best knowledge for her students.

katie_ripleyKatie Ripey
Specialist Ballet Teacher

Katie Ripley was trained in Perth with Terri Charlesworth and Diana Waldron where she received her Solo Seal. After graduating from the Australian Ballet School Katie joined the Australian Ballet in 1994. During her eight years with the Australian Ballet she reached the rank of soloist where she danced an extensive classical and contemporary repertoire of principal and soloist roles.

In 2002 Katie joined Sydney Dance Company where she danced for five years. Graeme Murphy created lead roles for her in Ellipse, Tivoli, Grand and The Directors Cut.

In 2003 Katie was nominated Best Female Dancer at the Australian Dance Awards for Underland where guest choreographer Stephen Petroneo created the lead female role for her.

In 2007 Katie retired as a dancer and now teaches as a specialist dance teacher.


Guest Teachers:

cassieCassie Warman (C.D.A AND C.S.T.D)
Tap/Jazz/Hip Hop

I started dancing at age 4 with Suzanne Whiteman at Alstonville Dance Studio – NSW where I attended classes in all styles and annual Examinations with the R.A.D., C.D.A., C.S.T.D. and the B.A.L.

I launched into teaching full time at age 17 at Alstonville Dance Studio and was accepted into a local dance company called ‘Imprint’ which represented Australia in the U.S.A. for ‘Dance Excellence’ and I have not stopped dancing and teaching since then.

I have choreographed work for eisteddfods, concerts and for NSW schools for – Dance Festivals and Rock Eisteddfods including a NSW North Coast school receiving over $5,000 in prize money.

I hold the Advanced Jazz Teachers Certificate with the C.D.A – (Contemporary Dance Australasia) and have been a teacher at many workshops.

In 2010 I moved to QLD to teach Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Ballet & Musical Theatre


alyssteaAlyssa Morgan (R.A.D and I.S.T.D)

I began my dance training in the Hunter Valley, NSW where I studied a variety of styles including classical, jazz, tap, national character, modern and contemporary.

My passion for dance and performing led me into a successful professional career both on national and
international stages, performing with artists such as Anthony Callea, Wynter Gordon and Luciana, as well as on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, for the Newcastle Knights and at Jupiter’s Casino on the Gold Coast.

I have also been teaching for over 10 years with experience ranging from professional level classes to working with children and adults looking for fun and fitness. This passion for the dance industry drives me to keep up with current choreography and the latest styles and I am excited about passing my extensive knowledge on to aspiring young dancers.



Upon being accepted into the Suzanne Swain Dance Academy we require that all students make a commitment to the following Code of Conduct.

Personal Presentation:

  • Students are required to be neat and tidy with the correct leotard, stockings and appropriate shoes.
  • All students will be correctly dressed before entering the classroom.
  • Ballet students are to wear their hair in a bun at all times.
  • Jazz and Tap students must have their hair off the face and bound back.
  • All dancewear must be named and kept in named dance bags when not in use.

Courtesy & Manners:

  • Students are to show respect to teachers, helpers and fellow students at all times.
  • All students arriving late for class must present themselves to the teacher before taking their place in class.
  • All teachers are to be addressed as Miss Suzanne, Miss Jane or Miss Aisa

Classroom Behaviour:

  • Concentration and dedication is demanded in all classes.
  • Private conversations during class will not be tolerated; it is disturbing to teachers and the other students and disrupts the natural flow of the class.
  • No eating or drinking in class. Water is permissible and essential.
  • For safety reasons no jewelry or bracelets are to be worn.
  • For the privacy of other students No video cameras, photography or mobile phones will be allowed during the class or in dressing rooms.
  • Parents and friends are permitted to observe class at the end of the first term
  • Bad behavior from students or parents will not be tolerated and students will be formally asked to leave without the right to refund or credit.


  • Students should be at least 10 minutes early for their class so they can change and warm-up before class.

Delivery and Pick-up of Students:

  • For security reasons all Parents are to deliver and pick-up students from the main door entry of the halls, all students should remain inside the halls until picked up.
  • Parents are requested to wait outside the hall when collecting their children and at all other times unless specifically invited.
  • If for any reason parents are late the student must wait inside the hall.
  • Parents are requested to wait outside the hall for their children.
  • An open day will be provided at the end of term one for parents and friends.

The Suzanne Swain Dance Academy offers students the opportunity to sit the Ballet Australia Ltd (B.A.L) ballet syllabus dance examinations.
The examinations will be held in the third (3rd) term and students will need to attend two (2) ballet classes per week to be eligible. Examinations are not compulsory but it is recommended to maintain a high standard of technique. I encourage all students to undertake their ballet  examinations.
Ballet Australia Ltd (B.A.L) Summer Schools are available to those students who wish to advance their skills and technique.