Director: Lorraine Bennett


Student Teacher:

  • Lillian Grant

Guest Teachers:

  • Fleur Conlon
  • Helen Linkenbagh


  • Dianna Nixon

About the Staff

Director: Lorraine Bennett

Lorraine Bennett has been Director of Classical Ballet Centre Canberra (CBCC) since Term 2 of 2009. Her involvement, dedication and commitment to CBCC, previously the Betsy Sawers School of Dancing and then Canberra Youth Ballet School, spans over 30 years – right back to Lorraine's very first ballet class as a child.

Lorraine at barre

Through full-time study with Betsy Sawers, the Victorian College of the Arts and teacher training with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) head office in Sydney, Lorraine has further enhanced her practical and theoretical dance knowledge. Lorraine completed her RAD Student Teachers Certificate in 1990, Teachers Certificate three years later and her Diploma in 1995.

Lorraine has taught for small stints in many ballet schools around Australia and abroad, and throughout her ballet schooling, teacher training, teaching, study and travel, Lorraine has been very fortunate to work with many internationally recognised dance educators and medical specialists. Medical science in dance is a passion for Lorraine who works hard to keep abreast of advances in research and methodology, resulting in educated students and families.

Lorraine is an integral part of the ballet community in Canberra, having held the position of Treasurer (with Secretarial duties), for the Royal Academy of Dance Regional Advisory Panel of the ACT/Riverina for over 10 years. Previously a public advocate for the benefits of the RAD method of training, Lorraine has also introduced the ISTD method of modern and tap within her school, to enable dancers to be internationally recognised in their dance training, no matter in which field their interests lie. Over the last few years Lorraine has gained her Associate in both ISTD Imperial Ballet and Modern Theatre.

Lorraine's style of teaching is technical and challenging, yet rewarding and fulfilling. Her enthusiasm for helping all students discover the benefits of learning such a beautiful art form, and to realise their own potential, has been proven for over 25 years.

Christina Philipp

Christina Philipp

Christina Philipp began her dance training at age 4 at Betsy Sawers School of Dancing. Over the years she studied Tap, Modern, Jazz, Classical Ballet and Contemporary dance. At 18 she began teaching, one day a week, while she also studied a Bachelor of Arts and Science at ANU. By the time she completed her degree she had increased her teaching hours, and she knew that was what she truly wanted to do.

Christina has since gained teaching qualifications from the Federal Association of Teachers of Dancing (FATD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and is continuing to increase her qualifications through the ISTD, having recently achieved her Associate Diploma in Tap. Christina is also regularly involved with local musical theatre companies, both as a performer and choreographer. She loves the joy that dancing brings to children, and the sense of accomplishment they get when they can perform a new step or routine.

Jennifer Colley

Jennifer Colley

Jennifer Colley began dancing over 20 years ago. As an Army child she attended dance schools in Sydney and Victoria before moving to Canberra and becoming a student at Canberra Youth Ballet School, which was later to become Classical Ballet Centre Canberra (CBCC). When she was in last few years of high school she began her training as a ballet teacher and reduced her hours dancing to focus on her studies. She was the dux of her school in Year 10 and 12 and received the University Medal from ANU for her Honours research. Away from CBCC Jennifer is a science and mathematics teacher and is currently completing her PhD at ANU for which she is examining the development and assessment of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills in Australian high schools.

Jennifer deeply appreciates what ballet has done for her, from developing her poise to cultivating her self-discipline and determination to always achieve her best. It remains a pleasure and a privilege for her to teach the 'littlies' and to witness their joy for dance. She also enjoys the opportunity to teach a couple of senior classes so that she can see how some of her littlies of yesteryear have grown and developed through their time at CBCC!

Catherine Noble

Catherine Noble

Affiliate Student Member of the Royal Academy of Dance

VCE Dance Units 1-4

Catherine has been a teacher at the Classical Ballet Centre since the end of 2013 and currently teaches senior modern and ballet classes on Saturdays at the school. Although she has been dancing since she could walk, her formal training started at the age of four at the school when it was the Canberra Youth Ballet School. Catherine continued to study in Canada and Melbourne, completing her RAD Intermediate and Grade 8 Exams in 2008. Since starting her dance career Catherine has tried as many different styles of dance as she can, and her favourites include Hip Hop and Contemporary.

After deciding that studying dance at a tertiary level was not for her, Catherine has pursued a career in teaching secondary science having completed her Master of Teaching at the end of 2016.

When she is not busy planning lessons or looking after her two youngest brothers, Catherine enjoys travelling and playing board games.

Photography by Beth Jennings