Founded in 1974 by Miss Lorraine Peters, the Southern Ballet School was built on an outstanding reputation with many students achieving distinction in their careers as dancers, performing in New Zealand and internationally to principal status.
The school is affiliated to the British Ballet Organisation, The Royal Academy of Dance and NZ Academy of Modern Dance all of whom demand a high standard of their teachers and students, and whose training syllabus are committed to the achievement of that standard.
The philosophy of the Southern Ballet School is to train dancers through the enjoyment of learning dance, to inspire confidence in all students, to develop movement and deportment and, above all, to widen the student’s imagination and appreciation of music from classical ballet to modern jazz. Discipline and respect for self and others are essential elements in our training philosophy as is the fostering of an active participation in and support of the arts.
Southern Ballet was uniquely situated in the Christchurch Arts Centre until the 22 February 2011 earthquake. After this catastrophic event which left The Arts Centre severely damaged & forced the Southern Ballet Trust Board to make a decision on the future of school and theatre.
Being committed to continuing the development of this art in Christchurch finding new premises was a priority. We were fortunate to find dance studios at 108 Carlyle Street in the nearby suburb of Sydenham and have transformed these premises into our new home. With two large studios, one which is converted to a theatre for our school holiday productions with capacity of an audience of 80, a small studio for private or small group lessons, along with wardrobe space, a lounge, café and administration area we are now settled in this new home. Due to demand for extra classes additional space was leased in nearby Hawdon Street. Previously a vehicle restoration workshop the space is now fully refurbished as our 4th dance studio. Opened for the 4th term of 2013; Studio 4 is the home of our Modern School.
Southern Ballet offers ballet classes in R.A.D. major syllabus, B.B.O. grade and major syllabus and NZAMD jazz and contemporary syllabuses. Classes begin at Pre-school level (3 years plus) to Advanced level; with special tuition for boys.
A full time Enhanced Training and Performance Course offers specialised tuition for committed students considering a career in dance.
Adult ballet courses are designed to encourage students wishing to return to dancing.