Founded by Leeanne Rutherford in 1999, Ballet Theatre Australia is a Melbourne ballet school known for ballet training that balances a commitment to excellence with a nurturing environment, developing each student to their maximum potential as an artist. Teaching Vaganova-based classical method, we prepare the dedicated student for a professional career in classical ballet.

Based in the heart of Melbourne, Ballet Theatre Australia offers classical dance for juniors and seniors, full-time and part-time students; including ballet training to professional level, ballet assessments, dance performances, floor barre, classical class, pointe, pas de deux, character and contemporary.


Junior Full-Time Program

At Ballet Theatre Australia, we offer two full-time programs. The Junior Full-Time Program for ages 12-16 years focuses on developing and nurturing the individual within a serious but encouraging environment, aiming to give each individual student a strong and refined classical technique.


Pre-Professional Program

The Pre-Professional Full-Time Program for students aged 17-21 years focuses on extending the individual’s artistry whilst further refining a level of technical excellence, preparing the student to enter directly into a career in a professional ballet company.



Entry into Ballet Theatre Australia is by audition only. Students are assessed on their flexibility, strength, physicality, musicality, concentration level and their inherent ability to apply corrections.


Summer School

We host a one-week intensive summer school during the January holidays every year.



At Ballet Theatre Australia, we host two performances each year in which our students are encouraged to showcase their talent and training.

End-of-Year Presentation 2019

Pre professional Students


Leeanne Rutherford at Melbourne Ballet School

Leeanne Rutherford

Oleg Timursin at Melbourne Ballet School

Oleg Timursin

Karalyn Rutherford at Melbourne Ballet School

Karalyn Rutherford


Former Students

With a reputation for meticulous classical training along with developing the true artist in each student, dancers from around Australia, Japan, USA and New Zealand audition to be part of Ballet Theatre Australia.

Many of our students have gone on to enjoy successful careers with various companies, from The Australian Ballet to Gratz Ballet, Austria; from Queensland Ballet to San Francisco Ballet; from Royal New Zealand Ballet to Zurich Ballet.


Current Students

As proud as we are of our past students, we believe our most important students are our present ones. We actively seek out a variety of real performance opportunities where our students are challenged to become more experienced performers.

We believe in students performing their own lead roles within performance, for it is only with such intense rehearsal and performance experience that a student can advance to the level of a professional ballet dancer.



  • “The training at Ms Rutherford’s school is of International Standing. It develops a dancer of great merit possessing a strong use of epaulment and brilliance of foot work, diversity of style and great artistry and professionalism…”

    (Madame Janina Cunova)

  • “Ms Rutherford is one of those unique teachers who is capable of procuring the maximum potential from each and every student. Her keen skills of observation, analysis of movement and her inherent understanding of her students’ personalities and individual learning styles ensure a methodology honed to provide an individualised teaching approach for every student.”

    (Lee Anton-Hem)

  • “The professionalism and quality of training demonstrated by the students of this school represents the finest of International Standards.”

    (Paul Hammond)