Key Artists




Luanne Hyson

Artistic director, choreographer and dancer


Luanne was born in Melbourne and at an early age left Australia to train professionally in the United States at the San Francisco Ballet School. Luanne was then awarded a full scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet in New York where she was trained by the renowned masters of the Balanchine School such as Suki Schorer and Stanley Williams. After migrating to Europe, Luanne pursued further studies at the Nationale Balletacademie in Amsterdam. Her professional dancing career includes numerous international performances with the San Francisco Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam, the Nederlandse Opera & Reisopera in Netherlands, La Scala Ballet Theatre in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and Florence Dance Company in Italy. Luanne has a Post Graduate degree in Classical Ballet Teaching from the Victorian College of Arts at the University of Melbourne. Since her return in Australia she has been engaged as a Classical Ballet Teacher for students of all ages at several schools, is the founder and director of Melbourne Studio of Ballet and performed in many roles with a number of Melbourne based dance companies and on other artistic productions including films, musicals and international broadcasting events.

Luanne recognised the need of a professional classical and contemporary artists company that presents original choreographies and programmes and founded Dancebourne Arts in February 2015. Since founding Dancebourne Arts, Luanne has developed four original programmes, POINTE, LINE & SURFACE 2015, BALANCE 2016, GODAI 2017, VIVA 2018. Luanne premiered a re-work of the first programme POINTE, LINE & SURFACE - a history of ballet in August 2019 and is currently developing the upcoming 2020/21 programme FIVE ELEMENTS. 






Chiara Ferri

Assistant director and dancer

Chiara started training in Classical Ballet with Marga Nativo in Florence and later went on to study at the “Princesse Grace” Ballet Academy in Montecarlo with Marika Besobrasova. She started her career as a professional ballet dancer in Switzerland, then moved to the UK and worked with the English National Ballet for nine years performing roles in many of the major ballet productions and touring worldwide with the Company. In 2004 she joined the ballet company in Copenhagen Denmark, dancing the Bournonville’s  repertoire and also performing in Pantomimes.
For the past six years she has been teaching classical ballet to students of all ages at the Performing Arts school in Auckland NZ and working as Ballet Mistress for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. More recently she has been teaching and examing at The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet and at affliated school Melbourne Studio of Ballet.

Chiara has danced in four programmes by Dancebourne Arts - Pointe, Line & Surface 2015, Balance 2016, Godai 2017, Viva 2018, toured with the company to the Florence Dance Festival (Italy) 2018. We are delighted to announce that Chiara wil perform in our upcoming 2021 programmes. 

Michelle Valenti


Michelle’s professional training began at the age of 11 at Gay Wightman’s School of Ballet. At age 12, she was accepted into the Australian Ballet School’s Associate program under the direction of Gailene Stock CBE AM. During this time, Michelle trained extensively with re-known Australian teachers, Michaela Kirkaldie, Madame Tang, Lucette Aldous AC, Noelle Shader and Marilyn Rowe OBE.  Michelle commenced her professional full-time training at the age of 15 at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet and later moved interstate to continue her training under the guidance of Marie Walton-Mahon. Michelle succesfully completed the Royal Academy of Dancing Solo Seal performance examination in Sydney and then travelled to London to compete in the prestigious Genée Awards. Michelle was accepted into the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung in Munich, Germany and later invited to perform with the Bayerisches Staatsballett for their season of La Bayadère. Following her experience in Europe, Michelle returned to Australia to study and explore diverse styles of dance studying performing arts full time at Dance Factory. In 2018, Michelle was invited to perform with Dancebourne Arts for their season of VIVA, and 2019 season of Pointe, Line and Surface - a history of ballet, and looks forward to preparing for the upcoming 2020/21 season. 


Sara Di Segna


Sara is a contemporary dancer and performance maker focused on creating new works in collaboration with artists and creators from multiple disciplines. Originally from Italy, she began her studies at the National Dance Academy in Rome and received a scholarship from the Duncan 3.0 Formative Centre, where she completed the biennium of Professional Improvement in Contemporary Dance and Performative Arts.

Sara's early career focused on Contemporary dance and improvisation technique. Having worked extensively in Europe she moved to Melbourne in 2014, where she became a founding member and dance curator for the Independent Theatre Company InHelvetica. Between 2017 and 2018 Sara produced her first original works, which were sucessfully presented at Theater and Dance Festivals.  
 Sara has worked independently as a dance performer in Melbourne and regional projects with many influential choreographers. 
Regonising her attributes and experience it is with pleasure that Sara has been engagd as a dancer for Dancebourne Arts’ upcoming programmes scheduled in 2020/21.

Mako Sato


Mako began dancing at the age of 7 at Hitomi Takeuchi School Of Ballet in Fukushima, Japan. She was accepted as a recipient student of the Interstate Training Program at the Australian Ballet School from 2009.  In 2014 Mako was offerd a place at the Southland Ballet Academy in California and then went on to further her training at The Washington Ballet School in the US. 

In 2017 Mako was accepted into the full time program of the Australian Dance Performance Institute in Brisbane and in 2018 joined Melbourne City Ballet’s pre-professional program later gradutating and performing as an emerging artist in 2019. 

Mako is very excited to join Dancebourne Arts and looks forward to performing in 2020/21.

Denise Kwan


Denise completed her professional training with the academy of Northern Ballet in England and has since performed with several professional companies including Ballet Victoria in Canada, and Hong Kong ballet. Denise has engaged in dance education programs for diverse ages and levels and performed as a special guest artist for educational institutions enriching her knowledge and experience. Denise is thrilled to have rehearsed and performed with Dancebourne Arts in the POINTE, LINE & SURFACE - a history of ballet programme 2019 and looks forward to performing in the next 2020/2021 programmes. 

Orla Christie

Former Apprentice/Artistic Development Program 2019

Orla's professional dance training commenced at the National College of Dance in Newcastle NSW, after which she moved to Brisbane in 2016 to successfully complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Dance Performance,at Queensland University of Technology. In 2019, Orla moved to Melbourne to participate in Dancebourne Art's Artistic Development Program. After one year of intense training and experience within the company, Orla successfully graduated from the program and was offered an apprentice position with Dancebourne Arts to perform in their upcoming 2020 programmes.

Micaela Kitching

Former Apprentice 2017


Originally from Townsville, Queensland, Micaela moved to Melbourne to pursuit a career in dance, training professionally at The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet under the guidance of world class teachers including our own Assistant Director, Chiara Ferri.  Micaela studied at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet for 3 years, performing soloist roles in the annual performances at the Melbourne Arts Centre and Hamer Hall and successfully completed the Advanced Diploma of Dance – Elite Performance and Pre-professional, Transition Year.  

Micaela is delighted to join Dancebourne Arts third programme – Godai.

Emilia Lakic

Former Apprentice 2016


Emilia commenced her dance training at age 11 in Melbourne.  After successfully completing her Advanced 2 Royal Academy of Dance exam and Victorian Certificate of Education in Dance, of which she was selected to perform her own choreographed piece at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Emilia was offered a position to study classical ballet at the fulltime programme of Ballet Theatre Australia.  Under the direction of Leeanne Rutherford and Oleg Timursin, Emilia was given the opportunity to perform many soloist roles in Ballet Theatre’s performances.  In 2015 Emilia was selected to attend the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in New York where she trained with world reknown teachers. Emilia has recently graduated from Ballet Theatre Australia with her Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Dance (Elite Performance).

Emila is delighted to dance in Dancebourne Arts second programme - Balance.

Jarrah McArthur

Former Apprentice 2015


Jarrah McArthur began training at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet at the age of four under the directorship of Christine Walsh. At the age of 17, Jarrah moved to New Zealand to train at the New Zealand school of dance for three years.

During her time spent in New Zealand, Jarrah worked alongside many well know choreographers; Parrish Maynard (ballet master for San Francisco Ballet school), Jo Funaki (ex principal dancer with Royal New Zealand Ballet), Niles Christie (former artistic director of Scapino ballet) and Victoria Simons (ballet mistress for the Balanchine Trust and San Francisco Ballet Company).

In April 2013 Jarrah travelled to Toronto Canada to represent New Zealand in the Ai International Ballet Gala held at the National Ballet School of Canada.

Jarrah has also worked with the Royal New Zealand ballet Company (directorship Ethan Stiefel) touring New Zealand performing their 2013 season of Swan lake and 2014 season of Coppelia.

In 2014 she graduated from the New Zealand School of dance with a Diploma in dance performance.

Jarrah is thrilled to have danced in Dancebourne Arts first programme - Pointe, Line and Surface 2015.


Kathleen Skipp



After graduating from the Performing Arts School NZ, Kathleen moved to Melbourne to complete a Bachelor of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts. Kathleen spent 5 years performing with Anna Smiths Co Motion Dance Company around Australia. She has was nominated for Best Emerging Artist in 2000 and for a Green Room Award for Best Female Performer in 2002.

Kathleen has performed and choreographed for the Melbourne Dance Theatre and independently for many festivals including the Next Wave Festival with ‘Beyond Skin’ in 2004, Short & Sweet Festival, Melbourne Fringe season and Adelaide Fringe - receiving rave reviews. Kathleen co-founded ‘Vital Organs Collective’ in 2008 and later ‘Nearby Physical Theatre’ in 2011. Kathleen has vast teaching experience choreographing and teaching at numerous dance schools around Melbourne for all ages and levels. In 2012 Kathleen became co-principal of Dancentre Bayside Dance School in Brighton & Hampton.

Kathleen was honored to have choreographed for the ‘Balance 2016’, 'Godai 2017' and 'Viva 2018' Dancebourne Arts programmes.


Laura Manicone


Laura began her professional dance studies and advanced training course at the Balletto di Toscana School in Florence, Italy and later went on to specialize and develop her contemporary dance technique at the Opus Ballet School of Florence, Italy.  Laura has worked as a freelance artist for numerous professional contemporary dance companies in Italy.  Laura has engaged and embarked on many innovative and creative independent projects and dedicated her time to her passion of teaching contemporary dance. With a strong desire to study anatomy and the movement of the body in depth, Laura obtained the qualification to teach the Body Code System method at the Il Vortice Centre of Florence.  In 2015 she was selected to participate in the MoDem Pro project promoted by the Zappalà Danza Company.  In the same year Laura took inspiration and decided to expand her experience overseas by moving to Melbourne. In July 2016 Laura was selected to take part in the prestigious One Body One Career intensive Countertecnhnique course with Melbourne based contemporary dance company - Chunky Move. In Melbourne Laura continues her career as a freelance dancer and teacher. Recognising Laura’s talent and experience, it is with pleasure that in January 2019 Laura was engaged as a contemporary teacher with Melbourne Studio of Ballet school and invited to choreograph for Dancebourne Arts’ new work SURFACE for their POINTE, LINE & SURFACE programme 2019.




Geraldine Lett


Geraldine began her dance training at the early age of six with Lorraine Blackburn and

became one of the first 100 students in Victoria to be awarded a place at the Victorian College of the Arts.  She continued her studies at the Australian Ballet School and the West Australian Academy of Perfoming Arts under the guidance of Dame Peggy van Prague and Lucette Aldous completing a Bachelor in Performing Arts.

Geraldine was one of few to be offered a contract with the West Australian Ballet Company and there continued her love of movement and the development of creation and choreography.

Whilst with the West Australian Ballet Company she danced many leading roles and also began to create works for them. Her career path took her to the One Extra Dance and Theatre Company in Sydney and on to New York and London. Geraldine then joined the prestigious Dance Company of Cologne, Germany where she remained for twelve years.

Her dance development continued in the form of teaching and choreography as she became a lecturer in modern dance and choreography at Cologne’s school of Dance and Music.

Upon her return to Australia in 2005, Geraldine has continued to choreograph, teach and coach many aspiring young dancers holding the position of Senior Dance Lecturer at affiliated school, Melbourne Studio of Ballet.

Geraldine proudly presented her first choreographic work for Dancebourne Arts in the VIVA programme 2018. 

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