We are very grateful to our Board Members and Collaborators.
They help us achieve our mission by donating their time and efforts by engaging with us in research, working groups, partnerships and generation of ideas.
President and Founder
Her passion for ballet combined with her passion for enabling the arts to be accessible to all children regardless of their socio-economic status lead to the establishment of Ballet without Borders in 2016. Having realised how inaccessible this art form is for many people, including herself when she was a child, Katia wanted to ensure that every child should have the opportunity to experience the joy of ballet.
"Ballet teaches you discipline, drive, musicality, all of these wonderful life skills combined with the joy and health benefits of movement. Why should a child who does not have the opportunity to attend a ballet class due to their socio-economic status miss out? I want to give this opportunity to all those children who would otherwise never attend a ballet class, they may not fall in love with this art form but they will have had the opportunity to experience it. An opportunity all to often denied."
Vice-President and former Principal Artist, The Australian Ballet.
Leanne started her journey with dance at the age of 3 with one of her biggest inspirations to this day Helen McKay. She began full time study with Terri Charlesworth and her faculty who influenced and paved the way to her first job with The West Australian Ballet at the age of 17. Under the direction of
Ted Brandsen Leanne had many wonderful opportunities at the very beginning of her career
which led her to make the move east. In 2001 she Leanne joined Australia's internationally renowned flagship company The Australian Ballet where she danced for 18 years. 8 of those leading the company as a Principal Artist. Performing nationally and internationally, she has represented her country throughout Australia, Europe, The United States, and China. A highlight was opening in London in Alexi
Ratmanskys production as ‘Cinderella’.
Of the worlds leading choreographers she has had the opportunity to work with Wayne Mcgregor, John Neumier, Alexi Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Krystof Pastor, Rudi van Dantzig, Graeme Murphy and Stanton Welch. Leanne won an Australian dance award for ‘Most outstanding performance by a female
dancer’. She has also been nominated for two greenroom awards in 2009 and 2013.
The year of 2015 challenged her perception of exciting leading roles when her son Max was
born. With a new and re-invigorated perspective she returned to the stage in 2016.
Leanne is extremely honoured to be working with Ballet Without Borders to broaden the
culture and reach of the art form.
Treasurer and Secretary and Director Customer Services - SDN
Geoff has a long history of working in the not for profit and community centre. As the former Director of Social Leadership Australia and Executive Director of Innovation at Life without Barriers, Geoff's experience in working with communities, passion for equality and being able to have difficult conversations are some of his many skills and values that he brings to Ballet without Borders.
Board Member & lawyer.
Karen is an experienced banking and finance lawyer, working with many clients during her time in
both private practice and in-house at a major financial institution. Karen is a regular attendee at the
Australian Ballet, and is very excited to be able to combine her enjoyment of ballet with her legal
skills to help bring ballet to a broader audience of children.
Board Member & Senior Marketing Manager PwC.
Claire is a senior marketing leader with experience across professional services, media and entertainment and the financial services sectors. A keen volunteer, Clairehas worked for a variety of not for profits across Australia and South America and is able to bring her enthusiasm for this as well as her experience in both Marketing and Communications to Ballet without Borders
COLLABORATORS & ADVISORS
Freelancer and dancer with Ballet Vlaanderen
Juliet and Ballet without Borders connected after it's founder saw her amazing performance for MONA in 2016 and after connecting over social media, both realised that they shared similar passions for bringing dance to a much wider audience.
Talent and passion for dance aren't exclusive to the demographics who are privileged enough to be able to afford to pursue the career. As ballet fights to maintain its relevance in the fast-paced modern world, its accessibility becomes central to the issue, so the work that Katia does with Ballet Without Borders is an important missing link in the dance community in Australia.
Mitchell began formal dance lessons at the relatively late age of 13 in his home town of Newcastle.
In 2001 he commenced at the Robyn Turner Ballet School, where he studied classical, jazz,
contemporary and character dance, before taking up full-time dance studies there under the
guidance of Tessa Maunder in 2003. Mitchell was accepted into The Australian Ballet School in
2005 and received a contract with The Australian Ballet in 2008 where he went on to perform roles
in many traditional ballets as well as new works by various esteemed choreographers such as
Graeme Murphy & Alexei Ratmanksy. Throughout his time in The Australian Ballet Mitchell had the
opportunity to perform internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London & Tokyo as well as
various major cities in Australia. Mitchell retired in 2016 and now lives and teaches in Sydney.
Lucy is in her final year of her Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Sydney. She is passionate about working with children and families on affordable healthy eating and thoroughly enjoys creating sessions that are interactive and fun. Lucy is a strong believer that nutrition education needs to start in childhood to empower children to start making healthier choices from a younger age.
Aside from this, Lucy has recently started as a Go4Fun leader, a free healthy lifestyle NSW program for families and volunteers at Obesity Australia and The Biting Truth. In her spare time, she enjoys trying different cuisines and learning traditional Korean recipes from her mother and grandmother."
Lyn is an experienced dance teacher who specialises in teaching Ballet. Lyn is originally from the UK, where she began dancing at an early age. After high school Lyn studied dance full time at the Lillian McNeill School of Dance in Scotland. Lyn graduated with Merit and has been teaching dance ever since. Lyn currently teaches Ballet at several dance studios as well as being a co-owner of Wicked Dance Academy in Sydney’s Western suburbs. Lyn is delighted to be able to work with Ballet Without Borders and share her love of Ballet with the next generation.