The TPA selective Full Time Academy is renowned for providing world-class ballet training and education for dedicated and talented students wishing to pursue a professional career in ballet.

Founded over 45 years ago by Tanya Pearson, the Academy provides one of Australia’s oldest and most respected full time programs with a large and impressive faculty of internationally respected teachers (currently over 15 teachers on the Full Time faculty).

The Full Time Program, under the hands-on Artistic Directorship of Lucinda Dunn OAM, is carefully modelled on international standards of training and based on the principles of providing the highest quality classical ballet technique in addition to providing students with the technical, physical and emotional tools and support to progress and succeed.

Many of the Academy’s students have gained success in world competitions such as the Prix de Lausanne, Genee International Ballet Competition and Youth America Grand Prix. The Academy has produced numerous Genee Gold Medalists, YAGP Winners and Finalists, Alana Haines Awards NZ Winners, and Sydney Eisteddfod Senior Ballet Scholarship Winners.

Students of the Academy are regularly offered places and scholarships at the following international selective schools: The Royal Ballet School UK, John Cranko School Stuttgart, Hamburg Ballet School, Houston Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, English National Ballet School, Royal Conservatoire Den Haag, and Palucca Schule Dresden to highlight a few. The Academy also provides Pre-Professional training for students wishing to complete their training in Australia prior to joining a professional company.

The Full Time Program offers 4 levels of training:

  • Full Time Level 1
  • Full Time Level 2
  • Full Time Level 3
  • Pre-Professional


The Tanya Pearson Academy is a partner with the Australian Teachers of Dancing (ATOD).
In 2022, the following qualifications will be delivered in partnership with ATOD:

Advanced Diploma of Dance – CUA60113
Diploma of Dance – CUA50113

Nationally accredited training delivered in partnership with ATOD – RTO 31624

The TPA Full Time Program attracts students from across Australia and overseas. Open Auditions take place at the TPA studios once a year, usually in the month of September. Auditions also take place in various states across Australia, as well as by DVD/video link or by private audition on occasion.

Interstate and International students have access to a large network of home-stay options close to the studios or within a short commute on public transport. The Academy is conveniently located on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, well serviced by St Leonards train station (five-minute walk) and an excellent bus network.

Full Time students are exposed to a rich and comprehensive program that includes classical ballet, character, pas de deux, contemporary, pointe classes, male coaching, repertoire, pilates, limber/stretch, conditioning, yoga. TPA Full Time students have the opportunity to continue their RAD and Cecchetti examinations.

Full Time students are prepared for international competitions and TPA also facilitates introductions to International Directors and Guest Teachers. The Academy holds regular master classes and performance opportunities.

In addition to their technical training, students are provided with on-site education in dance history, anatomy, dance psychology, health, and nutrition. On-site academic tutoring is provided five days a week and students have access to on-site physiotherapists six days a week.

The Academy has strong affiliations and connections with leading ballet academies around the world and conducts regular overseas audition tours as well as facilitating and tailoring international auditions and intensives for its students.

TPA Full Time Students have the opportunity to perform regularly with The Sydney City Ballet Company. Founded in 1971 by Tanya Pearson, The Sydney City Ballet Company (formerly known as the Sydney City Youth Ballet) provides an invaluable opportunity for pre-professional students to gain professional stage experience, performing full length classical ballets such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Les Sylphides as well as newly created works by Australia’s up and coming choreographers. The Company stages annual seasons at The Concourse Theatre Chatswood, as well as touring to regional towns and cities providing the essential opportunity for pre-professional students to gain professional stage experience.


“I feel inspired by the students and have a deep desire to pass on all I know to them so they can be their best every day and achieve their dreams.”

Lucinda Dunn OAM Artistic Director


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