Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Dance Learn Connect 2023

March 19 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Dance Learn Connect 2023



Dance Learn Connect provides dance teachers, studio owners and students studying to become dance teachers of all levels with opportunities and practical tools to grow and learn from dance industry professionals, business leaders, mentors and experts in dance teacher education.


There is something for everyone at Dance Learn Connect, we encourage our studio owners to make this a team experience by including everyone who is involved in the success of your school.


Join us and be inspired as you connect with your dance community online. You will leave with a renewed sense of self-confidence – feeling motivated, passionate and inspired for 2023. Ready to make a difference in their lives and in those of their students, schools and businesses!




DATE: 19th March 2023


TIME:  9.00am–4.00pm (Queensland time)


PLATFORM: Online Professional Development Day via Zoom




ATOD Member: $130.00 / Financial Member all day access.


Non-member: $150.00 / Non Financial Member all day access.


Studio package: $500.00 / All day access for up to 5 attendees from one studio.




Purchase now


These masters of dance and business will inspire you to continue your development through a selection of innovative dance training and supportive workshops and information sessions.




Our motivational presenters will share their secrets of success as they deliver inspiration, excitement and passion to keep the energy flowing throughout the day.




Our team of dance industry professionals will present a selection of Systems of Training content including Level 7 and 8 Hip Hop revision and a deep dive into common concerns highlighted in exams.




Be inspired by our innovative dance teacher mentor sessions including:

  • Exam Education – How to Make the Most Out of Exams in Your Studio and How to Promote Them
  • Launch – Junior Teacher Programme
  • What’s New in 2023!
  • Scholarships to Championships
  • Expert Examiner Panel
  • ALIGN your studio, students and our RTO – help your students to reach their professional potential!


ATOD is a place where dreams come together and are supported.


Join us and be inspired as you connect with your community and gain a sense of purpose that will give you the energy to tackle anything in your studio or classroom.


Craig Harper

B.Ex.Sci., PhD. Candidate


Craig Harper is one of Australia’s leading presenters, writers and educators in the areas of health, high-performance, resilience, self-management, leadership, corporate change, communication, personal transformation and more broadly, human behaviour.


Craig has worked as an Exercise Scientist, Corporate Speaker and Consultant, University Lecturer, AFL Conditioning Coach, Radio Host, TV Presenter, Newspaper Columnist and successful Business Owner. He hosts a high-rating Podcast called ‘The You Project’, is the author of seven books and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology


His wide-ranging topics include “Creating a High Performance Life”, “Becoming Ungiveupable”, “Being the Calm in the Chaos”, “Effective Management; Managing ‘Me’ First.” , “Our Stinking Thinking. Winning the War of the Mind”, plus many more.


Here’s what they say about Craig….”Craig’s presentation was awesome, very motivating and honest. I haven’t heard such honesty in a long time, very refreshing. I found him very inspiring, motivational and good at identifying then presenting to his audience.”

Leah Belford


ATOD President, Licentiate Diploma, Examiner, Cert IV – Dance Teaching and Management, Diploma – Dance Teaching and Management, Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Certificate in Dance – QUT


Leah is not only the President of ATOD, but the proud owner of Barrick Dance Centre, a fully qualified Dance Teacher and Examiner, and a loving wife and mother. Ever since Barrick Dance Centre opened its doors in 1995, she has dedicated herself to providing a safe, happy and loving environment for kids of all ages to dance. Leah cares about the little things, and encourages and cares for each and every child in the BDC Dance Family. When you walk into the studio she will always be your number one support team.

Mandie Black


ATOD Examiner, Graduate of the Australian Ballet, Co Creator of the Musical Theatre Syllabus


Mandie is a graduate of the Australian Ballet School and former member of Sydney Dance Company. With over 30 years of teaching experience in ATOD Classical Ballet System of Training Mandie shares her knowledge and love of dance with Studio Owners, Teachers and their Students. Mandie was also a co-creator of the ATOD Musical Theatre Syllabus (up to and including Level 6) making her a versatile and asset to our Examining panel.

Anna Boland

Anna has been a member of ATOD since 1991. Anna started her teaching career, teaching with her mother at the Beresford Dance School.
In 2000 she became Co-Principle of Dance Discovery firstly with Karen Malak and later with Beth Sherriff. In 2022 Anna became the solo principle of Dance Discovery.
Over the years Dance Discovery has had great success within ATOD’s State and National Championships. With many of the Dance Discovery students continuing onto having professional careers in dance.
Over her time with ATOD and has held many different positions within the state of Victoria including the position of State Organiser.
Anna has also been a member of the board of Directors for many years.

Andrea Dalton


Andrea was a studio owner for 33 years at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, educating thousands of students in many genres to advanced levels. Some have gone on to professional careers, some pre professional training and further careers from there, university training in dance and fine arts, and many have opened their own dance studios or are teaching dance in secondary colleges.


She was nominated to the Board of Directors of ATOD early in her career to serve as a Board member and then President for a period of seven years and has been involved in many projects commissioned by ATOD.


I encourage all members of ATOD to become fully involved in the company as there is much to be gained and to learn from this experience.


As a previously trained and past practicing school teacher, Andrea believes each student has the right to a complete level of safe dance training that suits their personal learning style. While this is not an easy task for any studio dance teacher, in her opinion, this is paramount to success for one and all.

Selina Holdstock


Studio Director- The Allenby Dance Studio, ATOD Examiner, Licentiate Teaching Diploma, Certificate IV Performing Arts- Brent Street, Sydney, Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment


As a student, Selina grew up completing all exams in Ballet, Jazz and Tap with ATOD including the prestigious Avril Binzer Award and CSTD Jazz Award. She was a successful winner and place getter at both State and Australasian Scholarships as well as ATOD competitions and overseas tours, eisteddfods and concerts.


After moving to Sydney to study a Certificate IV in Performing Arts at Brent Street and working as a performer, she began teaching for the family business, The Allenby Dance Studio. Soon after, she realized the fire inside her to teach and nurture young dancers and is proud of the many success stories that she has been a part of and enjoys the challenges of running a successful school and mentoring our teachers.

Karen Malek


Director of Education, Transit Dance, Melbourne, Victoria, Graduate, The Australian Ballet School Teachers’ Course (1997), ATOD Licentiate Member, Examiner, Life Member


Karen has been an Examiner for ATOD for many years and has examined both in Australia and overseas. Examining has been one of the great joys of her life. During this time Karen has been ATOD Head of Syllabi Development and was integral to the upgrade of resources and the development of new genre. Karen was appointed National President of ATOD in April, 2007 and retired in 2017.


Karen has also been an Adjudicator for over 20 years and adjudicated at various eisteddfods including Wollongong, Taree, Orange, Nowra, Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Twin Towns, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Gatton, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Hobart, Devonport, Adelaide, Mt. Gambier, Warrnambool, Albury/Wodonga, Bendigo, Moe, Morwell, Bathurst, Canberra to name a few. She has also adjudicated in Thailand and Indonesia.


She has taught theatrical dance for over 50 years. Former students have enjoyed outstanding careers both in dance and in other industries. Karen is extremely proud of the contribution she has made through dance education over this 50 year journey and in particular is so proud of each and every student she has ever taught.

Leanne McCabe


Principal – Dance World Academy, Associate Degree in Arts Dance (QUT), ATOD Licentiate Teacher and Examiner.


Specialising in Classical Ballet, Leanne has been teaching dance for over 25 years on the Gold Coast, passing on her knowledge and passion for this beautiful art.


As a young professional dancer, Leanne performed with the Queensland Ballet, Australian Ballet, the World Dance Company and Bellder Ballet Theatre where she was a principal dancer. Leanne also performed in professional and amateur Musical productions.


Her love of dance and teaching combine to provide a professional, experienced dance class for her students from the tiniest preschooler to the most experienced ballet dancers.

Bonnie Muir


Director / Co-Principal – Silhouette Dance Company, Director – ATOD, ATOD Licentiate Teacher and Examiner, Diploma Dance Teaching and Management, Cert IV Training and Assessment, ISASF L2 Cheerleading Coach, Rhythm Works Integrated Dance Instructor, Acrobatic Arts Certification Module 1


Bonnie commenced dancing at Silhouette at the age of five, has been employed with Silhouette as a teacher since 2000 and is now a full partner in the studio. Bonnie has completed all examinations in ATOD through to her Advanced Certificate in Jazz and Tap and Intermediate Classical Ballet and Hip Hop (Level 11). She has also gained her Grade 6 Jazz Award in CSTD. During Bonnie’s performing years she successfully auditioned for many performance groups (including the position of Soloist in 2000 Queensland team performance in Hong Kong), she worked professionally in various Brisbane night clubs and is a past winner of the ATOD State scholarship in both Jazz and Tap.


Bonnie is a co-choreographer for the junior levels of the ATOD Hip Hop Syllabus and was an integral part of the sub-committee that saw the project to completion. She has taught Dance and Cheer at various High Schools and Primary Schools throughout Brisbane and has taught at Summer Schools in Australia and Singapore. Bonnie is regularly invited to teach ATOD syllabi at teacher workshops both in Australia and overseas (UK, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore). She has an enormous amount of dedication and is passionate about ensuring that every child is given the opportunity to achieve their very best.

Janelle Smith


Janelle has a background as a young dancer in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Highland and Irish Dancing as well as Musical Theatre. In NSW she taught High School Students up to HSC level in Dance and PDHPE and have a Dance School on the Central Coast. Janelle has been an examiner for over 30 years, initially with SATD and then ATOD when this was founded and is a Director, Examiner and Lifetime member with ATOD. She enjoys the support and friendships that exist between members both in Australia and with ATODI members overseas. Janelle has been fortunate to be involved with the development of the RTO within ATOD and also the overseas teachers’ program which is constantly growing. This year she celebrates 50 years of teaching at her Dance School and hopes that this continues into the future.


“My love of dance and dance education is a passion that I hope to share with young dancers and teachers alike”.

Jessica McLaughlin


Jessica started dancing at the age of 3 and danced throughout her entire childhood under the training of Shelley Tookey at Shelley’s Dance Company in Edmonton, Alberta. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre and highland and competed all over North America in these dance styles. She examined in RAD ballet, Brian Foley Jazz and Al Gilbert Tap exams as well as the Canadian Highland Dance Association exams and Arthur Murray International exams for her Ballroom and Latin dance training. She was selected as part of the Canadian team who represented Canada at the Suzutan Cup in Japan for drill and dance team events and was a dance team member on the Edmonton Eskimos Cheer Team. Her cheer coaching was under the trainings of Dianne Greenough which then led her to coaching a top performing high school Pom/Dance team as well as the Junior Edmonton Eskimo Dance Program. 

Jessica has always loved teaching and started when she was in her early teens. She has continued teaching since then both children and adults in many styles of dance in Canada and Australia. Teaching is her passion and she cares deeply for her students’ wellbeing and safety in all facets of dance and Acro training. She managed and taught at the Edmonton Arthur Murray dance studio as well as the Sydney, Australia location for over 14 years and was the assistant director of the Australasian division of Arthur Murray International running dance competitions and events. 

She now runs and manages her own dance studio, Terpsichore Dance Company, on the North Shore of Sydney, Australia. Jessica has attended many dance competitions and conventions over her 35+ years in the dance industry and has learnt from many of the industry’s professionals. She has obtained a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management, a Diploma of Management, is a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor, a certified Acrobatic Arts instructor, course conductor and examiner, a level 1 certified Progressing Ballet Technique instructor, a certified Glenn Wood Tap teacher and a member of the Australian Teachers of Dance (ATOD). Her studio was one of the first in Australia to be certified by Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (Y.P.A.D.) and she is a certified YPAD Instructor herself. She is always keen to expand her dance and Acro knowledge as much as possible and strives to always be up to date with current teachings in the industry. 

She is extremely proud to be a part of the Acrobatic Arts team and has the highest regards for it’s system of training. She is excited to be teaching for Acro Arts and is looking forward to passing on her knowledge to others.


March 19
9:00 am - 4:00 pm