Elite Masterclass Series

Photo: Jaidyn Cumming. Courtesy of Damian Tierney

This April school holiday program aims to give intermediate to advanced ballet and dance students exposure to exclusive training from industry professionals from around the world. We are excited to bring this program to The McDonald College in 2020 for its fourth year. This three-day program includes Classical Ballet, Pointe & Coaching, Variations, Contemporary & Yoga, and Private Tuition (available by request).

Young to advanced students are eligible to attend, however, ballet grade will also be taken into consideration where applicable. Intake is determined by the age of the student as at 21 April 2020. 



21 – 23 APRIL 2020

9.00am – 4.15pm

Junior (Ages 12-14)

Senior (Ages 15-19)

$375 + $0.50 booking fee

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Head of Pre-Professional Programs, Joffrey Academy, Chicago

Karin Ellis-Wentz is the Head of Pre-Professional Programs at the Joffrey Academy in Chicago, Illinois. Joffrey’s Pre-Professional Program is aimed at providing dancers ages 10-18 with a strong foundation in classical ballet. Prior to the Joffrey, Ms. Ellis-Wentz danced professionally for 23 years with companies worldwide including the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, Boston Ballet, the Atlanta Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, where she performed many soloist and principal roles and became an ABT® certified teacher.

Ms. Ellis-Wentz has served as a judge and master teacher at Youth America Grand Prix in Osaka, Japan and North America, California Dance Classics and Dance World Cup.

Head of Artistic Operations, Queensland Ballet

A former student of The McDonald College, Craig Cathcart began ballet training in the Cecchetti method at the age of five and continued with his training at The Australian Ballet School before joining as a member from 1999-2006. He then joined the Norwegian National Ballet in 2007. More recently, Craig completed studies in Arts and Entertainment Management at Deakin University, which ushered him in a new career direction after retiring from dancing.

In April 2015, at the invitation of Li Cunxin, Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet, Craig successfully applied for the position as Company Manager. In 2019, Craig was promoted to Head of Artistic Operations.

Olivia has directed and choreographed a range of events for companies such as Sydney Olympic Park Authority’s Kids in the Park, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Cracker Comedy Festival, Dreamworld, Belvoir Street, Ensemble Theatre, COFA-College of Fine Arts, Newtown Theatre, Darlinghurst Theatre, Short+Sweet, Next Wave Festival, Entertainment Alliance, Marrickville Council, Chinese New Year, Luna Park, Conservatorium of Music, Youth America Grand Prix and The Studio-Sydney Opera House.

Joffrey Academy Chicago Summer Intensive Auditions 2020

On Sunday 26 April, Jodi Rose will host the third annual Joffrey Academy Chicago (Offical School of the Joffrey Ballet) audition in Woollahra. Karin Ellis-Wentz will be choosing students ages 12 to 21 offering places in their five-week intensive program which runs from 15 June to 17 July. 

More information and bookings can be found here



Private lessons* cost $100 per hour and are to be paid directly to the teacher on the day of tuition. Please email Jane Kesby, Head of Classical Ballet, at kesbyj@mcdonald.nsw.edu.au to request a private lesson with your name, age, contact details and length of private lesson with the requested teacher. Places are limited.

(*Bookings are for EMS attendees only)



We do not provide accommodation, however, there are several options available to those travelling from regional and interstate areas. You can find more information on our Accommodation Information Sheet.



We encourage families to read our Frequently Asked Questions page to answer common enquiries and procedures regarding public transport, refunds, preparation and more.