School History

Hawthorn Studio of Dance, established by Ms Susan Sargison in 1991, has taught children in the Boroondara and surrounding areas for over 25 years. The school has educated thousands of students over this time with many following their dreams of building successful dance careers both in Australia and internationally.

By 2014, the school had outgrown its Hawthorn location and moved to Surrey Hills into a bigger, purpose built facility, encompassing professional dance studios, large parent waiting area, change rooms and lots of storage for our huge costume library!  Due to popular demand, we have also continued to run classes at the lovely St Columbs Church Hall in Hawthorn, and will continue to do so moving forward.

2016 has seen the school change its name to THE DANCE STUDIO Academy of Performing Arts.  This name change reflects not only our relocation from Hawthorn to Surrey Hills, but also the growth of classes that we now offer in all areas of performing arts.  Our students thrive not only classical ballet and other modern dance styles, but also in musical theatre, singing and acrobatics. We now recognize ourselves as a complete performing arts training facility and believe this should be reflected in our name.  Our thriving Baby Toes program will remain of the same name and will continue to be taught at both Hawthorn and Surrey Hills locations.

THE DANCE STUDIO team are committed to providing the very best performing arts education to its students and are passionate about building confidence, technical skills and a love of dance and performing.

Achievements & Awards


The Dance Studio has won many awards and scholarships in prestigious competitions held in Australia:

  • Ballet Teacher’s Workshop Vic Inc.
  • RAD Winter & Graded Workshops
  • RAD Vocational Autumn, Winter & Spring School
  • RAD Graded Awards
  • RAD Kathleen Gorham Awards
  • Southern Federation of Dance Competitions
  • Follow Your Dreams Dance Competitions
  • Bon Beach Dance Competitions
  • Metropolitan Dance Competitions


The Dance Studio students and teachers have been accepted into full time training at the following prestigious vocational training programs:

  • Australian Ballet School
  • Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS)
  • Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne University)
  • Dance World Studios
  • Ballet Theatre Australia
  • Kelly Aykers Full Time Dance
  • Australian Conservatoire of Ballet
  • Melbourne City Ballet