Mandie Black ( Associate I.S.T.D Cecchetti London)

Mandie's career in ballet and teaching reaches across all facets of dance and has taken her from local areas to destinations across the globe, with her creative roots lying in classical and contemporary dance, and her passion extending also into musical theatre. Mandie started ballet at the age of five under the instruction of Ms Jennifer Steilow, before moving on to study with her sister Julie at her then, newly-established ballet school, Julie Ryan Dancers. At the age of 14 years Mandie was accepted into the Australian Ballet School– the youngest ever student to be accepted, at that time, into the diploma course. During her time at the ABS she was fortunate enough to study under such ballet elite as Leon Kellaway, Lucette Aldous, Paul Hammond, Bruce Morrow, Robert Ray, Christine Howard, Harry Haythorne, Pamela Buckman (Australian Dance Theatre)and Elizabeth Keeble (National Ballet of Canada).

After graduating from the ABS at the age of 16, Mandie joined the world-renowned Sydney Dance Company under the direction of Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon, Australia's leading contemporary dance choreographers. With the SDC she performed extensively throughout Australia and overseas at an astonishingly young age – she performed her first ballet with the SDC on her 17 th birthday. After dancing professionally, Mandie returned home and began to teach for Julie Ryan Dancers and soon after began choreographing musical theatre productions for local theatre companies, as well as primary and secondary schools. Mandie's experience in musical theatre is extensive. A 20-plus year career allowing her to choreograph many great shows, from Gilbert and Sullivan to European Operas to Broadway Musicals. With the Latrobe Theatre Company (then the Latrobe Light Opera Society), she choreographed productions of Iolanthe , The Mikado , Orpheus in the Underworld , The Gondoliers , Ruddigore , Frederica , Sorcerer and Trial By Jury , The Boyfriend , Charlie Girl , The Merry Widow , The Gypsy Baron , Gaslight Music Hall , Oliver! , A Toast To Broadway , The Fiddler on the Roof , My Fair Lady , Open Season , Follies , Macbeth: A Rock Opera and Annie . From the LTC, Mandie moved on to choreograph several shows for The Warragul Theatre Company, including Oklahoma ! and Anything Goes , and for a second time, productions of The Mikado , My Fair Lady , Oliver! and Annie. Mandie has also won two GAT Awards for most outstanding choreographer.

In 2001 Mandie co-founded the youth theatre company Class Act Productions, giving local youth a chance to gain experience and develop performance skills in the world of musical theatre. With Class Act, she has choreographed such productions as Scrooge , Guys and Dolls Jnr. , The Fiddler on the Roof Jnr. , The Music Man Jnr. , Macbeth: A Rock Opera , Honk! Jnr. , The Pirates of Penzance Jnr ., Aladdin Jnr . and Alice in Wonderland Jnr . Class Act Productions will this year celebrate its tenth anniversary as the leading youth theatre company in the Latrobe Valley area.

Along with her prestigious background in musical theatre, Mandie is also highly qualified as a teacher of classical ballet and technique. She gained her Associate with the Cecchetti Society London with Distinction and is a qualified teacher of the Australian Teachers of Dance (A.T.O.D) in classical ballet syllabus. Mandie's choreographic skills have also been extensively displayed across various genres of dance including Classical, Creative/Contemporary, National Character and Jazz throughout her teaching career at JRD.


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