About Us

We aim to nurture a love of dance in our students whilst aspiring to develop a high level of technique and artistry.

Our teaching staff, all highly qualified professionals, strive to create a positive and encouraging atmosphere to allow each student to reach their full potential and develop friendships and social skills.

Our expert tuition and training has helped students into prestigious ballet schools both in Australia and overseas with many of our former students now dancing and teaching professionally throughout the world.

Our personalised classes ensure we can help each student individually with the dance styles they love. Our classes cater for pre-school children through to adults with a love for dance and are offered at our fully equipped studios at Warners Bay and Toronto. Our facilities include three fully equipped, air-conditioned studios with sprung floors and waiting areas at our Warners Bay location. We also have a uniform shop onsite to supply class wear.

We provide tuition, classes and much more including:

  • Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet examinations and assessments from pre-primary to grade 8 and Vocation Examinations from Intermediate Foundation to Advanced 2.
  • Contemporary dance classes
  • Pullars unique tap technique exam syllabus
  • Jazz and hip hop dance classes
  • Specialised pre-school dance classes
  • HSC dance coaching
  • Solo eisteddfod coaching
  • Performance groups
  • Stretch classes
  • Private lessons available
  • Exam holiday school
  • 100% acceptance in HSPA School
  • Mid-year demonstration with scholarships awarded
  • Trophies for all students
  • Annual concert


Lake Macquarie Dance Centre provides a professional, stimulating and caring environment for children and adults alike to learn various dance styles. Our staff are highly qualified professionals but more importantly are passionate about dance, says dance centre owner Debra McDonnell.

Our results speak from themselves with 100% exam success rate and high numbers of merits and distinctions. Many of our students have gained acceptance into university dance degree courses throughout Australia.

Some of our former students are now dancing and teaching professionally throughout the world.

The Lake Macquarie Dance Centre is celebrating its 40th year of dance tuition, starting as the Robyn Hick School of Dancing in Toronto. Throughout the years the studio has grown to 2 locations. In 2006 Debra McDonnell took over as the principal, bringing her many years of teaching and experience into the studio.

In 2011 Damian Smith a former student of Robyn Hick and principal dancer of the San Francisco Ballet Company gladly agreed to be our school patron. In 2012 we visited him and enjoyed watching a company class and performances in San Francisco on our American Dance Trip.


We aim to develop your child's love of dance and music in a nurturing and safe environment and have them reach their individual potential.

Previous Achievements

100% exam success rate, results with high numbers of merits and distinctions
Former students are now dancing and teaching professionally throughout the world.
Students have been accepted into prestigious ballet schools both in Australia and overseas including: Royal Ballet School, Paris Opera Ballet School, Australian Ballet School, New Zealand Ballet School
Many students have gained acceptance into university dance degree courses throughout Australia.
HSC dance callback.

Our students have competed successfully in many championships and scholarships including:

Finalist at Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland
Studio chosen to perform at the Royal Academy of Dance 80th Anniversary Gala Concert
Outright winner of the Isobel Anderson Awards
Students have been selected as finalists in the Isobel Anderson Awards.
Winner of the Isobel Anderson Intermediate Awards Intermediate Scholarship.
Competitors successful in the Alana Haines International Ballet competition in New Zealand, scholarships awarded
Students accepted into the ABS interstate program
Awarded Best Choreography for Troupes in several eisteddfods
Winner of the City of Sydney Senior Ballet Scholarship
Finalists at the City of Sydney Senior Ballet, Awarded the Performance Award
Representing Australia at the Prix de Lausanne Ballet Competition in Switzerland
Bronze Medal Genée Awards in London
Winner of the City of Newcastle Senior Ballet Scholarship
RAD Winter School Scholarship Awards
Regional championships and scholarships