The Original and the Best
When established in 1991, Cathy-Lea Academy of Performing Arts was unique in its performing arts curriculum. Over 25 years we have developed programs that offer students a comprehensive performing arts education and enable them to become the best they can be in their chosen genres.
Cathy-Lea training has launched scores of young performers into careers in Dance, Musical Theatre, Dance Medicine and Performing Arts Education. 25 years on, Cathy-Lea still offers "the works" in performing arts education from teachers who are experts in their fields, be it Dance, Music or Drama.
All Abilities. All Needs.
Our all-abilities philosophy, inclusive practices and streamed classes for specific needs enable us to teach talented elite students in our Elite Training Program, recreational students in our general classes, students with disabilities either in mainstream or in a supported settings and male students in boys' only classes or mixed-gender groups.
We also have students of varied cultural backgrounds across all our programs and teach tolerance and respect of others' in our programs.
For 30 years Cathy-Lea has been committed to offering children exceptional opportunities in the performing arts. She has directed plays, musicals, Rock Eisteddfods, dance productions, concerts, cabarets and community performances.
In 2015 alone, Cathy-Lea students performed in Disneyland Hong Kong and competed in an international Hip Hop competition, finishing in the top 14 in the world in their division! Students from the Elite Training Program won every aggregate award and the overall teachers’ aggregate at the Southern Dance Festival in September.
All this as well as music soirees, a musical production, concerts and performances at Berwick Show, a retirement home, inter-school galas, DCI and other community events.
Limited Class Sizes
Classes are limited to a maximum of 16 students in large studios with smaller numbers in smaller spaces. We employ assistant teachers as required to ensure we re able to meet the individual learning needs of all children.
Cathy-Lea has had a reputation for excellence for 25 years. Students achieve many awards each year. Here is sample of what students achieved in 2017:
Holly Neale: Premiers Award for VCE Dance
Winner ATOD Australasian Senior Tap scholarship
Runner-up ATOD Australasian Senior Jazz scholarship
Senior Champion Dancer at Jump Dance Challenge
Featured on the cover of Dance Train magazine in September
Full scholarship to study at Spectrum Dance in 2018
Emily Woolcock: Winner ATOD Victorian Junior Tap scholarship
Runner-up ATOD Victorian Jazz scholarship
3rd ATOD Australasian Junior Jazz scholarship
Winner – Cecchetti Choreographic aggregate award
Adjudicator’s award – Jump Dance Challenge
Scholarship to Transit Intensive program
Winner ATOD Australian Sub-Junior Jazz scholarship
Winner ATOD Victorian Sub-Junior Jazz scholarship
Cecchetti Scholar 2017-2018
Australian Ballet Junior Extension program
100% for grade 5 Ballet exam
Awarded a Dance scholarship to Beaconhills College
Jessica Ryan: Cecchetti Scholar 2017-2018
Australian Ballet Junior Extension program
Winner ATOD Victorian Sub Junior Tap Scholarship
Runner-up ATOD Victorian Sub Junior Jazz Scholarship
Runner-up Senior Jazz Championship Bonbeach
4th Place ATOD Victorian Senior Tap Scholarship
Honourable Mention Senior Jazz Championship Moe Eisteddfod
& Southern Dance Festival
Encouragement Award at ATOD Australasian Sub-Junior Tap Scholarship
Honourable Mention at ATOD Victorian Sub-Junior Tap Scholarship
Honourable Mention Cecchetti Junior Encouragement Award
2nd ATOD Intermediate Jazz scholarship
3rd ATOD Australasian Jazz scholarship
Cecchetti Excellence Award for achieving 100% for Grade 6
Top mark in Victoria for Intermediate Cecchetti Ballet Exam
The following students competed Advanced examinations with Honours in 2017:
Advanced Seal Tap - Brooke Howard, Emma Kirby
Advanced Jazz - Amanda Thai
Advanced 2 Classical - Amanda Thai
Some of our other achievers include;
The teaching staff at Cathy-Lea are all experts in their fields including highly qualified educators and trainers, sports medicine practitioners and current performing arts industry professionals.
Every year, Cathy-Lea graduates are accepted into full-time performing arts courses. We currently have graduates training at the Australian Ballet School, the Victorian College of the Arts, the Ministry of Dance, Melbourne City Ballet, Patrick Studios Australia, Kelly Aykers Studios, Spectrum Dance, Transit Dance and Collarts University. Several of our graduates also pursue careers in performing arts education with some owning their own studios and working in schools.
Cathy-Lea Studios include specialised Dance, Music and Drama facilities in Narre Warren, opposite Fountain Gate Shopping Centre and Casey ARC. These were the original purpose-built dance studios in the region and undergo regular renovations to ensure the dance floors and environs are kept at top professional and modern standards.
Cathy-Lea offers "The Works" in Dance styles including Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Commercial and Acrobatics for Elite and Recreational students...
Cathy-Lea Dance, Music and Drama Works is the leader in performing arts education in Melbourne’s South-East