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About Us

About Us

The Graduate College of Dance established in 1973, is one of Australia’s leading vocational dance schools. The College trains students to excel both nationally and internationally, and continues to produce elite dancers for leading dance schools and companies in Australia and around the world.

Talented students are prepared for the profession in a supportive and encouraging environment, and are trained by distinguished, internationally recognised teachers, including ex-professionals.

The Graduate College of Dance's progressive syllabus is unique to the College, and has been developed by drawing upon valuable traditions from various schools of classical ballet, retaining the best, while embracing the demands of classical dance technique as is required of professional dancers today. The final three years of study are endorsed by the Department of Education’s Schools Curriculum and Standard Authority. Students completing each of these years of study gain points towards their final WACE.

The Graduate College of Dance believes it is necessary that all students have a broad-based comprehensive education, that equips them to pursue vocations not only in dance and the allied arts, but also in areas outside dance.

The Graduate College of Dance offers a range of performance experiences, with a major public season held each year in Perth.

For 50 years, The Graduate College of Dance remains committed to providing elite dance training, nurturing passion and inspiring growth.

Photo courtesy of Paul McGovern | Post Newspapers


The Director
Nathan Coppen Dip ABS

Nathan received his early training in Melbourne at the National Theatre Ballet School under the direction of Gailene Stock CBE AM, before going on to study at The Australian Ballet School where he received the Primrose Potter Scholarship. During his time at the school, he was asked to play the role of Tadzio in the Australian Opera’s production Death in Venice, in which he was applauded for his ‘magnetic stage presence and ability to induce emotional responses from the audience’. Nathan then went on to be accepted into the Australian Ballet Company as its youngest member at the time, under the direction of the Artistic Director Maina Gielgud AO. After an exceptional grounding with the company, he decided to expand his horizons, where he travelled to London to join the English National Ballet under the direction of Derek Deane OBE. While in the company, Nathan flourished and shortly became the image of the English National Ballet, appearing in posters and magazines all over England, being photographed by some of the world’s best photographers.


Director Nathan Coppen with Tamara Rojo CBE

After an illustrious career with the company, in which he had many performance highlights as Principal Dancer, including Romeo in the company’s Australian Tour of Romeo and Juliet and the Prince in both Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, he then went on to join the infamous Royal Ballet. Nathan made his mark on the company in the title role of Onegin and continued on to have great success with the company. He had the great honour of meeting and performing for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, following on from his previous performances for Princess Diana at numerous gala events throughout his time with the English National Ballet. Nathan returned to Australia in 2004 to join the West Australian Ballet as Principal Artist, where he was nominated that same year for a Helpmann Award for Best Male Dancer for his role in La Bohème - The Ballet.

Some career highlights for Nathan include dancing with Marianela Nunez in William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Tamara Rojo CBE in Three Preludes, Belinda Hernandez in The Nutcracker and performing in the International Ballet Festival of Miami, in the Pas de Deux Perpetuum Mobile with Tamara Rojo, which was choreographed on them by Christopher Hampson, current Artistic Director of the Scottish Ballet.

Throughout his varied career, Nathan has gained a broad knowledge of professional dance training and standards worldwide and is passionate about passing on his experience to the next generation of aspiring dancers.


Not-for-profit Incorporated Association


  • Nathan Coppen Dip ABS


  • Kate Stokes OAM


  • Jacqueline Macliver (Chairperson)
  • Karen Braun (Treasurer)
  • Cindy Aquino (Secretary)
  • Anna Campbell
  • Pippa Colomiere
  • Nathan Coppen


  • Diana de Vos
  • Victoria Edwardson
  • May Greenberg
  • Claire Hill
  • Milos Mutavdzic
  • Evgenia Plotkin Mikhailov
  • Marina Smith


  • Susana Gvozdenovic
Studio 2


The facilities are considered to be amongst the best in Perth, Western Australia. Our ballet and dance classes are held in spacious dance studios with change-rooms, shower facilities, a Pilates room, lecture room and an ample reception area to welcome students into the building. The building has easy access parking, is close to the Joondalup and Fremantle train lines, and is a 15 minute walk from the School of Isolated and Distance Education.