Artistic Director and Principal:
I love my job! I’m so lucky to be able to combine my love of ballet with working with children, watching them grow into beautiful, graceful, talented, smart and well-adjusted young people. I’m even a ballet Grandma – we have a few students whose mums learnt with me years ago.
If you want to know more, here’s the history……
Helene Gowers started dancing at the age of five under the tuition of Madame Kira Bousloff, founder of the West Australian Ballet Company. As a child Helene was a member of the WA Junior Ballet Company learning many styles of dance including Jazz, Contemporary and Spanish. Her teachers included Kiril Vasilkovsky, Louis Moreno and Shelley Rae. The Junior Company danced for charities and had holiday programs and performances in the city and suburban centres, giving students the opportunity to gain much performing experience. During this time Helene danced two seasons with the West Australian Ballet Company and later became Ballet Mistress and then Artistic Director of the Dance Theatre of WA (which replaced the Junior Ballet Company). Helene passed her Associate teaching exam with ‘Honours’ in 1978.
In 1979 Helene and some of her colleagues formed the Serenade Ballet Company. As Artistic Director, Helene was responsible for choreographing many of the Company’s ballets and for designing costumes and sets. For five years the Company toured country areas and each year held a city season. The Company was also invited to dance at Government House at a command performance for His Excellency and Lady Kyle. Helene danced the leading role in the ballet ‘The Newcomer’, choreographed by Tania Chitty, and especially commissioned for this performance. Helene was also invited to be guest classical teacher for the state gymnastic team at the University of WA Sports Department.
During this time Helene taught in city and country areas and in 1983 established the Bunbury Academy of Dance and the Bunbury Junior Ballet Company. For the School and Company Helene produced and directed many major productions (original and traditional) including shopping centre shows twice a year. Helene upgraded to Licentiate in 1980 and passed her Fellowship in 1986.
Helene has become a prominent teacher of classical ballet in Western Australia. In 1995-96 Helene was guest Cecchetti teacher for the West End Academy of Dance. Miss Gowers has travelled to Europe to study and observe the teaching methods of some of the world’s best teachers including the Cecchetti Centre in London and the Royal Ballet School.
Over the years Miss Gowers has trained 12 of the state’s Cecchetti Associate Teacher members and now coaches all levels of the Cecchetti syllabus, travelling all over the state to promote the Cecchetti Method. Helene has choreographed dances included in the Australian Cecchetti Advanced 1 Major Syllabus. Miss Gowers is the State Representative for the Cecchetti Ballet Australia Inc. for the WA Committee and is also responsible for organizing many of the courses, workshops and conferences held in Perth for the dance community.
All guest teachers have vast performing experience and this year Helene celebrates 47 years of teaching in Western Australia.