Ione Barczak

Principal teacher

Ione Barczak teaches Ballet the way it’s done on stage by the world’s best dancers. Since 1979 Ione has taught movers of all kinds, from aspiring dancers to amateurs. Owning and operating her own dance school until 1999, Ione is also the founder of Danca Corpo & Cia and Candelabrum.

In New Zealand Ione has taught and choreographed at City Dance, North Harbour Gym, Diocesan School, Northcote College, North Shore Musical Theatre, Pilates Body Studio, IQ Pilates, Lifestyle Fitness and others.

Ione studied Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Tap at STAGIUM, UNIC, Joffrey Ballet School, Broadway Dance Centre and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. During her dancing career Ione performed with many Dance Companies, Drama Companies, Choirs and Rock and Roll Bands.

Ione follows the methods of Finis Jhung and David Howard, both masters with New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, using a modern version of the Vaganova Technique. Known by her students for her enthusiasm and patience, she encourages dancers of all levels to enjoy the movement while preserving the essential qualities that make Ballet amazing.

Sarah Thompson


Sarah began moving to music at the age of 3, when she was placed in tumbling classes in an attempt to quench her insatiable need to climb everything. 9 years of gymnastics later, she made the transition into dance, enjoying 10 years learning and performing with the Tina Lee Chinese Dance Group.

After a couple of years’ break (during which graduate work in chemistry at University introduced her to a love of teaching what you love), Sarah started her ballet journey at the grand old age of 24, studying with Ione Barczak in the Vaganova method. What began as something to keep her sane during her PhD quickly developed into a cheerful obsession, and 6 years later you’d be hard pressed to find her not sporting a leotard, pink tights and a bun (even under her labcoat).

Sarah’s teaching style is informed by her own experiences as an adult ballet student, her love of musicality and ensemble performance, and her firm belief that life is just better when it includes ballet!

Julie Sandilands


Julie has been dancing ballet since forever. She believes that ballet isn’t just for children and teens. The best type of ballet is adult ballet!

Teaching and sharing her love of ballet with others is a great pleasure. It’s also a great way of keeping fit and active in a sport that’s a whole lot of fun. Helping others develop their love for ballet is the reason she loves teaching.

Julie has danced and performed around the world; in the States, Japan, France and Germany.

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