"Performing for fun, fitness and future" is our motto. Students of all abilities and interest levels are welcome and valued at Cathy-Lea. The curriculum includes "fun classes" for recreational students, “examination classes” for students who wish to progress through levels and work towards goals, and "performance classes" for those who seek a challenge through additional performance opportunities.
Classes have a strong educational focus with the aim being to develop the entire individual to maximize their future prospects, be they in performance or elsewhere. High expectations, caring teachers and disciplined classes facilitate the achievement of these goals.
Social activities punctuate the year, including an annual disco, and every child receives a medal annually.
Cathy-Lea students have performed at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Commonwealth Games, the Deaflympics Opening Ceremony, AFL Grand Finals, the Melbourne Grand Prix, Federation Square, McHappy Days, Carols by Candlelight, Casey Kids Carnival, People in Parks events, retirement homes, shopping centres, inter-school concerts, eisteddfods, cabarets, choreographic competitions and academy productions.
Concerts at both mid and end-of year are held at professional theatrical venues, giving students a real theatre experience. The annual end-of-year Cathy-Lea production is renowned as one of the biggest and best amateur productions around!
Students can progress to professional levels in Dance, Drama and Music with internationally recognized examinations, or complete recognized teaching qualifications with the academy. VCE Dance is offered by experienced school teachers with VCE examining experience.
Students are regularly invited to auditions and have gained roles in films, television and musical theatre.
The premises incorporates four professionally equipped studios meeting "Safe Dance" requirements with sprung wooden floors, dancing barres, extensive mirrors, air conditioning, viewing windows, separate office, lounge, television, video, pianos, music room and a separate set and costume store. The main studios are separated by an acoustic door which can open to create a mini theatre that is used for small performances.
Students have won many awards and scholarships including entry to the Australian Ballet School and the Victorian College of the Arts and performing arts scholarships to private secondary schools. Students have been awarded scholarships with the Southern Federation of Dance at both junior and senior levels and have won many prizes at inter-school competitions across Victoria from Traralgon to Ballarat.
Hundreds of students enter examinations annually from beginners to professional levels and results are always outstanding. Syllabi taught include Cecchetti Classical Ballet, Southern Federation of Dance Jazz and Tap and Australian Teachers of Dancing Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop and Pre-School Dance. Trinity Guildhall exams are offered in Acting and Music syllabi.
Students have gone on to study performing arts at university and work as professional performers and teachers.
With highly qualified teachers, internationally recognised levels of achievement, outstanding student outcomes, tuition that is caring and educationally valid, a professional venue and limited class sizes (max. 15) - fees are very modest. Discounts are offered for students and families undertaking more than one class and "Super Special" discount packages are available for those enrolling in multiple classes. Fees can be paid on a weekly basis, or at a reduced term rate. Concert costumes are reasonably priced, (usually $10-$30), and students can generally keep their costumes after the show.