Dance Explosion is a professionally-run, friendly and fun dancing school, run by two women who have been part of the Performing Arts world for over forty-five years. We have been operating in four locations across Melbourne for over twenty years - Balwyn, Croydon, Deer Park, and Reservoir.
We are a non-competitive school, meaning we don't take part in competitions, and we don't run exams. We believe that dancers thrive best in a welcoming environment, and we cater our teaching to every students' individual abilities.
In our classes, our students not only get a great dance education but are provided with a form of fitness that encourages great physical health and coordination. They also build on their confidence, and learn about teamwork and cooperation. We've also seen plenty of our students form friendships that have lasted many years, sometimes into their life after dance.
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IN THE BEGINNING
In 1971, at about five years old, our directors met at Heydon and Lowden Ballet School in Croydon. Nicola and Wendy, like most little girls, both dreamed of being ballerinas when they grew up.
Although they weren’t in the same classes initially, their ballet classes would combine for classes and performances. Their first time on stage together was in 1972, with Wendy appearing at a young Bambi, and Nicola as a beautiful butterfly.
In their early teens, they fell into the same classes, learning Ballet and Jazz, and completing all their Major R.A.D. Ballet exams. Both began teaching classes at an early age. In fact, Wendy was Nicola’s first assistant in her first Primary Ballet class she taught at the age of fifteen!
Taking the stage
Both Nicola and Wendy started teaching freelance classes, but what they really wanted was to perform. Nicola had her first audition at sixteen years old for a job dancing in floor shows at The Swagman Restaurant in Ferntree Gully. Although this was purely for the experience of auditioning, she ended up getting the job!
Soon after, a seventeen year old Wendy got her first job with Regmatt Productions, performing in cabaret shows at the Launceston casino. Both then became dancers for choreographer Tony Bartuccio, whose dancers, at the time, were featured in almost every corporate and sporting event. They became Carlton Bluebirds, performing at numerous Channel 9 events, and even made appearances as extras in TV shows, including Neighbours and Prisoner.
They continued to teach, while also choreographing for and adjudicating dance competitions. On top of this, Nicola and Wendy also travelled for work, doing floorshows at resort hotels and theatre restaurants in Japan, Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia, to name a few. They loved that they had the opportunity to travel and see the world, while also getting paid to do what they love.
The birth of Dance Explosion and our four studios
While they were both taking part in these various jobs simultaneously, they weren’t actually working together, but they had always wanted to. They had always wanted to produce their own shows, so they decided to start a company together where they could work with their friends and produce shows of their own. The creation of this company was the birth of Dance Explosion. In 1988, Dance Explosion began producing shows in Melbourne, creating floorshows, shows for corporate events, and hair shows. While doing these shows, Nicola and Wendy continued to work professionally, while also teaching at various schools such as Canterbury Ballet School, and Eve King & Audrey Nichols’ School of Ballet - they basically taught anywhere and everywhere.
In 1993, Nicola and Wendy were still teaching with Marita Lowden at her studio, which later became Angela Hill School of Ballet. Angela, who was Nicola and Wendy’s last ballet teacher, gave them the opportunity to take over the school, and the first Dance Explosion studio was born – Dance Explosion Croydon! After the change in direction, the studio grew significantly.
A few years passed, and in 1996, they started teaching classes in Thornbury and Preston, using two different church halls as a class space, and combining both locations for concerts. A year later, these two locations were merged into Dance Explosion Preston in High Street. Student numbers were low at first, but very quickly grew. In 2008, Dance Explosion Preston was moved to Plateau Road Reservoir, and a renovated warehouse became the new home of Dance Explosion Reservoir.
While running these two studios, Nicola and Wendy were still teaching at Canterbury Ballet School. In 2000, more than ten years after beginning to teach there, the director stepped down, and Nicola and Wendy were offered the chance to purchase the school. They jumped at the opportunity to own another studio, and the name was changed to Dance Explosion Balwyn. Meanwhile, Wendy had purchased property in Caroline Springs, built a home, and was living out there. She began Dance Explosion Caroline Springs in the Brookside School hall, and they would combine with Dance Explosion Balwyn for performances. The studio then moved to Deer Park and became Dance Explosion Deer Park.
All four studios have been running successfully since their creation, and Dance Explosion only continues to grow. Lots of our students have been with us since the beginning, some even bringing their own children to us, and it's the notion of Dance Explosion feeling like a family that our students adore, and feel separates us from the rest.