After a decade as professional dancer in Europe, New Zealand born Amanda Bollinger retired from her stage career, to share her extensive knowledge, international experience, and passion for classical ballet with dedicated students.

Amanda founded her own dance academy in 2005 on the Gold Coast Australia. Since the humble beginning with only a handful of students in a local church hall, the ABDA has grown into the elite ballet school on the Gold Coast, featuring beautiful purpose-built studios, specialising in classical ballet based on the Russian Vaganova method, and offering the ACB training and assessment program.

Since 2012, the ABDA also offers a Full-time dance program to dedicated students from 14 years of age, wanting to pursue a career in dance. Former ABDA students have been accepted into large full-time schools/ballet institutions in Melbourne, London, Zurich, Graz, Munich, Mannheim, Winnipeg and Houston.

Our patron and mentor

Ursula Kirsten-Collein

Frau Kirsten-Collein studied classical ballet at the “Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet” in Leningrad under Kostrovitskaya (master student of Vaganova herself), Kamkova and Serenbrennikov. She became soloist and ballet mistress for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, and later the artistic director of the Berlin State Ballet School.

Amanda Bollinger studied the Vaganova method of classical ballet under Ursula Kirsten-Collein (as well as the world renowned Professor Martin Puttke) at the Berlin State Ballet School and has nurtured a sound friendship with Frau Collein ever since.

Vaganova method of classical ballet

The outdated ballet traditions of the early 1900’s led the St. Petersburger ballerina Agrippina J. Vaganova to create her own system of classical dance. By combining elements of the French, Italian (Cecchetti) and Russian ballet schools, and developing them further, she reached a highly detailed theory of dance movement. Thanks to her teaching system, the new Soviet ballet was able to develop its exceptional virtuosity. Her book “The Principles of Classical Dance” became the most important handbook for ballet teachers and dancers worldwide.

The list of dancers trained in the Vaganova method reads like the “who is who” of ballet: Rudolf Nureyev, Irina Kolpakova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Yuri Soloviev, Altynai Asylmuratova, Diana Vishneva and Svetlana Zakharova.

Today, Vaganova is the chosen method by most full-time ballet schools as well as most professional companies around the world.

The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet

Australian ballerina Christine Walsh, has developed the ACB training and assessment program, adapting the original 8-year full-time Vaganova method, to become a 12-year program meeting the needs of classical ballet students unable to take full-time dance training from an early age. The ACB emphasizes correct placement, dynamics and performing quality. The program also develops a professional attitude, which will assist them in the pursuit of a professional career, either as a dancer or teacher.

Amanda Bollinger is now an accredited international examiner for the ACB and examined her first sessions in the Philippines in 2012.