About us

Jess Van Loon

JESSICA VAN LOON: is a qualified ballet teacher of the Cecchetti Method of ballet training.
Jessica holds the Cecchetti Licentiate Diploma qualification which she completed in Nov 2014. She holds the Cert IV in Teaching the Cecchetti Method of Ballet Training and the Cert IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

Jessica commenced her ballet training with Moya Beaver (ex principal dancer of the Royal Danish Ballet and NSW Cecchetti teacher) at the tender age of 2 and a half. Her formative training continued with Valrene Tweedie OAM (former Cecchetti Patron). Jessica was the Junior Cecchetti Medal runner up in 1980 and the Senior Cecchetti Medal winner in 1982. After one year of full time ballet training with Miss Tweedie, Jessica successfully auditioned for the Australian Ballet School and graduated in 1986. She performed in the Australian Ballet School’s Dancers Co (1986) in Swan Lake (Act II) and Pineapple Poll and The Nutcracker in her year’s graduation performance. She performed with the Australian Ballet Co in Giselle and La Sylphide (1986) and Romeo and Juliette (1983). After graduating Jessica went on to have a 12 year international dance career. Jessica was engaged as a soloist with “Tanz Theater Wien”, Vienna Austria for 2.5 years. She then danced as a soloist with “The Heidelberg Ballet” Germany for 4.5 years. After some freelance dance work she was engaged with “Introdans” Arnhem, in The Netherlands, as a soloist for 4 years. Jessica has toured to 44 countries dancing in many established and premiere works. Working on Jiri Kylian’s “Dream Dances” (Ballo duet) at the Nederlands Dans Theatre in the The Hague, on Ohad Nahrin’s “Anaphase” duet at the Batsheva Co in Tel Aviv, Israel and with Nacho Duato on the Nightingale (solo) in his piece “Uccelli” while at Introdans in Arnhem, The Netherlands, were some professional highlights for Jessica. Jessica has choreographed and performed solo performances for the NCRV (National Dutch Television).

Retiring from professional dancing at age 31 Jessica had 3 children and went on to teach Advanced Ballet at The School of Creative Arts, Oxford Falls, NSW (C3 College), and became the Head of their Dance Faculty, overseeing their VET and university degree students for two years. During her time at C3 College she completed her degree in Theology from Southern Cross College (2009).

Jessica’s ballet teaching experience is extensive. Not only has she taught company ballet classes for her professional colleagues in the above mentioned European companies and taught ballet in Ballet schools across Europe but she established “Van Loon Dance Academy” in Manly in 2005 and she and her husband Mike took over The Robyn Ross School of Ballet in 2009. Ballet students of VLDA in both Manly and St Ives have gained excellent results in their Cecchetti ballet exams to date and placed in many Sydney wide eisteddfods (Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz sections), Cecchetti ballet competitions and Cecchetti Scholarship awards has had some truly great teachers and she considers it a great honour to pass on her knowledge faithful to their legacy. Among her many teachers have been Valrene Tweedie, Dame Peggy van Praagh (former director of the Australian Ballet), Marilyn Jones and Garth Welch (former Australian and international principal dancers), Marilyn Rowe (former director of The Australian Ballet School), Dame Margaret Scott (former director of the Australian Ballet School), Maina Guilgud (former director of both The Royal Danish Ballet and Australian Ballet), Galene Stock (former director of the Australian Ballet School and Royal Ballet School, London), Gary Norman and Kelvin Coe (former Australian and international principal dancers), Leigh Warren (former director of Adelaide Dance Theatre), Eugene Valukin (former director of the Choreographic School, Moscow) and Robyn Ross (Cecchetti teacher/examiner/Cecc Dip holder).

Jessica has worked with some truly great choreographers: Jiri Kylian, Nils Christie, Hans Van Manen, Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Conny Janssen, Daniel Ezralov, Kirsten Debrock, Josette Baiz and Liz King to name some. Jessica wants to pass on to the next generation of dancers the knowledge she has gained from her many teachers and mentors and from her professional dance experience dancing in many wonderful dance works. Jessica loves producing and staging the Van Loon Dance Academy annual productions at Glen Street Theatre in Belrose, NSW and looks forward to many more years of teaching ballet. She looks forward to directing and co-leading Van Loon Dance Academy into the future with her husband Mike.

Mike Van Loon

Mike is a qualified teacher of the Cecchetti Method holding his Associate Diploma in the Cecchetti Method.

MIKE VAN LOON: Mike was trained at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, Belgium from the age of 10. After his graduation in 1987 he was engaged as a full time dancer with the Essener Ballet in Essen (Germany), Tanz Theater Wien in Vienna (Austria), Heidelberger Ballet in Heidelberg (Germany) and Introdans in Arnhem (The Netherlands).

In 1996 he became a freelance dancer and worked with Conny Janssen Danst, Galili Dance and Kriztina de Chatel, in the Netherlands. His close collaboration with Conny Janssen would eventually expose his choreographic skills.

During his 14 year dance career Mike was involved in over 50 productions and worked with renowned choreographers such as: Conny Janssen (Conny Janssen Danst…/ The Netherlands), Itzik Galili (Galili Dance/ The Netherlands), Kriztina de Chatel (Dansgroep Amsterdam/ Dance Company Kriztina De Chatel/ The Netherlands), Ted Brandsen & Hans Van Manen (Dutch National Ballet/ The Netherlands), Nils Christie (former Director of the Scapino Ballet/ The Netherlands), Ed Wubbe ( Scapino Ballet/ The Netherlands), Heinz Spoerli (Zurich Ballet/ Switzerland), Ginette Laurin (O Vertigo/ Canada), Renato Zanella (Vienna State Opera Ballet/ Austria), Jean Christoph Maillot (Monte Carlo Ballet/ Monaco).

He also choreographed and danced solo performances for the NCRV (National Dutch Television).
In 2000 he migrated with his young family to Sydney, Australia, where he started a new career in the business world. In 2006 he rekindled his passion for dance and was involved in productions as a dance soloist and choreographer with the School of Creative Arts at Oxford Falls (C3 College) and Pulse8 in Manly, NSW.

In 2009 Mike and his wife Jessica took over the Robyn Ross School of Ballet in St Ives joining it to their existing dance school in Manly. “Van Loon Dance Academy” (Manly/St Ives) has gone from strength to strength with students gaining excellent results in their Cecchetti Ballet exams, Sydney wide eisteddfods (Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz sections), Cecchetti Ballet competitions and Cecchetti Scholarship awards.

Mike taught dance at VLDA from 2009 and then began his formal dance teacher training, doing his “Professional Dancer Cross over” exam into the Cecchetti Ballet teaching ranks in April 2015. He was awarded his Cecchetti Associate Diploma teaching qualification in April 2015.

Mike enjoys teaching both Ballet and Contemporary dance and has a particular rapport with boys learning dance, being able to relate well to their journey and help inspire them. Mike looks forward to Ballet and Contemporary dance teaching and choreographing into the future. He looks forward to directing and co-leading Van Loon Dance Academy into the future with his wife Jessica.