Our Story

Helen Clark School of Dancing was founded by Helen Lewis (nee Clark) in 1945 when she was just 15 years old. At the time, Helen taught Highland and Irish dancing. A few years later, Helen took over the tap classes of a fellow teacher and this was the birth of Helen’s infamous tap dancing classes and her affectionate nickname of ‘Aunty Helen’. Aunty Helen has not stopped teaching dance since she began in 1945. She continues to oversee classes and provide guidance to students even to this day.

Over the years, Aunty Helen has taught dancing to thousands of students, with several past students featuring in productions such as Raw Metal and Matilda. Many of these students have opened their own dancing schools and continue their love of dance. But more than this, Helen has been a beloved mentor and pillar of support for so many young people and their families. The Ipswich Community and the evolution of tap dancing in Queensland would not be the same, had it not been for all of the hard work of Aunty Helen. We are proud to honour and continue her dancing legacy at the Helen Clark School of Dancing.

Our Team

  • Sarah Zeidler – Principal

    Sarah is highly experienced in all facets of Dance and Performing Arts with over 25 years experience in tap, jazz and ballet dancing. She has choreographed routines for the World Tap Dancing Championships, trained for two seasons with the American Tap Dancing Foundation (ATDF) and twice performed in the New York Tap Dancing Festival. She has a Diploma of Tap Dance Teaching (LGTDA) and over 10 years experience in teaching the CSTD Ballet and Jazz examination syllabus with outstanding results in all examinations. Sarah is also passionate about performing and acting and has attained a level 5 certificate from the Australian Acting Academy.

  • Liesl Pike - Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary Coordinator

    Liesl has been dancing since the age of three and teaching CSTD ballet and jazz for more than 25 years. We have been extremely fortunate to have Liesl run our jazz and ballet program for the past 10 years. During this time, the program has produced technically superior jazz and ballet students with 90% of students receiving an Honours Grade or higher in their exams. Liesl’s bright and bubbly personality is infectious and she uses it to motivate her students to reach their full potential.

  • Fiona Hutchinson – Tap and Solo Performance Coordinator

    Fiona has worked as a professional dancer, touring Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. She also has her Teachers Diploma (CSTD) and over 35 years teaching experience having taught at Lismore Summer Schools and choreographed routines for students of all ages with great success. Fiona has been teaching dancing at Helen Clark School of Dancing for more than 10 years and is passionate about bringing out the best in each individual child. This passion and care has led her to run our solo performance program enabling children of all ages and abilities to perform and achieve outstanding results. Fiona brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to the school!

  • Chelsea MacNab – Tap and Jazz Senior Teacher

    Chelsea has over 20 years experience in tap and jazz dancing, and has been teaching LGTDA tap and CSTD jazz dancing with Helen Clark School of Dancing for the past 7 years. Chelsea has a Diploma of Tap Dance Teaching (LGTDA), a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and a Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies. Chelsea has also performed dancing in Disneyland California. She is passionate about teaching children and our junior performance teams and uses her education training to motivate students to achieve their full potential. Chelsea loves passing her love of dance and movement to others.

  • Maddy Kendall – Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary Senior Dance Teacher

    Dance has been a part of Maddy’s life since she was three years old. Maddy is an extremely experienced jazz and ballet dancer, studying for three years at the Queensland Dancing School of Excellence (QDSE), completing all of her major CSTD jazz and ballet exams and receiving a Certificate 4 in Dance. Maddy is still today, performing in the industry and has worked with Helen Clark School of Dancing to choreograph numerous lyrical, jazz and contemporary routines. Maddy also has completed the Napoleon Perdis Certificate in Fashion, Glamour and Bridal Makeup Artistry and uses her knowledge of makeup and fine arts to further enhance the overall look of our performance team and individual dancers.

Past Students

The quality of dancing produced at Helen Clark School of Dancing is of an incredibly high standard. Many of our past students have gone on to gain professional work and enjoy successful dancing careers. Some of our successful past students are listed below.

Matthew Douglass

Matthew Douglass learnt tap, jazz and ballet with our school from 1990-2005. He then gained entry into the Australian Dance Performing Institute (ADPI) in Brisbane to further his dance study. Throughout his career, Matthew has performed with Raw Metal Dance Company, Carnival Cruise Lines (USA), Universal Studios Singapore and at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony Glasgow alongside Jessica Mauboy. Recently, Matthew starred in the Sydney and Melbourne Broadway productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Curtains (with The Production Company in Melbourne) and Matilda. We are so proud of you Matthew!

Anne, Rachel, Fiona and Katherine Johnson

Anne, Rachel, Fiona and Katherine Johnson danced with our school from 1991-2009. In 2009 the four girls represented Australia in the World Tap Dancing Championships held in Germany. Their routines were choreographed by our very own Sarah Zeidler. Katherine performed a solo routine and placed 9th in the world and Anne, Rachel and Fiona performed a trio routine and placed 11th in the world.

More recently, these girls have taken their tap dancing to a whole new level and created the fitness product Tapfit. Tapfit is the world’s first tap dancing fitness system! It is designed to help you get fit, lose weight and learn to dance, all while having a blast! Tapfit has been launched in gyms throughout Australia, the USA and UK and has fast become the one of the world’s leading fitness and dance products. Congratulations on taking tap dancing to a whole new level girls!

Recent Achievements 2013 – 2016

2016

Aggregate Trophy Helen Clark School of Dancing 12 years & under
Most Outstanding Group Helen Clark School of Dancing 12 years & under
Edyn Hutchinson – 3rd Tap Championship, Age Aggregate Award and Lockyer Valley Council Bursary
Lockyer District Dance Festival

Edyn Hutchinson – 2nd Tap Championship and Most outstanding speed tap competitor award
Ipswich Eisteddfod.

100% pass rate in all Ballet, Tap and Jazz examinations with most students receiving “Honours” results or higher.

2015

Aggregate Group Trophy Helen Clark School of Dancing
Hollie Scanlan – Tap Encouragement Award
Regan Pike – Tap Encouragement Award
Edyn Hutchinson – 1st Song & Dance Championship, 1st Junior Tap Championship, Age Aggregate Award, Lockyer Valley Council Bursary
Lockyer District Dance Festival

Hollie Scanlan – 3rd Tap Championship, Most Promising Competitor Award
Edyn Hutchinson – 1st Song & Dance Championship, 2nd Tap Championship, Junior Tap Bursary Award and Sapphire Jubilee Award
Ipswich Eisteddfod.

Hollie Scanlan – 1st Song & Dance Championship, 2nd Tap Championship, Overall Excellence Award
Edyn Hutchinson – 1st Tap Championship, Most Promising Tap Dancer Award, Age Aggregate
Brisbane Eisteddfod

2014

Ashton Pike – Tap Encouragement Award
Hollie Scanlan – 1st Song & Dance Championship, Aggregate Award
Edyn Hutchinson – 2nd Tap Championship, 3rd Song & Dance Championship
Lockyer District Dance Festival.

Regan Pike – 1st Tap Championship and Most Promising Tap Dancer Award
Emma Bell – Tap Encouragement Award
Hollie Scanlan – 2nd Song & Dance Championship, Tap Encouragement Award
Edyn Hutchinson – 3rd Song & Dance Championship
Ipswich Eisteddfod.

Edyn Hutchinson – 1st Tap Championship
Brisbane Eisteddfod.

2013

Aggregate Group Trophy Helen Clark School of Dancing
Championship Group Helen Clark School of Dancing
Regan Pike – Runner up Tap Championship and Tap Encouragement Award
Chloe Kearton – 3rd Song & Dance Championship and Most Promising Tap Dancer Award
Edyn Hutchinson – Age Aggregate and 1st Tap Championship
Lockyer District Dance Festival.

Lara Bell – Most Promising Ballet Dancer
Chloe Kearton – 3rd Song & Dance Championship
Hollie Scanlan – Song & Dance Encouragement
Award
Edyn Hutchinson – Most promising Tap Dancer and 3rd Song & Dance Championship
Ipswich Eisteddfod.

Edyn Hutchinson – Most Promising Tap Dancer, Runner up Tap Championship and Age Aggregate Award Brisbane Eisteddfod.

To learn more about our dance classes or to enrol, call 0402 814 162 today.