“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets”

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ballerinas Sitting in a Circle

Our Teachers

For the love of Ballet

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Brileen White


Brileen began her  ballet career at the age of three where she trained by  Joy Cooper  and successfully completed  all her Cecchetti exams with Honours.She matriculated from The National  school  of  The Arts with  a distinction  for  Ballet, Spanish and contemporary. Trained by Rhoda Rifkin for Spanish and Sonya Mayo for Contemporary. Also dancing the role of Swanhilda in Copellia which was staged by PACT ballet in her matric year. As well as having the privilege to guest for The Mercedies Molina Spanish Company.Brileen joined PACT ballet in 1990, Where she was promoted to a soloist and spent 7 years in the company, dancing several soloist roles. On retiring from PACT Brileen took some time off to travel the world as an air hostess for SAA. But still keeping actively involved in dance. Brileen is a qualified Cecchetti teacher and has the privilege to run a ballet studio with her mother Joy Cooper. Brileen is also a qualified STOTT Pilates instructor. She is married and has a  son named James and a beautiful daughter, Madison.


Zanyé Smith


Zanyé grew up in Pretoria having matriculated at Hoerskool Montana.
She started Ballet at the age of 3 years where she grew a foundation before joining the Tshwane Youth Ballet Company at the age of 10.
There she was a cast member for 5 years.
In 2010 she matriculated and then went on to complete her Associate Teaching Diploma under the instruction of Joy Cooper where she has since been employed with Ballet Academy.


Shimoné Booysen


Shimoné  originated from Kroonstad, Freestate. She has been classically trained by Jackie Campher and Peggy Lowry at their studio in Kroonstad. Shimoné  matriculated from Afrikaans Hoërskool Kroonstad in 2002.
She then moved to Johannesburg where she obtained her associate qualification with Miss José Pretorius and passed her final exam in September 2003.
Shimoné then became a qualified AIDT modern and hip hop teacher in 2004. She then started teaching at the Turning Point dance Academy where she taught both the ballet as well as the Modern and Hip Hop. She taught there for 9 years before joining Arabesque Ballet Academy in 2014.


Lara Geldenhuis


Lara Grew up in Pretoria after having matriculated at IMPAC in 2016.
She Started Ballet at the age of 4 years old and when she was 13 she joined Johannesburg Ballet until the age of 16. Lara danced in the Youth Dance Company of Tshwane in 2015. She completed all Cecchetti Exams including Advanced 2 and in 2017 achieved her Associate Teaching Diploma. Lara has now been employed with us since 2017.


Joy Cooper


Joy stepped into the world of ballet at the tender age of three. As a child she danced a lot for various entertainment groups. At the age of 13, she danced as a soloist in the pantomime “Cinderella” with Tommy Trinder, and in the following year performed in Aladdin with Stanley Holloway. Joy became a soloist with Johannesburg Festival Ballet and then Johannesburg City Ballet. When Margot Fonteyn visited South Africa with Michael Somes, for the production of Swan Lake, Joy was one of the Swan leaders.

In the teaching field she ran and is still running her own private studio. She was head of Pro-Arte High School, Pretoria for 12 years and also taught at the Technikon of Pretoria for a number of years. Joy’s pupils have danced in many overseas companies such as New York, London, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and the Australian Ballet Company. Joy is on the council for the Cecchetti Society and previously a member of the governing body of the National Society of Dance Teachers.

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Lindy Viljoen


 Lindy began her ballet career at the age of 3 ,she trained with Joy Cooper and completed all her Cecchetti ballet exams with Honours. Lindy matriculated from the National school of the Arts in Johannesburg with distinctions for Ballet ,Spanish and Classical Greek dancing.

She also trained in Tap ,Jazz and contemporary with Delia Sainsbury and Keith Galloway at their Theatre & Dance school in Johannesburg. 

Lindy joined Pact Ballet in 1987 and spent six years in the company  dancing many varied roles as a member of the Senior Corps De Ballet. Lindy is a qualified Cecchetti teacher as well as a qualified Basi Pilates instructor.She is married and has two sons ,Aaron & Joshua.