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Billy Elliot The Musical – “Billy School”

It has been an exciting first few weeks at the Billy Elliot The Musical “Billy School.” Here at the National College of Dance we have been helping to train the 2 successful Billy Elliot’s and the 2 Michael’s cast for the Newcastle show. The boys have been working very hard in learning their songs, training technically in ballet as well as learning their choreography in ballet, tap and acrobatics.

A normal week for the Billy’s and Michael’s consists of 3 hours of ballet training, an hour of acrobatics training and 2 hours of tap training as well as singing lessons. This is on top of their already packed schedule of dance and musical theatre classes. It takes a team of teachers to train the Billy’s and Michael’s for their role which will commence in October at the Civic Theatre.

Meet the Billy’s and Michaels and also the Teachers behind their training.

Lewis Nicholson - Billy
Lewis Nicholson - Billy
Fergus Paterson - Billy
Fergus Paterson - Billy

Lewis and Fergus are sharing the role of Billy Elliot. Lewis and Fergus attending National College of Dance and receive 3 hours of training each week in Ballet and an hour of Acrobatics and 2 hours of Tap each week.

Charlie Murphy
Charlie Murphy
Conway Oakhill-Saarenpaa
Conway Oakhill-Saarenpaa

Charlie and Conway are sharing the role of Michael – Billy’s best friend. Charlie and Conway visit National College of Dance and receive an hours training Acrobatics and 2 hours of training in tap each week.

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Brett Morgan OAM – Artistic Director, National College of Dance

Brett Morgan’s career in classical and contemporary dance has seen him grace stages all over the world performing over 40 principal and soloist roles to critical acclaim with Australian Ballet Company later joining Sydney Dance Company where he performed and directed for over 17 years, working his way up to Associate Artistic Director and running the company in 2010.  Brett is the Owner and Artistic Director of the National College of Dance fulfilling his passion to offer dancers the opportunity of elite pre-professional training within regional Australia.

Awarded the Centenary Medal for his Contribution to the Arts in 2000 as well as the Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to Australian Arts (in particular Dance) in 2021.  Career highlights include performing and meeting The Queen at Covent Garden, performing Crixus in Spartacus at the Lincoln Centre New York, dancing at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.   Brett feels blessed to say he chose a career he loves so much he never feels he is ever going to work. 

Jake Burden - Ballet

Jake Burden – Creative Director, National College of Dance

Jake Burden was born in the UK and completed his Degree with Elmhurst Ballet School. Jake has worked with companies around the world including Birmingham Royal Ballet, Magdeburg Ballet, Leipzig Ballet and Singapore Ballet. Throughout his career he danced countless choreographic works in lead roles by world renowned choreographers. Highlights of Jake’s career include being awarded the Young Dancer of the year award (Germany) in 2011 and performing for the British Royal family and the Cambodian Royal family. Jake has also appeared in musicals including West Side story, Beauty and the Beast, My Fair Lady, Jekyll & Hyde, Hello Dolly, Evita & Sunset Boulevard. Jake moved to Australia in 2016 started his organisation Ballet Brothers and began working for National College of Dance where he is now the Creative Director. Jake is known for his personal choreographic style which has been called modern, sleek and stylish by leading dance critics.

Billy Elliot The Musical - "Billy School" » Billy Elliot the musical

Eyglo has many years of experience in training Gymnastics and Acrobatics. Originally from Iceland, Eyglo has taught on many occasions for National College of Dance in their Acrobatics section. Eyglo trained for 15 years in gymnastics and represented Iceland. She was also an adjudicator for Iceland’s junior olympic team. Eyglo also assisted in training one of the Billy’s for the Sydney season of Billy Elliot The Musical.

Billy Elliot The Musical - "Billy School" » Billy Elliot the musical

Kim Hornby – Singing Teacher

Graduate Certificate in Music (Pedagogy) University of Sydney

Kim started her musical career as a young 9 year old on NBN Television as a Swallow Junior and appeared regularly on Melbourne’s ‘Brian and the Juniors’ .Performed in many Pantomimes and Musical Theatre shows, including the role of Marta in the Australian cast of Sound of Music, her rst professional show. .

Her career has lead to many engagements overseas in England, Europe and the Philippines (singing for the American Troops, post Vietnam War) and in Australia she has toured with Del Shannon, Simon Gallagher, Don Lane, Paul Hogan just to name a few.

Kim has recorded e-books, voiceovers and a syllabus for speech pathologists and appeared in many commercials.

Kim studied with Rowena Cowley at Sydney Conservatorium as well as Masterclasses in Umbria Italy, Newcastle Conservatorium and Early Childhood at Newcastle College of Advanced Education.

Best known as Miss Kim from Romper Room, a role she is very proud of, she graced the Television , 5 days a week for 23 years, and is documented to be the longest running hostess of that show.

Kim has taught full me singing and Musical Theatre for the past 24 years, and can proudly say her students are scattered all over the world in recent productions.

Kim has worked continually in all 3 mediums, TV, Radio and Stage for the past 60 years, so her knowledge is vast. Kim is extremely happy to be here today, and very honoured to be part of this production of Billy Elliot.


Billy Elliot The Musical will be showing at the Civic Theatre in October 2023.

Guaranteed to be popular – don’t miss out by purchasing your tickets.

The Very Popular Theatre Company:

National College of Dance are thrilled to be collaborating in association with the Very Popular Theatre Company on the production of BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL.

The Very Popular Theatre Company is a Newcastle based company with a mission to bridge the gap between community theatre and professional theatre in the Hunter region.

Established in 2006 by producer Phil Collins of Hunter Lifestyle Magazine with Victor Emeljanow and Daniel Stoddart as Co-Artistic Directors, its aim was to produce live theatre events of a decidedly ‘popular’ style, including comedy, farce, vaudeville, music hall and musical theatre, amongst other significant styles. 

​The Very Popular Theatre Company now exists with an unstoppable force of dramatic energy, popular modern repitour, reimagined classics,  and the occasional jazz hand!

See more of what the Very Popular Theatre Company have coming up on their calendar. https://www.verypopulartheatreco.com.au/


BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL has been seen by almost 12 million people across five continents and collected over 80 awards in its lifetime and played for over 11 hugely successful years in London’s West End.

​Set in a northern town during the miners’ strike of 1984/5, the show follows Billy’s journey from boxing ring to ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that unites his family, inspires his community and changes his life forever. Brought to life by the award-winning creative team behind the film and featuring iconic music by Elton John, BILLY ELLIOT is an extraordinary theatrical experience that has captivated audiences around the world.

Thank you to our amazing Sponsors

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Danse Boutique is a small family owned local business offering a point of difference for our dance community. We offer professional services in fitting Pointe Shoes and provide friendly, knowledgeable advice about all aspect of dancewear. The store caters to the genres of Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. Local and global stockists include Energetiks, Capezio, MDM Dancewear, Wear Moi, Claudia Dean, Gaynor Minden, Grishko, Freed Of London, Sonata, Studio 7, Fiesta Legwear, Slick Dancewear, Kysienn, Dream Duffel and more. We take pride in our passion for dance and supporting dancers and their Studios around our region. Visit their store on Main Street Cardiff or their website on  www.danseboutique.com.au

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