About ADV

Why ADV is different!

ADV founders created a "vision" in a new approach to examining young dancers. ADV, originally known as adap, the Australian Dance Assessment Programme, has become a unique Australian dance society and syllabus organisation. The ADV syllabus can be taught in isolation or in tandem with the complemetary ADi "academic' subjects leading to VET qualifications at the teacher's/school's option.

This tandem concept is more than just a technical dance programme. It addresses the dancer as a complete person and along with the fundamentals of ballet, tap, contemporary and jazz technique, young dancers are taught elements of body science, nutrition and personal awareness as well as dance history, musicality and are encouraged to improvise and choreograph. The students are assessed in a non-threatening environment, and the income generated remains in Australia and creates employment. We aim to assist, not just potential dancers, but creative individuals, choreographers, teachers, dance administrators and articulate, intelligent dance audience members. Our teachers are important too.

Dance teachers welcome this approach as the student progresses at her/his own rate and in keeping with their physical, emotional and cognitive development. ADV listens to teachers and encourages their input into improvements of both syllabuses and examination processes. ADV provides support through workshops and our newsletter To The Pointe.

Today, the ADV syllabus is endorsed by ADV corporate partner AUSTRALIAN DANCE iNSTITUTE (ADi), a national provider of VET qualifications in dance training and dance teachingThe ADV syllabus automatically counts (via mapping/RPL)  towards nationally-recognised certificates delivered by Australian Dance institute.

The philosopy behind ADV [and ADi]
In looking for references in attempting to write an interesting exposition of our core values, we encountered this witty but fundamentally challenging "TED talk" presentation by Sir Kenneth Robinson, a well known UK education expert. Visit TED.com/talks which says it all in a humourous but evocative way! This original talk in 2006 has been viewed over 48,263,414 times and is followed up by sequels in 2010 etc., all worth the time to view! Thank you Sir Kenneth. It is worth noting that ADV's core vision is to balance both the  performance technique of dance training with education and career pathway "safety-nets" - As the talk suggests, the future is unknown, even amongst the experts - Sir Ken really isn't really disparaging schooling, mathematics etc, but really positing the question as to how to keep creativity and, by inference, critical thinking alive.
John Lancaster BSc. BE FAICD- chairman ADV- [mathematician, scientist and engineer at large!]


The People Behind ADV

Executive Directors

John Lancaster FAICD
BSc BE (Sydney Univiersity)
Certificate IV in Training & Assessment
TAELLN411 Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills

Director of Curriculum Development
Penny Lancaster
Certificate IV in Training & Assessment
TAELLN411 Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills

Office Staff

National ADV Coordinator
Emma Williamson

Assessors and Mentors

Currently 20+ individuals [2105] and growing by the month as suitably qualified and dance oriented individuals meet ADV's stringent guidelines for field examinations and Certification.
Join our team, applications welcome.


Vicki Attard former Principal The Australian Ballet

Affiliate Organisations

ADi Australian Dance institute

In addition, there is the facility for both teachers and students to teach/undertake these courses via VET in Schools programs in the mainstream schooling system. ADV has fostered the creation of syllabuses for classical ballet, jazz, contemporary and tap, with other style/genres under development and/or consideration.

The Formative Years

Australian Dance Vision was founded by Sydney dance teacher Penny Lancaster who, in conjunction with other dance teachers and examiners, felt the need for a comprehensive assessment program which was Australian owned and developed and allowed students to progress at their own pace. It was formed originally as the *Ballet d'Action Youth Dance Company to provide theatre experience for young dancers. The company performed for 10 years with 22 new original dance works.

ADV's focus also moved to training areas for students and teachers pioneering the incorporating new concepts beyond just technique. Mindful of the need to help young people (particularly in dance) avoid the pitfalls of future eating disorders, self-limited career horzons etc., the training program progressively embedded dance history, body science, nutrition as complementary studies from the age of six years to senior/advanced grades. Teacher training as Certificate IV in Dance Teaching was also added in parallel to help "train-the-trainer".

In the mid 1990s, ADV became aware that there was a move within government to introduce dance teaching standards and possibly the registration of dance teachers. ADV developed several teaching and assessment syllabuses subsequently applying for accreditation for its courses with the Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board NSW (now ASQA - see below). By 1998, ADV's reworked syllabuses, then known as Certificates I-IV in Dance Performance Studies (to be superseded by Certificates I-IV in Dance in 2013) were accredited; that is they had been assessed against the Australian Qualification Training Framework (now known as AQF) and found to be highly suitable. These were the first young student dance programs to be developed by a dance society in Australia as vocationally accredited and nationally recognised.   Students as young as 12 years old obtained a nationally recognised vocational certificate. In 1999, ADV's teacher training course - Certificate IV in Dance Teaching, now expanded into Certificate IV in Dance Teaching & Management - was also accredited and ADV became a registered training organisation (RTO).

With NSW government approval, the internal ADV RTO operations were allowed to moved out into a separate operating company, Australian Dance institute Pty Ltd to allow for investment from other non-profit dance societies as a potential joint venture vehicle to focus on accredited vocational training, complementing regular society training processes. Mid 2012 saw the entry of CSTD - the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dance (a not-for-profit society formed in 1933) - with ADV in partnership to realise this intent to move operations of ADi into a separate but vibrant operation specialising in the vocational sector but with wider market appeal in sourcing students, now beyond the original dance society's membership into an "open learning" intstitute embraccing a wide and expansive "ecumenical" cohort of third party dance schools in private and public education. These in turn use technical syllabus from many ADi recognided dance societies or state bases educational systems.

The Next Generation

In 2012/13 Most states in Australia decided to "upwardly delegated" their authority to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) - the  Federal Government Regulator. At the same time, the Federal Government also entered the dance training market place through Innovative Business Skills Australia (IBSA) by creating the new CUA11 Live Performance Training Package. Penny Lancaster ADV's founding and curriculum director was invited onto IBSA's National Project Review Board charged with governance of the new standards. Much of ADV's syllabus was donated and used by IBSA in formulating competencies for the new student curriculum - Certificates I-IV in Dance. In 2016 PriceWaterhouse Coopers assumed the former role of IBSA as Skills Service Organisation on behalf of its allocated Industry Reference Committees and is now responsible for the current CUA13 Performing Arts Training package qualifications.

This upward delegation of administration structure was reversed in 2014 by the States deciding to persue their own education directions - nevertheless each state generally draws on the nationally endorsed dance standards as the basis for recognition at state levels of education standards and reporting - this means training outcomes and reporting remains similar if not identical but has introduced another level of reporting which impacts the RTO's but not individual students. Also, the regulator for complaince with national RTO delivery standards remains with ASQA.

2016/17/18 is seeing  the next generation of dance qualifications introduced by government which have significant elements based on current ADV/ADi standards. These are now being used by many schools around the nation!

*Ballet d'Action is currently in recess