(Principal & Artistic Director)


Leah studied Classical ballet (RAD) Jazz, Contemporary, Tap and Music Theatre at Anita Coutts School of Dance, commencing dance at the age of two. She completed several RAD examinations, receiving distinctions for all. Leah later added singing and acting lessons to her repertoire.


After attending Ballarat Clarendon College, Leah studied full time Music Theatre in Melbourne for two years. This saw Leah competing in many competitions and performing leading roles such as Hope (Anything Goes) and Roxie (Chicago) with Ballarat Light Opera Company. After performing these roles Leah received commendations and nominations by the ‘Music Theatre Guild of Victoria’.


Leah decided to further her study and completed her Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre), a three-year full-time degree with Federation University. Her studies included classical ballet, jazz, tap, acting, singing, and much more. Whilst studying at university Leah performed in many shows. Her credits include: ‘Showtrain” a new Australian Musical (Izzy), ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ (Nancy), ‘Rent’ (Featured dancer), ‘Dance is life’ – (A Personal Devised Cabaret Performance) and ‘Sweeny Todd’ (Johanna).

This is Leah’s 10th year of teaching at ACSOD, during which she has been mentored by her mother, Anita Coutts-Delaland, including co-directing during 2020. Leah has since taken over this role from Anita (who has guided the school for the past 30 years) and is proud to be the Principal and Artistic Director of the Anita Coutts School of Dance.


Leah is currently studying to become a Registered Teacher with the BBO and hopes to continue to learn and grow so she can give as much back to both her students and school as possible. Leah will continue to guide ACSOD and its students in a supportive and caring way.



(Founding Director)


Anita was classically trained by Latvian born ballerina Lija Svalbe in Ballarat, Victoria and continued her training in Melbourne, completing her Advanced Certificate and Teaching Diplomas. Anita enjoys teaching, adjudication, examining and all aspects of dance. Her wealth of experience includes classical, jazz, tap, modern/contemporary, musical theatre, drama, anatomy, physiology, character & psychology.


Former students of have been accepted Into: Sydney Dance Company, The Australian Ballet School, Queensland Academy of Ballet, John Cranko School Stuttgart, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Victorian College of the Arts Ballet Theatre Australia and currently Performing & Teaching professionals.



In 2019 Allison and her family will relocate to Ballarat. Tasmanian born, Allison travelled to the South Street Eisteddfod as a child and viewed the incredible environment for ballet and dance Ballarat fosters. During the last 30 years, Allison has coached students in Launceston though the RAD syllabus from Pre-Primary to Advanced levels. She holds a Diploma of Teaching (University of Tasmania, 1991) and Bachelor of Education (University of Tasmania, 2004). Within the education sector she ran a ballet program at Launceston Church Grammar Junior School (2009 -2017). In 1997 was awarded the AICD teachers scholarship to attend the Australian Ballet School. Her former teacher Joan Burnett was a Genee Silver medalist (RAD) and trained in London. Allison has a strong focus on the careful training of junior students. She has enjoyed training in tap, jazz, national dance as a student. Allison was the panel member representing Tasmania for the RAD for a decade, and was employed by the RAD to mentor on the teacher training program for student teachers (CBTS). Allison has been a teaching member of the RAD since 1990 and gained her Teaching Diploma with the RAD in1994. Former students have travelled as far as Joffrey Ballet School, English National Ballet School and New Zealand school of Dance and become teachers in Canada, Dubai and throughout Australia.


Trained and performed in the United States at the School of American Ballet in New York City and upon graduation joined the New York City Ballet under the directorship of George Balanchine for six years. Since emigrating to Australia in 1981, Noelle has worked as a classical dance lecturer at The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth and with The Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. Noelle assumed the role of Ballet Mistress with The West Australian Ballet Company and with The Australian Ballet Company, the latter for 23 years. Here, in liaison with the medical team, she developed the role of Rehabilitation Facilitator, to work closely with injured and non-injured dancers to correct alignment and faulty technique.  During her career Noelle has worked with four Australian Company directors and has enjoyed her involvement with renowned choreographers, teachers and artists in the dance field. She has been a dance panel member for the West Australian Department of the Arts and for The Australia Council and has worked extensively in the wider community. In 2000 Noelle was awarded a centenary medal for her contribution to The Arts.



Anne Marie Ludwig-Cox) is a graduate of the “Australian Ballet school” under the direction of Dame Margaret Scott and a member of its graduate touring Company under the direction of Marilyn Rowe(OBE) and Gailene Stock (AM).


Upon Graduation Anne Marie was offered a contract with the “Singapore Dance Theater” where she performed many diverse Soloist and Principle Roles. She was also contracted with the “London Ballet Theatre “ and “Tiroler Landes theater Innsbruck Austria “ During this time touring Asia , U.K. and Europe with these Companies.


After a 10 year career with Ballet Companies Anne Marie moved her professional career to Musical Theatre .Very fortunate to be contracted with Cameron Mackintosh (Really Useful Company ) “Phantom of the Opera “productions U.K. Tour, Hamburg and Stuttgart Germany . Her Roles were Dancer/ Swing/ Cover Meg Jury and in Stuttgart Dance Captain, Assistant Resident Director.

Anne Marie was very privileged to work with Gillian Lynne, Harold Prince and Denny Berry. During this time performing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Princess Diana and Prince Charles.


Upon retirement Anne Marie taught and coached at a variety of dance schools around Germany including Choreographing for “Natur Theater Renningen Germany Children’s Theater for many years.


Emma is excited to be part of the team of professionals. Emma is well known and regarded for her wonderful work with ACSOD. Emma's aims to nurture and inspire our littlest pupils - introducing them to the world of dance.


Tayla has been dancing since the age of 2 in all facets of dance. She completed her Cert IV in Dance at Michelle Slater Performing Arts Studio, where she found her love for teaching. Dancing has taken Tayla to America to perform at Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Universal Studios Hollywood and train at Millenium Dance Complex and IDA. As well as being a part of Rock the Tap which featured on Everybody Dance Now and Australia's Got Talent television shows. Tayla loves working with children of all ages and is known for her nurturing and friendly rapport with all her students. Tayla thrives off the joy dance brings to everyone and it's reflected in her class environment. She is very excited to work with our dancers and pass on her knowledge.


Sarah began dancing at the age of 3 at ACSOD. At the age of 15 she commenced full time ballet training at ACB in Melbourne for a year before completing 3 years with Queensland Ballet Academy under the direction of Christian Tatchev and Li Cuxin. She has performed in ‘Swan Lake’ with Queensland Ballet Company, was fortunate to be apart of the 2017 Summer Intensive with the American Ballet Theatre and is currently dancing with Scimm Dance Company.  While at University studying Sport and Exercise Science, Sarah loves how dance challenges the body and how movement can portray so much without saying a word. She is very excited to be working with the students of ACSOD and help them learn about movement and pass on all knowledge from anatomy to professional dance life.




Sharon started her training in the Cecchetti method of dance and then transferred to Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), gaining Honours in her RAD Advanced examination and was awarded the Royal Academy of Dance highest accolade, the RAD Solo Seal.


Sharon attended the New Zealand School of Dance, being put straight into 2nd year. She also joined The Royal New Zealand Ballet for their Sleeping Beauty tour in 1988.


Sharon joined The Queensland Ballet in 1991, where she danced for 4 years. Repertoire highlights include roles such as Bluebird Pas de Deux and Carabosse (Sleeping Beauty), Alice (Alice, Memories of Childhood), Lead Wili and Peasant Pas de Deux (Giselle). After leaving the Queensland Ballet, Sharon returned to Adelaide where she continued to teach RAD and CSTD ballet at various dancing schools.


Sharon was guest teacher at The South Australian Children’s Ballet, helping prepare performances for many seasons. At this time, Sharon was a guest teacher at 2Ballerinas (Brisbane, Queensland).


In 2015, Sharon moved interstate to Victoria where she continued teaching RAD in a variety of schools across the Goldfields region.

Miss Sharon has qualifications in Progressing Ballet Technique and has attended many RAD teaching seminars. She is a regular volunteer for Royal South Street. Sharon’s other passion is designing and making dance costumes.


Sophie’s love of dancing began at the age of 2. Over the years she has trained extensively in all dance styles with the Anita Coutts School of Dance. In recent years Sophie’s heart has led her to find her joy in all things theatrical. Through the mentoring she has received at ACSOD her passion sparked for teaching. Sophie is very excited to be joining the ACSOD faculty and is looking forward to inspiring the next generation of young dancers.

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