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CDS Now and then!


Creativity Dance Studios (CDS) as we know it today has been offering classes to students since 2019 but the history behind the dance school goes back more than 50 years.


In 1954, at the age of nine, Barbara Cuckson was a dance student of Gertrude Bodenweiser, who is considered the mother of modern dance in Australia. During this time, Barbara was mentored by Gertrude and when Gertrude died, Barbara took over the school with her mother’s help. In 1971, she opened her own dance school, ‘Rozelle School of Visual Arts’, specialising in recreational dance with a community feeling where students can learn and be themselves.


Lee Frances grew up under the teaching of Barbara, eventually opening her Creative Learning Centre in Moonee ponds, which was a combination of dance, dance for abilities and speech/occupational therapy classes.


In 2017, Lee advertised online for another teacher to join the ‘dance’ team and Larissa took up the opportunity to continue her love of dance teaching at the Creative Learning Centre.

In 2019, Lee made the decision to move part of her business to Canberra. Larissa was given the opportunity to take over the ‘dance’ arm of the school consisting then of 45 students with classes in contemporary and creative ballet.


Larissa created a competition for the kids to come up with a new name for the dance school and Creativity Dance Studios was born. Larissa’s husband, Michael, designed the logo and the students chose the theme colours.


Twelve months later, due to much interest, jazz classes were added and during Covid ‘strength and stretch’ to keep the bodies moving and those classes have stayed. In 2023 the kids have had the opportunity to participate in a new genre ‘rhythm and groove’. The role has increased to 87 students, ranging in age from three to seventeen.


Larissa is joined at CDS by teachers, Nicole Cain, Miranda Turner and Charlotte Lincoln, who enjoy extending their love of dance to the kids in a fun and welcoming environment. Each December, the kids get to dance on stage, have fun and show family and friends what they have learned that year.


In 2023, CDS opened a branch in Eltham, Victoria, providing the opportunity for kids to dance ‘rhythm and groove’ taught by Charlotte Lincoln.


At CDS it is all about the students, where they can be themselves and be expressive, learning new dance styles whilst exploring something they love and connecting with others.





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