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Hannah Caitens 

Jan 11 18

Hannah Caitens

Sheree Baldwin

We have been a JGSoD family for over 10 years and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. The fantastic teachers, beautiful friendships made, amazing opportunities, as well as a focus on safety and technique are just the start!

Hannah started with the school with Joanne when classes were held in the Russell Vale Community Hall. We have seen it grow from humble beginnings to the exceptional studios that classes are held in today. With exceptional teaching staff, as well as inviting guest teachers to the fold, show that the school is one of high quality-where students can learn and grow in a safe environment.


Over the years, the passion for dance grew. Hannah focussed in on her training, striving to perfect the steps. Each year passed with a beautiful change and growth in her not only as a dancer, but also as a person. Joanne was integral in this growth-pushing Hannah to do better, be better, dance better. She certainly knows her dancers and what they are capable of, and can bring the very best out of them. Being surrounded with wonderful friends as well as the supportive ‘JGSoD’ parents certainly helps too! Through this focus, she was able to be a part of many wonderful experiences-notably  being accepted as part of the Australian Ballet Invitee program, an Isobel Anderson Awards semi finalist 3 times, as well as being able to perform with the Russian Imperial Ballet when they appeared at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in 2010 and 2017.


She was accepted into the Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts in Year 7 for dance as a Performing Arts student. The additional teaching here certainly fanned the flames of dance! When she was in Year 9, Hannah was able to undertake further study in the Part Time program at JGSoD. It was here that we could see for certain that a future in dance was in her sights. She finished High School in Year 10, and began the Certificate IV as part of the inaugural class. Every day she was happy to leave for ‘school’. The classes, guest teachers, opportunities offered, and more personalised teaching made for one very happy teenager! It was absolutely the best decision made to allow her to do this course. It was a complete package of quality training, and technique, nutritional advice, strength and conditioning, choreography-the list goes on.


Hannah was accepted to the Akademie Des Tanzes in Mannheim, Germany during this course. With Joanne’s help, and dogged determination, Hannah finished her Certificate IV before leaving JGSoD. It was bittersweet-while we were thrilled at the thought of her pursuing her love of dance, it was also the end of an era.


Hannah has made lifelong friends, learned so much not just about dance but about herself, and knows just what determination and passion can lead to.

We are very proud of her, and are so thankful to Joanne for believing in Hannah and helping shape the person and dancer she is today.