About Us

All over the world new dance productions are enchanting millions with the drama and excitement of dance. People are constantly discovering the immense satisfaction of participating in one of the world's most original forms of artistic expression.

At Southern Federation of Dance, teachers aim to provide an enriching learning experience through sound teaching techniques, plus an understanding of the wider artistic and social dimensions of dance. 



Southern Federation of Dance provides teachers with the ideal forum for raising the standards of dance. Its supportive and accessible Committee of Management listens to all members, and aims to always provide fair assessment and treatment. 

In providing enjoyable work for teachers and students, our objective is to develop excellence in dance whilst broadening its artistic and social dimensions. Recognition is given to qualifications gained from other dance organisations.

For further enquiries, or to join the Association, please contact us.



The Early Years...


Southern Federation of Dance, was founded in Melbourne in 1988, by Janine McGrath and Jennifer Hemphill, who shared a vision of an updated dance syllabus which would be modern and challenging, yet inclusive and structured.


They were inspired to begin working on a Jazz syllabus based on the same structure as a ballet class. They ensured that every level had knee bends, foot stretches, leg work, arm movements, jumps, turns, glides and travelling steps, building strength and technique at each level. They also added body isolations and floor work, and finished each level with a mini routine.


The initial choreography was complete at the end of 1986 and during 1987 the steps were set, music was taped, and choreography was typed up. A group of professionals came together to view the outcome and a real sense of excitement was generated. With some enthusiastic brainstorming, the name Southern Federation of Dance emerged. Joyce Moore kindly offered assistance to finance its inception. The name was registered, and SFD began.


Next, the exciting new Jazz syllabus had to be presented to as many people as possible. Invitations were sent out to every dance teacher in the yellow pages and a performance was held at the Banyule Theatre. There was a large turn-out for this event and approximately 100 members joined up.


Christine Hogg steered the fledgling association before the first committee was formed. Karen Malek helped to establish the constitution. The first examiners for SFD were Tanya Buskes, Jennifer Hemphill and Janine McGrath. 


Joyce Moore and Shirley Glatzer developed a Tap Syllabus from scratch, while Christine Hogg, Judy Gray, Tanya Buskes, Jenny Hempill and Janine McGrath developed Classical Levels 1 – 7. Everyone involved in the syllabus choreography became the first Board of Examiners, and Fayette Corlass-Brown was recruited to join the team. A year on, Pauline Waters was approached to choreograph the Major Levels of Classical Ballet (Levels 8, Pre-Elementary, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced). As a highlight of the launch of the Major Classical levels, Joanne Michel was invited to become our patron which she graciously accepted.


In January 1990, Jazz Studies 1 – 3 were created. That same year, Judy Dimasi was invited on to the Board of Examiners and Julie Carson also joined soon after. Still in the early 90’s, Jenny Hemphill devised and presented the first components of what was to become the Teaching Certificate Teaching Course to a group of senior students in Mulgrave. A little while later, the Teaching Course was adapted and expanded, and offered to all our aspiring teachers.


Since those early years, the syllabus has been revised and modified, initially by the original choreographers, and also in collaboration with other choreographers both from within & outside SFD. Southern Federation of Dance has become a highly recognised and respected society, running highly reputable examinations, competitions and a wide variety of events.

Coming Up.....