We have curated a special program of four mornings over the holidays, designed to physically prepare ballet students ages 12 and up, for a safe and strong return to the studio.

Get Back to Ballet with The McDonald College and be on your best form for 2022!

Each morning will consist of a 1 hour conditioning / pilates class and a 1 + 3/4 hour ballet class.

We are delighted to have Nicky Gattorna (former Royal Ballet soloist) join us – along with Mitch Rayner (ex-Australian Ballet).


DatesTuesday 18 – Friday 21 January 2022
Time9am – 12pm
Cost$180 per person

Meet your tutors

Nicky GatTorna

Selected for The Royal Ballet Company’s development scheme, Nicky commenced as a junior associate aged seven, securing a place at The Royal Ballet Lower School (White Lodge). In 1991 Nicky secured a position with The Royal Ballet Company, based at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. During this time, she progressed to the position of Soloist, performing First Soloist and Principal roles, and guested with Irek Mukamedov’s company at The Sadlers Wells Theatre.


In 2003, Nicky was awarded a degree in Dance and Sports Psychology, and completed the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma with distinction at the RAD Headquarters, where she conducted freelance teaching and private coaching until 2011, as well as tuition at the RAD summer schools in London, Italy, Singapore, and Tokyo. Nicky has also taught at the English National Ballet School summer school in London.


Nicky relocated to Sydney with her family in 2011, where she successfully qualified as an APMA Pilates instructor in 2012 and as a Franklin Method Level 1 teacher in 2014. She now teaches ballet and Pilates at The McDonald College and elsewhere. Nicky’s understanding of body biomechanics and passion for dance/movement has inspired her to help others.

Mitchell Rayner

Mitchell began formal dance lessons in Newcastle at the age of 13 studying classical, jazz, contemporary and character dance, before taking up full-time dance studies under the guidance of Tessa Maunder, OAM.


He joined The Australian Ballet School in 2005 earning an Advanced Diploma of Dance. In 2008 he was offered a place with The Australian Ballet and worked there for eight years. In 2016 Mitchell began teaching and mentoring and has since taught for the likes of Sydney Dance Company, The Australian Ballet, The Royal Academy of Dance, and Ballet Without Borders.


Mitchell has a Postgraduate Teaching Certificate from the Royal Academy Of Dance (RAD) and is a registered RAD teacher.



While we do not provide accommodation, there are several options in Homebush and surrounds. Many visitors choose to stay in Sydney city and commute via train to North Strathfield station for convenience.

Booking confirmation

TryBooking, our third party ticketing system, automatically sends an email confirmation once you have paid. This is followed by a second email from The McDonald College. If you have paid and do not receive either of these emails, please get in touch with and supply your name and details.

Cancellations & Refunds

You will be offered a refund if:

  • Back to Ballet 2022 is cancelled, or
  • you cannot attend due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

No compensation will be offered for travel-related expenses and / or accommodation booked.

If you are sick or injured prior to Back to Ballet 2022, we will issue a refund, less a 15% administration fee, upon presentation of a medical certificate. We cannot issue refunds once Back to Ballet 2022 has commenced.

Child protection policy

You can read The McDonald College Child protection policy here.

COVID-19 Safety Plan

The McDonald College and its employees and contractors will fulfil all obligations as per public health orders to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19 on our premises. We require all participants of Back to Ballet to do the same.

How to get here / Parking

The College is located in North Strathfield – an easy 20-minute train trip from Central Station. The McDonald College has a private, secure entrance from the station to the school. A security code to the gate will be provided upon request.

Should you choose to drive there is limited parking on the school grounds and in nearby streets.

Photography / videography

By signing up to this program, you understand and agree to the following:

  • Photographs taken during the program may be used for the purpose of educating students or promotional purposes.
  • These images could be used in a variety of ways including (but not limited to): advertising, newsletters, publications, events and expos, signage, for PR purposes, social media, websites, and other promotional avenues.
  • Any photographs will be stored securely and only kept for as long as necessary.
  • You may opt-out of this by checking the box on the application form.

What do I need to bring or prepare?

Please wear normal ballet attire. Additional information, the medical consent form and a timetable will be emailed a week prior to the program start date.