Taking A Step – Wharf Transformation

Sydney Dance Company is creating the home of contemporary dance in Australia.

On the brink of our 50th birthday, we have been defining contemporary dance in Australia for decades and the most exciting years are still to come. We are taking steps to secure the next 50 years and in 2018,  a world-class revitalisation of our historic home at Pier 4 will begin, part of the landmark redevelopment of the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct by the NSW Government.


Sydney Dance Company moved into the Wharf studios in 1986. A unique space, hewn from Sydney’s industrial heritage, our studios have been home to generations of  renowned dancers and the foundation of performances that have brought world-wide acclaim for Australian culture. Over the years, we have taught hundreds of thousands of people to dance in our studios. The quirky, creaky, historic Wharf has become synonymous with Sydney Dance Company.

As part of the NSW Government’s landmark Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, our home will undergo a transformation in 2018/19. This significant reconfiguration and refurbishment is our first major upgrade since we moved in and will create an environment which meets the needs of both our exceptional dancers and enthusiastic, committed dance class patrons.

These pages will be regularly updated with more information.

The transformation of our home will provide:

  • A new studio, Studio 5. The Neilson Studio will be a unique, purpose-built studio overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge; a multi-purpose space used for rehearsal and performance, education programs and public dance classes.
  • Our four existing studios will be upgraded, including Studio 1 The Clifford Studio; Studio 2 The Joan Barrie Studio – a Gift From Catriona and Simon Mordant where the Company rehearse and create new choreography; Studio 3 The Carla Zampatti Studio and Studio 4 The Wales Family Studio where our Pre-Professional Year dancers undertake their training.
  • State-of-the-art digital technologies across all five studios to ensure that audiences across the world can access and experience dance.
  • Reconfigured café, foyer space and public facilities to improve the experience of all of our customers.
  • Enhanced gym and physiotherapy facilities to support the wellbeing of our dancers.
  • Production facilities to support the presentation of our work.
  • Refurbishment of the administration offices.

During the construction phase of the project, beginning in mid 2018, the Company and Studio dance classes will be moving from the Wharf to a custom-designed studio facility at 385 Wattle Street, Ultimo.

This fantastic interim facility is a 15 minute drive from the Wharf and a 10 minute walk from Central station near Broadway Shopping Centre. While the Wharf is undergoing modernisation,  Sydney Dance Company will continue to provide a wide variety of popular dance classes along with short courses and workshops.

The Company and our Pre-Professional Year students will rehearse in the Ultimo studios.


What is involved in Sydney Dance Company’s renovations?
Sydney Dance Company’s existing facilities on Pier 4 will undergo significant renovations. When you visit our refurbished Studios, your experience will be greatly enhanced. Our four existing dance studios will be upgraded, a new studio will be built and the public facilities and administration suite will be will be improved.

How is the project being funded?
As part of the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct project, the NSW Government has made a major financial commitment to support the renovations. Sydney Dance Company is raising $7M to match this funding and to ensure that the new facilities are exceptional.

How can I help?
You can make a tax deductible contribution to support the Wharf redevelopment by calling Zoë Cobden-Jewitt, Development Director on 02 9258 4832.

Will there still be dance classes on offer? 
Yes! The Wharf will stay open until mid 2018 and the class program will be as normal.  Mid-way through 2018 our classes will move to an exciting new pop-up location on Wattle Street in Ultimo which will house three studios. This will enable us to offer you a similar program to the current class schedule. Once all the construction is finished our brand new Wharf studios will be back in full swing.

Will the 2018 class program differ from the current one?
There will be some changes to the current timetable, including our new classes in the early morning and afternoon.

Will my dance class pack still be valid at the Ultimo studio?

Will the same dance teachers be teaching?
Yes, our dance teachers are highly valued and very important to Sydney Dance Company and will be joining us at the Ultimo studios.

Will you be offering school holiday workshops and youth term classes for children and young people?
We will continue to offer programs for children and young people in the Ultimo studios and plan to extend these programs to run in new locations around Sydney.

Where will the Company dancers be?
The Company dancers will be based at the Ultimo studios and will be rehearsing there whenever they are not on national or international tour.

Where will performances in Sydney be? 
Our season performances will continue as normal at the Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay on Hickson Road, and our New Breed 2018 season will be presented in December at Carriageworks.

The NSW Government has made a major commitment to help us deliver the rejuvenation of our home.


We have committed to raise $7M to match this support and to ensure our facilities are world-class and provide the optimum experience for our customers and dancers.

We are indebted to those leadership donors who have pledged their support to our Take A Step fundraising campaign.

NSW Government

The Neilson Foundation
The Wales Family Foundation
Jane and Andrew Clifford
Simon Mordant AM and Catriona Mordant
Carla Zampatti AC

Julian Knights AO and Lizanne Knights

Pam and Doug Bartlett
Kiera Grant and Mark Tallis
Mark Hassell
The Alexandra and Lloyd Martin Family Foundation
Karen Moses
Emma-Jane Newton and Chris Paxton
Mary Zuber

Peter and Liz Brownie
Judi Wolf and Alden Toevs
Paul Brady and Christine Yip
Brett Clegg and Annabel Hepworth
Jane and Richard Freudenstein
Cullman Family Fund
David Mathlin
Sandra McCullagh
Ezekiel Solomon AM

Rafael Bonachela and Joe Lawler
Michelle Boyle
Jillian Broadbent AO and Olev Rahn
Janice and Tony Burke
Debbie Coffey
Alexandra Considine
Jade and Richard Coppleson
Anne Dunn and Patricia Buick
Leigh Garvan
Donna and Carl Jackson
Tina and Mark Johnson
Longreach Ownership Trust
Macquarie Group Foundation
Andrew Messenger
Rohan Morris
Lizzi Nicoll
Margaret Payn
Nick Read
Peter Reeve and Jaycen Fletcher
Chrissy Sharp and Michael Lynch
Leslie Stern
Victoria Taylor
Susan Wynne

If you would like more information or would like to support our Take A Step campaign, please contact Zoë Cobden-Jewitt, Development Director on 02 9258 4832 or zoecj@sydneydancecompany.com