Taking A Step – Wharf Transformation

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

Celebrating our 50th birthday in 2019, 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 our next 50 years and in 2018,  we began a world-class revitalisation of our historic home at Pier 4.  This project is 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 began a transformation project in 2018. This significant reconfiguration and refurbishment is our first major upgrade and will create an environment which meets the needs of both our exceptional dancers and enthusiastic, committed dance class patrons.

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, the Company and Studio dance classes have moved from the Wharf to a custom-designed studio facility at 385 Wattle Street, Ultimo.

This fantastic 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 construction, Sydney Dance Company continues to provide a wide variety of popular dance classes, short courses and workshops.

The Company and our Pre-Professional Year students rehearse in the Ultimo studios until we move back to the Wharf.


What is involved in Sydney Dance Company’s renovations?
Sydney Dance Company’s existing facilities on Pier 4 are currently undergoing significant renovations. Once completed, your experience at our refurbished studios will be greatly enhanced. Our four existing dance studios are in the process of being upgraded, a new studio is being built and our public facilities and administration suite are being 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! Our classes are currently held at our new temporary studios at 385 Wattle Street, Ultimo.
Our temporary studios have three custom-built studios which enable us to continue running our class schedule.  Once construction at the Wharf is finished, we will return our classes to our brand new Wharf studios.

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 have joined us at the Ultimo studios.

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

Where will the Company dancers be?
The Company dancers are based at the Ultimo studios and rehearse 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 season is presented at Carriageworks, Eveleigh.

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