Dance Academy is an Australian teen oriented television drama produced by Werner Film Productions in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and ZDF. Series one premiered on 31 May 2010, and series two began airing on 12 March 2012.
- Tara Webster(Xenia Goodwin) - Tara grew up on a farm in the Australian countryside, dancing barefoot in wheat fields and dreaming of becoming a professional dancer. She is naive, sensitive, and completely unprepared for life at the ultra-competitive National Academy of Dance. The other students have far more dance training than Tara, but despite the odds, she is fiercely determined to make her dreams come true.
- Kat Karamakov (Alicia Banit) - Kat's dance talent is no surprise -- her mother is the National Ballet Company's principal ballerina, and her father is an acclaimed choreographer. Despite her family background, Kat finds ballet boring. She doesn't know what she wants to do in the future, but she knows there's more to life than dance. In Season 2, we find out Kat has been kicked out of Dance Academy.
- Abigail Armstrong (Dena Kaplan) - Beautiful, charismatic, and talented... especially when it comes to manipulating the people around her. Abigail has always been the best student in her dance classes, and that's not a title she's going to give up easily. Naturally gifted -- and naturally ruthless -- she's always willing to push her body to the limit. We find out she's a recovering anorexic in the middle of Season 1.
- Sammy Lieberman (Tom Green) - Sammy comes from a conservative Jewish family and his parents expected that he would become a doctor, but when Sammy decided to study dance, he knows it disappointed his father and he will do anything to prove to his family that he has made the right choice in his life. Even though he has a self-depreciating sense of humor, but Sammy is a good guy inside and wants to do the right thing. He has some trouble with sexuality in the end of Season 1. Sadly, he dies in the middle of Season 2.
- Christian Reed (Jordan Rodrigues) - Rebellious and quiet, Christian keeps to himself. He'd rather be surfing or skateboarding than studying ballet, so what exactly is he doing at the National Academy of Dance? Don't ask. He doesn't want to talk about it. Despite Christian's best efforts to stay out of the spotlight, and his unwillingness to take dancing seriously, one thing is clear -- he has the raw potential to be a truly great dancer.
- Ethan Karamakov (Tim Pocock) - is Kat's older brother and one of the most popular guys at the academy. Ethan feels the same pressure as Kat to live up their famous parents, but he doesn't let it hold him back and is confident that he will make his mark in the dance world as a choreographer one day. Tara believes that Ethan is the guy of her dreams even after Kat warns her about her brother's reputation for dating one girl after another.
The events in the show are primarily seen from the perspective of Tara Webster, a new student at the National Academy of Dance. She, along with fellow students Katrina Karamakov, Ethan Karamakov, Samuel Lieberman, Abigail Armstrong and Christian Reed, will learn the ins and outs of ballet. Series two will see Tara return to the Academy for her second year and the hope of representing Australia in the international ballet competition "Prix de Fonteyn". This series will introduce characters Grace Whitney, Ben Tickle, and Saskia Duncan.
Dance Academy is produced by Joanna Werner's film company Werner Films Productions in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Film New South Wales and ZDF for Germany.
Casting for series one began in early 2009 in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. All cast members had to be skilled in drama and dancing and had to cope with Australia's best choreographers. Filming began on 13 July 2009 and wrapped in early November. The series premiere was originally planned for mid-2010 on ABC3, however, like Dead Gorgeous the premiere was pushed to ABC1 on 31 May 2010 and ABC3 on 6 June 2010. The first series premiered on Germany's ZDF on 26 September 2010.
Production of series two was officially green-lighted by ABC and ZDF on 2 July 2010. Casting callswere issued on 14 September 2010, and principal photography in Sydney took place between 31 January and 4 August 2011. Series two premiered on ABC3 on 12 March 2012 and will run for 26 episodes, with a prospective ending in late April.