Dance Academy is an Australian teen drama that focuses on the lives of the students at the National Academy of Dance. The show became extremely popular both in Australia and internationally. It aired from 2010 to 2013 and due to the success, they produced a movie in 2017.
The interior scenes were filmed on a soundstage and the show did extensive location shoots around Sydney. As the dance school was set in downtown Sydney, many scenes take place right in the city.
The National Academy of Dance
The fictitious National Academy of Dance is the premiere ballet school in Australia. The school uses the Walsh Bay piers as it’s setting. While interior shots are filmed in a studio in North Sydney, the piers are used throughout the series for all external shots.
One of the main settings outside the studio is the Academy Cafe, which is located at the very end of the pier. In the first season, the cafe just consisted of a few tables and a small cart with food. As the show continued, a full canteen was set up to make the cafe bigger.
The sides of the pier were also used a lot throughout the series. These areas were where the characters did various dances, the occasional water-balloon fight, and where Christian could often be seen skateboarding.
The Academy Dormatory
As the ballet students live at the school, a building was needed to portray their dormatory. The show used a group of row houses along Lower Fort Street. Much like the dance school, the interiors were filmed in a studio, but these houses were used for exterior shots.
Observatory Hill Park
Throughout the series, the characters are often seen hanging out in a park with a gazebo. This is Observatory Hill Park, located very close to the piers. This park has amazing views of Harbour Bridge, so make sure you stop by for some photos.
Sydney Opera House
The famous Sydney Opera House is featured many times throughout the series. The dancers not only attend shows there, but also perform themselves several times. Interior scenes were filmed at a different theatre, but the characters are often seen outside the Opera House.
Harbour Bridge is seen many times throughout the series, as the Academy is located right next to it. It is often seen in the background of exterior shots. It was featured in a first season episode where Tara, Kat, and Sammy climb the bridge to the top.
Sydney Tower Eye
Similar to the Bridge, the second season features the characters going up the Sydney Tower Eye. They visit the observation deck to film scenes overlooking the city.
Andrew Boy Charlton Pool
This aquatic facility, often called the ABC Pool, is located just east of the Opera House. The pool was seen in a couple episodes, including one where the characters do a ballet class in the pool.
Sydney Harbour Ferries
No trip to Sydney is complete without a trip on one of the Ferries. These ferries provide amazing views of the Opera House, the Bridge, and the Sydney skyline. While Manly Beach is one of the most popular ferry destinations, these ferries actually travel to a variety of spots around the Harbour.
In season 1 of Dance Academy, an episode features the characters visiting Luna Park. This small theme park is located in North Sydney, right across the Harbour from the wharfs. In fact, it’s large clown entrance can be seen in the background of many scenes that were filmed on the pier.
Due to the success of the show, the cast was reunited for a movie. Dance Academy: The Comeback was released in 2017 in Australia and then in 2018 in North America.