Welcome to DANCE LAB

Dream, Dare, Dance

Dance Lab is a purpose-built professional dance studio located in Somerville, Victoria. Nevertheless, we are more than just a building; we’re a dance community.

Classes are offered for ages 2 through to 18+ for both recreational dancers and those who are interested in pursuing a career in dance. At Dance Lab, our students benefit from a number of different streams of learning and experience.

Our exam stream gives students tangible goals and achievements in pursuit of a more serious dance career; our competition stream provides students with valuable experience in performance and the spirit of competition, as well as exposure to other dancers and dance schools; and our general classes not only cater to our exam and competition dancers, but also to those who are dancing for fun or fitness. We also provide, private tuition, internal and external extension opportunities and annual concerts.


We offer our students classes in classical ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, stretch/conditioning, preschool dance and more. Our class sizes are limited to 20 students, with assistant teachers in all younger classes helping our qualified teachers to ensure optimal learning.

To that end, we have an impressive teaching faculty with industry credits and high qualifications. Their expertise and mentoring approach has seen many of our students achieve the highest grades possible in exams, placements in prestigious training programs and success in the professional industry. We are proud of our professional teaching faculty and understand our responsibility of providing a child-safe organisation.

At Dance Lab we aim to create a balance between developing students with sound technique whilst nurturing intelligent, creative and curious young people, who are willing to explore and challenge their potential. We encourage a love and passion for dance in a safe, fun and happy environment.

Apart from students benefiting from improved physical strength, stamina and flexibility, we believe that attending dance classes helps students to develop many other life skills and abilities. Our dancers develop self-motivation, self-discipline, goal orientation, teamwork, concentration and listening skills among many other benefits. Our dancers develop friendships and experiences that can last a lifetime.

Our Philosophy


Our aim at Dance Lab is to light the spark of passion that every dancer starts with – the DREAM.


Our objective is to provide them with the opportunity to explore their skills and talent to make their own way. We DARE them to try.


A dance school is the front-line of exploring the possibilities of the industry for a dancer. To this end, we strive to provide a broad dance experience, with sound technique, through a variety of dance styles. It is only when armed with this solid foundation, that a dancer can then find their own path and refine their craft for ultimate success

Our Values

The Dance Lab DNA

At the forefront of our values is respect. Dance Lab teachers, dancers and families conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful; not only to each other, but also to others outside of the studio within the broader community.

Our dance community is one that encourages dancers to discover their own passion for dance and to approach their dancing with positivity, determination and perseverance. The result of this approach is happy, healthy dancers, who are willing to take risks, strive to improve themselves and encourage others.

At Dance Lab we value our dance community and achieve a unique Dance Lab Spirit through open and honest communication with students, families and the wider dance community. Through this, we are able to cater to the individual needs of each student, and establish a basis of feeling valued and important within all of our dancers.





Open Communication

Opportunities for students

At Dance Lab, we believe it is our role to develop a dancer to their fullest potential. This means supporting them in their own dance journey in every way possible, to ensure that they graduate with the ability to successfully pursue pre-professional and professional opportunities in the industry. The dance industry is large and highly competitive, so any preparation that we can provide to a student to help them realise their dance dreams is important.

To this end, we provide or support a wide variety of additional opportunities to our students. This includes:

  • Technique progression and recognition through examinations.
  • Private coaching in both competition and exam work to supplement class learning.
  • Participation in competitions to enhance performance experience. This includes both troupe and individual routines (solos, duos and trios). Competition troupes are also highly rewarding in terms of building teamwork and life-long dance friendships. It promotes camaraderie among age groups, as well as mentors in the form of senior assistants working with younger students.

Dance / Life Balance

Dance Lab is also conscious of ensuring a ballet/life balance, so we do not enter every competition out there! Dance Lab generally participates with Troupes in 2 – 3 competitions per year.

Most students also like to enter their individual routines at these competitions as well. Additional competition experience is always supported if a student wishes to participate in other events, provided the schedule does not clash with compulsory troupe rehearsals on a Saturday.

  • A highlight on the Dance Lab calendar is our annual showcase. Held in November/December, the students bring together over 50 all-new group routines created in the 3-5 months before. It’s always very exciting and an amazing effort by all. This is a great opportunity for ALL Dance Lab students to come together and share in their joy of dance.
  • All students can also participate in our annual class display in May/June, when we take our classes on stage at the Elisabeth Murdoch Centre and everyone in the family is invited to attend.
  • Extension classes are frequently offered both within Dance Lab and externally with highly credentialed guest teachers. These are valuable in providing intensive training in specific areas, usually with the fresh approach of a guest teacher, which also ensures variety in a student’s class learning. This is valuable in preparing students for dealing with different teaching styles and picking up new and different choreography, especially for auditions.

How we started

Dance Lab Principle & owner Emily Kheissy (Grainger). Emily’s first involvement with dance began 34 years ago. The first 12 years were spent as an aspiring student while the last 22 years have been dedicated to teaching and further study. Emily’s training includes Classical Ballet, Neo Classical, lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Funk, Hip-Hop, Drama, Singing, Acrobatics and Pilates.
She completed the full time Performing Arts course at the Dance Factory and continued to dance professionally for the next 7 years. Her professional experiences include: P&O Cruises as a Pacific Sky Entertainer, Tivoli Theatre Restaurant as a Singer & Dancer, Fruitopia TVC, Neighbours, Promotechnics, Nintendo Pokemon Tour, ‘Blonde’ The Movie, Conrad & Co. Pantomimes, Dance Encore Pantomimes & Character Connexion- Pantomimes.
Emily has always had a passion for teaching and mentoring others into the industry. She established Dance Lab at Pearcedale Primary School in 2004. From a handful of students starting one-day a week, the school has become a major entity in the South East/Bayside suburbs in the 18 years since. Emily’s students benefit from her attention to detail, strong and distinctive style and the ability to make learning fun. Students under Emily’s tuition have received the highest marks in Southern Federation of Dance examinations and worked professionally in the dance industry.

Call today

(03) 5977 6568

Call or email now so we can assist you with your dance journey with us.