Robert Helpmann made his mark as the most successful classical ballet dancer and choreographer this country has ever produced. The likes of Rudolph Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn danced with him in the world's premier venues, and he brought the leading dancers of the world to Australia to perform.
Helpmann started dancing at the age of five, first performed at eight years of age, and in 1926 danced with the legendary Anna Pavlova during her tour of Australia. From 1930 until his retirement twenty years later, he was premier dancer at London’s Sadler’s Wells Company. He then worked as a producer and choreographer and directed the Adelaide Festival between 1970 and 1976. Helpmann was Australian of the Year in 1966.
Helpmann returned to the school in 1955, bringing with him the superstar Katharine Hepburn. The adult photo of Helpmann shows him at the school on that visit.