Dame Margaret Scott AC DBE, founding director of The Australian Ballet School and one of the country’s pre-eminent dance educators, has died aged 96.

Dame Margaret Scott. Photo ©  Roy McAuley

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1922, Scott’s love of dance was sparked from an early age. She attended ballet classes at the Conmee School of Dancing, where she was taught according to the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dancing. After graduating, she was accepted into Sadler’s Wells Ballet School at 17 and became a principal dancer with the main company in 1941. She would stay only a year before departing to work with the more adventurous Ballet Rambert, where she was a principal from 1943 to 1948.

In 1947, the company undertook an Australian tour that was so successful it was extended several times, totalling a period of 18 months. When the tour came to an end, Scott remained in Australia. In 1949, she became a founding member of Melbourne’s National Theatre Ballet, dancing, restaging and choreographing her own works.

Scott returned to London in 1952, re-joining Rambert as ballet mistress and assistant to Madam Rambert. She returned to...