Nicola Sabatino was raised in Weipa, Far North Queensland. She began dancing under the watchful eye of Amanda Seawright, who guided her on to continue training at the Australian Dance Performance Institute (ADPI). At ADPI, Nicola began studying classical ballet with the late Harold Collins and Barbara Eversen.
She then went to study at the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College. There, Nicola had the pleasure of learning traditional dances from the Dätiwuy clan of the Yolngu people in North East Arnhem Land, and from the Saibai people of Torres Strait. She was also introduced to Horton technique by her mentor Graeme Watson, a technique that she developed a deep and keen interest in. By the time Nicola graduated from NAISDA, she had worked with many renowned Choreographers and Artists inlcuding Jason Pitt, Bernadette Walong-Sene, Charles Koroneho, Vicki Van Hout, Gail Mabo and Frances Rings.
Nicola then had an exciting year freelancing, performing in Graeme Murphy’s Turandot, Tammi Gissell’s Feather and Tar; a cabaret of sorrows at Blakdance 2012, and Diaphanous - Ochres Contemporary Dance Company’s debut performance. She also featured in Dan Sultan’s music video for his single Under Your Skin.
In 2013, Nicola joined Bangarra Dance Theatre and began touring with the company nationally and internationally. She was also given the opportunity to choreograph in collaboration with Elma Kris, their work Whistler appearing in the ONES COUNTRY - the spine of our stories triple bill (2017). During her time at Bangarra, Nicola took time to study at the prestigious Alvin Ailey School, where she was able to delve into and explore Horton technique further. From this came a desire to explore the marriage between traditional and modern dance techniques within her own body and artistry.