My story began over 10 years ago. Early Saturday morning ballet classes soon became a couple of times per week and before long it was up to 6 days a week of ballet, jazz , contemporary, competitions, exams and productions.
Around the age of 13, I had made the decision that classical ballet was my passion and then things started to get more serious trying to find the pathway to bridge the gap between recreational dancing and pursuing ballet as a career.
At 15 I was accepted into two programmes (majoring in classical ballet) at the NZ School of Dance in Wellington. Both the Scholars programme and Associates programme are aimed at aspiring young dancers who want to pursue a professional career in ballet. During this year I travelled from Christchurch to Wellington about 11 times during the year to be taught by national and international tutors in addition to my classical training in Christchurch.
At 16 I auditioned and was accepted to be mentored by a Royal New Zealand Ballet Company dancer. I was one of only two girls from Christchurch who were accepted for this mentoring programme. This gave me the insight into the emotional strength required to make it as a ballet dancer. During this year I began full time classical training at Anneliese Gilberd Academy and continued with my Year 12 studies through correspondence.
At the beginning of this year I attended the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet, Summer School in Australia and before the week was over I was offered a place in their full time Advanced Diploma programme.
So the opportunity presented itself but it also became the challenge. I had less than 2 weeks to return to New Zealand and move back to Melbourne to commence my training, say goodbye to friends and family and find somewhere to live. I made it with the help of my family but I know that this has come at a huge cost to my parents to fund this in less than two weeks’ time.
I am training 35 hours over six days a week and I am reliant on my parents being able to support not only my tuition but my living expenses as well while I am away from home. My parents have committed to fostering my 5 year old cousin. They have done this since he was a 1 year old so they have their hands full taking on this role and expense as well.
My yearly tuition fee is $8800, my homestay is around $15000 and my ballet expenses (uniform) leotards, tights, ballet shoes and pointe shoes costs about $2000. If possible I would like to apply for $2400 to cover the cost of one term of tuition.
SUMMER HAS BEEN OFFERED A PLACE AT THE AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATOIRE OF BALLET IN MELBOURNE
My long term goal is to become a professional ballet dancer. I want this destination to be part of the important role that ballet plays in our society and arts culture. We live in a fast paced, highly technical and changing society. I want to be part of a unique art form that has the ability to tell a story, connect at an emotional level with an audience, and be a role model to inspire young dancers in the future.
HIGHEST SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS
My achievements to date include:
• Royal New Zealand Ballet Mentor Programme – selected to be mentored by a company dancer
• NZ School of Dance – Scholar (majoring in classical ballet)
• NZ School of Dance – Associate (majoring in classical ballet)
• Showbiz 2015 production of Phantom of the Opera (21 shows) as a Ballet Dancer
• 2014 Young Performer of the Year Nominee for PACANZ, Performing Arts Competition Association New Zealand
• Royal Academy of Dance – Advanced 1 Examination with Distinction
• Royal Academy of Dance 14+ Scholarship Participant
• British Ballet Organisation – Advanced 1 Examination with Distinction
• NZ Association Modern Dance – Intermediate Jazz High Honours Member of the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Jazz and Ballet Companies at Southern Ballet Theatre
• Christchurch Arts Festival and the CSO 2009 production of A Midsummer Nights Dream (Mustardseed)