I had the opportunity to participate in dance classes at two ballet schools in the Australian capital city of Canberra held on the 10th – 11th and 18 – 19th of July 2013.
National Capitol Ballet shool has a respectable tradition – it was found forty years ago. Young director Zara leads school for three years and the school has about four hundred students, of which 28 are boys. It’s big, maybe the biggest number of pupils to their schools in the City. There are two small ballet studios joined together. Director’s mother Jenny runs daily operations of the school and Zara s sister is one of teachers in school. She teaches dance according to the methodology Royal Academy of Dance. The results of this training is a relatively high level of the students ballet. I took notice that girls take point shoes on around 12 – 14 year when their bodies are already built to be ready to support the body perfectly on pointes.
I saw rehearsals for the performance “Cinderella” and study of surprising conception of “Swan Lake” with elements of modern contemporary choreography without point shoes, barefoot. Premiere planned in November 2013. Older girls and four boys were studying scene of Ball of the 2nd act Cinderella and the Dance of ferries from the 1st. Act lead by Zara.
The high level of students NCBS is evident from the DVD of performance Paquita, where girls dance challenging variations and duets.
My next ballet experience took place in the school’s auditorium called Canberra Festival Ballet School. I attended a seminar Cecchetti Winter School. The school is based in a terraced house facing the lake, where the ground floor is a ballet studio with mirrors. Children came to the rehearsal already dressed in uniform and hair tucked away in a neat bun. Ballet leotards of various styles are distinguished by color in pastel shades and tights without skirt to better see the silhouette of the body, revealing the possible errors.
The first lesson for the smallest ballerinas (4-6 years) led by a young teacher Dorothy, a student of Cheryl, founder of the school. Cheryl possessed a high level of detail in her method, so that even the youngest children managed dialed feet (I. and V.position) And also convey this experience to raise the next generation of teachers, which is very admirable. Another lesson (9-12 year-old girls) lead by Miss Kay, which has rich teaching experience and has taugh ballet for nearly half a century. In the course called “Stretch and Limber” for an hour they implemented a system of intensive stretching exercises that improve their splits / ecarte. New director Lisa gave me the opportunity to work with girls for a while in the end of the lesson. I chose some exercises to do my own students like to do, and is also know as the exercise “seal” to children in Australia 🙂
Little ballet dancers stretch their feets to the tips of fingers, extend knees and have a high range of the hip joint. It is therefore not surprising that due to professional approach of the teachers, several girls were recruited for the study ballet at the Conservatory in Melbourne, Australia.
I would also like to mention that the study on such Private Dance School assumes that students attend classes for four times a week and they are very often asked to dance on weekends for half days . Girls are therefore dedicated to ballet art and ballet level is very high in Capitol National Ballet School and Canberra Festival Ballet School.
I would like to thank my colleagues from Australia for invitation into their school for a chance to see and work with children in ballet lessons, that I liked immensely and I appreciate all who attend to her. Meeting with them has enriched me and motivates me in my own teaching practice.