Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Monday, September 15, 2014

In the news - Attitude Awards Finalist

We had a look on-line and found two news articles about Salem being a finalist for the Attitude Awards in the Artistic Achievement category.

Here are the articles:

Finalist artists in Attitude Awards 2014
19 August 2014
An actor, a dancer and a visual artist are this year’s finalists in the artistic achievement category of the Attitude Awards. The winners will be announced on 3 December, World Disability Day, at the Auckland Viaduct Event Centre.

Sponsored by the IHC Foundation, the Artistic Achievement Award finalists are Paul Barrett of Auckland, Salem Foxx of the Kapiti Coast and Yaniv Janson of Hamilton.
Paul Barrett is an established actor, musical director, vocal coach and comedian. He has appeared in more than 140 theatrical productions in New Zealand, Australia and Britain, and has been the musical director of another 40 more productions. He also lives with Tourette syndrome.
Salem Foxx is a 14-year-old ballet dancer who has worked with the Royal New Zealand Ballet in its
productions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and The Nutcracker.
He began dancing as a toddler, soon after being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.  He combines his love of ballet with contemporary dance, jazz, lyrical, tap and acrobatic dance.
Yaniv Janson is another young artist. Aged 22, his work has received international attention. He has participated in more than 50 exhibitions, including in Israel, France and Canada.
When he was 17, Yaniv became the youngest-ever artist to be a finalist in the Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award and the Wallace Trust Art Award in the same year.

Social and environmental issues

His works focus heavily on social and environmental issues. Like Salem, he lives with Asperger’s syndrome.
The 2014 Attitude Awards mark the seventh year that the work and achievements of people living with disabilities have been recognised.

Press Release – Attitude Awards
Media release September 15, 2014
Award spotlight shines on passionate Kapiti Coast dancer
As a toddler with Asperger’s Syndrome, Salem Foxx would communicate by hitting and screaming.
Now 14-years-old, Salem takes the stage as a disciplined ballet dancer, expressing himself through his talent and passion for movement.
The Kapiti Coast dancer is a finalist in the Artistic Achievement category in the 2014 Attitude Awards. The national awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of disabled Kiwis.
Salem’s talent has seen him earn distinctions in dance exams, win top placings in dance competitions and be selected by the Royal New Zealand Ballet to perform in four of its productions. Not limited to just one style of dance, he combines his love for ballet with contemporary, jazz, lyrical, tap and even acrobatic dance.
This year marked a pinnacle in Salem’s achievements. After auditioning alongside hundreds of other hopefuls, he was selected by the New Zealand School of Dance as a Junior Associate in contemporary dance. He was one of only three contemporary juniors chosen and the only male.
A role model to other young dancers, Salem’s blog balletboynz is read by passionate dancers worldwide and is being included as resource material at the prestigious London Boys Ballet School. Salem’s dream is to forge an international dance career for himself. He says: “Even though I have Asperger’s Syndrome, I won’t let that get in my way of my goal.”
Salem being an Attitude Awards finalist is testament to his determination. He will find out if he has won the award at a black-tie gala on World Disability Day, December 3 at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre.
There are eight categories in the 2014 Attitude Awards: Sport Performer of the Year, Courage in Sport, Artistic Achievement, Youth, Spirit of Attitude, the Attitude ACC Employer Award, Making a Difference award and the inaugural Attitude Junior Award. The overall winner of the Attitude ACC Supreme Award is selected from the category winners and a People’s Choice winner and a Hall of Fame inductee are also announced on the night.
Attitude Awards Trustee Dan Buckingham, a member of the elite national wheelchair rugby team the Wheel Blacks, says: “This is such an exciting time for everyone at Attitude Pictures because we find out who the finalists are. We have started travelling the country to film the finalists and even though this is the seventh year of the awards their stories continue to amaze us.”
Dan encourages everyone to visit, an innovative web platform created by Attitude Pictures, in early November to see the short films of the finalists and to vote for the person most deserving of the coveted ‘People’s Choice Award.’
The Artistic Achievement award is sponsored by the IHC Foundation. Other sponsors supporting the awards include: Invacare, Barfoot and Thompson, Westpac, Drake Medox, Ministry of Health, Air New Zealand and Wayne Francis Charitable Trust.
Chief Executive of ACC Scott Pickering says ACC is proud to be principal sponsor of the awards for the seventh year, including sponsorship of the Attitude ACC Employer Award and the Attitude ACC Supreme Award.
“I’m really looking forward to this year’s Attitude Awards, which are a significant event on New Zealand’s calendar. Through celebrating excellence in the disability community and the important contributions made by New Zealanders with disabilities, the awards have the power to shift perceptions and to enhance lives.”
For tickets to the Attitude Awards gala evening on Dec 3 contact Sue Wales-Earl at or phone 09 377 6280.
For all the latest on the Awards and the Attitude Programme:
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Lots of Exciting News

Salem with his Ballet Exam Certificates.

It's been a very exciting time for Salem lately, He's had his ballet exam results back. 
He passed with distinction with a mark of 96%. I am so pleased for him as he really worked hard. Because he got over 90%, he received a BTDA Platinum Award too.

Preparing for his exams

We have had lots of good feed back from the documentary about Salem on Attitude, you can watch it online at .
We have people coming up to us to say hello and how much they enjoyed the doco.
There was a lot of lovely footage of him dancing.

At practice at the studio at City Fitness.

Salem is also a finalist in the Attitude Awards for Creative Achievement so they will be flying us both up to Auckland in December for the awards which is a black tie event. 
I will have to get Salem a new suit as he keeps growing out of all his other ones.
His old "Bond on Bond" suit is so small on him.

A film crew will be interviewing him some more in just over a week so he will be on TV again in October and December.  
You can check out the finalists at

We have just found out yesterday that Salem is a provisional finalist for the Pride Awards for Creative Achievement and Innovation (Senior) Awards. He will be interviewed for that in the next week or so.

Tired out at the gym after having a fun practice in a grass skirt.

Plus Salem have two competitions coming up, the first in two weeks time up in Palmerston North where he will get to perform his new jazz solo for the first time. He's very excited about that, it's quite a funny dance. 
Then the next one in October, which is modern and tap up in Upper Hutt, Salem will be doing his first ever tap solo.  He has choreographed a tap dance and it is looking great.

Warming up at the Auckland BTDA Festival.

Straight before that he has his contemporary exams. 
For his medal exam he gets to do one of his own dances, "In the Shadows" which we have shortened.  He has to do two dances for the medals.

Waikanae Dance School Exam Awards Presentation

At his dance school in Tawa, Hayley Johnsons Academy of Dance, Salem been cast as Daddy Warbucks for the end of year production of "Annie". 
It's going to be very busy in Term 4!!!!!! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Upper Hutt Comps June 2014

Upper Hutt Competition Society
Competition Results 
20-22nd June 2014

Salem received a Upper Hutt Competition Society Incentive Award for Restricted Jazz.

Results for the weekend were:

Second Place - Restricted Jazz

Third Place - Musical Theatre

Very Highly Commended - Self Choreographed

Highly Commended - Contemporary
                                      Jazz Impromptu

Salem competed at the Upper Hutt competitions for the fist time in June and had a lot of fun.
A new theatre to dance in and some new faces for him to compete against.

Warming up backstage for lyrical

It was a nice big stage at Expressions Theatre and the boys had two dressing rooms to themselves which was a bonus.

In the dressing room.

It was a modern and tap competition, so no ballet this time and it will be a little while yet before he competes in tap.

They had a self choreography section which required a time limit of two minutes, Salem had wanted to do his acro dance "Safety Dance" but that was well over that time.  So he choreographed a new acro dance "Cotton Eye Joe" for a bit of fun and performed it for the first time at these comps.
Hopefully he will get to perform it again.

Cotton Eye Joe

Truffles was due for another performance so this time Salem entered "Robin Hood" in the Musical Theatre category so he sang while he danced.  He was very nervous beforehand as he had never sung on stage but he had a real blast doing it and achieving a third placing was a bonus.

Robin Hood and Truffles

He was a bit dissappointed with the Jazz Impromptu section as they played a very contemporary piece in which basically everyone danced contemporary while Salem, being the Aspie (Aspergers) that he is, only did jazz steps which was very, very hard with the choice of music.  Well done him for keeping to the style!!!!

Warming up for jazz

All in all it was a great weekend, just lot's of time spent travelling and getting home very late.
Public transport is pretty bad on the weekends especially when the trains are replaced by buses making for a very long journey indeed.

Incentive Award for Jazz

Salem is on TV

Tomorrow morning Salem is appearing in his own documentary on TVNZ1's "Attitude" at 8.30 am.
Salem is talking about having Aspergers Syndrome and his love of dance.

It shows him at home, at practice, classes, getting ready for exams and travelling up to Auckland for the British Theatre Dance Association's Auckland Festival.

He had a lovely film crew who were very supportive.  Thanks guys!!!!!

Here is the promo for the programme.

Salem is very nervous to see the finished product.
He will be at day two of the Associates Weekend when the documentary is shown, but we don't get tv anyway so he can watch it On Demand when he gets home.

I'll put up the link when it become available.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ballet Boy New Zealand Supports the London Boys Ballet School

Salem with one of his Grade One ballet students

London is so lucky to have an all boys dance school, boys learn differently and the male ballet technique and performance is quite different.  As most dance schools cater mainly for girls, boys are often the only male in the class and taught to dance just like the girls.  This isolation from other boys in their classes can lead to them giving up dancing.

Being in all male classes, they can be taught male technique with other boys just like themselves and are able to compete against each other, like who can do the best grande jette or the most pirouettes, while having a real camaraderie.

Salem and I from the Ballet Boy New Zealand blog would like to wish the London Boys Ballet School all the best and we totally support what they are doing. 
What a fantastic opportunity for boys who want to dance. 

Michelle and Salem Foxx

Salem at the Upper Hutt Comps June 2014

This was the letter of support we recently sent to the LBBS

Sorry for the lack of up-dates lately, so much happening and Salem is at Winter School at the New Zealand School of Dance so it is very early starts and he comes home and it is straight into bed.  It's day three today and he is loving every moment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Cold" - New Neo-classical Dance

"Cold" costume.

Salem debuted "Cold" his new neo-classical dance at the DanceArt comps on the 11th April 2014.
It went really well and really surprised everyone.  No one expected a dance like this and everyone was dead silent when Salem was dancing it.

When he had finished dancing he had a lot of applause and his first ever bravo, and it was from one of the dad's in the audience.  Salem was thrilled.
He was awarded 2nd place.

We had a bit of fun with the costume, originally thinking a light blue colour and then decided on silver.  I even found silver ballet shoes.
I thought silver leggings and a silver top would be a bit too much so we thought a white leotard would be better with white braces on the leggings.
It did look good from in the audience.  The silver leggings really showed off Salem's leg muscles.
You can't see that in the video very well though.

This is one of Salem's favourite dances at the moment.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Boys Only Open Ballet Class 23rd April 2014

If you live out Kapiti way, I am teaching a boy's only ballet class out in Waikanae for the Waikanae Dance School this Wednesday from 9 am til 10 am.

If you know of any boys, any age, who would be interested in giving ballet a try, get them to get in touch.
No experience necessary!!!

It will be lots of fun!!!!!!!