Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Monday, July 20, 2015

Kapiti Comps 2015 and What I'm up to at the moment


Pas de deux - Giselle


It was the Dance Kapiti Competitions finally after a years break.  It was held at the Southwards Theatre, out here in Kapiti.  Nice and close, it was great not to have to travel.

It was held over four days, 11th to the 14th July.  I danced 16 times over the four days.


Krakowiak


I had injured myself at practice the day before comps started and I wasn't too sure that I would be dancing at all.  I had hurt my big toe quite badly and it was quite swollen and very sore when putting any pressure at all on it.

But we put arnica on, ice packs and kept up a regime of anti-inflammatories and paracetamol when needed.
I managed to dance every dance, it did get quite sore at times, I couldn't do double tours so had to stick to singles and had to make adjustments to some of my dances.  Even had to wear different ballet shoes as my usual ones were a little too tight on my toe.


In make-up and wig for Miss Hannigan


But overall, I was really pleased with my performances, I had sooooo much fun with my jazz dances, especially the impromptu.  I just went out, put lots of humour in it and had a ball.  I wish it was videoed.
I was able to dance both of my jazz dances, Sh-Boom and White Trash.  White Trash was danced two times, it was the only repeat I had.

It was really nice to catch up with dancers that were not from the Wellington Region.  Some I hadn't seen since Palmerston North Comps from last year.


Having a bit of fun before Cold


This was my third competition of the year, and the last for this year.
I no longer have a scholarship for my dancing.  I had three years of Gold Heart Scholarships from Variety - The Children's Charity.  Three years is the limit and I was very lucky and honored to have that support.

So we can no longer afford to do as many competitions, I did eight last year, but that just means I can now concentrate more on my classes and work on technique.  Also do some more choreographies which I have so many ideas.  I will be working on a classical dance en pointe and a new variation as well.
Cold will be done en pointe next year!!!!!!


Getting into Classical mode


I'm fundraising to go over to the Boy's Ballet Summer School again this summer, I enjoyed it so much last time and learnt so much.  So when the weather gets drier and warmer, I will be busking in Wellington City at some of the inner city parks.  I can't do my dancing and acro on hard concrete so the grassy parks will do nicely.


Running Up That Hill


Term three starts today so it is back to classes in Tawa, can't wait to see my Grade One students today, and my Grade Two's tomorrow.  This term we are getting ready for exams.  I have exams for contemporary and jazz.  I am doing two jazz exams - Elementary and Intermediate.  I am also doing medals for jazz, contemporary, ballet and tap.

No ballet exams for me this year.  I am doing non syllabus ballet with Jacqui and Jonty and a mixture of advanced levels with Hayley.


Sh-Boom


Last term I got together with the lovely Miss Sophie to do the pas de deux from Giselle so we could perform it at the Kapiti Comps which we did and we got a Highly Commended (5th placing).

Not bad as we were in the Duo/Trio Any Style class so we were up against hip hop, jazz etc, no other ballet.
It was a lot of fun but over too quickly.


Practicing on stage before the Senior Championship


My other results were:

Classical  -  Third Place
Neo-Classical  -  Very Highly Commended (4th)
Character - Highly Commended (5th)
Demi-Character  - Highly Commended
Barefoot -  Commended (6th)
Impromptu Barefoot - Commended


Quiet moment before going back stage.


My favourite comment from the adjudicator was for White Trash in the Senior Jazz Champs, it was:

"I enjoyed your wild attitude."


Ready for James

I had a great four days at comps and can't wait for next year's.
I got lots of funny looks when I was in costume for Miss Hannigan, so funny!!!!!

So I will only be doing three competitions next year, same as this year.  Definitely one elsewhere, maybe Taupo or New Plymouth.  Should be fun.

Salem

Friday, May 29, 2015

Winter Cold and Weekend Competitions


On the train after my dance classes in Tawa.

Hi everyone,
I hope you are all keeping warm. Sooo cold at the moment!!!!!
Winter is well on it's way over here.
It has been very cold coming home late at night from my classes in Tawa.
I have to walk home from the railway station with all the frost setting in.
It's really nice when it's not windy or raining.

It's been a full on week or so for me, lots of practicing and of course all my classes.
Last week I had a photo shoot for a woman's magazine.
Phew, it takes a lot of time and we had to do re-take after re-take of jetes, pirouettes etc for a good action shot.  It took a few hours.

Last weekend I went to the Boy's Master Class with the Royal New Zealand Ballet which was taught by Massimo Murru from La Scala Ballet in Italy.
He is in New Zealand as guest Ballet Master for the RNZB.
It was such a great class and I really enjoyed it.
There was quite a lot of boys taking the class this time.

It's the Queen's Birthday Comps in Lower Hutt this weekend and I will be dancing all four days dancing thirteen of my dances.
I'm even entered in the song and dance class which is going to be funny as my voice is really croaky at the moment.
I will be doing Robin Hood for this.  It has become my musical theatre dance now as I have Miss Hannigan now for my demi-character.
I can't wait to do Miss Hannigan again.


Ameno


Mum's made me some new costumes and added a few more details to my Ameno costume which meant I had to lie down on the floor with the heater on (coz it's so cold here), with my costume on while Mum painted it. Then she had to dry the paint with the hair dryer before I could take it off without paint going everywhere.
She also had to make me a new tunic for Robin Hood as I have grown out of my old one.

Looking forward to comps tonight, it's the variations tonight.  I'm in the Senior Championship.
This comp will be the last one that I will be doing at the Little theatre this year.
We can't afford to do any more than three competitions this year, so I'm making the most of them.
I'm doing thirteen dances this weekend, and none of them are repeats.

Next comps are the Kapiti Comps in July, the last for the year, and I will be dancing 16 times.
I'm going to be very tired but at least they are very close to home.
No Travelling!!!!!!

I'll be heading off to Lower Hutt soon, to go to the Little Theatre.
Wish me luck
                   
                      Salem  :-)


Friday, May 8, 2015

Dance Art Comps and I've finally done it!!!!!!!


Getting ready to dance Siegfried.


I had a very busy weekend just gone.  I had my first competition of the year and had been busy working on two new dances.
A new contemporary and a new demi-character.
I was so excited to debut them!!!!

I got a bit of a shock when seeing the size of the stage at the theatre which I have performed on so many times .......... it was so small .......... and I have grown soooo much.
I really had to concentrate on making my dances "smaller".


Stretching and warming up.


I was performing over three days, on Friday night I did my new contemporary dance " Running up that Hill".
The adjudicator commented "Beautiful flowing work showing good pathways...."
I was pleased with how I performed it for the first time and I was awarded 3rd Place.

Then I had my neo-classical "Cold" and was awarded 1st Place.
Wow, what a good first day!!!!


"James"  - La Sylphide Act II variation


It was bright and early to the theatre on Saturday morning, first my little friend Emma danced her demi-character which was so cute and then it was my turn to do my Krackowiak character dance.

It was so hard to dance this dance in such a small space.
I practice it in a large studio.
But I was really happy with it and was awarded 3rd Place.


Warming up for "Ameno"


My barefoot dance "Ameno" was next, I've been playing with the choreography for this a bit.
 Now I have three versions of this, and I like them all.
This time I danced version no.2 and got a Highly Commended (which is 5th Place).  Very pleased with that.


Siegfried


After having a break all afternoon, we came back for the evening session where I danced my lyrical and was in the Senior Championship dancing two variations

The variations I performed were "Siegfried" from Swan Lake, and "James" from La Sylphide Act II.
I always enjoy doing variations as they may be short but they are just full on.

I got Highly Commended for my lyrical and "Most Promising Senior Variation Dancer".  So cool!!!!


"Miss Hannigan"


It was back to the theatre and ready to perform by 8 am.  Oh boy was it so early.
To early in the morning especially as it was my birthday.
But I was very excited.  I was about to perform my new demi-character.

I had kept it a secret.  All anyone knew was that I was dancing en pointe.
My first time performing on stage, at a competition, en pointe!!!!!!!!

And I was performing as Miss Hannigan from "Annie".


The lovely Miss Hannigan :-)


It caused a bit of a stir and a lot of laughter as I like to do comedy demi-characters.
I had so much fun and it was over too soon.
But I had done it!!!!!!!!

I was awarded 1st Place.  I couldn't believe it.




Last up was my classical and I really enjoyed dancing that and I managed it fit it quite nicely on the stage.
I came 2nd Place for that.

I found out later that I also had won the Encouragement Special Award for 11 years and over.
A great way to end my birthday.

         **  Salem  **

Monday, March 9, 2015

Looking Back 2007


Exam day 2007


Sorry that it has been a while since I posted anything. I've been very busy with my dance lessons and have been enjoying helping to teach the grade one and grade two ballet classes at Hayley Johnson Academy of Dancing in Tawa. It's so funny being called "Mr Salem".
My lessons are going well and I have been getting home very late at night, 11 pm is my latest time for getting home. But it is all worth it.


There are signs of me doing acro even then.


This year. along with my one-on-one classes with the Trimmers, I am doing an open ballet class, advanced foundation ballet, another open ballet class with Kerry-Anne Gilberd, elementary jazz, intermediate jazz, contemporary level 4, tap grade 6, and I am working on my own stuff too.
I have finished choreographing my new demi- character dance and it is soooo funny.  I like putting humor in my demi's as there are so many serious ones.


Bring on the exam.


I thought I would share with you some photos of me when I was seven years old and warming up ready for my RAD primary ballet exam. I was so pleased to get distinction for my first "proper" ballet exam.
- Salem 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Ideas and Choreography


Sydney Harbour Bridge New Years 2015


Happy New Year every one!!!!!!!

I had a fantastic New Years, I was over in Sydney at the Boys Ballet Summer School.
It was held at the Shore School which had a great view of the Harbour Bridge.
We all stayed up to watch the fireworks and the next day we went to Wet'n'Wild.


Photo courtesy of the Boys Ballet Summer School


I had such a great time, wish it was for longer.  I am now saving and fundraising to go back next summer.

When I came back home, I only had a couple of days off dancing and have got back into the studio to practice.  I started back with lessons with Jacqui yesterday.

Today I finished my new contemporary choreography. 
I'm very pleased with it.  Now it needs lots of practice to make it look good.

I was so inspired from being at the Boys Ballet Summer School and had fantastic tutors - Jason Duff for jazz, Bill Pengelly for contemporary, and Christian Tatchev from the Queensland Ballet.

Bill gave me a load of new ideas and inspired me to create this new dance using lots of new moves that he taught us. Thanks Bill. And thanks to Jason and Christian too.

I also get to use a Kate Bush song which is a bonus.  I just love this song,





For those of you who recieve this by email, you can click on http://youtu.be/oxQmfzmdSkI to watch the video.

Me and Mum will be doing more updates to catch up on everything.

Bye for now - Salem xx

Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the Local News Papers - Shout Out Awards

At the Shout Out Awards.


Salem won a Kapiti Coast District Council "Shout Out"  Award on the 4th December 2014.

We had just flown back to Paraparaumu from attending the Attitude Awards in Auckland, we got off the plane then it was straight to the Kapiti Coast District Council buildings for the "Shout Out" Youth Awards.
They were so nice to us, saved us dinner as were arrived over an hour after they had started.

Salem received the Shout Out Expression Award. It is so nice for him to get an award for doing something that he loves doing.  
Salem received a framed certificate, a really flash trophy and a Coastland's gift card.

A very big thank you to the Kapiti Coast District Council and the Kāpiti Coast Youth Council.

And congratulations to all the other award winners.

These are articles which have appeared in our local newspapers this week and last week:

Something to shout about
Kapiti Observer  18 Dec 2014

Achievers:

Salem is third from right.

More than a dozen young Kapiti people were awarded for their talent,
commitment and generosity at this month’s Shout Out Youth Awards.

Open to 12-24-year-olds, the awards have been running three years.
Mayor Ross Church presented awards in nine categories.

‘‘I particularly like that these awards go beyond looking at pure skill and
also consider personality and character – such as the Strive award that
goes to someone who has overcome barriers in their life and gone on
to succeed,’’ he said. ‘‘This fabulous group of young people are making a
difference in their own lives, their schools, workplaces and in the wider
community as leaders, organisers, mentors and role models.’’

Award winners: Kaitaiki (environment & sustainability) – Ruby Durrant-
Bush; Innovate (youth-led project and innovation) – Radio Random,
comprising primary school students Jack Mitchell, Joshua Tristram,
Taylor Quy and Aden O’Connor; Inspire (leadership) – Griffin Cherill;
Connected (community service) – Brittany Calder; Strive (overcoming
significant barriers) – Jerome Warren; Professional (entrepreneur-business)
– Marcus Ebbett; Star (positive work place attitude) – Awhina Nightingale;
Apprentice (apprentice) – Jason Gamble; Expression (arts, music & culture)
– Salem Foxx.

Alana Fraser was awarded highly commended in the Inspire and Connected
categories; and joint nominees Alyssa Kata and Alice Young received highly
commended in the Innovate and Inspire categories.

And in the Kapiti News yesterday:





And in last weeks Kapiti News 11 Dec 2014:



Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting Ready For "Annie" - Part I


Pink hats for NYC?????

It's that time of year - dance school concert time!!!!!!
Salem is dancing at Hayley Johnson's Academy of Dancing in Tawa, and this year they are doing a production of "ANNIE".

Salem has been cast as the male lead, Daddy Warbucks.
This is so exciting for him as it is the first time he has had a lead role.


Having a quick break.

This is a bit of a catch up, there will be a few more posts.  We have been a bit slack due to so much happening for Salem which I will also do posts about........So much news!!!!!!!!

He has joined in with the performance troupes for the dance to "NYC" which he is enjoying as he hasn't done jazz in a class situation for a little while, he has just been doing a bit of jazz with me in the practice studio.


In full swing

Daddy Warbucks isn't in the first act, so Salem has joined in with the senior jazz students to be part of the dance for the city dwellers and street sellers, "Putting on the Ritz".  Just loving every moment and is getting to know a lot of the other students that he doesn't usually get to see in the times that he is at the dance school doing his lessons.

He has had to miss out on tap this term due to his casting, but he is still tapping at home and at the practice studio at the gym.