Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kapiti Dance Centre Concert 2012

Jabberwocky, the Carpenter, Doormouse, Cheshire Cat and Dodo Bird

Kapiti Dance Centre Presents......

Alice  -  Grease  -  La Bayadere
Southward Theatre 25th August 2012
Two shows on Saturday at 2pm and 7pm

Salem's dance school had their concert on the weekend.  A lot of hard work and effort went into it.
I watched the evening show and it went really well.  Everyone enjoyed it.  The kids were brilliant.

At rehearsals

This term everyone was practising their dances during class time but over the last two weeks it was full on rehearsals for hours at a time, it was practically every day.  Then there were the rehearsals at the theatre every afternoon/evening. It was very tiring.  I made sure I had made dinner to take with us as when we did get home it was time for Salem to go to bed.

At the side stage door

Salem was the only boy in the whole concert so he had a dressing room to himself.  Apparently there are a couple of boys in the junior hip hop class but they weren't in the concert.  It's a shame more boys aren't involved.

Waiting to go on stage

But the girls in Salem's ballet class were next door so he was able to chat to them.  And they made sure that he now when it was time to get ready to go on stage which was nice.

The Jabberwocky

Salem's ballet class were characters from the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and had to create/design their own costumes.  They came up with some really good ideas.

The back of Salem's costume, see his tail.

We used his old unitard from a previous concert (3 years ago) and made the wings from sequined fabric so he was very sparkly.  I painted the elastic and a pair of his ballet shoes green to match his unitard.   I made him a tail and had sewn triangles of the sequined fabric to match the wings.  I found a blue glittery mask in one of the "el cheapo" shops for $2 which was perfect.  I just had to trim it up a bit as it covered up too much of his face.

The Jabberwocky and the Walrus

Now a Jabberwocky has to have scaley skin so we used patterned fishnet tights for his legs and arms which worked very well and when we bought the two pairs they were half priced so this costume was very economical.

The Jabberwocky

The Jabberywocky costume looked very good from in the audience, he really stood out.  All the girls' costumes looked great too.  They did brilliantly in the concert and played their characters well.
The littlies that were on for Alice were so cute and all the costumes were lovely and bright.  Lots of beautiful flowers and butterflies etc...

Hanging around in the dressing room in his La Bayadere costume

La Bayadere was done by the senior classes and the grade fours.  All the girls were in tutus and Salem in his classical competition costume with a black leotard.  He was surrounded on stage by heaps of girls in tutus but he stood out again as his waistcoat was very sparkley with the red glittery pattern in the fabric.  It looked great from the audience.  Again, everyone danced very well and was well received by the audience.

Ready to go on stage

Salem was a very happy but tired and sleepy boy when we got home and had a good sleep in on Sunday.
Monday, it was back to getting some dance practice in at the gym and then half a private lesson and two classes in the  afternoon and evening.
Contemporary exams are coming up very soon and then it's his RAD ballet exam at the end of November.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Last Cinderella Performance

Salem with Brendon Bradshaw

I'm finally getting to type this out.  We have been so busy with rehearsals for my dance school's (Kapiti Dance Centre) show.  The last two rehearsals have been up at Southwards Theatre.  It is a full dress rehearsal this afternoon and evening.  Then it is two shows tomorrow, one at 2pm and the second at 7pm.
It has been very tiring, especially when you have to wait around a lot.  Should be fun tomorrow though!!!

Ballet Diaries - Cinderella
by Salem
My Last Cinderella Performance  11th August 2012
It was quite sad waking up today thinking that this is the last time that I will be performing in Cinderella.
But I was excited as well as today I will be actually watching the whole show in the audience before my performance.

Bronte Kelly and Abigail Boyle

It was very interesting watching the other casts' page boys at the matinee.  I could see how I would look to the audience, but I smile more :-)
I thought the show was really good, Bronte Kelly was Cinderella this time and she looked lovely and the Prince was Brendon Bradshaw, he was a great Prince.
It was great to see everything come together after just seeing bits in rehearsals and from the side of the stage.

Lucy Green in Cinderella's lovely tutu

Some of my favourite bits were watching Cinderella in here beautiful tutu, it really did twinkle like thousands of fairy lights, seeing Jonte play the Royal Shoemaker with all the other shoemakers working hard to make a copy of Cinderella's shoe, the Silly Sister and her very silly dance, she showed her knickers and was very funny.  And to top it all off was when all the rose petals fell down on Cinderella and the Prince at the end.  There were so many bits that I liked!!!!!

At the Wellington Botanic Gardens

After the show, we had a bit of time on our hands so we went for a walk through the Wellington Botanic Gardens.  It was nice to have some fresh air and look at the flowers.  We also walked through the old graveyard, it was full of beautiful and very perfumed spring flowers.

In the loading bay looking into the moving trucks

It was back to the theatre and the big trucks were there to load all the ballet sets, props, costumes etc in after the show.  I wondered if I could stow away in the back of one of the trucks so I could go on tour.

Next to the huge moving truck

Wow, my last performance, I felt a bit sad again that it will be all over for me after this performance.  I bumped into Joseph and Helio when I was in the dressing room so I had my photo taken with them.  They were about to change costumes.  They are in my dressing room too, but on the other side of the partition wall.

With  Joseph Skelton and Helio Lima

I had to play around with Daniel's make-up again.  I got rid of some streaks in his foundation.  We played cards again to occupy ourselves, then we went downstairs to backstage.  Me and Jonte sat together again.
Then it was my last time on stage.  It all went well as usual.  I didn't really want to go off stage.
It was back up to the dressing room, I took off my costume and put everything in to the washing basket and put away my hat and shoes tidily.

Saying good-bye to Lindsay

We had a chat with Lindsay on the way out and had a big hug.  Then it was off to the railway station, caught the train home and flopped into bed.  I was tired, happy and a little sad.  Until the next time.............

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Fun is Nearly Over

Ballet Diaries - Cinderella
By Salem
The Fun is Nearly Over   10th August 2012

Me and Jacob Chown

I'm feeling a little sad as this was my second to last performance.  I would love to be able go on tour with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and do Cinderella or any future ballet with them and tour around New Zealand.  That is one of my dreams.
Mum did my make-up as usual tonight and when I had got all my costume on I had my photo taken with Jake (Jacob Chown).  He is one of my favourite dancers.  He has been really nice to me over the last few years, I even remember when his brother was with the RNZB.

Young Cinderella, her step-sisters, Matthew Slattery and me

We caught Matthew coming up for a costume change and Young Cinders and Co came up at the same time so I had my photo taken with them.  The girls are Olivia Gordon (short sister), Emily Nicholson (Cinderella) and Heidi Craig (tall sister).
It was also a good chance to have a photo with Sam.  He is new to the company and he is really nice.

Me with Sam Shapiro

Daniel was having to put on his make-up by himself and I saw that he was having some trouble putting his eye-liner on so I asked him if he needed help and he said yes.  I remembered how Mum puts it on me so I did the same to Daniel.  I got him to look up so I could put the eye-liner under his eye.  He didn't have an eye pencil, just some gloopy soft black stuff which I put on with a weird solid brush.
I had to fix up what Daniel had done so I just put some foundation over his mistakes.  I did it properly but he wanted it done even heavier.  He said I did a good job.

Helping Daniel with his make-up

After that he tried to do his mascara but did a big blob under his eye.  So I had to fix that up for him.  Then I did his blusher, he wanted that on far too heavy as well.  He had lots of little black spots from his mascara etc falling down on his foundation so I fixed that up too.
I quite like putting on his make-up and want to experiment on my own face sometime.  I've got my dance school's concert coming up very soon so I will put on my own make-up for that and give Mum a break.
We played cards again tonight, playing Last Card and Daniel taught me how to play Black Jack.

Young Cinderella and Step-sisters

We went backstage when we thought it was about time to.  I was a bit nervous about going backstage because Daniel said that when he was filling in for Nicholas yesterday, as he was sick, he was told off for going down to early.  But we were fine.  I didn't see Jonte backstage this time.
Our performance went well, it is so much fun.  Then back up to the dressing room.  Mum met us up there and I quickly got dressed as we had to go and see some friends, who were watching the show, at the second interval.  They gave me a lovely bunch of yellow roses.  We couldn't chat for long as we had to get a bus to the railway station to catch a train home.  
I was very tired when we got home so it was straight to bed as usual.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday Night Performance and Another Pot of Tea

Outside the St James Theatre

Ballet Diaries - Cinderella
By Salem
Wednesday Night 8th August 2012
Another Performance and another trip into town.  Yet another pot of tea at the Jimmy, then a quick dinner.  We have been drinking soooo much tea, it feels like I have tea sloshing around in my stomach when I walk.

Fixing up make-up

Mum put my make-up on me up in the dressing room.  I really must learn to put on my own make-up so I have been watching what Mum does and what she uses on me.  
After Mum left, me and Daniel played Top Trumps and then did some more origami.
Then we played with normal cards and played Last Card.


We went back-stage when we thought it was about time to go down.  I had another chat with Jonte then I got ready for my cart duties.
It all went well as usual.  Then up to the dressing room for a quick change.
The show wasn't quite running to time so we couldn't get the earlier train so we waited for a bit at the St James.  During the second intermission I saw my friend Bethany who is in my ballet class.  We had a chat and she wanted me to autograph her program.  That was cool.


We got home at midnight as we had to wait well over half an hour for a taxi home from the railway station.
I went straight to sleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Two Performances in One Day

Ballet Diaries - Cinderella
By Salem
Two Performances in One Day 4th August 2012
After the Master Class this morning we had a bit of a relax, then we got bored so we went over to Te Papa (the National Museum).  It was good to go there again as we hadn't been there for a while and some of the exhibits had been changed and there was some new ones too.

At Te Papa

Then it was time to get ready for the afternoon matinee.  Mum did my make-up in the dressing room for a change and I just waited around in my waistcoat, not my full jacket, because the dressing room was so hot.
Daniel was well enough to do the show today which was good.
We didn't do much while we were waiting in the dressing room.  I was so hot that I kept going out into the hallway and fanned myself with my program.  It was a good way to get more autographs when the dancers came past.  I even got Gillian Murphy's autograph this time.

My performance went well, I got to all my marks on stage.  Still haven't dropped my oranges.
Afterwards I quickly got dressed and met Mum downstairs and we had yet another pot of tea at the Jimmy.
We went to Arthur's cafe to have dinner between shows.  We shared some fish fingers and fried potatoes with some yummy ginger beer to wash it down.  We were all "tea-ed" out.
Back to the St James again and we got one of the cast lists for the next performance and it had Nicholas' name on it instead of Daniels but it turned out to be a mistake thank goodness.  We thought he might have been sick again.
I got back into my costume and fixed up my make-up.  Me and Daniel did some origami. We made paper planes and Daniel started teaching me how to make a star but then we thought it was time to go downstairs to go backstage.

First we waited around a bit until I went over to see Jonte and he asked me to sit with him.  We had a bit of a chat about the ballet.  Then Rory told me it was time to get ready and man my cart.  It was another fun performance.
I quickly got changed as soon as I had finished and me and Mum had just enough time to get a taxi to the Railway Station to get the earlier train.  We were able to get home an hour earlier than usual.  I was very, very tired.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Senior Master Class - YFRNZB 4th August 2012

Dance All Weekend  YFRNZ 2010

Senior Master Class  by Salem
This morning we had to get up really early, Mum got me up at 5am, to get the train into Wellington for the Young Friends of the Royal New Zealand Ballet Senior Master Class at the RNZB's studios at the St James.

Rory Fairweather-Neylan

Our teacher was Rory Fairweather-Neylan who is one of the RNZB company dancers.
It was a really good class and I found it nice and challenging.  Some of it was easy and then there was some harder stuff.  We were using steps and exercises that we know but in a different way which I liked.

Rory with the Boys in the Nutcracker 2010

Rory was a very good teacher.  I hope we have more classes with him in the future.
Thanks Rory!!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Stage goal realised for Salem"- The Kapiti Observer

 Stage goal realised for Salem    6th August 2012

Standing tall: Kapiti dancer Salem Foxx, 12, waits backstage with Dan Cockerill, 11, in mirror, ready for the dress rehearsal of Cinderella at Wellington's St James Theatre.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet season of Cinderella opened in Wellington last week featuring Kapiti ballet dancer Salem Foxx.
Salem, 12, is one of five children in the production, and plays a page boy who hands out oranges to guests at the royal ball.
Although there is no dancing in the role, Salem loves being on stage and hopes to join the RNZB one day.
"I like the dressing up and I also like just the feeling on stage," he said.
"I just loved it all. The costumes are just so amazing. I also love being with the dancers, its a nice feeling and I feel special."
Cinderella is on from August 2 to 5 and 8 to 11 at St James Theatre. Tickets range from $25 to $98 and are available from

                                                                   - The Kapiti Observer

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cinderella Opening Night

Salem and Qi Huan
Ballet Diaries - Cinderella
By Salem
Opening Night  2nd August 2012
It was opening night tonight and I was very excited.  When we arrived at the St James we had some hot drinks at the Jimmy.  I had a hot chocolate.  Mum did my make-up while we were there.
I grabbed a cast list and was surprised to see that Nicholas' name was there instead of Daniel's.  It turned out that Daniel was sick so Nicholas was his replacement.
We went up to the dressing room and I got into my costume.  Then I went around and got some of the dancers autographs in my Cinderella Program.  I will get all the others over the next few nights that I am performing.
Nicholas arrived after Mum left and he took a while to get ready and only got into his full costume in the nick of time.

We went backstage at the start of Act 2.  Jonte (Sir Jon Trimmer) waved hello to me and I saw one of the stage hands knitting.  It was funny to see that.
I walked out onto the stage with my cart but didn't quite make my mark 100% perfectly but it didn't really matter because everything went well anyway.  I gave out my oranges, smiled a lot then walked off the stage with my cart when I was supposed to.  I was pleased with myself.

We went back upstairs to the dressing room and quickly got changed then I went back downstairs to sign out and see Lindsay.  Lindsay took me through the back way into the St James and met up with Mum.  Then we started on our long journey home.  It was a good night.
I can't wait until my next performances, I'm doing two on Saturday.

Full Dress Rehearsal

Ballet Diaries - Cinderella
By Salem
Full Dress Rehearsal  1st August 2012
Tonight was the full dress rehearsal.  This was the big final rehearsal before Opening Night tomorrow.  The theatre is full of people so we are actually rehearsing with a full audience.
Mum got me ready with my make-up before we arrived, she did it down in the Jimmy Restaurant/Cafe downstairs at the St James.  No one noticed us doing it.
We went up to the dressing room and my hat had been moved.  I got into my costume and it looked so cool.  After I was all organised, Mum went out to go into the theatre so she could watch the show.

Daniel kept on talking while we were waiting and he had to go back downstairs because he forgot to sign in.
Just after that, Talia, the reporter from The Kapiti Observer arrived with a photographer and Andrea, the publicity person for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.  Talia asked me lots of questions.  Daniel had to wait over by the corner of the dressing room while I was being interviewed but came and had some photos taken with me.
Later one of the male dancers took us down to the auditorium so that we could watch the rest of the first act.  I loved watching the ballet!!!!!!!
we were taken back to the dressing room at interval time and we had to put buckles on our shoes.
we waited around in the dressing room until we were taken backstage ready for our turn.
There was a photographer backstage taking photos of the dancers, me included.

I walked on stage pulling my cart behind me.  I felt really excited and happy.  I handed out my oranges and the stage lights were so bright that I could not see any of the audience.
It was so much fun but it didn't last long enough.  Backstage the dancers said "good job".
We went back to the dressing rooms and quickly got changed.  I had a peek at the other side of the dressing room, there was a wall between our part and some of the other dancers, and had a look at all the costumes.  It was amazing!!!!  It looked like a jungle of costumes, suitcases and make-up.
I headed off down stairs and waited with Lindsay, the theatre door man, until Mum picked me up so I could watch the last act with Mum in the audience.  Lindsay let us go in the back entrance into the St James.  We sat with Byron and his mum.
It was a great show!!!!!!

Cinderella Rehearsal On Stage

Ballet Diaries - Cinderella
By Salem
First Rehearsal on the Stage - 28th July 2012
Tonight we got to rehearse on stage with the whole company.  But first we were up in our dressing room which was with some of the male dancers.  We sorted out our shoes and made sure we got shoes that fitted us properly.  Byron and I were chatting together and organised where we put our shoes and hats so they were easy to find next time.
Then we were taken downstairs and sat in the theatre to watch the dancers practice, often going back over things to get things perfect and then when it was getting near to our part, me and Daniel were taken backstage by Turid.

We were introduced to the backstage people.  Turid told us where to go to get onto the stage then where to walk with our cart, and also where to stop.
We had to wait backstage for a bit before we had to go out on stage.  Daniel kept talking about the Olympics when I just wanted to watch what was happening on stage.
One of the stage hands told me to be careful with the rose at the top of my orange tree on the cart.

We went on stage twice before it was the other boys from B Cast's turn, that is Byron and Nicholas.
While we were on stage they put some red tape on the floor to mark where we had to stop and went over things a few times.  Someone dropped an orange over on Daniel's side and the orange bounced noisily.
After the whole company had finished that act (Act 2) we were allowed to go home.  We also didn't have to have a rehearsal on Sunday after all so I could relax at home, not that I would have minded having another rehearsal.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cinderella Rehearsal - 27 July 2012

Ballet Diaries - Cinderella  
by Salem
Friday Rehearsal  27th July 2012
At this afternoons rehearsal we went into the small studio first and went over our orange cart business after the girls had a quick practice.  Then we went next door into the main studio and watched the company dancers rehearse for a while.
A lot of the dancers came and had a chat with us while we were watching.  Daniel and Nicholas had an argument with Byron over Byron's costume but luckily Tonya came over and shut them up.  The new dancer, Sam Shapiro, was sitting with us.

We got to practice with the whole company this time.  After me and Daniel had our turn, everyone kept giving me all the oranges so Daniel had none so I had to give him some of mine.
It is so nice practicing with the company because everyone is so nice and either waves or says hello to me.
It was a good practice.

Rosewood Ballet Competitions 2012

We went to the Rosewood Ballet Competitions at the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt on Saturday afternoon.
We arrived early as we never like to be late and travel all that way to miss out on Salem doing his dance.  But we got there really early so had to wait around for hours.  We had a wander around the grounds and went down to the Westgate Mall at Queensgate to by some hair gel.  We really did not like the mall at all and will most likely never go there again.

Salem did his contemporary dance really well.  He had lots of confidence this time so I was allowed to go and watch from the audience which was really nice.  A few minor mistakes but no one would no as he covered them nicely.
He got another Commended and the comments included " Lovely control on your shoulder roll.  Nice curve through your body in your swing.  Great suspension in your handstand."

He was up against seasoned competition and is improving all the time.
Well done Salem.