Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Costume Fitting for Giselle

At the RNZ Ballet's Reception

Ballet Diaries - Giselle
By Salem

Costume Fitting  30th October 2012

Today we went into Wellington for my costume fitting for the Royal New Zealand Ballet's production of Giselle.
There was no one at the reception desk so I pushed the button to call someone out to see us but it didn't work out at all.  I pressed it three times but it must have been broken.
Luckily someone came past and got Hank for us from the costume department.

Hank took us out back to the costume department and I got changed into a peasant costume.
So I am to be a peasant boy.  
It was a very cool costume, I really liked it and it was very comfy and a perfect fit.
Natalia, who was the costume designer for Giselle, checked me over and tried three different hats on me and we both agreed on the one that looked best.

Everyone in the costume department was pleased to see me again and they are all waiting for me to have a growth spurt and to get taller and fill out.  I am in no hurry to grow!!!!

My shoes were sorted out very quickly, usually they have to try to find a pair small enough to fit me, but this time the first pair I tried on fitted me perfectly.  The shoes are black laced up ones but they are going to change to colour to brown.

When we left we said "Hi" to some of the dancers and Ethan even waved us good-bye from his office.
Then we saw Turid when we went outside, she was having some lunch outside in the sun, so we went over and said "Hello" and had a quick chat.  She said it was nice to see me dance a solo at the Genee Challange on Sunday.  She also gave me some nice comments about my dancing.
Then it was off to buy some more make-up as I was running out.

I have my first rehearsal on Friday afternoon which will be on stage, I can't wait!!!!!!

The Genee Dance Challenge - Wellington

Bond on Bond

This weekend we were busy with the Genee Dance Challenge.
It was held over Saturday and Sunday at the New Zealand School of Dance.

On Saturday each group had a class in Studio 4 with Christine Gunn.
Salem was in Group One which was made up of Grades 4 and 5.
It was a large group of 18 dancers, with 3 of this group being boys.
The boys were Salem (of course), Daniel and Issak.
Salem really enjoyed the class.

Then they each had a rehearsal of their dance seperately in another studio with Shannon Dawson (Royal New Zealand Ballet Educator).  He helped them with their entrances and spacing, etc.

Then on Sunday it was a real early trip into Wellington for a warm-up class at 9.15am.  It takes us a long time to get there so we had to leave home at 6.45am.

The adjudicators for today were Ms Turid Revfeim - Ballet Mistress for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Mr Peter Boyes Dip.Arch.Tech., A.I.Chor.

Salem was dancer No.8 and he really danced well.
He did his neo-classical "Bond on Bond" dance and did it with a lot of confidence.
He had put in a lot of practice for this.
He was then able to come and watch all the other dancers after he had performed.
There was a very high standard of dancing.
Two dancers were chosen from each level, there were four levels, to go on to the final.
Salem was thrilled that his friend Lokyee Szeto was chosen from his level.

It was very well organised and everything ran to time.
A great way to spend the day, watching some great ballet!!!!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Great News

Great news, Salem has a part in the upcoming Royal New Zealand Ballet's "Giselle".
It opens on the 7th November here in Wellington, with shows til the 11th before moving on to the next city.
Salem was thrilled to be asked again.
Rehearsals for him start next week with costume fitting on Tuesday.

Tomorrow it is off into Wellington to the New Zealand School of Dance for the first day of the Genee Challenge.
There will be a class first and then solo rehearsals.
Then on Sunday there will be a warm-up class before the solo performances.
Salem's practices for this have been going well.
It's an early night tonight.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Blue Pointe Shoes and a Medal

Having a quick practice

Salem did very well at the Associated Ballet & Theatre Club Inc's 44th Annual Dancing Competitions yesterday.
It was held at the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt so we had a long journey to get there.
He wasn't dancing until after 6.30pm so we had a nice afternoon in Wellington before getting the bus out to the Hutt.
Salem competed in the Classical 12 yr olds against lots of very good experienced dancers and all were girls.
Salem was placed 3rd.
He couldn't believe it when he got his report and it contained a medal.
It is the first medal he has won at competitions and he is extremely pleased with himself.
And of course I am very proud of him as usual.

Some of the comments on his report are:

"What lovely long legs you have Salem.
You dance very musically.
Some strong jumps and tours shown."

It's great to see his hard work rewarded.
Salem got on well with the girls and will be seeing some of them next weekend for the Genee Dance Challenge.
He has practice for that as well as a Grade 5 class tomorrow evening at his dance school, even though it is a public holiday.

Salem and his blue pointe shoes

On Friday Salem wore his pointe shoes in class for the first time.
The girls liked the colour of the shoes and helped him with tying up his ribbons as he had never had to do this before.
He had his Intermediate Foundation class and while the girls wore their usual ballet slippers, Salem wore his pointe shoes for the whole class.
He did really well and said that a lot of the barre exercises are actually easier when wearing the pointe shoes.
His feet felt funny but soon felt normal after class.

The class really helped break his pointe shoes in.
He had been wearing them at home with socks over the top of them to break them in and even went to sleep with them on in bed.
I had to take them off him in the middle of the night to give his feet a break from them.
It's funny watching him wearing his pointe shoes while he is making up one of his model WWII fighter planes.
He is very excited about wearing them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

No Luck in Star Search Final

Friday was the finals for the Coastlands Star Search.
Salem was up against five other performers - 3 singers, 1 keyboard player and a hip hop dancer.
Salem danced really well and even had a few of his "Senior Fans" come and watch him too.
Everyone performed well.
First and third place went to singers and second place went to the hip hop act who was another boy dancer.
It's funny how the only dancers that got through to the finals were boys.
All of Salem's fans said he should have had a placing but it is a fact that no matter how good a ballet dancer you are, hip hop is more popular with the general public, and he was up against some stiff competition.
So thank you to everyone who was supporting Salem.
And a big Congratulations to the winner and place getters.  Well done.

Back at the gym

Afterwards Grandma treated us to another hot chocolate.  A big thank you for that.
And then it was off to Grade School.

We had a good session at the gym yesterday as Salem is having to go over his classical dance for the Associated Ballet & Theatre Club Inc's 44th Annual Dancing Competitions this coming weekend.
It is being held at the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt on the 20th - 22nd October.
Salem is performing on Saturday night.  He is only doing one dance.

And he had to go over his Bond on Bond dance in preparation for the Genee Dance Challenge Wellington Regional Competition which is being held at the New Zealand School of Dance on Sunday 28th October.
I'll tell you more about that later.

Today it is back to normal lessons as the school holidays have finished.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Second Place in Star Search Heat

With his certificate

I am so proud of my boy, he got second place in today's heat of the Star Search at Coastlands.
He was up against singers, musicians and other dance acts.
He even competed against one of the performance groups from his dance school.
Not bad for his first talent quest and it was the debut for his "Bond on Bond" dance.
First place went to singer Lily whom Salem used to dance with years ago so that was really nice.
So they will be competing against the other 1st and 2nd place getters from Monday and Tuesday in the junior final on Friday.

Salem and an admirer

Everything didn't go smoothly as Salem was supposed to be the 8th act but the computer crashed when they tried to play his music CD.  So he ended up dancing last in case the computer crashed again.  He was all prepared to dance without his music.
But it played and he danced really well.
He was very surprised to get second place but was quite thrilled with himself.
Afterwards Grandma treated us to a very yummy real hot chocolate at Butlers.

Well done Salem!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Practicing for Star Search

Practicing at Coastlands

We were back up to Coastlands to practice on the tiny stage.
Salem is now very confident dancing on the slippery surface and we have sorted out where he is going to throw off his jacket so that it doesn't get lost in the audience.

Putting on a show for the shoppers

He put on another show for the shoppers and it was a lot busier today.
He had a lot of people stopping to watch him.
Quite a few young teenage girls watched him and then wanted to talk to him.
They told Salem that he was a really good dancer and some said that they will come along to watch him tomorrow.
How cute!!!!!

Just call me Bond...

The it was off to the gym for some practice of his other dances and then to work on hi "Bond on Bond" dance.

James Bond!!!!

It was a good opportunity to try out his costume and to make sure everything stayed in place when he is dancing.

And we also wanted to see which colour waistcoat looked better as we have a black one and a white one.

We stuck with the black waistcoat as the white waistcoat made him look like a waiter which is not very James Bond-ish.

We thought that the white waistcoat would look good for his "Sh-Boom" contemporary dance, along with his black leggings and white shirt that he is wearing, and either a red or blue bow-tie.
What we would love is to get a "boater" hat and that would give us the total look that we want.
We will have to keep an eye out in the op-shops.

Salem looks so suave and grown up in a suit.
He really loves wearing them too.
So after a successful practice session it was off home.

Roll on tomorrow!!!!!

Getting Ready for Star Search

Salem has entered a local Star Search Competition up at our local mall.
He will be performing on Wednesday at around 11am.  So if you are out here in Kapiti, you should pop in to the Coastlands Mall and check his dancing out.
Apparently it is mostly singers that have entered, not many dancers at all.
And the performers are aged between 12 and 18 years old.
Salem has entered just for fun as these competitions aren't really geared for dancers.

The stage has been set up in the mall and we went and had a look at how big it was today.
It's not big at all and is quite awful for dancers to dance on.  It is made of basically blocks joined together side by side, shiney in some parts and quite slippery and very uneven so Salem had a bit of a trail run this afternoon as the stage wasn't being used.
He had quite a few mall goers stop and watch him dance.
He managed to fit his Du Hast contemporary dance to the size of the stage.  He was a bit worried about hurting his feet on the uneven jutting up bits of the stage so we thought he could wear his ballet shoes.
So then it was off to the gym for his dance practice.

At the gym we went over his dances and then he decided that he would like to do his new dance, Bond on Bond (James Bond) which is a neo-classical dance, for the Star Search Competition.
We are still working on that dance and hadn't actually done an ending for it but we came up with a suitable finish which works well.
So after a really good practice, poor boy, I really tired him out, we went back to the mall for him to see if it was possible for him to do the Bond on Bond dance safely on the stage.
He was able to but only after taking his ballet shoes off as the stage was too slippery in places.
So he will have to do that dance with no shoes.  It will look very contemporary.
We will be able to get some more practice in on the stage on Tuesday afternoon.
All he is worried about now is falling off the small stage.
He will be fine!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

First Pair of Pointe Shoes

At Gubbs buying his pointe shoes

Today we went into Wellington to "Gubbs" (a dancewear/shoe shop) to get Salem his first pair of pointe shoes.  He was so excited.
"A boy getting pointe shoes!!!" you say.
Well Salem has been wanting to dance en pointe ever since his ballet teacher asked his older brother, who was also a ballet dancer, if he wanted to learn pointe.
His brother said no, but it put the idea into his head that he could, as before he didn't think boys were allowed to have pointe shoes.

So this year the girls in his ballet class have started using pointe shoes, they first had to do a written test to get their Pointe Shoe Licence and Salem did the test too.
He passed and because of being so busy over the last few months didn't get him his shoes.
But the other day in class, his teacher mentioned to him that he can go and get his shoes and start using them with everyone else.  So off we went.

He said they feel really weird but can't wait for his teacher to check that they fit him properly so he can break them in and dye them a different colour.  He so doesn't want pink.  We will probably colour them black or even blue.  He wants a manly colour.
They will be ready for when he goes back to classes after the school holidays.

Men in Tutus

We went to see Men in Tutus earlier this year and he just loved them.
He thought they were so funny and was so impressed with them dancing en pointe.
He thought that one day he might be able to join a company like that as it looked like so much fun.

We know not many boys would like to dance en pointe but this is another skill he wants to have for his ballet career.
He has been getting himself ready with specific exercises for his feet, ankles etc at the gym.
We will keep you posted as to how he goes with it all.