Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Junior Associates Audition, ABTC Comps and Dance Journal

Practicing for Ameno.

Last weekend was very, very busy.
So much for a rest on Labour Weekend.
Friday evening it was class as usual and Salem had a very enjoyable class.
He is gaining more acrobatic skills.

He had to miss his Acrobatic class on Saturday as he attended the audition at the New Zealand School of Dance for the Junior Associates program.
We had to leave very early and got there in good time thanks to Grandma, so he could warm up in time for the classical class at 8.45am.

Salem will write more about that later in this post as he is now writing a dance journal as part of his work for doing BTDA Intermediate Ballet.

Being Siegfried.

After the audition we went out to the Hutt for the Associated Ballet & Theatre Club Inc's (ABTC) Competitions at the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt.

I had booked us into the Angus Inn as it was not worth going back and forward to Paraparaumu over the weekend.  This was so much easier.
Luckily they let us check in early as we had a few hours before Salem had his first dance.

It was so nice relaxing in a nice hotel room and not having to hang out in the dressing room for hours.
We enjoyed our stay there!!!!

Looking very Polish.

Salem did very well over the two days of comps especially as he was performing all new dances which he had choreographed himself.  Everyone commented on his Krakowiak costume which he loved wearing.

He has won another trophy for coming first for the Classical Impromptu.

His results are:

1st Place -  Classical Impromptu 12 years and over
3rd Place -  Barefoot Impromptu 12 years and over
3rd Place -  Character 13 years
VHC -  Classical 13 years
VHC -  Barefoot 13 years
VHC - Lyrical 12 years and over.

Salem will write more about the comps in another post soon.
Here is his first Journal entry:

Salem's Dance Journal
New Zealand School of Dance

On Saturday the 26th of October, I had to go to the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington, so I could audition to try to get into the Junior Associates.

I had to be there very early in the morning.  There was a lot of other dancers too.  There were four other boys as well but the rest were girls.

We had to get our numbers, I was number 37.  Then we went into one of the studios to have a warm up.

Eating my cheese and crackers.

Then we all went into Studio 1 for a ballet class.  All of us boys had to go down the back so we couldn't see what was happening very well.  The class went for one and a half hours then we had a break.  I had cheese and crackers.

After that we had a contemporary class which wasn't as long.  The best bit was doing an impromptu.  That was fun but the music choice was horrible.

UPDATE:  Salem was accepted on the New Zealand School of Dance Associate Programme.
He is now a NZSD Junior Associate Contemporary Major.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sad News

Paul (seated) and Louis
photo by Ross Giblin

This morning when I was looking at what was happening in the news on, I came across this article
It was a very sad way to start the day.

Paul Jenden is the partner of Louis who teaches Salem contemporary dance.
Louis had said that Paul was very sick in hospital but we were all hoping for the best.

We had last seen Paul perform in the pantomime "Cinderella" at the Circa Theatre where he played Sven from Sweden.  He was so funny and the panto was such fun.

Fairy Stories
Louis, Jonty and Paul in "Fairy Stories"
photo by Stephen A'Court

His last production was "C- The Musical" based on his personal experience with cancer and Louis was part of the cast.  Unfortunately we were not able to get to see it but have been told by friends that it was great.
Which he then followed by appearing in WOW before becoming ill.
A very creative, talented man.

Rest in Peace Paul.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Exam Results and Another Chance to Dance

Salem with Jonty after performing at the
Coastlands' Star Search.

Since our last post, about one and a half weeks ago, Salem has a lot of good practices, fun lessons with Jonty, performed at the Coastlands' Star search, had a really good lesson with Jacqui today and has received his contemporary and jazz exam results ...........

Very proud of his performance.

He was very pleased with his exam results:

NZAMD Jazz Grade 5 - Distinction 95% + pass
NZAMD Intermediate Bronze Jazz Medal Award - Excellence Plus (Highest Mark)

NZAMD Contemporary Level 2 - High Honours 90 - 94% pass
NZAMD Intermediate Silver Contemporary Medal Award - Excellence Plus

Last Thursday he performed at the Coastlands' Star Search.
He did his classical dance "Valse", which he choreographed himself, and dianced so well, I was very proud of him.
He managed to fit it on to the very small ricketty stage.

Excuse the video, it is very shaky.

With some of the other performers.

Jonty was there to watch him and was very happy with Salem's performance.
Salem didn't get a placing but he impressed a lot of people.  We had so many people coming up to us saying that Salem should have been a finalist, even some of the finalists themselves.
Salem just loved having the opportunity to dance up on the stage in front of lots of people.

Performing "Ameno" at Waikanae Dance School's Concert

I've posted his dance which he did at the Waikanae Dance School concert.  It is "Ameno" which he also choreographed himself.

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Tomorrow he is back to his Jazz/Lyrical class at Waikanae Dance School, and on Saturday he starts his Acrobatic class.

Also this weekend he is attending a Masterclass at the Royal New Zealand Ballet, then the weekend after that is the ABTC Comps at the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Practicing in Costumes and More Acrobatics Practice

In most of his Krakowiak costume and the boots

Last week was very busy, lots of practice sessions at the gym as usual.
On Tuesday Salem had a great lesson with Jonte, Salem is improving all the time.
They went over his variations,Siegfried and James, and smoothed a couple of things out.

Practicing with kilt and sporran.

Then very bright and early on Wednesday morning we headed into Wellington to pop into the Royal New Zealand Ballet to borrow some boots for Salem to wear at the up-coming competitions on Labour Day, and also to watch a company class which was really fun.
Salem really watched the technique of the guys and would have loved to join in.
It was lovely to see everyone again and to see some new members of the company.

When we got back to Paraparaumu, we bought our tickets to see the RNZB's "Tutus On Tour" which will be at Southwards Theatre.

At the Acrobatic workshop.

On Thursday Salem went to the Acrobatic Workshop run by Michelle from Waikanae Dance School.
He had such a good time and learnt a few new things and enjoyed helping some of the younger ones too.
We parents got to see all the kids perform at the end of the class and we were all very impressed at what they had managed to achieve in one morning.  Their performance was so good!!!!!

The Bridge

So now at the end of every dance practice session, Salem practices some acrobatics and is doing things now which he though he wouldn't be able to do for quite a while.
He could do a bridge from the ground and now does it from standing up and goes all the way over too.

More Acrobatics Moves

Salem has entered in The Coastland's Star Search again this year, the heats have already started and Salem will be performing on Thursday.   
So he had a practice on the stage today, boy it is worse than last year, there is a lot of movement on some parts of it and is very uneven so the only dance he feels safe doing on it is Valse.  
He had a bit of an audience watching him today and got lots of claps.

James Variation Practice

This week Salem has been practicing in some of his costumes to get used to them for the comps.
He has been wearing his kilt and sporran for James.  His legs have gotten longer so his kilt is a little short for him but it will do for the mean time.  I'll get him a new one next year.

He has been wearing the heavy wool jacket, belt, hat and boots for his Krakowiak dance.  He gets really hot in them.  It will be great in winter!!!

Tomorrow he has a lesson with Jonte and we will be getting his exam results.
We are dying to know how he did.

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