Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

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


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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In the Newspaper Again for the Attitude Awards

It's not long now until we fly up to Auckland for the Attitude Awards.

We fly up on Wednesday morning and the awards are on that night.  Salem is really looking forward to the whole experience.  His first "black tie" event.

Attitude Awards finalists: Recognising extraordinary talent


November 26 2014

The Attitude Awards acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who live with disabilities.
There are seven categories featuring people whose extraordinary talents have often failed to be recognised by the rest of New Zealand.
Sportsmen and women such as Mary Fisher and Sophie Pascoe are nominated, as well as a host of others who do remarkable things while living with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities or mental health issues.
This year's awards will be held at the Auckland Viaduct Events Centre next Wednesday.
The Attitude Awards, which were first held in 2008, are the only national awards that celebrate achievement in the disability sector across all disabilities. 
To view all of the finalists and vote for them in the People's Choice award, go here.

Salem Foxx - Artistic Achievement Award finalist

As a toddler Salem couldn't communicate with anyone other than by screaming and hitting. But after joining his older brother's dance classes, Salem found his passion and a way to work through the frustrations of living with Asperger's syndrome.

The Kapiti Coast-based 14-year-old has his sights set on an international dance career and combines his love of ballet with contemporary dance, jazz, lyrical, tap and even acrobatic dance.
And he's very good.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet has chosen him four times for their productions and this year the New Zealand School of Dance selected him from a list of hundreds to be one of only three junior associates in contemporary dance.
He also receives private tuition and feedback from New Zealand Ballet royalty Sir Jon and Lady Jacqui Trimmer.
He also writes a blog called Balletboynz, which is read around the world and has been included as resource material by the London Boys Ballet School.He Salem said the blog enabled people to get an insight into how he thought.thinks,.
"It helps people understand how I think and how other people with Asperger's think and how they can understand me a bit more," Salem said..
He got a huge thrill out of performing on stage.
"I really love performing on stage with lots of people watching," he said.
"It's just amazing, it really is."
Attitude Courage In Sport Award
Tupou Neiufi
Neelam O'Neill
Matthew Weir
Attitude Sport Performer Award
Mary Fisher
Sophie Pascoe
Corey Peters
Attitude Spirit of Attitude Award
Craig Jessop
Pam MacNeill
Julie Woods
Attitude Making a Difference Award
Lyn Cotton
Petronella Spicer
Brendan Tourelle
Attitude Youth Award
Mary Fisher
Jessica Quinn
Jazz Thornton
Attitude ACC Employer Award
Fairfax Media NZ Ltd
Pacific Helmets (NZ) Ltd
Selwyn Cook, SSC Service Stations (licensed retailer for Z Energy, Waikato)
Artistic Achievement Award
Paul Barrett
Salem Foxx
Yaniv Janson
Attitude Junior Award
Nicholas Brockelbank
Muskan Devta
Oceana Olsen
 - Stuff

Monday, November 24, 2014

The BTDA Festival, Auckland 2014 - Salem's Report

This is Salem's report on the British Theatre Dance Association Dance Festival 2014, which he attended as part of the Waikanae Dance School's performance team.
He did this report to the Kapiti Coast Youth Council as he received a $200 Youth Dollars grant from them to help cover his costs to take part in this festival.

Salem’s Trip to the BTDA Festival in Auckland

5th – 8th June 2014

At the Youth2U Dollars ceremony

A very big “thank you” to the Kapiti Youth Council for granting me $200 Youth2U Dollars.  This helped me cover the rest of my costs for me to participate as part of the Performance Team for Waikanae Dance School at the British Theatre Dance Association’s dance festival for 2014.

As part of the performance team, I had helped in some of the fundraising activities such as performing at the Waikanae Easter Market, and even performed for the Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board to get some funding for the team’s trip up to Auckland.  It was a lot of fun.

After all our hard work, I was so excited to go on my first plane flight ever, to Auckland.  I had never been to Auckland before either so it was a weekend full of new experiences.  We stayed at a holiday motel/park was had loads of palm trees which I was very impressed with as we don’t have any, or as many, down this part of the North Island.

I really enjoyed being part of the BTDA dance festival, I met a lot of new people and made plenty of new friends.  It was great to be able to compete against a lot of new people.

The Attitude film crew

I also had a film crew from Attitude Pictures with me.  They had been filming me before this trip, at home in Kapiti, having lessons and me teaching as well.  I got very used to having them around.  It was weird saying good bye to them at the end.  

You can watch my documentary at  Here is the add for the programme on You Tube :

These were the first competitions I had ever danced as part of a duo, a trio, and an acrobatic troupe.

It was also the first time I had competed doing an acrobatic dance solo as I had only started learning acro in term 4 of last year.  I had choreographed my acro solo over the summer holidays and this was my debut performance.

I was up against very experienced and amazing girls, they were all very nice to me too.  I was a bit nervous as to how I would do. 

I received 2nd Place.  I was very happy with that result.

Practicing for modern trio

My results for the festival were:
    1st Place – Acro Duo
    2nd Place – Acro Solo
    2nd Place – Acro Troupe
    Highly Commended – Classical Duo
    Commended – Lyrical Solo
    Commended – Modern Trio

1st Place for Acro Duo

You can see some of my dances from the festival on my You Tube channel and I put together a video about my trip to the festival which you can watch at

So “Thank You” again to the Kapiti Youth Council and the Youth4U Dollars grant for helping to make this great experience happen for me.  It has been really appreciated.

Salem Foxx

Monday, November 3, 2014

Attitude Awards - People's Choice Award

Hi everyone
I am a finalist in the Attitude Awards for Artistic Achievement for my dancing and choreography. 
I am also in the running for the People's Choice Award.
Please help by voting for me for the Attitude People's Choice Award.
Just go to this link and you can vote once every day until the 3rd of December.

It is open to everyone, not just New Zealanders,
Please pass this on.
Thank you


Monday, October 20, 2014

Salem wins a Pride Award

Salem giving his speech.

Great news, Salem won the Senior Creative Achievement and Innovation Award at the Pride Awards yesterday which were held at the Paramount Theatre yesterday in Wellington.

The Pride Awards recognise and celebrate the successes, achievements and contributions of young people in the Wellington region.

Before the awards.

Salem was absolutely thrilled especially as he wasn't expecting to win and to make it more special for him, his award was presented to him by Amanda Skoog who is the managing director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Salem made a great speech, he was very confident and looked great in a suit and tie.

He really can't help himself :-)

Salem received a trophy, a framed certificate and a travel voucher from The InterIslander, which is fantastic as Salem has never been down to the South Island yet, and a gift card from Westfield.

It was a great event, plenty of entertainment and food afterwards.

All the award winners truly deserved their awards, all very inspirational young people.

You can do acrobatics in a suit.

A big thank you to the Pride Awards Trust!!!!!

Check out their facebook page too

Well done Salem!!!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Passion for dance pays off - News Paper Article

Top attitude: Kapiti dancer Salem Foxx is a finalist
in the artistic category of the Attitude Awards.

A teenage Kapiti dancer thriving despite the challenges of Asperger's Syndrome is among a small field of national finalists in the Attitude Awards.
The awards celebrate New Zealanders with a disability who are achieving excellence in their fields, and Salem Foxx, 14, has been named in the Artistic Achievement category.
"It's really exciting, and the recognition is good," he said.
Salem lives and breathes dance, especially ballet, and practices for two hours, six days a week, including weekly private classes with celebrated Royal New Zealand Ballet veterans Jon and Jacqui Trimmer.
"It is my life. I want people to know that boys dance too," he said.
Salem's mother Michelle Foxx said having Asperger's Syndrome meant Salem faced challenges communicating, and sometimes his enthusiasm had been misread for "naughtiness", so he was now home schooled.
As a toddler, he would communicate by hitting and screaming, but from an early age he made it clear he wanted to dance, she said.
"When I was really little my older brother did dance classes and I just wanted to get up and go into class and so as soon as I was old enough I did," Salem said.
"It was a mission to keep him off the dance floor," Michelle Foxx said.
"Often we would have to leave the studio, and it's been all go ever since."
"He loves it; it's his passion, it's what he loves doing, and why not have that as his profession, and if he can he'll be a good role model to others, to show that it's not a girly thing."
Earlier this year Salem was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance junior associate programme in contemporary dance.
He was one of only three young dancers chosen for the development programme from throughout New Zealand.
He has also collected a haul of top prizes from dance competitions, and top exam results, and performed in four Royal New Zealand Ballet productions.

Salem had also become a role model for many others through social media, which connected him to other ballet enthusiasts worldwide, Michelle Foxx said.
His blog balletboynz had about 18,000 readers, he has about 3.5 million connections on Google Plus, and 47 YouTube dance videos loaded, she said.
"Lots of young boys see it, and they are inspired to keep on dancing, even if it's other types of dance, and kids actually try to copy his dances."
Salem's blog has also been included as resource material for dancers at the London Boys Ballet School.
This year Salem had also been named as a provisional finalist in the senior Creative Achievement and Innovation Award in the Pride Awards, and for the last three years had received a Variety Gold Heart Scholarship, which allowed him to fund his lessons and competitions.
He has also entered the AMP Do Your Own Thing People's Choice Scholarship, which is decided by public votes.
To vote for him, visit Support Salem Foxx on Facebook, by October 13.
Videos of all the Attitude Award finalists will be screened on TVOne at 8.30am on October 26, and the final category winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony in Auckland, on December 3.
- Kapiti Observer

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Star Search Finals 2014

You can spot his red boots from miles away

On Friday it was the finals of the Star Search talent competition at Coastlands Mall.
It was another opportunity for Salem to perform "Robin Hood" again.
Heaps of people were there and Salem had a blast.

He didn't get anywhere, but he never expected to, he just had fun entertaining people.
Well done to the winner and the second and third placed performers.

What was really nice is that a dance teacher came up to us after Salem had performed and said that he was really good and well done.

Later this month Salem has his last dance competition of the year.  There are actually two on at the same time, one ballet and the other modern, we decided on the modern one in Upper Hutt as he wants to debut his new tap dance and he will get to do his new jazz dance "White Trash" for the second time, plus get to do his "Cotton Eye Joe" acro dance again.

Today Salem was at the New Zealand School of Dance for the last Associate Weekend of the year.
He came home late tonight hungry and tired but all set for doing it again tomorrow.
He will sleep well tonight!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's that time of the year again - Star Search 2014

With his certificate for making it into the finals.

It was Star Search time up at Coastland's today.  It doesn't really seem like that long ago that he entered last years one.  This year's offering is "Robin Hood".
The stage was tiny so Salem had to make a few little changes to his dance which worked out very well.

Juniors and Seniors waiting for the results

He was up against singers, musicians and one other dancer.
One of the judges was an old ballet teacher of his.
She said some nice things about his performance.

Salem with Liam from Judith Fuge Dance School

Salem, along with two others, made it into the senior finals which are being held on Friday.  So he gets to perform again which he is looking forward to doing.  He doesn't care if he gets anywhere or not, he just loves performing.

Being presented his certificate

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I Need Your Vote - AMP People's Choice Scholarship

Hi everyone, I am needing your help and your votes.

This year, I have applied for the AMP “Do Your  Thing” People’s Choice Scholarship in which people vote for you and whoever gets the most votes will win the scholarship of $10,000. Voting is on Facebook and is open from Monday 22nd September until closing on October 13th. 

Unfortunately only people with a New Zealand IP address can vote. I would love it if you voted for me and share this with others. Voting starts tomorrow and I will have details listed on my page

I am hoping to win this scholarship so I can continue learning more about dance, performing and choreographing more. So far I have choreographed seventeen dances. 

I also want to put together a boy’s ballet class so that young boys can have the chance to try ballet with other boys and not feel like it is a girly thing to do. This year I have been teacher’s assistant for a grade one ballet class and also held a very successful boy’s only ballet class with the Waikanae Dance School. 

I loved teaching both. But I really want to concentrate on getting a boys class going first, as boys learn so differently than girls and male technique is quite different. I have had to unlearn quite a bit myself and am very lucky to be taught male technique by the Trimmers. Sir Jon has said that a good way of cementing what you have learnt, is by teaching it to others. 

If you want to find out more information about me, please check out my YouTube channel Ballet Boy NZ where you can see lots of my dances. 

Thank you for your support

Salem Foxx

Friday, September 19, 2014

Contemporary Exams Next Week

Yes, it's that time of year again, the NZAMD exams.
This year Salem is doing his Level 3 Contemporary exam along with his Senior Bronze Contemporary medal.
For his medal he is doing the exam dance and a shortened version of his own contemporary dance "In the Shadows".

His contemporary classes at Hayley Johnson's have been going well, he had his last exam practice on Tuesday so now it is just practice, practice, practice!!!!!

Next year he will be getting back into NZAMD jazz, goodness knows what level he will be.
And would like to do medals for tap as well.

Level three has been a nice change music-wise as the two levels before were very monotonous.  But he is getting sick of it now especially as he picks up different sounds, like booking chickens and waterfalls, which end up distracting him.

Looking forward to Wednesday!!!!!!!!!

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!!!!!!