Ballet Dancer in Training

Ballet Dancer in Training

Monday, March 31, 2014

PNDA Comps Results

Palmerston North Dance Association
Competition Results

28th - 30th March 2014

Salem won the Lauren McMillian Cup for the Highest mark in Restricted National Character Dance 12 years and over.

And the Palmerston North Dance Association Throphy for the Most Promising
Senior Dancer.


Salem did extremely well at the PNDA Restricted and Impromptu Competitions over the weekend. It was his first lot of competitions this year so it was a nice way to get back into it.
It was a long weekend and Salem was very tired by the end as he had seven dances on Sunday, the final day.

Robin Hood

He had entered the impromptu dances along with many of his own dances, all of which he had choreographed himself.
He also debuted his new demi-character dance “Robin Hood” which was well received and got a first placing.
This dance is absolutely hilarious and I think it took everyone by surprise.

Ballet Impromptu

Salem also was awarded first place for his Krakowiak national character dance and the trophy also for highest marks for national character.
He was thrilled as he had spent a lot of time researching and then choreographing this dance.

Getting ready for the Jazz Impromptu.

The results from the weekend are:

1st Place – National Character

2nd Place – Barefoot
                  Modern Jazz

3rd Place – Variation
                  Impromptu Modern Jazz
                  Impromptu Ballet

VHC – Impromptu Barefoot

HC – Impromptu Contemporary

C – Impromptu Lyrical

Salem and Della - Waikanae Dance School

Salem really enjoyed having other dancers from his dance school there and being able to watch them perform, some for the first time on a big stage.

He has more competitions coming up, Rosewood next weekend and then DanceArt the weekend after that. Then he has a short break with lots more planned.
It's busy, busy, busy!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fun Practicing In A Kilt

Well it's off to Palmerston North tomorrow for the Palmerston North Dance Associations competitions tomorrow.
Salem had his last practice today going over all his dances that he will be doing and had some impromptu practice which is always lots of fun.

Over the last few weeks Salem has been practicing his James variation from La Sylphide Act II wearing a kilt.  It is a very heavy man's kilt, all wool tartan, very hot to dance in.

So Salem has gotten used to dancing in it and for the last couple of practices, he has been wearing the heavy woolen jacket as well.  Poor boy is covered in sweat after doing this short dance.

He will be performing this variation up at Palmerston North this weekend.
He has had a lot of fun dancing in the kilt, loves doing pirouettes and chaines in it!!!!!

Should be a great weekend competing against new people and making new friends.
Wish us luck!!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Robin Hood and Palmerston North Comps

Robin Hood

Yep, it's that time of the year when competitions start up again.
Salem has been busy choreographing more dances which brings his total up to 11 dances which are choreographed by himself.

He will be debuting his new demi-character dance "Robin Hood" this weekend at at Palmerston North Dance Association Competitions at the Regent Theatre, Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North.  He will be up there with other dancers from Waikanae Dance School.
Salem will be performing on all three days so if you are up that way, check him out.

Robin Hood riding through the glen......

I have made him a Robin Hood costume including green tights and his horse which we call "Truffles" ;-)
Actually he had grown out of all his costumes except for his Krakowiak costume so all costumes are new and look fantastic!!!!!!!!
I still have to sew up some more tights/leggings for him though.

It will be interesting to see what people think of this new dance, Jonty keeps laughing every time Salem practices it in front of him.  It is a very funny dance.

We will put it up on You Tube when we get back from Palmerston as we want it to be a surprise up there.

Monday, March 24, 2014

We Need Your Help Identifying a Song

In his Krakowiak costume.

We need your help to get the name and composer if possible for the music of Salem's Krakowiak character dance.

The Hutt Valley Performing Arts Competition Society's comps in July require that all the dances entered have to have the song name and composer on the entry form.  I have had the music for years as it was from a group dance that Salem's older brother had done.

So please take a look at this video and if you can help we would be very grateful!!!!


A big "THANK YOU" to everyone who has replied to our request for help, especially Alan, Felix and Benni.  We are able to fill out the entry form and will be sending it off soon.

We have decided that it is "Krakowiaczek jenden" by Anonymous.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Quick Catch-up No.3 - The last one....Choreography and today's lessons.

On our way home tonight after classes.

Yay, Salem's tap shoes arrived this afternoon but of course after he had already left for today's lessons.  So I made sure that I got them to him before his tap class.  He was thrilled and they were a perfect fit.  Sorry I forgot to take a photo of him wearing them.

Today he had his Intermediate lesson, and then instead of going to the performance troupe's practice, he stayed at the studio and worked on his twelve competition dances.  Only one of the dances isn't his own choreography.  He has been a busy boy creating more of his own dances.

So far this term he has choreographed a contemporary dance - "In the Shadows", a demi-character - "Robin Hood" and a neo-classical - "Cold".  He has been doing Siegfried's variation from Swan Lake Act III for a while but felt it was too rigid so has done his own choreography for it which is really great.  It is part of his BTDA dance journal work to look at a ballet, he chose Swan Lake, study it, it's history, the story and look at the choreography and suggest changes.  Well, he wrote down the whole choreography of the variation which was taught to him by Shannon Dawson at one of the Boy's Ballet Classes with the Royal New Zealand Ballet.  Created his own version and wrote the whole choreography for that.  It was very impressive.

This is his new contemporary dance "In the Shadows", it is very different to his old contemporary dance "Du Hast" when he was with KDC.  He has worked on it a lot since this was filmed.

He didn't go to troupe practice as the others were working on their older dances as they are off to comps in two weeks time.
Yes, it's comp time again.  Salem will be doing six of of his solos and five impromptus.
And it will be his first time at comps out of the Wellington region.
We are off to the Palmerston North Dance Association's Restricted and Open Impromptu Competition which will be held at the Regent Theatre in Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North on Friday 28th - Sunday 30th March 2014.
He is dancing on all three days so we will be staying up there in a hotel and making it a bit of a holiday. Salem has never been to Palmerston North.
Looking forward to it!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Quick Catch-up No.2 - Lessons, getting ready for exams

Salem and his Grade Ones
Photo from Waikanae Dance School

Salem's classes have been going well and he is working hard at getting ready for his BTDA Intermediate exams which will be in early June.  He has had a mock exam a little while ago and would have passed if it was a real one.  He has done a lot of work in his dance journal, Michelle his teacher is pleased with what he has done so far.  So it is all looking good.

He is still loving being teachers assistant for the Grade One Ballet class, he gets so much satisfaction and joy from doing the class.  He has been writing up exercises for the grade ones and preps which is part of his exam work.

Jacqui and Jonty have been suggesting that he take up tap for quite a while now so Salem is now doing a Grade Four Tap class, he has been having a lot of fun with this.  He has to stop doing it like a ballet dancer though :-)  He has his third lesson on Friday night (tomorrow) straight after his Jazz/Lyrical/Acro class.  Hopefully his tap shoes arrive tomorrow!!!!

Salem has been having contemporary lessons at Hayley Johnson's Academy of Dancing in Tawa.
He has been loving the classes and everyone is so friendly.  We have to catch the train there but it is worth it.
His contemporary is really progressing this year.

More up-dating tomorrow night.... it has turned out not to be a quick catch-up!!!!!

Dance Journal Entry No.4 - Russell Kerr

This is another entry in Salem's Dance Journal which is part of his British Dance Theatre Association's Intermediate exam.

Russell Kerr

Russell Kerr
Choreographer for
The Royal New Zealand Ballet's
Swan Lake

Russell Kerr is one of New Zealand's most famous ballet choreographers who is respected for his ability to tell stories through musical movement. He has made more than 65 dance works for companies including the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Limbs Dance Company.

He is a choreographer, a teacher and mentor to generations of dancers, and has directed and produced works for companies including the Auckland Ballet Theatre, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Southern Ballet Theatre.

He was born in Auckland in 1930 and studied ballet in his teens with Kathleen Whitford.  In 1950 he went to Europe to train and he danced with the Jose Greco Spanish Company,  the Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, and the Ballet Rambert, then became a soloist with the London Festival Ballet.

He returned to New Zealand in 1957 and continued his dance career as a teacher, a choreographer and a producer.  He was the director of the Nettleton-Edwards-Kerr School of Ballet from 1959 to 1961.  In 1962, He took over from Poul Gnatt as the New Zealand Ballet's Artistic Director and led the company until 1968.

He staged full length ballets with live orchestras and international guest dancers, and he also created some modern ballets for the company's repertoire which included Concerto (1963), Mephisto (1964), and Peter and the Wolf (1962). Four of his ballets are in the current repertoire of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

He was the director of the New Zealand Dance Centre from 1969 to 1977.  Then he was director of the Southern Ballet Theatre from 1978 to 1990. He was teaching, coaching, choreographing and producing their youth performance works till his retirement in 1990. Not that he really “retired”.

From 1992 to 2003 he was the Royal New Zealand Ballet's guest director for Petrouchka and did choreographies for Swan Lake, Peter Pan and A Christmas Carol.  And again was the guest director for Pretrochka in 2011.

With dancers of the Royal New Zealand Ballet

In 2005 he Created a new full-length ballet based upon the secret life of Hans Christian Anderson. He is still very busy even now. I was lucky enough a few years ago to meet him, chat with him and listen to him talk about how he choreographed Peter Pan for the RNZB.

He is an Icon Artist of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, was awarded the Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for Services to Ballet in 1986 and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2000.

His work includes:
Hans Christian Andersen (2005)
Opus 17 for 71 (2004)
A Christmas Carol (2001)
Peter Pan (1999, 2010)
Swan Lake (1996)
Journey (1989)
Te Maia and the Sea-Devil 1987)
Terrible Tom (1985)
Salute (1983)
Scripting the Dreams (1982)
Prismatic Variations with Poul Gnatt (1959)

- Researched and written by Salem Foxx

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Quick Catch-up No.I : In the Paper, Junior Associates Weekend......

Dancing his way to the top

Reaching for the stars: Kapiti’s Salem Foxx, 13, will join New Zealand School of Dance’s junior associate programme in February.
A 13-year-old Kapiti boy has been selected from hundreds to join a New Zealand School of Dance's programme for talented young dancers.
In February, Salem Foxx will attend the first workshop for the school’s junior associate programme.  Salem, who has danced for a decade, said he was ‘‘really excited’’ he had been accepted for the course.  ‘‘It’s just such a great opportunity. Dancing is my life.’’ He was accepted for the programme majoring in contemporary dance, but Salem’s real passion is ballet.
Mum Michelle Foxx said the programme caters for talented dancers aged 13 to 16 and draws hundreds of
applicants for spots as either a contemporary or classical major.  ‘‘Salem is working for a career as a professional dancer. He lives and breathes dance.’’  She said Salem’s first weekend workshop runs on February 15 and 16.
‘‘They also do the Royal New Zealand Ballet master classes, which are every ballet season . . . they have to
go on them as part of the junior associate course. And he will also be going to the New Zealand School of
Dance winter school.’’ Salem starts the summer school for dance next week as well, she said.
‘‘It’s hard work being a dancer.’’


It's been a while since our last post, I've had some major issues with our computer and haven't been able to upload anything, emails taking forever, even resorted to going up to the library to use there computers and getting very frustrated.  I seem to have fixed things for the time being and am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be successful.

A well deserved fizzy drink at the end of the
Associates Weekend

Salem had his first Associates Weekend at the New Zealand School of Dance on the 15th and 16th of February.  We were up very early to get the train and buses in to Wellington for early starts.  He really enjoyed all the contemporary classes a lot.  He is the only male contemporary major and was one of only three junior contemporary majors.  He enjoyed making new friends.  There were plenty of boys doing the ballet and they were surprised that Salem didn't join them for the boy's classes.

They all worked hard over the weekend and just before it was time to finished on the last day, the parents were treated to a display of some of the work that the Associates had learnt.  It was very good to watch and I was very pleased with what Salem had learnt.

His poor toes had taken a beating over the weekend and I had to tape them up for him for his Intermediate and Grade One classes the next day.  I made sure he had a good sleep in.

That's a good start to our catch ups, more tomorrow night if my computer doesn't have another melt down.