Key Dates

Aside

Last week was all about Mock GCSE exams, but this week started with a productive two-hour ballet class followed by a further two solid hours of pointe and allegro coaching. Let the intense build up to our final auditions, solos and national competitions begin.

The key dates below highlight important ballet events I will have in addition to every day Year 11 school life at White Lodge over the next six weeks. Preparation for the solos evening will provide pieces for the Young British Dancer of the Year [YBDY] and Phyllis Bedells Bursary competitions. The auditions will clarify where I will complete my final three years of training.

Date Event Location

February

Sun 3

Focus on Style Masterclass – The Russian   School

Covent Garden, London

Tue 12

Year 11 Demonstration [Appraisal] Class

White Lodge, Richmond Park

Wed 20

Audition at Accadamia Teatro alla Scala

Milano, Italy [Half Term]

Tue 26

Solos Evening

White Lodge, Richmond Park

March

Sat 2

YBDY Competition Preliminaries

Covent Garden, London

Sun 3

YBDY Competition – Semi Finals

Covent Garden, London

Sat 9

YBDY Competition Finals

ROH Covent Garden, London

Sun 10

Audition at The Royal Ballet Upper School

Covent Garden, London     

Thu 14

Audition at Elmhurst School for Dance

Birmingham, UK          

Sat 16

Audition at English National Ballet School

Kensington, London

Sun 17

Phyllis Bedells Bursary Competition - RAD

Battersea, London   

Preliminary audition results

_HAZ0852cropB&W-001This has been quite a week. Having sat through nine mock GCSE exams, three of which were maths (or one-third of them if we take it to the lowest common denominator) I can confidently say that I prefer the more creative subjects of music, dance studies and languages. Of the sciences I prefer biology, although physics is very interesting too. Maths is not for me!

On Wednesday, sandwiched between a maths exam in the morning and a French exam after lunch, we had our preliminary audition for English National Ballet School. Their Director of Dance, Mrs Saidi, and a colleague came to White Lodge to watch our audition class. This is also what happened last week when Mr Parker, Artistic Director of Elmhurst School of Dance travelled down from Birmingham with a colleague for our Elmhurst preliminary audition. Both my audition classes went without incident, despite feeling that I perhaps failed to ‘stand out’. They were good practice for the many more to come.

On Wednesday evening we had our Solo pieces confirmed for the Young British Dancer of the Year and the Phyllis Bedells competitions. I was surprised that our Ballet Principal asked for me to revive the energetically demanding Solo from the Pas de Trois SL_Act1_Solo_00HDRWFin Act I of Swan Lake for my YBDY List 1 piece. I had thought she would select the lyrical ‘Lilac Fairy’ Solo from The Sleeping Beauty. ‘The Betrayed Girl’ from The Rake’s Progress will be my List 2 piece for that competition should I get through to the final. For Phyllis Bedell’s I will dance the ‘Crystal Fountain Fairy’ from The Sleeping Beauty.

After classes on Thursday evening my year group assembled in the Salon of White Lodge from where we were individually summoned into the Ballet Principal’s study to be told if we had made it though to final auditions at the School’s we had applied for. It was a tense moment and I was greatly relieved to discover that we were to be called by surname alphabetically!  I anxiously took my place at the table across from Miss Van Schoor and almost held my breath until I heard the happy news that I was through to final auditions at both the English National Ballet and Elmhurst schools.

My relief was subdued as not everyone had been so fortunate. The biggest challenges still lie ahead. Those two final auditions will take place during the second week of March. Before then all of our year group will attend the final audition for our own Upper School in Covent Garden in a month’s time. I will also be attending an audition class at the Scuola di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala in Milan during Half Term break.

Friday we finished the mock exam week with chemistry in the morning and maths after lunch. It was wonderful to have an evening free of revision after supper. Dance classes finished early this morning and I’m happy to be at home now for some time out. The weather has been cold, but last weekend’s snow has mostly melted. The photo below is the view from our Pavlova dance studio – taken last Monday by Mr Green, one of our teachers,

Pavlova View