TESSA KARLE 17 Years Old Student of New Zealand School of Dance AHA Awards Supreme Semi-finalist 2019 Scholarship to Canadas National Ballet School
In the month of July, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Canada’s National Ballet School’s 4 Week Summer Program. As part of my scholarship my accommodation at the school’s residence was also paid for – I can’t thank Mavis Staines (the director of Canada’s National Ballet School) and the Alana Haines Awards enough for providing this extremely generous scholarship as it was an invaluable experience.
Classes each day over the month included classical technique, pointe and repertoire, contemporary, modern technique, and modern repertoire. Each of these classes were engaging and challenging, and I especially enjoyed learning different repertoire pieces in both the classical and modern styles. My favorite class was definitely pointe class which we had every day with Mr Smith. We spent most of our classes in the month focusing especially on turning so we could become really confident doing multiple pirouettes on pointe consistently and cleanly, as well as other turns in open positions that you may not always practice as much in a normal class. The exercises in these classes were quite difficult, but I loved the challenge and really feel as though I have come away from them with a new confidence and the ability to do some new steps I hadn’t really been exposed to before!
I was also lucky enough to take part in the Stephen Godfrey Choreographic Workshop performances at the end of my time at the summer program. The workshop happens every year over the summer and is an opportunity for a number of students who attend Canada’s National Ballet School to choreograph a piece on other NBS students, as well as selected dancers attending the summer program. Over the four weeks we had rehearsals in the evenings as well as on Saturdays to bring these pieces to life, and everything came together in the three performances we did, which took place in the Betty Oliphant Theatre (which is part of the school) with lighting, costumes, makeup, and of course an audience! It was a privilege to be a part of the process of the creation of a new piece and it is always a very rewarding experience to perform onstage.
I really enjoyed my time at Canada’s National Ballet School and felt that I really got a lot out of my time there. A huge thank you again to the Alana Haines Awards for providing these amazing opportunities for young dancers to get out and see the world while being exposed to different types of training!