Amelia Dawe to McDonald College sml.jpg


13 Years Old

Student of Dance Education Centre

Tauranga NZ


Junior Semi-Finalist AHA Awards 2015

Scholarship to

MacDonald College

NSW Australia


Amelia writes ….                     


I would like to say thank you to the Alana Haines Trust and MacDonald College, for the exciting opportunity to attend their school on a two weeks scholarship, which I won in April.

Visiting MacDonald College and living the life of a boarding ballet student was something I had always wanted to do, so this was like a dream come true.  I was very excited but also nervous because I had never been to Sydney and I didn’t know anyone at the boarding house. I didn’t need to worry because Melinda Edwards from the College was so helpful and welcoming.  The girls in the boarding house were like a big family and I made some good friends. After classes we had heaps of fun together.

Each day I had my usual school classes to attend like English and Maths but then we also had a 2 hr dance class in the middle of the day, which was either classical ballet or contemporary. After school I then went to stretch and conditioning classes, Adv 1 RAD ballet class and contemporary classes.  Some of the time they were rehearsing for their show so I joined in when I could or filled in for dancers who were away. Being able to go to 3 RAD Adv 1classes a week helped to improve my technique and prepare me for my exam which I sit in October.

While I was there I learnt things about myself and I was able to take away lots of valuable learning experiences related to living away from home, and in a big city.  I also had the opportunity to focus my school day around my passion for ballet which gave me an important insight into how I’d like my future to be. I realise now that moving away from home, my family and friends is a big step to take and being ready both in dance and emotionally and independently is very important. I was able to ask myself – Am I ready for this?   I can now decide the best path for my own future.

While I was there I was invited to audition to attend the school. Auditioning at the college was fun and they made all the people auditioning feel comfortable and relaxed.  Being given this opportunity to experience living in a performing arts college was real privilege and I know that other winners of the scholarship in the future will have a memorable experience.