CAMERON HOLMES AU AT RAMBERT LONDON
Cameron at Royal Ballet School London
18 Years Old
Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy
AHA Awards placing 2017
Supreme B 2nd place
Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary
Cameron writes ....
In 2017 I was honoured to be awarded runner up in the prestigious Alana Haines Australasian Awards in Wellington. I received a cash price of $2000 and a scholarship for two weeks of classes at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. In September 2017 I travelled to the UK, with the help and support of ‘AHA’ who provided me with a return airfare and the opportunity to experience and gain a deeper understanding of the ballet world outside Australia.
To make my trip more purposeful I was able to extend my time and studies in the UK with another scholarship I received through BBM Youth Support Award. I was graciously able to tie this in with the AHA scholarship which enabled me to stay for 5 and a half weeks and not only visit Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance with AHA, but also visit some of the world’s most renowned ballet companies. My teacher Lucinda Dunn, from Tanya Pearson’s Academy was a great support and was my point of contact for arranging company classes with The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet.
On the 25th of September I left Sydney and my UK trip became a reality. My first destination was Glasgow, Scotland. In Glasgow I spent 3 days taking company classes with the Scottish Ballet. This was quite an overwhelming experience as this was my first official company class overseas and I was feeling very nervous, but also quite excited. I was welcomed into class and managed the work really well, this helped boost my confidence, and was a great start to my UK Trip.
From here, I travelled to London, where I stayed at an Air BnB in Chelsea for my visit to Rambert School & the English National and Royal Ballet. Firstly, I visited English National Ballet; I took company classes there for 3 days and the Associate Artistic Director Liopa Araújo was the teacher for all of the classes. I enjoyed the ENB Boys Class, as there was a lot more focus on the Athletic components of Ballet, and it was really enjoyable to work with a group of male dancers for the week.
After this I took classes with Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, through AHA. Rambert School is located in the pretty township of Richmond, a short train & bus ride away from Chelsea. Rambert has a homely feel, with great facilities and I immediately felt very at ease.
I was looking forward to visiting Rambert, as it is highly regarded for its strong Contemporary training, so I fully immersed myself in the daily contemporary classes in order to gain a deeper understanding of certain techniques such as: Cunningham & Martha Graham. Paul Liburd who taught the Martha Graham contemporary class had such inspiring energy that he brought to the class which made it very exciting and enjoyable. I struggled a lot with the contractions and intricate isolations as it is something I’m not used to. Ballet has a lot of focus on the lower half of the body whereas Martha Graham technique you spend on a lot of time on the floor focusing on the upper body and subtle movements. I learnt a lot about the Martha Graham technique and have a new found respect for how challenging this work can be.
I was really impressed with the amount of different classes Rambert had to offer. Classes ranging from Contemporary pas de deux & Ballet pas de deux to Improvisation classes, Boy’s classes, Conditioning and Repertoire lessons.
Not only did I enjoy the professional aspect of classes at Rambert, socially I made new friends and had the chance to hang out with some of my old dance peers who are currently training there. My point of contact Grace Campbell, was very accommodating and helped make my time at Rambert very special.
From here I did a week of classes at the Royal Ballet, this really was a dream come true, the studios were absolutely world class and it was a privilege to be able to dance in this incredible establishment. I was also lucky enough to meet Steven McRae. He is my greatest role model, to meet & chat with him & to do class alongside him was very humbling. Like me, Steven grew up in Sydney’s Western Suburbs, and to see where he is now up on stage in London with the Royal Ballet is truly inspiring.
During my time in London I also took the opportunity to visit many of London’s major tourist attractions, including Big Ben, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Covent Garden and Buckingham Palace. To be able to visit these iconic sights has left me with very special memories of places I would never have had the chance to visit, if not for the support of AHA.
I will always remember my time competing at AHA, and the wonderful opportunities AHA provided me. To travel to the UK as a young male dancer, and learn so much, has opened up the world for me and also made me realise the wonderful talent and companies we also have right here in Australia.
After returning home to Sydney, I was immediately offered a short term contract with the Australian Ballet Company’s Storytime Production, after which I was then offered a full contract and am now extremely proud to be part of The Australian Ballet Company.