International Success for College Dancers
August 21, 2018 at 2:19 PM
We’re delighted to learn that talented Year 11 ballet dancer, Monet Hewitt was one of only two dancers to be recognised with a gold award at the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition 2018, held in Hong Kong earlier this month. The ‘Genée’ is one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, attracting the finest young dancers trained in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus, from around the globe.
The 2018 Genée attracted 51 of the world’s finest young dancers from 13 nationalities, aged between 15 and 19 years old. The competition saw finalists perform three solos including never-before seen pieces by esteemed choreographer Carlo Pacis, who was commissioned by RAD to create two variations (one for male candidates and one for female candidates) for the competition.
The young dancers were judged by Septime Webre, Artistic Director for Hong Kong Ballet, Janek Schergen, Artistic Director at Singapore Dance Theatre, Lisa Pavane, Director of The Australian Ballet School, Joanne Michel, Ballet Mistress for The Australian Ballet School and Chi Cao, former Principal with Birmingham Royal Ballet.
After a week of intensive coaching from world-renowned teachers and choreographers, the competitive final saw Monet awarded gold, along with Joshua Green, aged 17 from Australia, from the 51 dancers entered.
Monet leaves Saint Kentigern this term to take up a full-time scholarship at the English National Ballet School (ENBS). We wish her well as she travels abroad to take up this amazing opportunity. This is huge achievement and something that Head of Dance, Mr Wilcox, in particular, is very proud of. We will follow Monet’s next steps in the world of ballet with great interest!
Monet was not alone with recent international success. Year 9 student, Ruby Ryburn, also competed in Hong Kong at the Asian Grand Prix Ballet Competition and went through to the finals. She was awarded ‘Outstanding Dancer’ for her age group, a full scholarship to return in 2019 and one of the three ‘Capezio Awards’ for showing most potential and promise over the whole Asian Grand Prix Competition. Well done Ruby!
In another dance genre, Raychel Tapsel and Ethan Doughty have both recently returned from the Hip Hop Internationals in Phoenix Arizona, Raychel’s Hip Hop crew, ‘Masque,’ competed in the Varsity division against 70 crews and went through to the finals finishing in 3rd place. She also danced in ‘Yung ID’ with Ethan, also going through to the finals, placing fifth overall in their division.
Well done to these four talented students!
DANCE AT SAINT KENTIGERN COLLEGE
Saint Kentigern aims to provide outstanding physical environments to maximise learning both inside and outside the classroom. This is evident in the new dance studios opened earlier this year as part of the extensive renovation of the Sports Centre.
The increasing popularity of dance as an examinable subject at the Middle College and the Senior College has meant that the original dance studios were no longer sufficient to meet demand. A state-of-the-art dance studio is now in operation with the capacity to host performances as well as be divided into two acoustically separate teaching spaces. This is achieved by having an electrically operated, sound proof, dividing wall which retracts into the ceiling space to give greater flexibility of available space. The existing dance studio has been revitalised and another multi-purpose dance/activity room has been created downstairs. These studios have suitably cushioned floors, fit for purpose, to reduce the impact on students’ bodies.
Saint Kentigern Staff are expected to have the highest expectations for each student in all aspects of their education.
Head of Dance, Mr Geordan Wilcox and fellow dance teacher, Mr Ichiro Harada, draw on their international experience with renowned dance companies, and extensive networks, to offer dancers, from all genres, an environment in which they will develop as performers, take risks, and succeed in their individual goals.
In addition to dance classes as an examinable subject, an Academy/Extension Programme was set up during the course of 2016, catering for different levels and styles of dance, including classical ballet, contemporary, jazz and hip-hop. Students audition for a place, attending extra Period 0 (before school) and Period 7 (after school) classes, as well as Saturday classes. These extra classes include coaching, pilates, yoga and conditioning as well as learning dance works for performance, both at College and beyond. The classes are taught by Mr Wilcox and Mr Harada, as well as a range of itinerant dance specialists who expose the students to new ideas and a wide range of teaching and performance styles.
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