The CHB Mail – December 6th 2011
Dancers End Year on High Note
By Rachael McNaught
Students at Esther Juon Veitch’s Waipawa Dance Centre had a wonderful end to their year when they were offered the opportunity to have lessons with key members of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
The first lesson was taken by the charismatic former principal dancer and long serving member of the RNZB Vivencio Samblaceno Jnr and was open to students between ballet Grades 3 and Intermediate Foundation.
Around 30 students from Hawkes Bay attended this class and this was the first time that adult ballet students have ever participated in it.
Jackie Scannell, Kate Trusler, Sonia Harrison, Sasha Watt and Emma Evans helped to create history and open the door for a new generation of dancers when they joined their younger Waipawa Dance Centre cohorts, Olivia Hadley, James Bailey, Connor Harrison and Danielle Le Bon on stage, much to the delight of the tutor and the RNZB program co-ordinators.
Although incredibly nervous before heading on stage, all the dancers did a superb job, easily coping with the class, impressing their teacher and proving that age is certainly no obstacle when it comes to dance.
The tutor for the second session was legendary RNZB Ballet Master Greg Horsman.
11 students attended this advanced class with 13 year old Intermediate dancer Anja Hardy being the youngest and least experienced dancer on the stage by a number of years.
Despite this, Anja did a sterling job, quickly picking up the new movements and combinations taught over the intense 90 minute lesson. Although exhausted by the end, Anja felt that she had gained a lot from the experience and was honoured to have been dancing with the advanced dancers, some of whom were on the verge of starting full-time ballet training.
This last class was followed by an opportunity to watch the members of the Royal New Zealand Ballet being put through their paces before their matinee performance of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’.
After such a successful year Esther’s dancers are now gearing up for a special summer workshop with international contemporary dancer, choreographer and teacher Natalie Ayton. There are very limited places available for this workshop so anyone interested can contact Esther at the Waipawa Dance Centre.