Dancers Excel in Ballet Exams – CHB Mail

The CHB Mail – November 22nd 2011

Dancers Excel in Ballet Exams
By Rachael McNaught

Esther Juon Veitch from the Waipawa Dance Centre is very proud of her students and with good reason.

Forget the national average; at the recent British Ballet Organisation (BBO) exams Juon Veitch’s students achieved grades well above the global average.

Out of the 34 students presented for the exams 20 achieved the highest possible grade of Honours, 9 attained Highly Commended and 5 were awarded a grade of Commended.

To achieve an Honours grade a student must have gained a pass mark of 88 or above out of 100 for their exam. This is a result that is notoriously difficult to gain with this ballet syllabus.

Of the students who were awarded Honours, four were Grade 3 dancers, who earlier in the year had elected to sit the Grade 4 exams. For all four to achieve Honours at this level after completing two years work in just one year, is a tribute to their persistence and dedication.

Another special story is that of Anja Hardy, a 13 year old student who has been dancing with Esther since November 2010.

Before joining Esther, Anja’s training had been through a different ballet curriculum, which meant that she had to start at a Grade 1 level on the BBO syllabus. Amazingly she did the equivalent of 6 years work to pass the Intermediate/Foundation grade exam with Honours.

Sadly at the end of this year Anja leaves Ether’s guidance to attend Wanganui Collegiate, where she will continue with her ballet training.

The adult students were also extremely well represented with 10 students achieving Honours in their Grade 2 and 4 exams. This outcome has resulted in them being invited to train with instructors from the Royal New Zealand Ballet when the company visits Napier later this month.

When asked what the secret was for the success of the school Esther lays the credit firmly with her students. “They are incredible, they are just so dedicated and so enthusiastic. They love what they do and are a joy to teach. I am so fortunate to have such a great ballet school to work with”

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