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Scholarship to English National Ballet for Monet!

July 27, 2018 at 3:38 PM

Talented Year 11 dancer, Monet Hewitt leaves Saint Kentigern shortly to take up a full-time scholarship at the English National Ballet School (ENBS)! 

Whilst the English National Ballet was here in Auckland at the beginning of the year to perform Akran Khan’s ‘Giselle,’ Monet took advantage of an open class with the ballet mistress of the company. 

Following the class, the ballet mistress suggested that if Monet was interested in the ENBS, she should send some videos of her dancing to the director of the school. Recognising the chance of a lifetime, Monet submitted the videos and was then contacted and offered the opportunity to audition! 

With over 300 talented dancers selected to audition for only 30 places at the ENBS, we are all proud and delighted that Monet was offered one of those places with a 50% scholarship. 

Under the tutelage of Head of Dance, Mr Geordan Wilcox his wife, Jane Turner, both former Royal New Zealand Ballet Dancers, Monet has been part of the College Dance Academy/Extension programme since its inception. She also attends the Phillipa Campbell School of Ballet and is taught by Joye Lowe and Phillipa Campbell outside of school hours. Monet has certainly made her mark on the dance programme at the College and was invited to dance at the formal opening of new dance studios in the Sports Centre extension earlier this year. 

In early August, Mr Wilcox and his wife will be accompanying Monet to Hong Kong to take part in the ‘Genee’ 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. Candidates receive a unique opportunity to work with renowned choreographers and teachers for five days before performing at the semi-finals, and then the final, where they compete for a range of medals. Past Genée medalists have gone on to work for some of the best ballet companies around the world. Monet will be performing ‘Wild Swan,’ a piece choreographed by Mr Wilcox within the Saturday Academy coaching programme at the College. 

Monet is an extremely talented and dedicated young woman and we wish her well as she leaves Saint Kentigern to take up this amazing opportunity. This is huge achievement and something that Mr Wilcox, in particular, is very proud of. We will follow Monet’s next steps in the world of ballet with great interest! 

We are also very excited for Year 9 student, Ruby Ryburn, who is also part of the College Dance Academy and attends Mount Eden Ballet (MEBA) out of school hours . She will be competing at the Asian Grand Prix dance competition in Hong Kong after qualifying in the regional competition and receiving a 100% AGP Ballet Intensive Programme Scholarship. Well done and good luck to Ruby! 

 

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 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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