“But getting out of Level 8 with a contract is extremely difficult in the normal world. Now that opportunities are even less, I have to prepare for not having anywhere to turn so it’s making more sense for me to stay at the school, be in the studio every day, get more performances under my belt and wait for the world to open up again.”
Harvey began dancing when she was four and was accepted into The Australian Ballet School five years ago, shifting with her family to Melbourne from Perth to follow her dream.
She wants to be a principal dancer and has her heart set on joining The Australian Ballet where she could fulfil her talent for both contemporary and classical works.
Apart from assessment, Level 8 at the School mimics life in a professional dance company. There are daily classes but with the addition of rehearsals for six performances and the highlight is a regional tour with The Australian Ballet.
The Australian Ballet School director Lisa Pavane says the tour is the vital element to their final year of training.
“That’s when they get the chance to experience what company life feels like – getting up, having class, arriving in a new theatre, performing at night and refuelling for the next day,” Pavane says.
“They learn how to do things differently in their next performance, stage craft and artistry. It’s the discipline that goes with the lifestyle, the hours of preparation, the adrenalin and icing your feet afterwards.”
Some of the students are ready to graduate and take their chances and Pavane is supportive of any choice they make. The selection process would normally have been underway now with dance companies around the world.
The halt to performances means companies haven’t started working properly with last year’s recruits so there may not be room for new dancers.
“We’ve had to do some number crunching but we feel confident we can make room for anyone wanting to repeat,” she says.
“They are amazing young, optimistic people and we’re so proud of them but we want to make sure they all have the confidence, support and resources to be ready for the big world out there.”
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