World stage for PE dancers

ballet girls new york_15March2017
Bay ballerinas Louise Daniel, left in white, Anneke Classen, centre, kneeling, in black, Kate Weakley, second from right, and Skye Phillips, far right, received a taste of the world international performers by meeting dancers of the Royal Moscow Ballet at the Opera House this week. The four will take part in a ballet summer in the US in June

Four Bay ballet dancers will be winging their way to New York, treading in the pointe shoes of the founder of the PE Youth Ballet, to spend their mid-year school holidays at the sought-after American Academy of Ballet Summer School of Excellence.

Pearson HIgh School’s Anneke Claassen and Louise Daniel, St Dominic’s Priory’s Skye Phillips and Victoria Park High School’s Kate Weakley took on international competition to win scholarships to the American Academy of Ballet (AAB), considered one of the world’s lead dance training grounds. Attendance of its intensive summer school is exclusively by invitation following an audition.

The girls, all aged 16, also met up backstage with members of the Royal Moscow Ballet who were performing at the PE Opera House this week.

The AAB was founded by renowned South African dancer and teacher, the late Mignon Furman, after a career that included dancing leading roles with the University of Cape Town (UCT) Ballet Company, directing the UCT Ballet School, and founding the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth Youth Ballet programmes.

The summer school is attended by dancers from the US and 15 other countries at Purchase College at the State University of New York, for up to six weeks.

The four ballerinas are all pupils of the Walmer School of Dance run by owner-teacher Troy Coffey.

Coffey, a Royal Academy of Dance registered teacher who has been teaching dance for 24 years, said she was thrilled her dancers had made the grade to attend the summer school.

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