Local dancers Dane Reid and Lauren Crosby recently flew to Portugal to represent Australia at the Genée International Ballet Competition. We caught up with Dane, 16, to find out a bit about the competition and his plans for the future.
How long have you been dancing for?
I started ballet at the age of four at the Croft Gilchrist School of Dance. The following year I started attending jazz and tap classes, and then highland dancing the year after. In 2011, I moved to the Ann Roberts School of Dance continuing my existing four styles and joining contemporary dance classes to expand my versatility in genres.
Tell us a little bit about the trip to Portugal! How did that opportunity come about for you and Lauren?
The Geneé International Ballet Competition is a prestigious worldwide contest for students that have been awarded a distinction in their Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 examination testing skills, performance and technique. When my teacher Jane Pirani mentioned the possibility of attending the 2017 competition held in Lisbon, Portugal, I thought the idea of being a part of such a significant competition was farfetched – I’ve never travelled internationally before. We began to consider the opportunity and searched for ways to assist in the trip’s funding. I was lucky enough to receive a Royal Academy of Dance Geneé Bursary, which covered a lot of the trip’s costs. We had a few days to recover once we landed in Portugal before the intense training started for the competition.
What did the competition involve?
There were five days of classes where we were coached in classical technique, classical repertoire, a dancer’s own piece (choreographed by ourselves, a teacher or peer to music of our choice) and a commissioned choreography. The commissioned choreographer, César Augusto taught us boys an amazing contemporary piece which would be performed by the finalists. After the five days of classes it was straight into the competition. In the semi-finals we performed an onstage class, our dancer’s own pieces (mine was choreographed by Jane Pirani and Shaughn Pegoraro), as well as a classical repertoire solo chosen from a list provided by the academy. Unfortunately, I did not follow on to the finals, however it was a great experience to be involved in such a friendly international competition.
It looked like pretty fierce competition over there! Are you hoping to compete again next year?
The Geneé is set for Hong Kong in 2018 and I would love to go to the competition again to experience the inspiring coaching and performance privileges along with meeting more international like-minded friends.
You’re just a few months away from starting grade 12 – what are you hoping to do when you graduate?
Dance has been a huge part of my life so far, however I still concentrate on my education because of the unpredictable future a career in dance has. A single injury can change the course of a dancer’s life and it would be great to have a sufficient back up plan first. I don’t have a career in mind other than dance, however I have considered aged care or even becoming a dance teacher.
Where can people can catch you performing locally?
I was just involved in the Townsville Junior Eisteddfod and am set to perform in the Ann Roberts School of Dance end of year concert.