Today I had a late start since my first class wasn’t until 3pm. After sleeping in a little, I read and stretched in my room while my mom went outside to go for a run and visit the grocery store. By noon, I was more than ready to head to the theater. Polly and my mom dropped me off at the stage door, and I grabbed lunch in the candidate’s lounge. I sat at a table with four other girls: one from Germany who dances in England, two from Australia, and one from Japan. Despite our differences and some language barriers, we had plenty of common topics to discuss as we anticipated the coming day!
After lunch I took a peek at the younger group of boys in contemporary class, then stretched and warmed up with the other female candidates. Finally, the time came for us to head into Studio 1 for our first class: contemporary! Our teacher, Duncan Rownes, was challenging! Instead of breaking long combinations up and teaching them in sections, like most of the teachers I have had, Mr. Rownes would show the entire combination without stopping, repeat once or twice, then tell us to go! Most of the girls in my class were also distracted by their numbers falling off as we rolled on the floor: the safety pins just wouldn’t stay put! But after adjusting my safety pins and becoming familiar with the movement quality, I had an absolute blast in the class. The movement was all about freedom: completely throwing your body into each movement and reaching each line as far as possible. It felt amazing.
(Attached is a picture from contemporary that the Prix de Lausanne posted on Twitter. I am in the picture on the right and also in the white leotard in the bottom left picture.)
After a whirlwind break in which Polly and my mom tried to secure my safety pins one last time, I hurried to classical class. The head of the jury shook each girl’s hand and introduced us to the jury members, who were watching our class but not giving marks. Although dancing under the scrutiny of directors from around the world was a little intimidating, I focused on enjoying the class and applying the teacher’s corrections. The teacher, Stephanie Arndt, gave a very enjoyable class. The combinations were challenging but gave us plenty of room for expression. We were finished before I knew it!
Overall, I had a great day. I can’t wait to continue classes with Mr. Rownes and Ms. Arndt. There is so much to learn from all of these wonderful teachers!