From Sydney to Houston: Alexandra Walton
As part of our 2020 Full-Time Studies Guide, we asked a number of graduates to describe their experience as full-time students. Read one account below and look out for more in our August/September issue!
Houston Ballet Academy Professional division 2 invited guest/trainee
Where are you from?
Where did you undertake your full-time training?
I began my full-time training at Classical Ballet 121 with Gillian Revie. I began by going on Monday and Friday mornings when I was15 and progressed to going full time time the following year.
What level of education had you attained before beginning your full-time training?
I completed all of my RAD exams, from Primary up to advanced 2 with the Teresa Johnson Ballet School. I also had completed up to Year 9 at Ascham School and then continued by doing academics online with distance education. I am currently completing Y12 and working towards getting my HSC at the end of next year.
How difficult did you find the transition from full-time studies to a professional academy?
Transitioning from full-time at Classical Ballet 121 to Houston Ballet Academy was a shock in many ways. Moving away from home and to be in a different country away from family was really hard at first. I had limited cooking skills before moving away and I had to be very independent very quickly. Despite the difficulties, I made friends really fast and Houston Ballet Academy has been amazingly supportive and has helped me through every step of the way.
What were the most important benefits of your studies?
The Teresa Johnson Ballet School and Classical Ballet 121 were extremely important in the development of the dancer I am today. Their guidance helped me to establish all of my technique and the foundations of my dancing. The most beneficial thing that I have taken from Houston Ballet Academy is the amount of performance experience we have. Having multiple performances every year and sometimes with the Houston Ballet Company has allowed me to feel much more prepared for my future career. Also Houston Ballet Academy has many amazing teachers and a range of different classes that have all pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and become the best dancer I can be.
What do you know now that you wish you’d know when you were younger when pursuing dance?
I wish I could tell myself that I should believe in myself and have confidence in my ability and to trust that everything happens for a reason. Also I wish I told myself not to race and take everything step by step with the knowledge that I am talented and that I have what it takes to go all the way, to always be consistent, never be complacent and to enjoy every moment!
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