Samantha Vottari: far reaching benefits

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Photo by Ailen Cibello
Samantha Vottari photographed by Ailen Cibello

Samantha Vottari competed in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in Manchester 2011 and has never looked back.

For Samantha Vottari, the prize for attending the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition (CIBC) was far reaching. "I did not receive a prize," she says now, "but for me the prize was to meet all the wonderful people at that competition, make forever lasting connections, network, and get to dance to my best ability on such a wonderful stage. Also to travel for the first time overseas at the age of seventeen."

That first overseas trip was to be a portent of things to come: she now lives permanently overseas – in Madrid, in Spain, as a dancer with the world renown Compañía Nacional de Danza (National Ballet Company of Spain).

Vottari's path to her present home began in Adelaide, where she trained from the age of six to 16 with Jacki Thompson at the Norwood Ballet Centre. From there she moved to Melbourne to take up full-time training at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Then came the CIBC, held that year (2011) in Manchester, England, where she reached the top 20 finalists and which helped her secure a place at the New Zealand School of Dance and a two-year Diploma in Dance Performance.

"I wasn’t spotted by a judge or offered a place in a school through the competition, but I must admit that when applying for full time schools after the VCASS  definitely helped me receive four offers in four different full time programs. Having done the competition, and it being on your CV, has a great impact on other opportunities that can come your way."

She adds: "The benefits of going to these international competitions are completely necessary for a dancer. They give you more of an idea of where you are at and how you are doing in terms of technique and performance experience, but not only that, you are also getting to know new people and receiving more access to possible future endeavours.

"I will be forever grateful having the opportunity to go over and compete on behalf of Australia."

The Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition is held every three years in various countries around the world. On July 21-27, 2024, the competition will be hosted by the Cecchetti Council of America in Holland, Michigan, USA.

Read more examples of dancers who have gone "from comps to jobs" in the next print issue of Dance Australia (July/Aug/Sep). OUT VERY SOON! Subscribe here.

Photo by Alba Muriel Meléndez
Photo by Alba Muriel Meléndez
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