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!

Tamika Farrugia
Graduate of Pevnev Ballet Academy, currently training in the Professional Graduate program at the Alberta Ballet School (Canada).

Where are you from?
I am originally from Perth, Western Australia.

Where did you undertake your full-time training?
I began my full-time training at Pevnev Ballet Academy under the direction of Sergey Pevnev. I trained in the program for approximately one and a half years.

What level of education (academic and dance) had you attained before beginning your full-time training?
When I started full-time training, I had successfully finished grade 9 academic at Sacred Heart College and had completed and received distinctions on all my RAD examinations up to and including Advanced 1. When I began full-time, I went into a distance education program to complete my grade 10 and half of my grade 11 academic studies. I also completed and received a distinction in my RAD Advanced 2 examination.

How did you find the transition from full-time studies to the profession?
The transition from my full-time training program to the Professional Graduate program I am currently in, I didn’t find too difficult but I did find it quite hard in the beginning as my workload had really increased particularly around performance season. I have also been involved in more performances than I was previously which means more rehearsal hours.

What were the most important benefits of your studies?
The most important benefit of my studies was really developing a strong base technique through my training because without it, executing all of the more technical steps in ballet becomes a lot more difficult, especially to do them correctly. I was also able to  learn more discipline skills and develop a very strong drive and determination to work hard, to the best of my abilities. 

In Canada I have been selected to perform on multiple occasions, including working with the Alberta Ballet Company in their production of The Sleeping Beauty which was one of the best learning experiences of my training so far.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?
One thing that I wish i knew when I was a younger student is the importance of applying myself in every ballet class and focusing  on developing perfect technique, instead of trying to achieve more difficult steps. I have learnt that it is easier to achieve more difficult steps as you grow older, once you have all of the correct technique rather than having to re-develop proper technique because you didn't develop it when you were younger.

Don't miss this year's Full-Time Studies Guide, the most comprehensive in Australia! The Full-Time Studies Guide is in the August/September edition of Dance Australia... out soon! Subscribe to Dance Australia here or Dance Australia at your favourite retail outlet, or online here

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