Learning through the pandemic
Despite the pandemic, dance students around the country have continued to train hard, commit to their studies and achieve great things. We asked two students from Tanya Pearson Academy in Sydney to tell us in their own words how they tackled the challenges of the year of lockdown.
Meet Morganne Speirs
Morganne commenced dancing at the age of five at Northern Beaches Dance Academy with former Tanya Pearson student Debbie White and was accepted into the TPA fulltime program in 2019. She is now in the Pre-Professional level with the school's artistic director, Lucinda Dunn. She is just 17 years old.
Last year she auditioned for the Prix de Lausanne via DVD submission and was successfully accepted into the semi-finals, which has been a major goal of hers. While disappointed not to be able to travel to compete and perform in Switzerland, she was still very grateful to be able to present her classical and contemporary work to the panel of international judges. Morganne was successful in receiving a number of scholarships from the partnering schools and is thrilled to be accepting a two-year scholarship to the Hamburg Ballet School. In 2019 Morganne had the opportunity to experience a Neumeier workshop with company artist Konstantin Tselikov and she loved the repertoire and the expressive narrative behind Neumeier's works.
Apart from ballet, Morganne loves listening to The Beatles. On the weekends she also loves to time at the beach, being a resident of the Northern Beaches Sydney.
Meet Sienna Bingham
15-year-old Sienna Bingham first commenced ballet at the age of two at Dorothy Cowie School of dancing. In 2017 she began studying as a part time student at the Tanya Pearson Academy and knew already then that she wanted to pursue ballet as a career. She progressed into the Transition program and then convinced her mum to let her commence full-time training in 2018 when she was only thirteen.
Sienna is now in the Pre Professional year of the TPA full-time program and has discovered so much about herself as a person and dancer over these years. She has been fortunate to have performed a lot on stage, in various competitions and performances with the Sydney City Ballet. Some of her achievements include being awarded a scholarship to the IBStage gala in Barcelona, attending the Royal Ballet School summer intensives in London and Hong Kong and being selected as a Finalist in the 2020 RAD Isobel Anderson Awards.
According to her teachers, Sienna possesses maturity way beyond her years and great musicality and sensitivity. Outside of ballet she is a big fan of horror movies and musical theatre. She loves to sing and play the guitar.