Meet The Australian Ballet School's Level 8 Class of 2020!
ANNABELLE WATT, SCHOOL CAPTAIN
Annabelle Watt joined The Australian Ballet School in 2017 at Level 5. She was born in Brisbane and commenced dancing at the age of three. Aside from ballet, Annabelle enjoys travelling, retail therapy and playing outdoor sports with her brothers.
IZAAK WESTHEAD, SCHOOL CAPTAIN
Izaak Westhead also began his training at The Australian Ballet School at Level 5 in 2017. Originally from the UK, Izaak and his family emigrated from the UK to Adelaide in 2006. He particularly enjoys pirouette enchainments and performing with live music in class. Outside of ballet, Izaak enjoys mixing music.
EMILY MCCRACKEN, SCHOOL VICE-CAPTAIN
Emily began training at The Australian Ballet School at Level 1 in 2012 and has lived in Melbourne her whole life. Her favourite part of classical class is the allegro section and she enjoys doing fouettés. Emily’s dream roles are Kitri, Manon and Juliet. In her spare time, Emily likes to go hiking or play piano.
GEORGE THOMSON, SCHOOL VICE-CAPTAIN
George joined The Australian Ballet School as an ITP student in 2013. At the age of 12, he moved from New Zealand to Melbourne to begin training at the School full-time. He loves the School’s performance and training opportunities, including the invitation to train with Canada’s National Ballet School as an exchange student in January. George is very grateful for his Australian Ballet mentor, Nathan Brook, and is genuinely inspired by his story. George is really excited about his future ballet career. Fun fact: George competed in the New Zealand National Gymnastics Championships and played in the finals for both metro and district Hockey.
Luca joined the Australian Ballet School at Level 1 in 2011. He has enjoyed learning the importance of technique and artistic expression throughout his years of training. He particularly likes pas de deux because of the shared emotions you convey together through movement. In Luca’s spare time he likes to bake cakes and make visual art.
Pamela Barnes was born in Sydney, Australia and moved to Melbourne in 2016 to commence her full-time training at The Australian Ballet School. She is especially grateful to for the opportunity to travel on exchange to Canada’s National Ballet School earlier this year. Pamela loves performing and can’t wait to get back on stage.
Sophie started studying at The Australian Ballet School at Level 4 in 2016, at the age of 12. This year a highlight for Sophie was representing the School in the 48th edition of the Prix de Lausanne, in Montreux, where she became a finalist. She has enjoyed working with Stephen Baynes and David McAllister for upcoming performances as well as the Level 8 teachers. In her spare time, Sophie enjoys hanging out with friends at the beach and listening to music.
Stephanie was born in Sydney and began her ballet training at the age of 10. She joined The Australian Ballet School at Level 6 in 2018. She enjoys the opportunities the School provides to work with choreographers on new works. In her spare time, Stephanie loves to spend time at the beach and surround herself with her friends.
Jemma is 18 and grew up in Melbourne. She is in her 9th year at The Australian Ballet School, having joined the School at Level 1 in 2012. She thoroughly enjoys exploring and working on the new choreography created for this year. Jemma’s other passions include photography, adventures outdoors, the beach and a love for animals.
Growing up in Melbourne, Emma was born into a musical family, starting ballet, tap and jazz classes at the age of nine. Since joining The Australian Ballet School at Level 6 in 2018, she has loved travelling with the School for the annual Showcase! A special memory for Emma is when she performed at the Sydney Opera House as a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod. Outside of ballet, Emma has a deep love for music, playing piano, guitar and the Indonesian handpan. She also loves to explore her spiritual side through her writing and oracle cards.
Hugo is from Sydney and joined The Australian Ballet School at Level 6 in 2018. Prior to this, he participated in the ITP program and attended The McDonald College. Hugo enjoys the artistic process of working with his teachers and choreographers when learning new repertoire. Special highlights include winning The Australian Ballet School’s Excellence Award for highest achiever in Levels 6 & 7, the Graeme Murphy Award for Excellence in Level 7 Contemporary Dance, and the Areti Boyaci Award for excellence in Level 7 Spanish Dance. Outside the studio, Hugo relaxes by playing guitar and keyboard, DJ remixing, bike riding and watching movies.
Rab joined The Australian Ballet School at Level 3 in 2015. He loves the large variety of knowledge and skills he can apply to his own understanding and execution of expressive movement. The artistic, conditioning and choreographic staff as well as School guests have provided insightful knowledge to him. Outside of ballet, he enjoys spending time with his close friends, family and/or eating monumental amounts of amazing food. Rab was the recipient of the Australian Ballet School’s Award for Excellence in Levels 3, 4 and 5. He was also selected to be the class leader of Level 4 in 2016.
Bonnie began her training at The Australian Ballet School at Level 3 in 2014 and has been studying at the School since. She really enjoys the process of working with multiple choreographers and being able to help bring their visions and ideas to life alongside her peers. Outside of ballet, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family by getting outdoors into nature and the ocean as well finding enjoyment out of photography.
Lilla has been dancing ballet since she was 10 years old, and moved from Perth to join The Australian Ballet School at Level 4 in 2016. Lilla loves the contemporary aspects of training including the opportunity to choreograph her own pieces, and finds the process of working with various choreographers particularly rewarding. A highlight of Lilla’s time at the School includes dancing the Golden Vine Fairy in the 2019 performance of ‘Aurora’s Wedding’ from The Sleeping Beauty. In her spare time, Lilla enjoys seeing live music, reading and going on camping trips.
Saya is from Osaka, Japan and commenced training at The Australian Ballet School at Level 5 in 2017. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with various choreographers over the last couple of years. In her spare time, she likes to explore Melbourne to find decent sushi.
Matthew Maxwell was born in Perth and started ballet at the age of 4. In 2011, he was accepted into Level 1 of The Australian Ballet School’s ITP Programme and joined the Full-Time Training Programme in 2019 at Level 7. In 2017, Matthew won a silver medal at the Genée International Ballet Competition and in 2018, he represented Australia at the Prix de Lausanne. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys listening to music and learning about new technology.
Sophie started at The Australian Ballet School at Level 5 in 2017. Sophie is extremely appreciative of the School’s health team and their rehabilitation facilities. In her spare time, Sophie likes to bake new recipes and binge Netflix every Sunday.
Hannah grew up in Sydney and began her training with The Australian Ballet School at Level 4 in 2016. She loves how ballet involves connecting with music to form individual artistic expression, and is grateful that The Australian Ballet School has given her the opportunity to work with many inspiring choreographers. In her spare time, she loves to read, spend time in nature and play fetch with her cat Kenobi. Hannah was grateful to be cast as the role of Child Clara in Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker - The Story of Clara with The Australian Ballet in 2017.
Luke was born in Sydney in 2001 and started his dance training at the age of four. He joined The Australian Ballet School at Level 5 in 2017. Luke enjoys all the performance experiences and choreographic opportunities the School has to offer. In his spare time, Luke enjoys trips to the cinema, drinking coffee, and listening to and playing piano music.
Ella started at The Australian Ballet School at Level 3 in 2015. She really enjoys the variety of teaching and choreography styles offered at the School. In her spare time, Ella loves watching foreign films and attending live music events. A dance journey highlight for Ella was the privilege of performing at The Sydney Opera House in 2016 for the School's Sydney Showcase.
Maidie commenced at The Australian Ballet School at Level 5 in 2017 and is now in her 4th year of training. She thoroughly enjoys pushing and challenging herself every single day while working with the incredible staff at the School and is excited for upcoming performances and the opportunity to work with various choreographers. Maidie is passionate about coffee, enjoys teaching herself German and delights in going out for brunch.