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National Boarding Week at The Australian Ballet School

by The Australian Ballet School |

Living away from home with like-minded young people makes the boarding experience at Marilyn Rowe House remarkable. "Living with people who share the same goals and passion as me creates a very supportive and encouraging environment. We talk about the same things, have the same routine, share the same interests and are always there to help each other with homework or go over choreography together. This makes the hard times away from family easier because of the enthusiasm and love we all share for our art," said Stephanie, Level 6 student. She moved from Sydney in 2020 to join The Australian Ballet School's full-time training program.

Established in 2016, Marilyn Rowe House, The Australian Ballet School's student residence and boarding program, has given aspiring dancers across Australia and overseas the opportunity to train full-time and pursue a career in classical dance, offering a caring and nurturing environment in this home away from home.

Constantly surrounded by friends makes it almost impossible to be sad, and the most boring errands become exciting adventures. Our common interests enable everyone to be very understanding and develop strong bonds. Each dancer works incredibly hard, and it's always exciting to celebrate each other's success, said Eliza, Level 6 student who moved from Queensland in 2020.

For Matthew, Level 6 student who moved from Canberra last year, it is inspiring living with like-minded people, you create a special bond with them. They constantly push you to be the best you can be and support and care for you. Staff at the boarding house understand the life of a dancer and know how to support you during hard times, including injury or self-doubt.

A day in the life of a boarding student like Matthew starts with waking up early to catch the tram into the city to be ready for classes. In Level 6, we do ballet classes every day and a range of other dance classes such as classical studies, pas de deux, character and contemporary. We also have conditioning classes 2-3 times a week, and the boys have gym classes twice a week. In addition, we have one or two academic classes mixed with our practical classes every day, including English, psychology, music, and drama. On Saturdays, we often have open classes to step away from our academic ballet classes and rehearsals for upcoming performances. After dance classes on a Saturday, weekends at the boarding house are filled with fun outings in the city and catching up with friends, with a bit of homework squeezed in too.

Along with celebrating our amazing boarders during National Boarding Week in May, this week provided the opportunity to highlight our outstanding boarding staff for their incredible work in supporting our boarders' dance education journey.

Supporting them through holistic wrap-around care, based on their dance needs, and witnessing their growth is a rewarding experience, Kathryn Glover, Head of Boarding.