In December 2021, we held our graduation ceremony at Arts Centre Melbourne, where 70 graduates had the opportunity to walk across the Playhouse stage to graduate from our Diploma of Dance (Level 6), Advanced Diploma of Dance (Level 7), Graduate Diploma of Classical Ballet (Level 8) and Graduate Diploma of Elite Dance Instruction. The joy and enthusiasm were evident in the eyes of our graduates, their families, friends, and our staff.
It's hard to beat that feeling of seeing the big smiles of our graduands – indeed a highlight. The ceremony was a special moment to celebrate all of their achievements, hard work, adaptability and obstacles that they overcame to complete their studies in the face of years of massive disruption.
Our School Captains Jessica Stratton-Smith and Oliver Evans shared their thoughts on their journey with an inspiring speech at the ceremony.
"2021 presented us with many obstacles we may not have ever imagined in our wildest dreams three years ago. I speak on behalf of the students when I say that our resilience, dedication, and strength to tough the 262 days of lockdown over the past 2 years has been fuelled by our teachers' tireless work and energy. I thank you, for the support, effort, experience and knowledge you have and will continue to pass onto the students of The Australian Ballet School", Oliver Evans, 2021 School Captain.
It was an especially memorable time for our Level 8 graduates who celebrated the completion of their Graduate Diploma of Classical Ballet.This remarkable achievement signifies the end of one chapter and the beginning of an exciting and rewarding voyage in life and dance.
"This year has been one of substantial growth. We have been determined, and we have persevered. We have learnt it is not a matter of what you are given but rather what you give. And I can undoubtedly say we have given it our all. Despite all of the odds, there was a lot; we managed to graduate and actually made it to the finish line. It's a huge achievement that should not be overlooked. It feels surreal to be standing before you, bidding farewell to our home. Where we have lived, learned, grown together for over a quarter of our lives. We are so grateful to have closed the year, dancing on the same stage I stand on today", School Captain Jessica Stratton-Smith.
Congratulations to our 2021 graduates who join a long list of outstanding alumni working in professional dance settings across Australia and the world. Here is to the artistic leaders of the future!