The journey to a professional dancer is not an easy one. Many drop out along the way and injuries and emotional stress take their toll. Trainee Company Dancer Alexander Borg shares his journey with Sydney Dance Company and his own realisation of discovering his career path. Alex began his dance adventure while still at school, attending a Sydney Dance Company school matinee:
“I remember sitting in the audience of a Sydney Dance Company school matinee back in 2015 and thinking to myself, “One day, I want to be one of those dancers on stage, looking out to an audience full of aspiring, young dancers.”
My journey with Sydney Dance Company began when my dance teacher at the time Holly Doyle, debuted with the Company in 2013. When I witnessed her first season with Sydney Dance Company, I sat in complete awe and realised within myself, this is definitely the path I want to take with my dancing. Holly became a source of inspiration and a significant role model for me throughout my dance training.
Before graduating Year 12 at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in 2016, I participated in Sydney Dance Company’s Contemporary Youth Courses to further explore and expand my knowledge in contemporary dance. These classes allowed me to continually explore contemporary dance and further build on skills such as improvisation through the guidance of Dean Walsh. Following my graduation, I was successfully accepted into Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year for 2017, receiving a Diploma in Dance Elite.
Performing in Rafael Bonachela’s Scattered Rhymes as part of PPY18 Revealed. Photo by Gez Mansfield.
The Pre-Professional Year course explored the aspect of transforming the dancer into an artist. Throughout the year, I was offered the opportunity to work with over 40 different Australian and international choreographers, who provided new, valuable knowledge and skills.
Towards the end of my Pre-Professional Year, I decided I wanted to develop my training further, so I applied to undertake a second year of study in 2018, working towards an Advanced Diploma in Dance Elite. Throughout these two years, I was able to witness and learn how a professional contemporary dance company functioned. It was truly incredible. Witnessing how Rafael and the dancers worked in the studio, being able to watch several in-studio showings, and allowing us to be in that space was quite unique.
At the end of my second year with the Pre-Professional Year, Rafael offered me the Trainee contract with the Company. It was a dream come true.
So far in 2019, I’ve not only been introduced to working as a professional company dancer but have experienced teaching young students in primary and secondary schools across Australia. It’s been such a rewarding experience to visit regional towns to introduce and share contemporary dance to young, aspiring students.
I am looking forward to our current National Tour across Australia and visiting different states and cities I’ve never visited before and doing what I love – performing.
One thing I still can’t fathom is how now I’ll be that dancer on stage in the school matinee, looking out to an audience full of passionate, young, aspiring dancers just like me, almost five years ago.”
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