My trip to New Zealand - Alana Haines Awards
Hi, my name is Riley Lapham and I love to dance! I'm 13 years old, in year 7 and I model for Energetiks. I have been doing ballet for 7 years at Beverley Rowles School of Dance and my teacher is Marshall Rowles. We recently had the opportunity to fly to New Zealand, along with my good friend Cassandra Webber, on Wednesday 27th March 2013 to compete in the Alana Haines Awards which was held over 4 days. Marshall and I had so much fun in class each week preparing my variation and working hard in the lead up to this very exciting event. The Awards are held every second year in memory of Alana Haines, a promising 11 year old ballerina, who was killed in a car accident on Christmas Eve in 1989. Her mother and father decided to hold these awards as a launch pad for talented dancers in New Zealand, Australia and Asia. There were 128 amazing dancers in my division and over 300 dancers in total competed for prizes over the 4 days of the competition.
On Thursday night, I did an adjudicated class in front of a panel of international judges. In this class, we were taught an exercise, got to mark it through once with the music and then had to perform it. It had been a long day so it was back to our hotel to get some rest in preparation for the next day of the competition. The preliminaries were on Friday night. This is when all the competitors performed their set variation in front of an audience of 1500 people and the panel of judges, who then selected 22 semi-finalists and 22 quarter-finalists. The semi-finalists get awarded a scholarship and get to dance again on Sunday. I was very excited to be selected as a semi-finalist. Over all I had an amazing time, learned a lot and had heaps of fun. It was great to catch up with distant friends and make some new ones too! It's been an unforgettable experience that has helped me to grow as a dancer as well as traveling overseas and getting to see all the other incredible talents.
Love from Riley x