Meet Kate Reilly: THE MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF CLASSICAL DANCE

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How would you describe Melbourne School of Classical Dance?

“MSCD is an academy for dedicated young dancers who wish to study Classical Ballet seriously. We encourage all our students to aim high and achieve their personal best. We’ve struck the right balance of technical and artistry expertise within our faculty. There are not many students who get to be coached by former Australian Ballet Principals and International performers week in, week out. Not as guest teachers but permanent staff.”

What can students expect from a course at MSCD?

“Personal attention in our courses is high. Students work daily on the fine details of Classical Ballet technique & associated subjects under the guidance of our experienced faculty, challenging themselves to reach new heights. The curriculum includes examinations in Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, National Character as well as the study of repertoire and the performance of full-length classical ballet.  Every student is given the opportunity to develop their potential. Sometimes this can mean a new student needs to re-examine their fundamental technique, which can take courage and perseverance but is such an essential step in the right direction for any young dancer. Selected students are chosen to represent our school at international competitions. Most importantly, we will assist young dancers to reach a point where they are ready to take the next step in their dance journey.”

What factors do you think students should consider when choosing a full time dance course?

“Choosing a dance course in Australia can be quite tricky because there is no legislation that requires dance teachers to be qualified to teach. So you need to thoroughly research your course, find out who will be teaching and read their biographies. Where did they study? Have they had stage careers? What teaching qualifications do they have? Also talk to the director and find out where recent graduates are dancing now, and what sort of assistance you can expect in the lead-up to graduation. Will you be out on your own or will you have support in securing your next placement? And finally, spend a day with the current students if possible.”

How should dancers prepare for a MSCD audition?

“You will dance best when you are relaxed. Try to arrive at least 30 minutes early to meet our current students, warm up and get focused. Presentation counts - make sure your hair is neat, your shoes & tights clean. Remember to bring your best ballet etiquette into class - listen carefully and try to apply corrections straight away with a positive attitude. There is an interview after class, where your plans and aspirations are discussed at length. You need to have done some research and be able to articulate the direction you want to take so that we can best serve you. There is an amazing world out there…”

Deborah Searle