As the first week of my life as a student of The Royal Ballet School Upper School comes to an end, I thought I’d tell you about a few of the highlights.
Moving into our student accommodation last weekend went smoothly and it was satisfying to wave my mum off from the front steps holding the keys to my first student digs. Due to a last-minute addition to our year group, I’m sharing a room with not one but two other girls – one from Japan and the other from Italy. I am making lots of new friends of various nationalities, mainly Italian, and we are all getting on very well.
Monday morning we made the 20 minute tube journey from Barons Court to Covent Garden arriving in good time for our first day. There were meetings and other settling in things to do, including a class with our new ballet teacher; Anita Young. I loved her approach and I’m really looking forward to the year ahead with her.
At lunch time we can use our Student ID cards to cross the ‘Bridge of Aspirations’ to lunch in the Royal Opera House staff canteen, where we are lucky to have access to nutritious meals at a good price. The best thing about visiting the ROH each day however, is passing the ballet studios where this week I have happened upon Marianela and Carlos rehearsing Don Q. Walking past or sitting near many other incredible dancers is pretty cool.
Being issued with our tracksuits and practice tutus was exciting. The tutu matches our ballet uniform colour and will be worn for all pointe and pas de deux classes.
In addition to an introduction to our academic courses, the week progressed with more classes and full measurements being recorded by the wardrobe mistress. This is in preparation for when she needs to quickly fit us for a special costume. It was a busy day for her that was not helped by the fire drill alarm going off while she was measuring us.
Thursday we had our first pas de deux class. It was so much fun and I can see that it will be one the classes I really look forward to during the week. Ms Young is a wonderful teacher and I have already learnt much from her about weight distribution and relaxation of the upper body. I hope to make good progress with her method of training.
An early finish, which won’t probably happen often, meant I had time to dash to the bank to sort out access to my new bursary account – I’m starting to feel quite independent and grown up!
Friday 13th passed with no nasty surprises for someone as superstitious as me. In fact, I received some very good news that I will save for another blog post. The school’s physiotherapist checked that we were in good health and top physical condition; vital before our intense training kicks off after the weekend. It is interesting that having a good level of vitamin D is classified as important – we all had to have a blood test!
I now have two days to make the most of a lie-in after having to get up at 6am for the past five mornings. It was good not having to put my hair up in a French roll too. Today I will be doing my first French A Level assignment, my laundry and preparing everything I need for next week. I couldn’t be happier right now, my dream is finally starting to feel like reality.