"I danced as a child extra in this year's Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) season of 'The Sleeping Beauty' on November 20th and 21st in their Christchurch performances at the Isaac Theatre Royal.
I am a year nine student and have been dancing for nine years with Jenna McKenzie School of Dance in Rangiora.
Dancing with the RNZB was a dream come true and was such an amazing experience. The audition was pretty nerve-racking because there were so many other boys were auditioning. Once they decided who had roles, we started learning the dance straight after the audition and also had a practice the next day. Learning the dance was two of the two RNZB Ballet Masters was really different since they are professional dancers and had so much experience to share. We had practices over several weeks and then, on the week leading up to the performances, we had multiple practices every day (apart from Monday) with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), all the Ballet Masters, and then the whole RNZB company.
Probably my favourite part of all those practices was listening to and dancing with the CSO. The orchestra had such a marvellous depth of sound, even though they were a downsized group so that they could fit in the orchestra pit under the stage.
The performances were so much fun since there were hundreds of people in the audience and we were finally in costume. I danced in the Garland Waltz (Valse) by Tchaikovsky at the start of Act II, Aurora’s birthday. We were Children of the Court and held rose garlands as we danced. When the curtain came up and I saw all these faces in the audience looking up at us, I felt so happy to be there dancing on the stage with professional ballet dancers, a live orchestra, and the friends I had made along the way."
Seth Smedick, Y9