Lessons learned

During their time at NBS, the students learn many lessons in the classroom and studio. However, other important lessons are learned outside of these traditional settings. NBS alumni were asked to reflect on some of the important lessons they learned at the School, wherever these occurred. Their thoughts and recollections are recorded below.

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NBS students at the annual school picnic in 1993/94.

For me, my favourite memory at NBS was choreographing a piece entitled the ‘Untitled Mind’ with Valentin Chou and Alice Godfrey, that was performed at an Open Stage performance. Through choreographing that piece, I learned not only about how to go about expressing my ideas and experiences through dance, but about how to build my idea of artistry with others simultaneously; choreographing this piece was the first time I felt I was able to show who I really was and was the first time I was ever proud of something I’ve done.
— James Nix
I will never forget my final performance in a work by Daniel Sellier as a graduating student at NBS. He entrusted me with a solo role - a wonderful terrifying challenge for me at the time. His note to me on opening night read, ’J’ai confiance en toi’. As a young dancer with some insecurity, these were the words I needed to hear. His support gave me courage. Eventually I found my way to contemporary dance where I’ve performed work by many great choreographers, founded my own company [MOonhORsE Dance Theatre], curated a series for older dance artists and continue to perform. I am deeply grateful for a lifelong passion for dance that began with my first ballet class and was fostered during five memorable years at NBS.
— Claudia Moore

NBS students on the front steps of 111 Maitland Street in 1987/88.

I had a moment while preparing for my final exams. I was watching the grade 6 girls learn a section of mime from La Fille Mal Gardée. They were trying so hard and they obviously loved what they were doing. It was very sweet. In the middle of the stress and academic side of it all, I was reminded why I love ballet and wanted to study it in the first place.
— Eilleen Buchholz
Specifically, discussing individual problems I had with Betty Oliphant in her office & appreciating the time, attention & wise advice she provided me with at a young age, the gift of having a mentor of her ability, intelligence & breadth of knowledge & insight . . .
— Garry Semeniuk