Damascus student takes flight in The Nutcracker
Thomas Stevens, a Year 7 student at Damascus College has a passion for dance, in particular classical ballet.
He was recently invited to be a part of the children’s cast of the Nutcracker, which opened this week on Tuesday 17th September and will run until Saturday 28th September, at the State Theatre located within the Arts Centre Melbourne.
Usually children are chosen for these types of performances from the Australian Ballet School, however Thomas was chosen as members of the Australian Ballet School saw his performance at the Royal Academy of Dance showcase and the Ballet Teachers Workshop, and they then emailed his mum to extend the invitation.
Thomas developed a love of ballet from a very early age. When he was aged 6 he saw his twin sister Isabelle perform at a ballet concert and he absolutely loved it and asked his parents if he could also learn to dance.
Tom said that his first year of dance was jazz at the tender age of 7, which is when he also embarked on ballet class at his dance school, The Academy of Classical Ballet at age 8. He sincerely thanks his teacher, Miss Kellie Fishwick-Roscoe for her support and guidance.
“I am currently the only boy in my ballet class. It would be great to see more boys join ballet as it has so many benefits and can take you around the world,” he said.
“I enjoy everything that ballet has to offer. The discipline, encouragement and teamwork. It also builds confidence through performing. I particularly enjoy the theatrics of ballet and expressing emotion by telling a story through dance. It is also great for fitness and flexibility.”
“I am extremely excited about being a part of the Nutcracker, as I will get the chance to be on stage with my idols – the Principle Artists, senior artists and members of The Australian Ballet Company,” he said.
“It is such a wonderful opportunity and one that I am truly grateful to be a part of. I also get to perform with one of Australia’s greatest dancers Ms Audrey Nicholls OAM FRAD. It’s also a professional role so it means I get paid.”
Thomas practices ballet every day after school and every Saturday, he is also in the Academy’s ITP (intensive training program) which is designed for students wanting a career in dance. As well as ballet he also takes classes in jazz, contemporary, acro, Pilates and PTB (progressing ballet technique), and he is now preparing for Ballarat’s Royal South Street dance eisteddfod which starts this Friday 20th September.
Dancing has given Thomas many opportunities, where he participated in the Alana Haines competition in New Zealand and he hopes to perform in Sydney next year at the Sydney Eisteddfod and would love to perform at the Youth America Grand Prix in New York.
“My favourite class at school is Drama, and I also enjoy Food Technology. After secondary college I would like to join a professional ballet company, and I dream of one day being a principal artist at a Ballet Company, preferably The Royal Ballet in England.”