Rais­ing the barre


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News - Fran­cis Curro

BAL­LET dancer Ai­den Foster left school af­ter Year 8 to pur­sue a ca­reer in bal­let and it looks like it is pay­ing off.

The 17-year-old is a mem­ber of the Charlesworth Bal­let In­sti­tute in Bur­swood and just came back from com­pet­ing in the McDon­ald’s Bal­let Schol­ar­ships fi­nals at the Syd­ney Opera House on Au­gust 2, where he made the fi­nal.

Af­ter ini­tially head­ing over there in July to com­pete with 170 oth­ers in the 16-19 years solo event, he even­tu­ally made it to the fi­nal eight – three males and five fe­males – who per­formed at the Opera House.

He was the only WA per­son se­lected in the fi­nal eight and although he did not win, the per­for­mance put him in front of a plethora of na­tional judges and tal­ent scouts.

Ai­den said there were many big names in the Aus­tralian bal­let in­dus­try at the fi­nal who were im­pressed with his per­for­mances.

“I kind of didn't know what to ex­pect; it was a very hard comp and I was very sur­prised. It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“I got quite ner­vous in front of such a big au­di­ence; it was re­ally good.”

Ai­den started danc­ing when he was two years old, do­ing jazz and tap, but by the age of 14 he re­alised he had a tal­ent for bal­let and wanted to make a ca­reer out of it.

He went to John Curtin Col­lege of the Arts for a year but was then of­fered a schol­ar­ship to Charlesworth Bal­let In­sti­tute in 2012, with this year be­ing his fi­nal year.

“I have just al­ways en­joyed bal­let as it quite chal­leng­ing and tough on the body as I am al­ways in­jur­ing my­self,” he said, while wear­ing plas­tic boots to warm his feet so he did not get mus­cle dam­age.

“There is more op­por­tu­nity once you get older as you get into com­pa­nies.

“Most peo­ple don't take on peo­ple un­til they are at least 19 or 20.”

Ai­den said he was plan­ning to move to Europe next year as there were more op­por­tu­ni­ties and more com­pa­nies will­ing to pay for his per­for­mances.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son d441800

Ai­den Foster in ac­tion.

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