Dancing up a storm
The Corowa local embarked on a critical eight-month journey to the Philippines on Saturday, September 29 where he’ll undertake training under the guidance of Ballet Manilla, as he looks to advance his dancing career.
Ballet Manilla is a classical ballet institute and dance company in the Philippines which highlights more than 50 highly trained dancers in the ballet dance style. The company has performed in 47 cities across the globe and has held more than 4,100 performances touring Asia, Europe and North America.
Noah, 15, began dancing when he was 11 years old and now has the chance to be trained by some of the world’s best.
“I was in the Philippines for a holiday and to keep up with my fitness was doing some dance training. They (Ballet Manilla) ended up asking me if I’d like to come back,” Noah told The Free Press.
Noah said that despite his list of accolades and awards as a young aspiring professional dancer, getting the opportunity to dance overseas is his “biggest achievement”.
Noah was offered a position at the Regional Academy of Performing Arts in October 2015 and also represented Australia at the Alana Haines competition in New Zealand last year – a position he was granted following his runner-up contemporary performance at the Australasian Ballet Challenge.
Noah dances at Projection Dance School in Wodonga, trained by Tim Podesta, and performs a range of styles including hip-hip, ballet, contemporary and jazz, but conceded that hip-hop and ballet are his two favourites as they’re “the most fun” to perform.
“I really enjoy being in front of an audience, I do get nervous sometimes but not until I’m just about to get on stage,” he said.
“It’s basically all solo dancing as well which I enjoy, we do perform a ballet routine at the end of the year – the only group thing we do – but other than that it’s all solo.”
Noah’s idol is Tetsuya Kumakawa, a 46-year-old Japanese ballet dancer who joined The Royal Ballet in the UK in 1989 and became their youngest soloist as a 17-year-old in their history.
Noah said the hardest part about dancing is “everything”, but knows persistence is the key.
“It’s all hard. The technique required and stamina you have to have … you really have to be fit, particularly when you think times when you’re working with a partner and having to hold them up and lifting other people. You have to be really fit,” he said.
Noah said training for him not only consists of trying to perfect technique and balance, but doing plenty of cardio, weights and strength training as well.
Noah is “excited” to head over the Philippines, “particularly the 40 degree humidity which should be fun”.
Dancing hasn’t come without its difficulties for Noah, who has had to overcome years of bullying because of his love for dance.
But his persistence and desire to be the best he can be has shone through and now sees him one step closer to fulfilling his goal of a life performing on stage.
Noah Esplana’s enthusiastic commitment to dancing, including over 30 hours of training each week, is taking him abroad.
LEFT: 15-year-old Noah has been dancing since he was 11 years old.
ABOVE: Noah pictured with Lisa Macuja, Director of Ballet Manilla.