The Ballet Academy was created to increase the scope of the work being done by The South African Ballet Theatre, and the Academy exists specifically to give the young dancers the opportunity to work as a fledgling corps de ballet. Dancers who join the Academy are supplementing the teaching they receive from their private teachers, and are being introduced to the ethos of SABT. Academy members work with a wide range of expert teachers drawn from the profession.
Teachers of the calibre of Lynne Fouch, Denise Schultze and Louis Godfrey are passing on decades of experience to young dancers in the 13 to 17 age group. Moreover, Principal dancers and the senior management of SABT have invested exceptional amounts of time and energy in the development of the Academy's pupils.
SABT Academy dancers in class at the SABT's Braamfontein studios under the guidance of Artistic Director Ms Karen Beukes. There are can be very few, if any, instances in world ballet where the Principal dancers of a company are dedicating so much of their own private time to giving promising youngsters the benefit of their hard won skill and experience. The work done by SABT dancers is a profound testimony to the holistic approach to South African ballet that is practiced by SABT.
The Ballet Academy is also expanding its horizons. In 2006 the Academy took part in exchange programmes with similar initiatives in Sweden.
It is the Academy's goal to provide the backbone of the next generation of SABT dancers, and we thank SABT for their commitment to our work and for making their resources so freely available to the Ballet Academy. We are grateful for their support on so many levels. The following teachers have students in the Academy and are giving us their support: C. Greef, K. Hugo, J. Melville, D. de Wit, G. Myburgh, M. Gonsalves, H. Littleford, J. Wells, A. Wahl, W. van Niekerk, V. Eborali, P. Olivier, S. Le Cordeur, K. Symons, J. Dieckman and J. Pretorius.