Queensland Ballet Academy continues to raise the barre —

With our Training Programs now under the umbrella of the Queensland Ballet Academy, and in more demand than ever before, we spoke to Academy Director, Christian Tátchev about the approach the faculty is taking to developing the artists of the future.

What is the vision driving the Queensland Ballet Academy?

We are passionate about providing the best international dance training practices for young Australian dancers. Students should not necessarily have to leave their homes and travel abroad in order to pursue elite training. Something that distinguishes the Academy on a national level is that we strongly support dance training aligned with academic studies. Although we are QB’s Academy, our vision is to create dancers ready for the industry in any country, on any continent.

What makes each training program unique?

Our Associate Program serves as a supplementary tool for assisting the development of dance students from local training institutions. Students also get special access to Company rehearsals and performances.

Our Senior Program (SP) is an intensive ballet course aligned with Year 10 to 12 academic studies in partnership with Kelvin Grove State College through Education Queensland. Together, we provide quality education in both the studio and the classroom.

The Pre-Professional Program (PPP) replicates industry practices. It has a strong work-based learning component, with the dancers performing alongside QB’s ensemble in at least two productions during this final year of full-time training.

What type of environment do you create for Academy students?

The Academy caries the values of Queensland Ballet. Our internationally-recognised faculty provides a nurturing and positive environment for our students, one under which they can grow and develop as artist, and as people. This is not to say that we are not strict. Discipline and commitment are of course key, and these are insisted on. However, as our dancers are selected though an audition process, they already carry these attributes. We are able to focus on training, rather than on instilling discipline.

Aside from talent, what gives a student the best foundation for success?

Hard work and perseverance. As in any other industry, preparation equals success. Talent alone will only take you some of the way.  

What are some of the Academy’s achievements that have made you the most proud?

The Academy is still quite young, but we are already seeing our graduates joining QB and other companies and dance institutions around the world. When our dancers are finding employment in the industry, we know we are succeeding. We have also been able to stage some very challenging performances featuring our SP and PPP dancers and this is a great achievement for the students and the team. To be honest, I don’t have a “most proud” moment, I take pride in everything we do, and I acknowledge that there is always room for improvement.  

How important is philanthropic support to the continued growth of the Academy?

Philanthropic support is vital to the opportunities that the Academy can provide for the future generations of dancers. The better funded we are, the better our practices will become, and this will mean that our students will be even more prepared for their careers. I believe that we are preparing young people for the world. And our donors and sponsors are helping us do exactly that.