Guest LizzyA

Ballet Schools in Australia - Queensland

29 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I'm about 90% sure that I will need to spend some time in Australia next year - Bundaberg in Queensland to be precise. Not sure of the length of stay yet - shorter if I go alone, longer if I bring my two youngest children, but probably less than 6 months (unless husband gets a transfer to work there). My daughter is currently in level 3 of an 8 level Vaganova style school in the States and is 10 years old. I'm just wondering what this would be like from the dance perspective - a huge culture shock? - and if any of you here are familiar with the area we'd be going to?

Thanks for any input!

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A quick search of the yellow pages for Bundaberg shows only 1 ballet school. www.ignitedance.com. It is an RAD based school. Most ballet schools here in Australia, especially for 10 yr olds will only offer 2 lessons a week for an hour. Most Vaganova schools are in the bigger cities and there are not many of them.

 

On the other hand I believe the travel experience is good for children, it broadens their view of the world. At 10 if it is only going to be for 6 months it will not interrupt her education much and Australian schools are usually pretty good.

 

I suggest going to www.blochworld.com and look at the forum there. There is a page especially for Australians and ask for information there as more locals will be able to help.

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And make sure that you foster an affection for toads! Lots of toads! BIG toads! :P

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"Lots of toads! BIG toads! "

 

Now, Mel, most Australians aren't that bad, even after a few beers....

 

One of my ballet teachers was brought up in Bundaberg, and went to school there (and went on to join the Australian Ballet) so I will ask him. It was probably the same school that you found.

 

Jim.

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No Worries! I love the Aussies! And I know they overachieve (in a good sense) in just about every field.

 

 

Maybe a RAD perspective would be good anyway. And I guess we could get private lessons also?

 

 

Thanks for all your help!

 

Lizzy

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Both Jim and I know that I'm referring to Cane Toads, which were released before WWII in Australia with the idea that they would eat Cane Beetles, which were compromising the sugar cane industry in Queensland. They were warned by a leading herpetologist named, gotta love this name, W.W. Froggat, that there were no natural predators for the beast in Australia, and that the population could go out of control, like the rabbits and foxes. However, unlike the other two, cane toads are toxic to the local snakes and competing mammals, so off they went! Dr. Froggat was right. The toads ate the Cane Beetles. They also ate other local amphibians, fish, keelsnakes, and small dogs! These are BIG toads! The Brown and Tiger snakes would try to eat them and die in the attempt, so after awhile, they were off the menu. To humans, Cane Toads are fairly inoffensive, except that there are a lot of them, and they WILL eat your picnic. They will also try to mate with everything about their size, so watch your feet and be careful where you go barefoot. They can be handled, however, if you do it gently, and don't press the toxins out of their cheek glands. They do make great audiences, too, so if you want to vent, find one and just sit there and unburden yourself. The toad will just sit there and enjoy the attention. I saw a film once where a little girl found a Cane Toad in her back garden, and proceeded to dress the silly thing up in doll clothes. He looked fairly nonplussed, but stoic, sitting there in his highchair, dressed in a baby bonnet and dress.

 

And yes, RAD teachers very often offer private lessons, however, not to Cane Toads.

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While I can't offer specific advice about ballet schools in Bundaberg, if you are from a colder area I would suggest that you check about whether the studios have air conditioning. Summer along the Queensland coast can be VERY HUMID, and if you're not used to it you may find the heat and humidity very hard to deal with. Dancers have to drink a lot because the sweat just pours off you, but because of the high air humidity all the sweating does little to cool you.

 

On the plus side, the 'winter' weather is fantastic! Lovely balmy weather. Beautiful beaches, plus if you are there at the right time of the year you can see the turtles hatching.

 

wembley (lived in Toowoomba, Queensland for 4 years; parents-in-law live in Bundaberg)

 

p.s. when I worked at a university we used to use cane toads for student physiology experiments a lot- being amphibians the muscle tissue lasts for hours, plus they are easy to dissect and very very cheap! As in the lab staff would go for a drive towards the coast and pick up a bin full of them (cane toads don't live in Toowoomba).

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I don't think there will be much of cultural difference. I have a friend who is ten and is in level 5 ballet (Royal Academy of Dance). Bundergurg is a great place. The yellow pages will have a list of dance schoos you an atend. Have a Great Trip!!!

http://dancers.invisionzone.com/style_imag...icons/icon4.gif

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the toads aren't that bad.... trust me, I should know.

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Major Mel wrote,

"foster an affection for toads"

 

I'd just as soon foster an affection for Foster's, thank you very much. Makes the toads all that much more tolerable.

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I realize that this is off topic but are the cane toads the same as the bufo in Hawaii? They are also toxic to animals but otherwise harmless and don't seem to be as big as the Australian version. Cars seem to be their biggest predator. :)

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They're the same beastie - Bufo marinus. Bufo is the genus name for all true toads. They were introduced into Hawaii for the same reason they were brought to Australia, to eat pests that damaged the sugar cane. For some reason, they don't get as big in Hawaii as they do in Australia. Probably something to do with the size of the habitat and the amount of food produced thereby, but the Cane/Marine Toad isn't really fussy when it comes to forage.

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Wow Major Mel, you really DO know everything! :)

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I have a friend who's a wildlife educator in Hawaii. Last time I saw him we had a bit of a long conversation about introduced species gone feral.

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Yes, cane toads were introduced by a single farmer as a sole decision who thought without any evidence that they might control a certain pest - he let them out at several widely separated spots, to make sure that they spread - which they did with a vengenace.

 

You girls in Queensland, remember that they are not frogs! They will not turn into Prince Charming if you kiss them! You are more likely to get a mouthful of poison.

 

(Though on second thoughts, knowing the history of some royal families, that might be preferable).

 

Jim.

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