2015 – 2019:
Paula Scheder Bieschin
Paige De Araujo
2011 – 2015:
Liza Van Heerden
2006 – 2010:
Stephanie Van der Watt
Annabelle van der Watt
CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY gave me the platform to experience what it is and how it feels to be apart of a professional touring company. It is a diverse company in the sense that every member of the company has a different background and a different story to tell, but at the same time we are all there for the same reason and we share the same talent and passion.
If I look back, now that I’m at the verge of officially kick-starting my dance career, CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY has prepared me for what a real ballet dancer life entails. When I was with the company, we toured nationally and internationally, which is great for aspiring young dancers. We get the chance to compare our skills with those of international dancers, we learn from them and we try to better ourselves. That type of exposure also broadens our mind, we were exposed to other genres of dancing and personally, I think because of that, I have grown to be a dancer that is not scared to explore other styles. In fact, it is important nowadays to be a versatile dancer than just one sided. CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY offered not only classical ballet, but we did contemporary works, african contemporary, pantsula, modern and neo-classical, so that is a wide variety and that background, comes in hand for me now.
The amount of performance opportunities and stage exposure we had was incredible. CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY kept us busy and away from mischief. I grew up in an area that has once had the highest murder rates in the country; gangsterism, drugs, teenage pregnancy and all these socio-economic challenges, I faced almost everyday, so the sort of platform that CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY offered to me (safe and friendly environment), kept me away from all of these things, gave me a different mentality and look to life, and honestly it gave me a joyful childhood, something that no one can take away from me.
The dedication from the staff members had a huge impact on us dancers, we were focused and driven young artists just like they were, and they had our best interests at heart. That pure dedication, focus and drive is actually what kept me throughout the years at English National Ballet School. During my time with CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY, I remember Dianne Cheesman saying to me “You can’t just depend on pure talent…”. At the time that made no sense to me whatsoever, but for some reason it stayed with me and it makes sense now. You can’t just depend on pure talent, you need to work hard, and don’t slack one bit, so that you can be the best that you can be- I think CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY really passes that message well.
I’m now in my final year at English National Ballet School and will join a professional company soon and I will definitely take on board what I have learnt from CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY. I think I’m ready.
Millz x – 2013