Charlesworth Ballet College collaborates with Beijing dance students

(L-R) Here Dance Studio students Owen Wen Bo Han (10) and Helen Jin Xia Quan (11) with Charlesworth Ballet College students Scarlett Simmons (11) and Jasper Mentlein (9).
(L-R) Here Dance Studio students Owen Wen Bo Han (10) and Helen Jin Xia Quan (11) with Charlesworth Ballet College students Scarlett Simmons (11) and Jasper Mentlein (9).

A DAY workshop will be the first of many in an international collaboration between students from Charlesworth Ballet College in Burswood and a Beijing dance school.

From 8am to 3pm yesterday, Charlesworth students and Beijing Here Dance Studio students practiced together in classical, Spanish and character dance classes.

WA Academy of Performing Arts lecturer Min Zhu said the collaboration started when 19 students from Here Dance Studio came over for a WAAPA dance summer camp last year.

“Lynn Barwick, the Spanish teacher at Charlesworth, taught Spanish dance to the kids at WAAPA and then I invited her to teach in China,” she said.

“Lynn and Sonya visited China in July last year and this year we thought the Chinese students would come to visit Charlesworth.”

Charlesworth Ballet Institute director Sonya Shepherd said she chose classical to teach the Beijing students as it was the base of all dance.

“When I taught classical dance in Beijing with this group of students they didn’t focus on classical ballet but they’re very quick to pick it up,” she said.

Here Dance studio owner Ding Xiaoqi said the exchange would broaden the students’ horizons while they were still young.

“The students can benefit a lot from this project because they can learn different styles of dancing and different styles of teaching,” she said.

Students from the two dance schools will perform a joint dance performance at WAAPA on Wednesday.