Students at Raglan’s very own syllabus dance and aerial arts studio Freedom2Fly have recently received results for their first dance exams. Sat just days before the last lockdown, all students have passed with flying colours! Results were returned whilst students were at home, where they received the exciting news.
Nine students sat a ballet exam in the renowned BBO (British Ballet Organisation) syllabus and eighteen sat an AJDA (American Jazz Dance Affiliation) jazz exam. These all came back with marks ranging from Commended to Honors for jazz and Distinction to Distinction with a Star for ballet. The Distinction* is the highest mark that can be awarded in the BBO syllabus. It is believed that these are the first internationally recognized dance exams to be held in Raglan, bringing the syllabus-based dance community into our own backyard.
The students had been working hard with teachers throughout the year to build up to these exams. They attended weekly classes to learn the repertoire and required steps, and to build the technique, strength and flexibility required of their levels. Some made the most of private lessons and intensive week workshops over holidays to help boost their confidence and practice in the lead up to the exams.
The dance school received the results late October and early November during the second Delta lockdown in the Waikato region. Students were, however, still able to receive their marks through email and by phone.
During this years’ Level 3 and 4 lockdowns F2F dance students have continued classes through Google Meet, an online platform that allows large group video calling. “It’s been an absolute joy to be able to dance through these tough times together with our amazing students and to have something exciting like our exams and end of year student showcase to prepare for. The support from parents helping their children to sign in – let alone remembering the day and time has been incredible. We feel extremely grateful for our small but mighty F2F community still able to come together in times like these,” said Jess.
Freedom2Fly returned to face to face classes, both outdoors during the Level 3 “step downs” and back in their studio at St Peters Hall in Level 2. “It’s clear that whilst online classes have definitely helped to bridge the gap during the lockdown, nothing compares to face to face classes with our students! We are absolutely ecstatic to be back and have been told by parents and students alike that they feel the same,” says Jess. Freedom2Fly is a syllabus based ballet and jazz, circus and aerial arts studio, focusing on bringing the benefits of these incredible styles to the Raglan community. The studio is run by Jess and Jair Ramirez who moved back to New Zealand after travelling the world performing internationally both in dance and aerial arts. Jess and Jair are next scheduled to perform in Hamilton for New Years Eve and in the Auckland Arts Festival in 2022.
If you want to learn more about Freedom2Fly and what they get up to, head to www.freedom2fly.co.nz or check out their socials @freedom2flynz.