Isabella Swietlicki

Isabella Swietlicki

Genée Alumni

Isabella Swietlicki


I started my dance training at the age of 7, near my home in the West Highlands of Scotland. It soon became the main focus of my life; I realised I loved dance and that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Over the years I passed all of my RAD exams with distinction. With my school I gained a lot of performing experience as I took part in touring ballet productions every year as from the age of 8, touring all over Scotland. I took part in two performing tours of China, in the role of Clara in the Nutcracker, and various roles in Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet. When I was 15 I took part in the Genée in Wellington New Zealand, in that same year I won the Molly Lake Award in Leeds. At 16 I successfully auditioned for the English National Ballet School, where I am now a third year student.

At the end of my first year, I was selected by my school to take part in the 2014 Genée Competition in Antwerp. It was a wonderful experience and I was awarded a bronze medal. During my second year, my piece reached the finals in my school’s choreography competition which was live streamed. I was selected for the solo role in a 20 minute ballet which was performed at the schools end of year show July 2015. I was honoured to be chosen to represent my school, and perform at the Gala Internazionale Di Danza, in the magnificent Teatro La Fenice in Venice this Summer. This was a performance showcasing works from prestigious dance school from around the world. I danced the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux by Balanchine, with my partner Archie Sullivan.

This August (2015) I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Prague International Ballet Classes. At the end of both weeks I was given a prize for female variations; in the first week I was chosen by Evgenia Obraztsova, and in the second week by Roberta Marquez. As I go into my third and final year of training I look forward to what the future might bring.

Genée experience

Taking part in the Genée was a wonderful learning experience. I loved the whole build up to the competition, and working with the coaches and choreographers. It was exciting to perform on a big theatre stage!

What did you learn from the Genée?

The Genée was hard work as well as great fun – I learned to cope with pressure and to stay calm.

What is your fondest memory from the competition?

I was overjoyed when I was presented with medal, and then being presented to the Queen of Belgium!

Do you have any advice for future candidates?

Be prepared to work hard, be open-minded and ready to learn. Above all, believe in yourself!

Would you recommend the competition to others?

Yes, you will have an extraordinary experience! You will learn so much and make new friends from around the world.

How did the Genée benefit you personally or professionally?

There were many benefits but I would say the most important one for me was gaining confidence – it takes courage and self-belief to go out on that stage – which you have to do several times in the different categories of the competition.