Seven Ways to Prep Like a Pro

Work, work, work, work, work, work…but what else? Beyond class and rehearsal upon rehearsal, seven alumni spill on their competition prep plan.

Rehearse until you relax

‘I consider the many years of RAD training [to be] preparation for the Genée, even if this wasn’t a consideration when I initially started the RAD syllabus. I rehearsed my classical variation to the point at which I was able to be relaxed and enjoy performing it. It’s essential to practice without a mirror as this can be a big shock when suddenly on stage!’– Elizabeth Harrod, Soloist with The Royal Ballet (Finalist, 2003)

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

‘Like every dancer going to the Genée, I rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed.’ – Lana Jones, Principal Dancer with The Australian Ballet (Silver, 1999)

Inside out

‘With my classmates from ballet school, we learnt the solos required and spent time knowing the choreography inside out. That way by the time the competition came, the coaches and mentors were able to work on the material and get out of me my best dancing.’ – Sean Bates (Silver, 2010), Junior Soloist with Northern Ballet

Class work

‘I was lucky to have wonderful teachers at English National Ballet School who helped and coached my variations and continued to refine my technique in class, which is also an extremely important element of this competition. I think it is very important that our class work is also taken into consideration, as competitors are judged not only based on variations but also on their class work, thus taking a much more holistic approach to judging and also nourishing the dancer.’ – Isabelle Brouwers, First Artist with English National Ballet (Silver, 2013)

Mentally prepare

‘Once my solos had been chosen for the competition, I had many rehearsals for each variation to prepare us for the week of the Genée. Also, I mentally prepared for the competition – the thought of meeting new dancers what they would be like and preparing for new teachers.’ – Tierney Heap, Soloist with The Royal Ballet (Bronze, 2010)

Be inspired by your teacher

‘I think the process of rehearsing variations with my then director, the wonderful and late Gailene Stock AM, was so important in preparing me for a life in a ballet company. She was an inspirational and wise woman who passed on many pearls of knowledge as I rehearsed in the months leading up to the competition.’ – Amber Scott, Principal Dancer with The Australian Ballet (Bronze, 1999)


‘A lot of training!’ – Alex Wong, Dancer, singer and actor (Bronze and Audience Choice Award, 2003)