Anything is possible

As The Fonteyn 2021 final comes closer, we caught up with some of the finalists to see what they feel they have already gained from taking part in the competition, from a renewed sense of confidence and self-belief to falling in love with dance all over again.

Alice McArthur, New Zealand

“Working on and perfecting both my solos to try to get them to the standard of the competition has been very helpful for my stamina and technique. I got lots of great feedback from the wonderful tutors in the Zoom coaching sessions the competition organised. Choreographing my own solo has also helped build my confidence with choreography. And I really enjoyed the process of learning the commissioned variation by Ashley Page, it was great to be coached by the original choreographer and it felt like a professional experience.”


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Paige McElligott, South Africa

“In these difficult times, The Fonteyn competition has given me such hope and motivation and has made me believe anything is possible.”

Hannah Martin, UK

“I have gained so much confidence from being a part of this process. Getting feedback from the amazing coaches and having the chance to really focus in on both the performance and technical aspects of my solos has given me a new sense of passion for the industry. I feel like I have fallen in love with dance all over again, and I am so grateful for this competition giving me the avenue to do so.”

Mia Atkinson, Australia

“I have already gained so much strength through the competition. It has been amazing to work on my solos and to see the progression from when I first rehearsed in the studio. Also recently learning the commissioned piece online with Ashley Page was so inspiring and I learned so much.”


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Amber Mitchell-Knight, Australia

“Confidence. I have found myself as an artist. I feel my confidence has grown and I am currently trying to challenge myself through the competition this year especially through learning the commissioned piece online with choreographer Ashley Page. I am so glad to have still had the opportunity to interact with an incredible choreographer like Ashley Page and to learn and receive coaching from him in a live setting. The piece we have learned as the commissioned solo in the competition pushes me out of my comfort zone challenging me to explore this area as a dancer and create new boundaries.”

Tayla De Bie, South Africa

“I have gained confidence and belief in myself from taking part in the competition. Ballet is so demanding, and as dancers, we are so critical of ourselves; it’s so easy to fall into the trap of self-doubt and believing that you aren’t good enough.  After hearing the news that I made it to the finals, I’ve had a renewed sense of belief in myself and I feel so excited and more determined than ever to work hard towards my submissions.”

This year’s online final takes place on Thursday 9 September at 7.30pm BST. Ticket holders can watch the event on demand, until 19 September 2021.