Next Stop: A Career in Dance

The Genée is a stepping stone for a professional career in dance. Six medallists, who have gone on to work for some of the best ballet companies around the world, tell us how the competition helped launch their careers.

Northern Ballet

‘One of the judges, David Nixon, offered me a job with Northern Ballet shortly afterwards. He had always enjoyed my dancing but saw real improvement in the Genée and I think that helped me get where I am today.’ – Sean Bates, Junior Soloist with Northern Ballet (Silver, 2010)

Greeting card

‘Being a gold medallist is definitely a good greeting card for a dancer, especially on your CV. It definitely helped with first impressions later on in my career.’ – Valentino Zucchetti, First Soloist with The Royal Ballet (Gold, 2006)

A springboard

‘The Genée is a great springboard into the world of ballet, showcasing my strengths and weaknesses, giving myself an indication of what I needed to work on. It helped me to be even clearer about my goals working towards being in a company.’ – Lana Jones, Principal Dancer with The Australian Ballet (Silver, 1999)

Confidence

‘I gained so much from the whole experience that I will cherish forever. Learning from different teachers and coaches and being in a healthy competitive environment learning from other dancers also in the same position and stage in their careers. I remember going back to school with a new found confidence which changed the way I danced and even felt about dancing.’ – Tierney Heap, Soloist with The Royal Ballet (Bronze, 2010)

Mental and physical preparation

‘The Genée was held in Birmingham and the directors of Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet were judging. They remembered me later on in my career. The competition also helped me mentally and physically prepare for Prix de Lausanne which I won half a year later.’ – Alex Wong, Dancer, singer and actor (Bronze and Audience Choice Award, 2003)

It’s a wonderful… platform

‘It was a wonderful platform to be seen by several renowned figures of the international dance world; a great way to build confidence in an ‘observed class’ environment which is how most company auditions are carried out and it was an amazing addition to my CV.’ – Isabelle Brouwers, First Artist with English National Ballet (Silver, 2013)