This year Yvonne Hall’s Byron Ballet company celebrates 10 years. Built lovingly from the ground up with her partner Clinton Hart, the company are excited about moving to a new dedicated dance location in Byron Bay – at the Blue Lotus Dance Centre, 144 Jonson Street (above Byron Music) . The Byron Ballet Company will also be starting new community classes.
Yvonne’s passion for youth ballet was seeded by her own experience.
‘I started in youth ballet in Sydney with Tanya Pearson and spent two years touring Australia with that company – and then Marilyn Jones OBE took that company over – and then I moved to the Australian Opera Ballet company, and I was associated with them for around five years as a freelance dancer.
‘When I moved to this area with my partner Clinton we felt there wasn’t anything like a youth ballet company here. We wanted to bring classical ballet to the area so that dancers and audiences didn’t have to travel to Brisbane. We wanted to bring classical and contemporary, and to bring choreographers and guest dancers and eventually we want to pay our talent so they don’t go overseas!’
Earlier this year the Byron Ballet Company reprised their production of the Nutcracker. It was met with a huge positive response.
‘This time in the Nutcracker we had 60 people; when we did Rite of Spring, the smaller production, we only had a core of 25 dancers.’
Company dancers often come from different studios, coming together for rehearsals on Saturdays.
‘There is a lot of talent in this area,’ says Yvonne. ‘We currently have Chloe Michelle Hollow doing some teaching for us. She is just back from the National Ballet School. She started here. She was the little angel in the original Nutcracker. She is only 18 and the other kids love dancing with her – she has had amazing training and it’s great for them to share what they have learnt.’
Growing a core of dancers is one of the key goals of the Byron Ballet Company; they will be auditioning for Midsummer Night’s Dream in November.
The Blue Lotus Dance Centre offers the company a brand-new opportunity to develop their dancers.
‘It’s great that this space has come back to the dance community. There isn’t a dance studio like that in town. It’s 250 square metres of sprung floor, mirrors, wall bars and right in the heart of town. We are starting new courses there in two weeks – open day on Saturday, 10am–midday
‘Community classes will go from mums and bubs and preschooler dance to pre-professional with a focus on adult and young adult classes, especially for those who danced until 18 and then stopped.
‘We are also wanting to encourage boys to dance with a special class that is just ALL boys!’
Classes for all ages, even mature dancers welcome.
Classes will start Monday 8 August.
Open Day on Saturday at the Blue Lotus Dance Centre – 144 Jonson Street, Byron Bay.