Ed Cooley: Australian Semi-Finalist in The Fonteyn 2023:

  1. What does it mean to you to be selected as one of the semi-finalists for The Fonteyn? How does it feel to be part of this event?

To be selected as one of the semi-finalists for Fonteyn is so incredible. To be a part of this is something so special and one of those once in a lifetime experiences. The connections I make with the staff, teachers, coaches, and other competitors will be something I will cherish forever.

  1. Can you tell us about your journey in ballet and what inspired you to pursue dance at such a high level? 

I started ballet at the age of 7 beginning my ballet journey with the Royal Academy of Dance. Since then I have grown up with the RAD syllabus and it has set and developed my ballet technique, musicality, artistry and most importantly my love for ballet. I currently train at Promenade Dance Studio and Queensland College of Dance where my teachers Daniel Gaudiello, Daniella Crismani, Karen Donovan, and Wim Broeckx have significantly impacted my ballet and have given me the tools to be where I am today.

  1. The Fonteyn showcases exceptional talent from around the world. How have you been preparing for this competition, both physically and mentally?

I have been preparing for the Fonteyn competition by taking my normal ballet class with my wonderful, experienced, and knowledgeable teachers. They all help to maintain and improve my ballet technique day to day. I have also been rehearsing both my classical and own choice solos, making sure I try to correct anything right then and there as well as writing all my corrections down. 

  1. What advice would you give to other aspiring young ballet dancers who aspire to participate in prestigious competitions like The Fonteyn International Ballet Competition?

There is so much advice I would give to aspiring young dancers, but if I had to pick one bit of advice it would be once you have finished an exercise ask yourself, how hard did I try out of 10. Be honest with yourself. This is something Karen Donovan always does, and it really gets you thinking.

  1.  Finally, could you please share one interesting and ‘fun fact’ about yourself?

A fun fact about me is that I love to play Mario Kart on the switch in my down time, I don’t love it as much as ballet but it sure is fun!

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Olivia Weeks
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Royal Academy of Dance Australia
(02) 9380 1907