As one of the world’s top dance academies, SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance) opened its heart to a girl from China this summer, offering her a full scholarship as an award to her excellent dancing. This is the first scholarship ever offered to a Chinese dancer.
Miss Chen Xianjing, a 14-year-old girl from Nanshan District Student Ballet of Shenzhen, was the lucky one.
Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance in Austria has a wide range of students from more than 30 countries around the world. As a high-niveaued academy, only 20 international students are invited each year, among them are often international stage performers. This summer, Miss Chen came to Salzburg with Nanshan Ballet Group for a round of art and culture studies.
Learning the good news, Miss Chen Xianjing’s mother, Ms. Su, got out the dance photos of her daughter from childhood to now and commented, “I feel like that my daughter is an ugly duckling growing into a little swan.”
Back then as a first-grade pupil, Miss Chen studied Chinese dance, then she switched to folk dance. At the end of the second year, she came into contact with ballet, which immediately became her big love. She never dropped a single class. “I dreamt of toe rotation just like a Barbie doll”, she said.
In addition to her honour from SEAD, Miss Chen won the Grand Prize of the Organizing Committee with Nanshan District Student Ballet in the 2019 Hong Kong International Youth Ballet Competition. Of all 9 participants from Nanshan, the other eight players also won prizes including four gold, three silver and one copper respectively. It is worth mentioning that Miss Chen stood out from more than 230 contestants participating in the Hong Kong Competition.
Ms. Su said that her daughter is lucky, not only because of her persistence to the love for ballet, but also due to the cultivation of teachers and the high-quality platform of Nanshan District Ballet.
Zhang Linlin, head of Nanshan District Ballet, said that their students share the age of 9-15 years, which is the best period for learning dancing. Making holiday ballet study tours is an important experience for the young dancers. This year, the art and culture trip in Austria is eye-opening, with which they hope to seek more breakthroughs in dance creativity and interpretation.