Photo Credit: Supplied

Two South African ballerinas, Rahl Burke and Noelia Schulz made stunning podium placements at the most prestigious ballet competition on the continent and both made impressions on one of the best ballet schools in the world!


Global (04 August, 2023) — Two ballerinas from a South African dance studio, Orlovska Dance Academy in Johannesburg, recently made stunning podium placements at the most prestigious international Ballet Competition on the continent—the South African International Ballet Competition.

In the world of ballet, this event means serious business. In fact, you have to audition just to be part of the competition.

Here,  budding ballerinas Rahl Burke (bronze) and Noelia Schulz (silver) competed against students from top-ranking dance institutions around the world and faced a panel of revered judges, including artistic directors of National Ballets.

Photographer here, Rahl
Photographed here, Noelia

But the fierce competition saw two diamonds shine under the pressure with efforts so stunning, one of the dancers was awarded a scholarship to one of the best Ballet Schools in the world—the Berlin State Ballet School.

Good Things Guy caught up with the School’s Owner to find out more about the discipline, the dancers and their next chapter.

A Panel of Seasoned International Judges

To understand the pressure and prestige of the event, Alisia filled us on the judging panel.

“Adjudicators are always of the highest calibre.

“This year adjudicators were Ted Brandsen, Director of The Dutch National Ballet; Madame Feng, Director of the Beijing Ballet; Hyo Jung Jun, Director of Incheon Ballet in South Korea and a  former gold medalist at the inaugural SAIBC in 2008; Carol Kinsey, former principal ballerina with CAPAB Ballet and Cape Town City Ballet; Christoph Boehm from the Berlin State Ballet School and Javier Monier Jr from Cuba who is currently a member of Mzansi Ballet in Johannesburg.”

Both Budding Ballerinas made Big Impressions

While bronze placer Rahl Burke (16) was offered an official scholarship at the Berlin State Ballet School by one of the judges Christoph Boehm, silver shiner Noelia Schulz (11) also made a big impression and was personally invited by Christoph to join the Berlin State Ballet School.

Alisa has taught Noelia since she was 3 years old, while Rahl joined her school two years ago.

Of her ballerinas’ opportunities, she shares:

“Studying at one of the best Dance Institutions in the world, such as Berlin State Ballet School would offer Rahl and Noelia and abundance of opportunities, primarily a real chance to join one of the best companies in the world, such as Berlin Ballet Company – StaatsBallett Berlin, or Royal Ballet in UK.

The teachers at the Berlin State Ballet School are [some] of the best teachers in the world, which would give Rahl and Noelia an opportunity to attain international training.”

What Ballet Inspires in the Youth

“In our Academy we cater for both recreational and vocational students. I realize that not every child would want to turn dance into their career. However, ballet can still provide so many benefits to kids, whether they want to dance professionally or recreationally,” says Alisa.

“All our students have amazing discipline and concentration. I was told by numerous parents from our dance academy that  their child’s academics have improved so much since they started their dance classes and they are generally more motivated and inspired to study at school.

“In addition, body awareness, muscle strength and flexibility, coordination and balance has helped a lot of our students to improve in their school sports and in their general physical health.”

Alisa adds:

“It is known that ballet can assist with a lot of other athletic sports. For instance, here is the list of some NFL players who do ballet classes and find dancing to be helpful in their performance: Steve McLendon, Kyler Gordon, Lynn Swann, Alex Collins. Lastly, we have noticed that our students’ creative thinking at school has improved a lot. They really think out of the box and find creative solutions to various problems whilst doing their academics.”

Sources: GTG Interview
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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