Monday, 6 July 2015

Waitakere S.L.E.D. Experience - RNZB’s Ballet in a Box

The Waitakere Regional Team arrange Social and Language Enrichment Days (S.L.E.Ds) for their students which combine social interaction and language development within a creative setting.

On Tuesday 16 June KDEC regional students from schools in Waitakere and Central Auckland had the opportunity to see the dancers from the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) warm-up, rehearse and then perform a short programme of ballet excerpts, complete with costumes!

 “I love to dance!” “Me too!” Grace (Year 3) and Angelena (Year 3) were keen to show off their dancing skills before attending the ‘Ballet in a Box’ workshop by the RNZB.

Watching one of the dancers stretch Nikhil (Year 5) said “He looks like spaghetti!”

There were demonstrations, discussion and Q & A sessions with the Artistic Director and two principal dancers.

Francesco Ventriglia, the Artistic Director for the RNZB, has been with the company for 7 months and provides the dancers with inspiration and advice on their technique. He lead the dancers through their warm-up and rehearsal.

Lucy Green, one of the principal dancers, answered questions about pointe shoes. Did you know the box in a pointe shoe is similar to papier mache? It is made by glueing paper and fabric together.

The students who attended this performance are now writing recounts about their experience. They will be attending a workshop later this year.

Targeted social interaction is a wonderful way to enrich language. If you’d like to know more about Social and Language Enrichment Days (S.L.E.D.s) please contact Shirley Kay, Team Leader Waitakere RTDs,

To find out more about the Royal New Zealand Ballet and their upcoming shows visit