Best known for her 15-year tenure at The Australian Ballet, Vicki Attard has had an extensive career mastering the stage, which has taken her all over the world and has also inspired her to teach the next generation of ballet students. More recently, she has worked with the Houston Ballet Academy in what she describes as a ‘dream’ role as Interim Director, working with aspiring students. We are privileged to have Vicki join our guest teaching faculty in April for our Elite Masterclass Series.
In its second year the Elite Masterclass Series gives the opportunity for local, interstate and regional dancers to experience the teachings of renowned industry practitioners. What do you enjoy most about working with students?
Working with any student that is hungry for knowledge is what I enjoy most. I am old fashioned, but respect goes a long way with me. I am fiercely tough but absolutely fair. I will point out faults and help to achieve a better result. Ballet students around the world over are incredibly dedicated artists devoted to our art form.
You developed My Pointe as an intensive tutorial for students and teachers needing extra assistance with pointe work. What advice would you give to young dancers looking to enhance their pointe craft?
I would definitely recommend the ‘slowly but surely’ method from the very outset, and also approaching foundational pointe work meticulously. This will ensure that your technique is pure and correct in preparation for the difficult world of pointe work.
Can you tell us about your time working with the Houston Ballet Academy as Interim Director and how this enhanced your experience as a teacher?
I have been blessed to direct the Houston Ballet Academy since mid-2016. It is a world-class academy filled with beautifully talented students and an artistic and administrative faculty that I have grown to love. It is a dream job that I will be forever grateful for.
What advice would you give to students considering international study at a professional finishing school?
I would recommend doing homework on any prospective schools that you may be interested in. Speak to past or current students, and check on the performance opportunities and repertoire choices, faculty and class sizes. Summer intensive programs are a great option, or enquiring about short term stays if they are available. These opportunities will give you a realistic idea of the way the academy operates and if you feel it is the right fit for you.
25 – 27 April 2018