Dancer Maidie Widmer is already living her dream after graduating from Australia’s top ballet school.
29 September 2021

Maidie's dedication and positivity helped her to adapt to remote learning, lost professional development opportunities and cancelled performances and tours during her final year at The Australian Ballet School due to the pandemic.

But that didn't stop her earning a professional contract with The Australian Ballet.

Do you have any tips for dance students currently training at home via remote learning?

Because COVID-19 greatly impacted my final year at The Australian Ballet School, I had to find new ways and motivators to get through the year. My top tips for positively getting through would be to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can't. It's really easy to get frustrated with the lack of space or inspiration, but I found focusing on the things COVID-19 allowed, rather than restricted, really helped me.

Learn to connect with ballet in a new way, use the opportunity to go back to basics and enjoy that because really, when will we ever have the time to focus on foundational ballet and take it all slowly again? Remain connected to the performance aspect of ballet too, find a solo you love, focus on the music, practise the arms and artistry, use imagery to picture yourself doing what you want to be doing on stage. Once you're back performing I can guarantee that will pay off.

What did you love most about The Australian Ballet School?

The program and training at The Australian Ballet School is incredible. The staff are absolutely top notch. They're truly there for the students, supporting them to reach their potential. One of the things I always loved about the school is its connection to The Australian Ballet. All through my schooling, I found it so special to be in such close proximity to incredible professional dancers. They were a constant source of inspiration.

What opportunities does The Australian Ballet School open up for students?

The audition preparation is an incredibly valuable chance for students to be able to prepare themselves to present as best they can when aiming for employment, and this includes opportunities to apply for grants or scholarships to aid in any pathway you take post-graduation.

I was fortunate enough to apply and be awarded the BBM scholarship during my graduate year and I can truly testify to the support that was able to give. The School's performance opportunities are also highly valued, particularly the regional tour with The Australian Ballet. Having a taste of professional employment and what life in a company is really like is such an incomparable experience.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your ballet story?

Everyone has a very individual ballet story and experience and although it has its challenges, it is one of the most rewarding careers I feel you can set your sights on. My own journey has had many highs and lows and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunities I have, but I'm also grateful to have experienced the difficulties because those have shaped me as a person and a dancer. They've also allowed for growth which I greatly value.

I think the most rewarding thing that I've found in my ballet journey is the joy I experience every single day. That love of the art form, I think, is the most crucial aspect of being a dancer.

The Australian Ballet School is one of the National Performing Arts Training Organisations supported by the Australian Government.

Image of Maidie Widmer courtesy of The Australian Ballet School.