Gabriel Jahnke – Houston Scholarship Winner 2016 Report
2016 was certainly a life changing year for me. When I entered the 2016 AICD Houston Ballet Scholarship Competition I really had no idea that I might actually win the competition and that I would now be sitting on the other side of the world spending each day at a world renowned Ballet Company like Houston Ballet. I had the best time at the 2016 Summer Intensive. I got to work with new teachers that I found very inspiring and met so many new people from all over the world. I also got to explore a lot of the great tourist sites here in Houston like the NASA Space Facilities -which was really interesting. I met so many new friends during the Summer Intensive. It was such a good way to bring so many people with the same interest together and form some great friendships. It was an amazing six weeks!
After the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive, I returned home from Houston August, with an amazing offer to return to train in the Full-time Program at Houston Ballet Academy on a “Full Scholarship” starting in late August. So after few weeks I headed back to Houston Ballet Academy and settled into the Full-time Professional Program as a Pro 2 – Trainee/ Invited Guest. This allows me to train every day and perform with Houston Ballet 2 company. It is a vigorous training schedule and each day is always challenging . The training has allowed me to focus on my technique and to hone my skills and abilities.
Since arriving in Houston I have participated in several production pieces as well. It has been fantastic working in such a professional environment and in each production we have been really well prepared. We have just finished a full two week run of shows with more coming up and the opportunity to gain such great performance experience whilst performing in such a varied repertoire has been invaluable. The facilities here at Houston Ballet are amazing as well with everything on hand that dancers need.
This last six months living in a new country away from my family and friends has been challenging, and yet the most rewarding period of my life so far. I have learnt so much. I am extremely grateful to the AICD for giving me this life changing opportunity. I have a lot more learning to still do and I feel that my time spent here at Houston Ballet Academy will allow me to continue to keep working hard to enhance and develop my abilities both technically and artistically and to achieve my long term goals.
I encourage everyone in Australia to compete and support the AICD Houston Ballet Scholarship Competition as it was such a positive experience and it is a competition that is extremely encouraging and promotes great sportsmanship. It gives you the chance to have fun and to showcase your abilities – and you never know where it might lead you!