Primary students Juliana León Duque and Renata González Victoria, from grades 4B and 4C, took first place in the lyrical group category in the dance competition “Addicted 2 Dance”, held in Manizales on the weekend of 8-11 October. They also won second place in 3 other categories (Neoclassical Solo, Ballet Repertory and Contemporary Duets).
After practicing for 3 years at the Coll Dance Company Ballet School, both students gathered all their skills and polished each of their qualities to achieve the victory.
“My first competition was virtual, I almost had very little nerves because I was in front of the computer. This was my first face-to-face experience, I was very nervous at the beginning, but little by little they went away and I felt better and happier”. Renata.
To achieve this high performance each of them must prepare from Monday to Thursday for an hour and a half in rehearsals. Every time they have a competition Juliana and Renata have to add up to 10 more personalised rehearsals to their training load.
“I have been practising this dance for 4 years. I don’t want to give up because I really like ballet. Sometimes I have had to put aside playing with my friends to do what I really love, that’s why I will continue dancing,” said Juliana.
Despite their young age, the winning mentality is always present in our two dancers. Although they have been practicing ballet for quite some time, the butterflies in their stomachs and their cold hands are present every time they step on stage before a performance.
For the parents of both students, it’s a huge thrill to see them achieve their first victory in this competition.
“We are very proud of how far they have come in these three years and to see them in front of a stage and how they are able to perform on their own, with all the confidence. It makes us happy to see them doing what they love,” said Ana Pahola Duque, Juliana’s mother.
Through ballet they gain responsibility, discipline, coordination and sensitivity, as well as a constant camaraderie. A camaraderie that is cultivated from childhood.
“Through ballet I have managed to get rid of my nerves more and express myself much more, I have learned to communicate more with others and when I work in duets I connect and we do everything the same.” Renata said.
For now Juliana and Renata are concentrating on the end of the year play and are preparing themselves to get better and better performances. In addition, it is possible that next year they will both start using pointe shoes, a style of footwear specific to Ballet that requires more effort and technique. The use of pointe shoes is only allowed for those who have had a previous training and strengthening process.
We wish Juliana and Renata all the best and we will follow their careers in this beautiful discipline, they are a source of pride for the CCB!