Katherine Sonnekus on stage at the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Second Scholarship Winner in the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship, Katherine Sonnekus has recently been awarded a contract with The Australian Ballet after a successful audition process.
Shortly after winning the prestigious Second Scholarship, Katherine went to the 2015 Prix de Lausanne where she was awarded a place at the world-renowned Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the American Ballet. Katherine graduate from the program in May this year and upon graduation she returned to the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy where she commenced training under the direction of Lucinda Dunn once again.
Sydney Eisteddfod recently spoke to Katherine about this wonderful news and what the experience was like. She also discussed how winning the Second Scholarship in 2015 has helped her get to where she is today.
You recently auditioned for The Australian Ballet and have since received a contract, what was it like to receive this news?
I received the news that I got a contract the day after I auditioned in Melbourne at the Australian Ballet. I remember getting the call and although I am only on a short term contract I remember feeling a rush of relief and gratitude. Ballet is such an odd profession, I've been dancing my whole life, and yet my career has only just started! I'm so grateful that someone saw in me that I could be more than just a student.
What are you most looking forward to about joining The Australian Ballet?
I am looking forward to many things about joining the Australian Ballet, for one, I'm just looking forward to getting the opportunity to dance and be a part of a professional company. As simple as it is. Like minded people who are getting payed to do what they love. Not many people in the world get to do this with their lives, especially with a company that is so focused on taking care of their dancers. Knowing that there are people to support me and people who are striving towards the same goal I think it's a beautiful thing.
You were previously studying at the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the American Ballet, what was this experience like?
Studying at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the American Ballet was a great experience and a large learning curve for me. Dancing in the same building as past, current, and future ballet legends was wonderful. I never really got used to being taught by Cynthia Harvey and Ethan Stefiel everyday who I'd watched many times in movies, or old videos growing up. Living in New York was busy but exciting and learning the American style was truly eye opening. My favourite part was definitely being able to watch ABT and NYCB at Lincoln centre whenever I could get student rush tickets. It was truly inspiring to see such hard work and perseverance in the studio and then the effortlessness on stage.
It has been two years since you won the Second Scholarship in the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship Final, how has this Scholarship helped you get closer to achieving your dreams?
It has been two years already since I danced on the Sydney Opera house stage in the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship, how time flies! My family has gone to great lengths to make things possible for me and to let me run after my dreams at full force, but the things that some dancers, pursuing ballet in particular, are expected to do at such a young age just aren't realistic for many families, including mine. Without Sydney Eisteddfod's support and exposure, I would not have been able to do the things that I have done today. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities and the doors Sydney Eisteddfod has opened for me and I hope it will keep doing so for many dancers in the future.
Sydney Eisteddfod is incredibly proud to hear of Katherine's achievements as it is wonderful to see alumni achieving great things and reaching their goals.