Distinctions for Abbotsford ballerinas

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Six Abbotsford Christian School girls have achieved excellent results in their ballet exams with the Royal Academy of Dance.

Lubuko Somhlalo, Hlelo Mntonintshi, Mary Bolarinwa, Stephanie Odunze, Ivile Mfani and Usisipho Ndziba all received certificates of distinction from the prestigious school.

The Royal Academy of Dance scouts for talent across the world. The ballet exam follows a strict criteria of music, routines, techniques and presentation.

The girls are all from grade 2 to grade 6 at the school, and participate in ballet as an after-school activity.

Linda Mills is a dance teacher from Step Ahead Dance Academy who has been assisting the girls with their techniques.

Mills, who has 36 years’ experience, said she was proud of the girls and the effort they put in.

“It takes so much effort to come to extra lessons, and work really hard to practice their dancing.

“A distinction is more than 75% and for these girls to get these marks it means they are passionate about their dancing.

“When they get these great marks, they are more likely to succeed because they love what they do.

“We also have to show appreciation for the commitment made by their parents for getting them to their lessons and rehearsals,” Mills said.

“Each girl had to know their routine perfectly.

“They went in one by one, with no teacher and no assistance.

“They had to know their work. They all did incredibly well,” Mills said.


Primary ballet exam ( equivalent to grade 2 at school )

Hlelo Mntonintshi – 80 % – Distinction

Ivile Mafani – 81% – Distinction

Lubuko Somhlalo – 70% – Distinction

Grade 1 ballet ( equivalent to grade 3 at school )

Mary Bolarinwa – 75 % – Distinction

Grade 2 ballet ( equivalent to grade 4 at school )

Stephanie Odunze – 65% – High Merit

Grade 4 ballet ( equivalent to grade 6 at school )

Usisipho Ndziba – 75% – Distinction


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