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Harry Ashton-Ireland completed his professional dance training at the Dutch National Ballet Academy in 2023. During his studies he has learnt and performed repertoire from William Forsythe, Ernst Meisner, Rachen Beaujean, Hans van Manen and performed onstage with the Dutch National Ballet in their production of Sir Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty. From the 2023/24 season, Harry is a member of the Bayerisches Junior Ballett München as a scholarship holder of the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung.

Harry started off in 2021 at New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington but at that stage he already knew he would only be there until the middle of the year as he had won acceptance to Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam through a huge international scholarship-based ballet competition called YAGP. 

Harry’s mother Megan says “It was difficult as it was in the middle of Covid so taking my 16 year old to the other side of the world to pursue excellent training at a very prestigious ballet school was very scary but we all knew we had to take the opportunity as the school only takes around 24-28 students a year.” 

Before he left for Amsterdam Harry had to achieve level 2 NCEA (in 4 months) as the academy is part of a university. He trained there for 2 years and got his Associate Degree (submitting assignments for the theoretical component such as Feminism in Ballet and The Place of Women in the Ballet World) but of course the main focus of the school is on ballet training, performing and technique. 

During audition season Harry was offered places at various companies but held out for the one he wanted the most which was for the Bayerisches Junior Ballet Munchen (or the Junior company of the big and very well respected Bayerisches Staatsballet Munich). The contract there is for 2 years then he will, hopefully, be promoted to the main company.  We wish Harry all the very best on his inspirational journey.

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