Sometimes it is the journey that teaches us a lot about our destination – R.M. Drake
Bernadette Nicole Sinues, or Badet for short, is a 12-year old ballet dancer that began her journey from humble beginnings. When she was little, her family lived in Metro Manila. It was tough for her family back then as they were barely making ends meet. Her parents were call-center agents who made just enough for their family of four. While dad and mum were at work, her grandparents would babysit. One Saturday, her grandma Lita took her to Quezon City Circle where a bunch of little girls like her were learning to dance ballet. Badet watched the entire class, eager to join it herself. That was the turning point–Badet had fallen in love with ballet.
A little girl’s dream
But her mom believed that ballet was only for the wealthy. Ballet school in Manila was just something her family could not afford. They also had more pressing priorities. While waiting for their migrant visa to Australia, her family moved to Davao City. In this new city, Badet found the chance to make her dream come true. A cousin who decided to stop going to ballet school gave Badet her dancewear – tights, leotards, ballet slippers, and all. Thankfully, this led to her mom’s change of heart. She enrolled Badet to Davao City’s Royeca School of Ballet. Although less expensive than in Manila, the school fees were still steep and the family struggled to pay them for the sake of Badet’s dream to become a ballet dancer.
The tough road to gold
Badet was not a natural dancer, it turned out. She was raw, undisciplined, and talkative–a ballet teacher’s nightmare. She even had poor attendance. After two years of this, the school director decided not to give Badet a slot at the ballet exams. Despite much pleading from Badet, the director stood firm.
Tough love, they call it. Badet had to learn discipline and hard work if she was to succeed in ballet.
Apparently, it worked. Badet became motivated and eager to go to class. Her attendance soared. Her technique started to improve and, in one year’s time, she was up on stage for her very first solo variation. In December 2014, she got handpicked by the school director to start training for the 5th Asian Grand Prix (AGP) in Hong Kong.
Badet dove deep into her training, which was very demanding and full of challenges. It meant extra days, longer hours at the studio, more rehearsals, more body aches and pains, less play and leisure time. She had to move to Cebu and be homeschooled at her other grandma’s house.
This tough road was also marked by grief. The grandma who introduced Badet to ballet passed away. Though heartbroken, Badet had to continue her training, especially as it was the dying wish of her grandma Lita. This drove her more than ever. At the competition in Hong Kong, Badet made it to the finals. But to Badet, this was not enough. She wanted to win for her grandmother and it had to be a gold.
In the following years, she joined competitions in Manila, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur, winning honors and a three-month scholarship to the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB).
The doors open for Badet in Europe.
Badet needs a full scholarship, however. The ACB directors suggested to Badet to try auditioning for a place in European ballet schools with academic training. Europe is the seat of ballet and it is where most of the best ballet schools are in the world, says her dad. She is also at the right age to audition for scholarships, he adds.
With nothing to lose, Badet and her parents googled the requirements for online applications and started to send them in. They chose the best ballet schools in Europe.
If you are going to dream, dream big anyway. You just might make them come true.
And for that, she received two replies. Both were invitations to the final audition of the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge in the United Kingdom and the Ballett Schule Hamburg in Germany.
According to Badet’s parents, “making it to these schools is very important to Badet. It is a testament to her mantra: hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. She knows that dreaming is not something you do with your eyes closed at night. It is something you work hard at–fully awake, focused, and determined. Though she’s aware of her limitations, she is working to surpass them by pushing forward and never giving up.
There is no guarantee she will make it but the doors have opened for her. She knows that if she walks in through these doors, it will only get harder and harder. This is her challenge. If she wants to make it to a big ballet company one day, she has to start now with the best schools.
Help needed with Audition Fund
ACB has volunteered to train Badet for her upcoming auditions. Family friends in Melbourne and London have offered their homes for Badet and her dad. Indeed, friends and family have poured in their support but there are still some things Badet needs so she can go. Financially, her parents know they will not be able to complete the audition fund on their own. They have not been able to afford all the expenses for a while but the universe somehow keeps conspiring to help Badet achieve her dream.
How to help
If you wish to help Badet financially, you may directly deposit your assistance to these accounts:
- Cleober R. Sinues | BDO account number 000860449513
If you wish to help in kind, below are the things she needs:
- Pointe shoes – Bloch Heritage 5.5 X or Russian Pointe Rubin 38/3/2 FM
- Ballet slippers – Split sole UK size 5
- Convertible pink tights – Child XL or Adult Small
For Badet to be accepted to the ballet school in London or Hamburg is an honor not just for Badet and her family but also to our country.
Let’s support Badet’s dream of winning the gold!
Story was sent in by Badet’s parents, edited by the writer for wheninmanila.com