Forum: New Zealand / New Zealand - General

I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By andante
On Fri Dec 05, 2008 08:43 AM

Hi everyone!

I'm moving to Auckland for six months next year for a student exchange program and could use some advice! I'm from a different continent and I take ballet (Advanced Foundation) under the RAD syllabus. Could anyone recommend me some good dance/ ballet schools? Not pre-pro/ professional schools, but recreational ballet classes so I can keep dancing!

And if you guys could give me some advice on which places to sightsee, that would be great too!

Looking forward to receiving some news :)

13 Replies to I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)

re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Dec 07, 2008 06:51 PM
Auckland's a pretty big place. It's not likely that you'll be able to drive to the other side of it for dance classes.

Where in Auckland will you be?
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By dancing_fitnessmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Dec 07, 2008 09:23 PM
I would whole heartedly suggest lily fong in greenlane, she has a whole range of clases including at your level and I am sure you woudl find it suitably challenging without being too professional....

sightseeing in Auckland, where do I start?

There is 'one tree hill', Auckland museum, Kelly tarltons (undergournd aquarium) he Waitakerie mountain range (sub tropical rainforest), the beaches, the volcanoes including rangitoto island, the wineries, viaduct basin for boating and nightlife, the skytower - tallest structure in teh southern hemisphere, Ponsonby for the clubbing and alternative scene, shopping in parnell, beaches beaches and more beaches....
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By Merfi
On Mon Dec 08, 2008 02:22 AM
Another really good place is SABA at Greenlane... although actually they don't have Advanced Foundation, perhaps you could slot into Advanced 1 quite nicely, as the work is very similar. But there are good classes all over Auckland, which is rather necessary seeing as it is one of the biggest cities in the world in relation to number of people living here!

Sightseeing... Well, definitely check out the West coast beaches like Piha and Karekare, they're absolutely beautiful.
For shopping I'd recommend the central city, plus Botany Town Centre and Sylvia Park, they're all pretty good, and Newmarket too.
If you want a really 'kiwi' experience, you can try bungee jumping off the Auckland harbour bridge (I've never done it myself, my Spanish teacher scared me with stories of displaced retinas, but other people have said it's really good).
All the volcanoes are really interesting as well (well, I find them interesting, but I'm a bit of a nerd). Auckland is built on a volcanic field of around 50 volcanoes- you definitely want to check out a few of these, particularly Rangitoto.
But PM me if you want any more details!
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By andante
On Mon Dec 08, 2008 03:36 AM
Edited by andante (107724) on 2008-12-08 03:37:05
Hey everyone,

Thanks a lot for the replies, advice and comments so far! Btw, my friend says I should check out the views in the NZ countryside. This is so silly but how to I get from the city to the countryside? By plane or car or what? Heh.

SiyoNqoba--I will be at the Uni of Auckland, I think it's the City Campus (which is in Auckland City if I am not wrong?) :)

dancing_fitness-- Yeah I will check out Lily Fong online! I'm not much of a wine drinker but the mountain ranges sound amazing... We don't have much of that here in my country.

Merfi-- Displaced retinas sound really scary! Haha! Yeah volcanos sound good, I'm a bit of a nature nerd myself, heh.
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By dancing_fitnessmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Dec 08, 2008 04:02 PM
Edited by dancing_fitness (127020) on 2008-12-08 16:03:55
Hi again,

If you have seen the backdrop in films like Lord of the Rings or Narnia you will have already seen the spectacular views - and it is even more breathtaking whern you are there, most of that is in the South Island, and you can get cheap flights down there and it only takes about 1.5 hours to Queenstown from Auckland

However the countryside is almost literally on your doorstep as are beaches in Auckland and it is only a short drive before you are out of the city (compared to European/Asian/American cities)


Would second what was said about where to shop, (I am actually very close to Sylvia Park and go there for my lunch), NZ isn't known for shopping though and many people take a trip to aus for that where it is cheaper.

There are a lot of open green spaces in Auckland, especially near the university (Albert Park) and the domain.


Another thing to check out is the hot volcanic springs at Wawiwera, very nice, and a trip down to Lake Taupo is a must (about 3.5 hours drive)


I've heard about SABA and the website looks cool, but I've never been there, worth checking out, both Saba and Lily Fong are not far from teh CBD, and there is another one right in the middle of the city on Queen Street (main high street) but I dont know their syllabus.

Where do you live now? Where are you travelling from???
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 08, 2008 06:42 PM
Edited by SiyoNqoba (34789) on 2008-12-08 18:45:36
That's my university! What are you studying?

The closest dance school to Auckland Uni is City Dance, which I think is the one dancging_fitness is talking about. It's a walk-in studio, so you can just turn up and take whatever class you want to take. The classes are awesome, and they're usually taught by quite well-known teachers and choreographers. I'm not too sure what the ballet is like, but I have taken an open contemporary class there and it was amazing.

This is so silly but how to I get from the city to the countryside? By plane or car or what? Heh.


If the motorway wasn't there, you could almost walk ;) New Zealand isn't that big, and the landscape changes with the blink of an eye.
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By andante
On Thu Dec 18, 2008 09:10 AM
Thanks for the replies guys! Oh I am from Asia and I will be at the uni's faculty of science :) Don’t want to reveal too many details on ddn… one can never be too careful... heh.

Merry Christmas!
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By Merfi
On Fri Dec 19, 2008 04:19 AM
I dropped into City Dance the other day just to get some information (I need some classes to keep me occupied over the summer) and their ballet is Vaganova, apparently, so if you wanted to take classes there I guess you could try out both the Intermediate and Advanced levels and see which one feels like a better fit.
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By Bella_rina1993
On Sun Jan 04, 2009 06:58 PM
Hey there,
I go to Auckland Academy of Dance and it's brilliant!
SABA is good too apparently, not too sure what citydance is like, but there's also MEBA and Phillipa Campbell, which are good.
Hope you enjoy living in Auckland! =]
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By andante
On Wed Jan 07, 2009 09:46 AM
Thanks muchly for the tips, bella_rina!

I just googled your dance school, it's located in the West, isn't it? I will be in the central part of Auckland so I'm not sure if it'll be rather far for me to travel there a few times a week?

Hmmm... Well, maybe I will check drop by on one of the weekends, since I will be busy with school on weekdays! :)

MEBA as in Mount Eden right? I think that will be more accessible for me! I can't seem to find MEBA or Phillippa Campbell's websites though :(
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By Merfi
On Thu Jan 08, 2009 03:45 PM
^Yup, MEBA is Mt Eden Ballet Academy, and Philippa Campbell is in Mt Eden as well. These are both very good schools, but I wouldn't go there myself as I have had friends (both who are extremely good dancers, one of whom is now at the Royal Ballet School) leave these schools because of nastiness and bitchiness.
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By balletvalet
On Mon Jan 12, 2009 06:32 PM
Hi Andante

SABA, MEBA and Phillipa Campbell are all excellent schools. SABA is at Greenlane, MEBA is on Gillies Avenue and PC is Dominion Rd. All close to the city.

MEBA and PC don't have websites, but if you phone them up they'll send you out brochures. SABA has a lovely new website.

ALL ballet schools have their bitchy parents, students etc, it's not just set 2 this school or that!

Tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in NZ unfortunately.
re: I'm going to Auckland and need some advice :)
By MichelleD
On Sat Feb 07, 2009 03:34 PM
If you wish to make the most of your six months in New Zealand in regards to Ballet I would go to Mount Eden Ballet Academy in Epsom. The principals are Heather and Melinda Palmer, the expectations would be high in a caring, discplined environment. You will be at the studio most days of the week - you will not regret the experience if you are a dedicated dancer. You would make more progress in 6 months than you would ever make in a lifetime at many of the other studios mentioned.

They do not have a website - they simply don't need to advertise.

I have googled for you 096305322 edendance@hotmail.com

You will get the best marks for Advanced Foundation, if you put in the work, than you would get anywhere esle in the Southern Hemisphere

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