Hi I am Joe Dufty. I am 16 years old and come from Gillieston Heights in rural NSW, Australia. I have been accepted into the highest level of the San Francisco Ballet School on a partial tuition scholarship. I will commence my training at San Francisco Ballet School in September 2022. San Francisco Ballet School is the oldest company school in America and one of the Top 5 training institutions in the world. Very few people are fortunate enough to be accepted into such a prestigious training program. San Francisco Ballet School have 100% success rate of their graduates obtaining company contracts from all over the world.
To train at San Francisco Ballet School has been a 3-year dream for me. Although I have been awarded a partial scholarship, the fees for me to be able to commence my training at San Francisco Ballet School are beyond my family’s financial ability at this time. The cost will exceed $40,000.00 Australian dollars a year. Additional costs of medical insurance, uniforms, and flights have not been included. The majority of the funds raised will be submitted towards the boarding and living expenses which exceed $30,000 Australian dollars.
I train from 8:00 am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday but if you want success, you have to make sacrifices. I take additional classes in pilates and weight training on a weekend to ensure I am at my best. Thankfully, the sacrifices I make have paid off for me in achieving my dream.
I recently won the Men’s Classical division of the Youth America Grand Prix, an International Ballet Competition. I competed against dancers from all over the world in a virtual competition. Winning this prestigious competition cemented my spot as one of the best male ballet dancers in Australia for my age. In the past 12 months I have won major ballet awards in Australia including Australian Classical Challenge, AICD Senior Classical Award, St George Senior Classical Scholarship and the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance, Isobel Anderson Memorial Overall Award for Most Outstanding Dancer. This award has previously been awarded to ballet dancers who are now principal dancers with Royal Ballet in London. The winnings from these competitions assisted in my travelling to San Francisco to attend the final in-person audition in February, resulting in the offer from San Francisco Ballet School.
It has not been easy. I had an injury in 2019 that left me unable to dance for a period of almost 4 months and then 2020 and 2021 Covid hit, leaving me with training on zoom in a garage on a concrete floor. These events impeded my training and took a mental toll on me. I fought hard to keep my future and kept working towards my dream. I found even more resilience. To have success you have to work hard but you also need the best training possible. San Francisco Ballet School will give me the best training to complete my goal of being a professional ballet dancer.
My short-term goal is to complete level 8 at San Francisco Ballet School and successfully be accepted into the trainee year next year. As I am one of the youngest in Level 8 I am determined to make this happen. Following the trainee year my goal is to be accepted into San Francisco Ballet Company in the corps de ballet to soloist and then principal artist.
My long-term goal is to normalise the creative arts for boys, so there is no stigma or bullying around being a male dancer. Boys can feel so isolated especially when they are the only ones in a ballet class, I believe that sharing my journey I can show boys that they are not alone. By being involved in the creative and performing arts it gives us the opportunity to express ourselves. Many boys experience anxiety and anger and either internalise their emotions or externalise in challenging behaviours. Research has found this can cause a considerable expense to society. By providing an activity for boys to express themselves in a safe place with structure and discipline it minimizes violent and destructive behaviours, then minimising the social and financial impact on the community. I was always a little wild, ballet gave me an outlet to get all that emotion out. I was good at all sports but it was the challenge of ballet that really helped me to quieten the noise. I want to be able to make ballet seen as “cool” so that more boys will give it a go and have the opportunities I have had.
I pride myself on being a role model for boys who don’t always fit the mold but want to succeed. I am a Bloch Young Artist for 2022, being a representative of male dancers. I am also a mentor and ambassador for Ballet Brothers Australia and a mentor for Connect Boys Dance.
I am a proud Kamilaroi boy and want many other first nation boys to follow in my footsteps and have the same opportunities that ballet has given me. My plans after working as principal with San Francisco Ballet is to come home and teach kids that wouldnt normally get the opportunity to do ballet and open them up to a better world.
I am driven to achieve my goals; however, financially, I cannot support my achievement. Due to the US Your support will allow me to achieve what I have worked so hard for and sacrificed so much for.
I will provide you with updates and progress reports.
Any support, no matter how small, will be a step closer towards getting me to San Francisco in September 2022 and is most grately appreciated.
Thank you for your time and your generous support. Your support will allow me to achieve what I have worked so hard for and sacrificed so much for.
With thanks, Joe.