Having just passed the year mark of the first Covid lockdown, we sadly find ourselves in not much of a different situation to where we all were this time last year. However, after months of waiting, endless shows being cancelled and not even stepping foot on our stage, a few weeks ago my company and I were finally back where we belonged. What a feeling it was to be under those bright lights once more, doing what we are meant to do after so long.
We were filming our beautiful ‘Romeo & Juliet‘ to be available online for the public over the next month. I was lucky enough to be performing as Juliet once more, almost exactly a year after my debut, just before we all got closed down that first lockdown. And even thought it wasn’t a normal performance, with public or even a full run through, as we had two days to film it, it felt so good to be able to put our art out there once more.
Hello again. How are we all? After not being on social media for a while, due to feeling personally a little strange about posting about my lucky circumstances compared to other people’s difficult situations all around the world at the moment, I have decided to come back for a reason and am hoping you lovely people out there may help me a little.
With the world going through what it is at the moment causing many people to loose their loved ones and livelihoods I feel beyond grateful for getting through the crisis pretty much unscathed so far. I am back doing what I love in the studio, and even on stage spreading the joy of dance to a live audience once more. My hope is to now spread that joy a little further and help someone who means a lot to me.
Her name is Pia. She is a dear friend of mine from Thailand. I have written about her before because dance actually brought us together while I was on tour in Bangkok with the Staatsballett Karlsruhe back in 2013. We met when she was my Masseur in the Thai massage parlour we always went to and even though we could only communicate very simply, she was so sweet and kind it was the beginning of our long distance friendship.
It was sealed when I offered Pia a bouquet of flowers I received from the Princess of Thailand after performing for her as our guest of honour. I wanted to give her a small thank you and seeing as the people of Thailand love their Royal family, I thought she would really appreciate it and could see what an impression she had already left on me..
Two years later I returned to Bangkok for the same dance festival and was eager to try to find this memorable Thai woman in the hope she could remember the little English ballerina she once massaged. Amazingly I found her on my last evening there and it was a wonderful reunion. This time we exchanged names and addresses and once I was home I sent her some gifts and a letter; written in English and badly translated Thai. Some time later she found me on Facebook; we have been in touch ever since.
I have met her once more in Bangkok since then, where she watched me perform and met my husband and I her niece. Every time we have met she has shown me so much unconditional kindness and motherly affection, she has come to mean a lot to me and me to her.
Recently however she is really struggling due to the Corona crisis in Thailand and she has not been able to work for several months. With the city not getting the needed tourists to provide work for the locals she can no longer afford the room she has in the city to be near her job.
Hearing this from her has urged me to do something to help her and her family, and although there are thousands of families in the same situation all over the world, being so connected to her I feel I need to do something for my friend. Dance brought me to Pia and dance brings joy to so many people so I hope it can bring even more than that to someone halfway across the world who’s simple, humble life is being taken away from them.
My first idea is to offer pairs of my old pointe shoes, signed and with a little message and the story that comes with the shoes to anyone who is interested and the donation will to go towards this small cause to help a friend in need.
So please contact me if you are interested and want to help me help Pia get through this difficult situation she faces. I for one will be so grateful for anything and I know she will be even more so. You can either write to me through here, or my Facebook or Instagram accounts. I hope to hear from you soon and thank you in advance.
Now that my time of home quarantine is pretty much over with Germany and Austria coming back to life after almost two months in shut down, I have a similar feeling to when I go back to work after our long summer holidays. Having gotten quite used to the way of life we were all forced into I am now feeling like I am once again treading on familiar ground but a little apprehensive to do so.
My first journey back to Salzburg was a strange one, riding an empty train carrying a ‘border commuter’ document and wearing a mask, something I never imagined I would be explaining to people. But I got across successfully and made my way to the disinfected studios to begin a ballet class of four dancers, all practising their spacial awareness and finding their own feet after taking class in their living rooms for the past few weeks. Continue reading “Crossing the Border to Basics”→
Never would I have thought I’d be writing a post about this. With the world on lockdown due to the quickly spreading Coronavirus, it has been one of the strangest and scariest times any of us have experienced and it doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.
❝The entertainment and theatre industry is taking a huge hit❞
It is causing us all to go through our own difficult times and creating a worrisome atmosphere of what is to come and the possible effects it will have on us all. We have all been advised to say indoors and avoid contact with others, not to mention the unfortunate people that are having to actually deal with the illness and lives being turned upside down because of it. Continue reading “Dancing Queen in Quarantine”→
I have been part of the Landestheater Salzburg for almost two months now and am definitely on my way to feeling settled. The new routine is becoming my norm but still fresh enough to be interesting, and the people that now fill my days are all making life enjoyable and welcoming.
I feel cosy in my cute little apartment, filled with leftover furniture and comforting photos of friends and family. I am adapting to the very different timetable here where we work through rather than having a split working day. We begin at 10am with training followed by morning rehearsals till 14pm, a half-hour lunch break and continue with rehearsals until 5pm. When we start performing it will be a little different, but for now, I am really liking this way of working.
❝This is a big ballet to create so a lot of interesting work is going into this part of the process❞
Before I joined the company I admit I was a little worried about this change as I couldn’t imagine not having the long afternoon break I have grown comfortable too, but now I really appreciate having the evenings to relax and recover for the next day. Our bodies have so much more time to recuperate and it also gives us the feeling of a ‘normal life’; work is done at 5pm, time to enjoy dinner, meeting friends or an evening at home.Continue reading “Finding My Feet in Salzburg”→
Recently I read an interview with Gary Avis, a Principal Character Artist with The Royal Ballet, where he talked about his experiences as a boy doing ballet and what that has lead to. But he briefly mentioned something that really hit home for me so I wanted to share my thoughts on that topic with you all while sending out my special thanks to a special someone.
“There’s an impact on your personal life, too – but not for the dancer himself. Whoever partners with a dancer has to be a saint. Ballet takes a lot out of you and the hours are crazy. Dancers are committed to this life 110 per cent and so your partner has to be too. There is no other way.”- Gary Avis
Mr Avis was talking about the men and women who are not dancers themselves but choose to enter the world of dance when in a relationship with a dancer, and that is what I wanted to write about today.
❝Dancers are lucky that their jobs are a big love in their lives❞
The partners of dancers. Our better halves. The ones we come home to after a day in the ‘office’ and they will listen to our absurd ballet world problems, trying to understand what we have been doing all day while learning more about the arts than they ever thought they would.
If you’ve already read my previous post “Living In a World Such as this is like Dancing on a Live Volcano” you will know why I recently ended up on a quick trip to Japan to perform at a small gala very last minute. This spontaneous trip became part of my very short summer vacation and was another chance to perform some pieces I never thought I would again.
I spent the week rehearsing and performing with old colleagues while managing to combine the days spending some much needed holiday time with my other half, who came along for the week.
❝It is quite amazing what you can make possible when you have no other choice❞
We arrived at our hotel after a very very long journey just in time for a quick dinner and hopefully an early night. But upon arriving I received my costumes and pre-ordered pointe shoes, which I needed to prepare for the next morning’s rehearsal. So while my husband slept soundly (possibly the only good night sleep he got the whole trip due to jetlag) I lay in bed till 12:30 sewing these emergency pointe shoes until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Continue reading “Tanzen in Tokyo”→
There is never a dull moment, even during my lazy summer holidays. One week in and finally enjoying some days off with my family in London, looking forward to the next two weeks of summer, a phone call changed all my plans.
❝I had NO pointe shoes❞
Just as we were sitting down for a coffee my phone rang, flashing my previous employer’s name, Birgit Keil. ‘Mum Frau Keil is calling me’. Just seeing her name on my phone suggested something was going on and something was definitely about to happen.
The life of a Ballerina can be quite an interesting one and very different to any other lifestyle there is. As I love sharing with you what I get up to through my blog and social media, I wanted to do an ‘Ask Me Anything’ to answer some of the many questions people are often wondering about us dancers.
I got a great response through Instagram and some amazing questions, so much so I think I may have to turn this video into a series of videos to give as many answers as possible.
Thank you to everyone who asked me something, I loved answering them and it is also a great way to inspire me on things I should write about for the future. If anyone out there has a question for a ballerina please write to me and ask, I would be honoured to answer.
Hope you enjoy the video and keep your eyes open for more.
As the end of our ballet season in Karlsruhe is approaching fast, the time for big changes is also on the horizon, and with this post, I want to share with you the next step I am planning to take in my career and personal life.
This season will actually be my last with the Staatsballett Karlsruhe and I will be eagerly joining the Salzburg Landestheater Ballet Ensemble at the beginning of August. A company I have had my eye on for a while and a place I hope will bring many different and exciting opportunities my way.
❝Karlsruhe Ballet has been my home for nine seasons, giving me more than I ever thought I would have❞