Over the last few weeks my days have been filled with preparations for something I am very honoured to be working towards and can’t believe it has arrived so quickly.
It was back in February when I got an email from an unforgettable teacher I had while training at The Hammond School, the wonderful Mrs Elliott. This delight of a women being someone who took me through my final years at the school,before transferring to the Royal Ballet School, and gave me so much joy in the studio as a student asked if I would return to the school for their 100 Year Anniversary performances to dance the lead role in Peter Wright’s ‘Giselle’.
Being a role I have not yet had the opportunity to dance I was very excited to confirm with my directer, Birgit Keil that it would be possible for me to travel to England in May and take part in the production. It was a little concerning that I would have to learn the whole ballet on top of the usual work schedule, as it would be something I would do in my free time, but seeing as I was informed early enough I was sure I would manage the work load.
Everybody needs a holiday, and dancers are no different. It is always something we look forward to, and I mean really look forward to. It’s a time when our bodies and minds can take a well-earned break and recuperate. We can let go and relax. We can forget about work, about dance for a week or two. And I have to tell you, it feels good.
It is so important that we give our bodies time to rest. We work them so much and push past pains that could be bothering us for a long time so a mid-season break could be just what we need to recover from our tough timetable. It is also quite refreshing to have some time away from the studio. Being inside the same four walls is not good for anyone, and the studio is a place dancers have to love. It is a place for hard work and creation, and for that to happen we don’t want to be climbing the walls but rather filling the place with our passion. Having time away can remind us how good it can be to come back.
We did it! And what a great time we had. After one week in Bangkok, I can honestly say I have made memories to last a lifetime. From performing for special audiences to sharing evenings with influential people, and experiencing it all with friends and colleagues, it has been fantastic.
After arriving safely and settling into the beautiful Dusit Thani Hotel, we had the day to relax before work started. We spent our free time, usually the early hours of the morning exploring the streets of Bangkok. We hunted through markets, admiring rooftop views, relaxed with massages, munched on enticing street food, dined at upmarket restaurants, and even found a Thai/German Bistro we just had to try. Sharing smiles with friendly and helpful locals and each meal even tastier than the next, we were never disappointed.
We performed Youri Vámos’s ‘The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol’ at the Thailand Cultural Centre, with its large stage and hard working team of technicians, it was great to be back. In this production, there is also a chance for young local dancers to perform with us and I had a great time with a group of bright and polite girls all from Thailand except one from the USA. They all spoke excellent English and wore big smiles all day. The American girl, and her mother, actually knew me through a teacher I had when I was young. The ballet world really is small. The girls were so lovely, and we shared many giggles; I think they had a fun time with us too. Continue reading “Ballerinas in Bangkok”→
As you may have seen on my calendar, the company is heading on a trip. We will be travelling all the way to Bangkok, Thailand for a week and performing the beloved ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Bangkok’s 18th International Festival of Dance and Music. We will be dancing Youri Vámos’s ‘Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol’, a ballet we premiered the first year I joined the company. It was actually the first premier I experienced as a professional dancer back in 2010.
Going on tour with the company is always very exciting. Since joining, I have travelled to Korea, Switzerland and Bangkok, loving my time performing in different places. Dancing somewhere new has such a different feeling to being comfortable at our home theatre. New dressing rooms, training on stage, different backstage crew. But it is a great chance to have fresh experiences and the performances always bring me something new.
Here is a speedy clip of my Spanish morning workout that has kept me going while on holiday. I combine different stretching and strengthening exercises: each one focusing on a different muscle or section of muscles.
As you may have seen I am spending the last 2 weeks of my summer holiday in Spain with my wonderful family. Since it is such a rare occasion to have us all together for more than a weekend it is a much needed and lovely holiday for us all.
As my summer break is ticking by quickly and the last weeks are upon me, it is now important for me to exercise every day to get my body work-ready. Like on all summer holidays it is very tempting to soak up the sun all day, but I know my body will thank me for doing some exercise before the season starts. Continue reading “Tanning, Toning, and Training”→
As you can imagine with such a long summer break of 6 weeks it can be very easy to get out of shape. I have found that a good mixture of rest and movement can really help to recover, yet stay suppel and toned throughout holidays.
I was asked by KNT Danceworks in Manchester if I wanted to teach a class while I am back in England and as it fits in with my summer plans there will be a ballet class this week on Thursday 18th.
It is always a great compliment to be asked to give a class, especially as I love to pass on my experience and knowledge of dance. In the past I have taught classes of young beginners, where as this time I will have the opportunity to advise a studio full of young adults who have a passion for ballet and really want to learn something. I think it will be a great experience for me, whether only one person or 50 people turn up, and if I can give these dancers anything I would want them to have a enjoyable class.
If anyone is close by and interested, come and join me and other ambitious dancers on Thursday. See you there!
As I have started this blog a couple weeks into my summer holiday, it is the perfect time for you to see what dancers get up to whilst not working.
When another season is coming to an end we are always so excited for our 6 week holiday, as you can imagine. When working in a ballet company the dancers are given all their holidays at once, in a long summer break, just like in school (minus all those missed half turn breaks). We are sometimes lucky with a few days off around christmas and New Years, or even one or two long weekends, which is always much appreciated. But after working all season long we definitely need the well deserved break and usually a trip back home, where ever that may be.Continue reading “Summer Time”→