How long have you been dancing? Did you always want to be a ballerina?
My mother put me in ballet when I was about 5 years old. I think I needed an outlet for my need to constantly move (and be the center of attention). By the time I was 10, I had my mind made up that this was what I wanted.
What is the most challenging or difficult thing about working in ballet/dance?
Do I have to pick just one? At this stage, fairly late into my career, a huge challenge is actually the transition from being a dancer to not being a dancer. There’s no smooth way to do it. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s a complex and abrupt change. To be a dancer, you have to be obsessed and disciplined from a young age. Your identity is wrapped up in dance. You enter the field so young and so fully immersed, that it’s hard to think about and prepare for what happens after. Even though I have many outside interests and dreams, it’s virtually impossible to find time to invest in anything else. The sacrifice is real. And that’s a challenge. But of course, it is a choice that I’ve made, and I wouldn’t have changed it.
Can you tell us a bit about what brought you to Lausanne?
I am dancing for The Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp, Belgium. We are one of the few companies outside of Bejart Ballet that has been granted the permission to dance Maurice Bejart’s Bolero. A few of us came to Lausanne to learn the main role in the piece for two weeks.
How did you find the routine of Bolero? How does it compare with other dance routines you are used to?
Bolero is a legendary piece. It’s very famous and many dance legends have performed the main role. So it has a big history and there’s a lot to live up to. It takes a big personality to dance this role because it is quite simple. The choreography is some of the most challenging I’ve ever learned, not because of the steps themselves, but because of the repetitiveness of the music and steps. It has very intricate and complicated counts. It’s a lot of brain work, whereas most other works rely on muscle memory. Many dancers have used a screen with the names of the steps in the wings to help remember what comes next. This is quite a dream role for me though. It’s got something very special and magnetic about it and the music is legendary.
What were your favorite aspects of the city of Lausanne? Any highlights?
My favorite part about Lausanne is the natural beauty surrounding it. It truly is stunning. And the sunshine! I love the combination of the lake, mountains, sunshine, and old world culture. And it is so CLEAN!
You tend to travel a lot for your profession, what are your top 5 travel tips/what are some things you make sure to do when visiting a new city?
- PACK LIGHT
- MAKE THE EFFORT TO FIND GOOD FOOD
- TAKE THE DAY TRIP RECOMMENDED BY LOCALS
- BE SPONTANEOUS
- DON’T FEEL STUPID TAKING THE BIG BUS TOUR. It’s actually fun and educational and a very efficient way to see a new city with limited time.