I was born in Surrey, England and started ballet at the age of 3 at my local dance school, Chatsworth Stage School. I then moved to California when I was 8, and trained at San Ramon Valley Dance Academy, until I moved back to England at the age of 14 to begin my professional training at a vocational dance boarding school, Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, where I studied for 5 years. During my training at Tring Park I had the opportunity to perform at Eve Pettinger’s Gala at the Britten theatre in London, and at The Swedish National Ballet School in their ‘Marleld’ performance in Gothenburg. I also performed the role of Giselle in Surrey Youth Ballet’s performance of ‘Giselle’. In my final year at Tring, I took part in Encore Dance Company’s UK tour, made up of the graduating students, where I performed in Kenneth Macmillan’s ‘Elite Syncopations’, alongside other mixed repertoire. I have also participated in various summer programs including English National Ballet, National Youth Ballet, Ballet West, Oklahoma City Ballet, Houston Ballet, and the Royal Ballet School.
Who influenced you most to become the dancer you are today?
One of my first ballet teachers, Miss Gayle Farley, really inspired me to continue ballet as a professional career. Gayle was a professional dancer with Ballet West and she always inspired me with her stories of what dancing professionally was really like. She used to encourage her students to really understand ballet by reading books about the history of ballet and the life of ballet dancers. She even showed me how to sew my pointe shoes for the first time. Her training and encouragement really inspired my love of ballet, and I am forever grateful to her for that.
What was the funniest episode(s) you’ve experienced in your career?
I have quite a few funny moments that have happened on stage, but one that will always stick with me is when I was performing a piece called ‘The Little Circus’, aged 11, and midway through the dance, my ballet slipper flew off and landed in the audience. I then had to complete the ballet without one shoe!
Who would you most like to share the stage with (living or dead)?
I would love to share the stage with a former Royal Ballet Dancer, Zenaida Yanowsky, who danced with the Royal Ballet Company for 23 years. The role of the Queen of Hearts in the Royal Ballet’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was created on her and I had the opportunity to be taught the solo by her. Her performance qualities are truly inspiring, and the detail of acting out every step is something I would love to interact with on stage.
What goes through your mind just before you perform?
Just before I perform I like to try to clear my mind, and not think about the dance steps in the upcoming pieces, as I find that this simply worries me and doesn’t help my performance. Instead I like to concentrate on finding happiness within myself, and staying very calm to prepare for the performance.
What do you like/admire most about San Diego Ballet?
I love the variety of repertoire that the San Diego Ballet has to offer. From more contemporary and neo-classical pieces to very classical ballets, the San Diego Ballet has it all, and I really enjoy trying all the different types of choreography. I also really admire the high standard of the dancers and am inspired every day by the talent around me.