The best part of being a ballerina is the gypsy lifestyle. I have been so fortunate to have travelled the globe with my dancing career. Visiting new cities, immersing in new cultures, meeting incredible people and most importantly, opening and pushing my comfort zone performing and exploring new places.
I have been extremely blessed to have danced in theatres rich in history and I am always humbled when I step onto a new stage knowing which dancers have graced that space before me.
I have toured and danced in some of the world’s greatest cities: Paris, London, St Petersburg, Moscow, Tokyo, Nagoya, Auckland, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Beijing to name a few.
Unfortunately, with such a hectic schedule, injuries are a part and parcel; being able to effectively cope with stress and inflammation is what distinguishes a long career, from one cut short. When you’re jetting around the world and are constantly in and out of hotels and theatres, staying on top of your body is easier said than done. I take Nageze with me wherever I go, whether it’s to hit the ground running after a long flight, to recuperate in my hotel after an intense performance, or to hold off inflammation for a long day of practice.
Of all the places I have visited so far, one place that sticks in my memory is the Arena di Verona, a restored Roman amphitheatre in Italy. I would love to dance there, and can just imagine how magical it would be to perform in the outdoor space at sundown.
When on international tour, the pressure is high. As a ballet company we are not just representing ourselves but our country. I have had many proud Aussie moments abroad; the most memorable touring highlight was an opening night of Swan Lake in Los Angeles. There was a lot riding on our performance; it was a while since our company had been invited to perform in LA and we felt we had something to prove. After a mammoth four act ballet, we received a standing ovation from the entire auditorium and could tell that they were moved by our performance.
The audience reaction brought a tear to my eye. We were so proud of our all Australian re-creation of Swan Lake and you could feel that that on opening night every dancer was bringing their a-game; no-one was holding back and every single dancer brought something special to this moment, as individuals and as a group.
I have never been prouder than that moment being one of the swans in the flock; it really was a special career moment and a humble realisation of how wonderful it is to be able to move people emotionally by this unique art form.
Besides the annual overseas tour, I travel around Australia all year round to bring our productions to the theatres in each state. Although the international tours are exciting, there is something special about dancing on home turf and walking towards the Sydney Opera House as the sun is setting and dancing under those sails. The Sydney Opera house is such an icon and holds so many memories; one of my fondest memories was going to watch the ballet there with my mum when I was young and hoping that one day I would be up on that stage. I still pinch myself when I am behind the curtain and when I am tired and my toes are sore before a show, I think of that moment. It’s all the motivation I need; knowing that I could inspire one little budding ballerina watching out in the audience makes it all worth it.