Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

I don’t have a specific routine before a performance, but I always try to get ready a bit earlier so that I have enough time to prepare myself mentally and physically before going onstage. For my warm up, I like to do a bit of barre to get my body going. I also drink plenty of water and I like to eat bananas for the extra energy boost.

What do you think is the most beautiful aspect of ballet?

I think the most beautiful aspect of ballet is the physicality and movement quality of it. I love to watch when dancers experiment and explore with their bodies in motion, and have a really special way of moving. For example, a dancer that I find really inspirational is Tiler Peck from New York City Ballet. She is such a strong dancer, and she is so light on her feet. When she dances, she looks as if she is creating the choreography on the spot. The way she moves is so natural and organic, but she is still doing ballet choreography. I find that really amazing.

How has dance changed your life?

Dance has definitely taught me discipline and caused me to mature much faster than other people my age. I trained at NZSD (New Zealand School of Dance), and that was where I had to learn to be independent, to persevere through the challenges and intentionally push myself. As I was away from home I had to grow up quicker and make smart decisions for myself.

Fill in the blank, “Dance is like ________.”

To me, dance is like speaking, it is the loudest voice our bodies can ever express. In fact, sometimes I find that I am able to communicate much better to an audience through dance, than through speaking.

What do you enjoy most about class/rehearsals?

I love having the time and space to perfect each step, I also love working with my other colleagues as they are such an inspiration to me, they are the ones who keep me striving to do my best.

What is your dream role in a classical ballet?

Rather than a dream role, I would like to have something choreographed on me, so that I can really make it my own. I enjoy dancing contemporary ballet, so probably a non-narrative piece that uses purely movements to speak to the audience.

What are your top three qualities as a dancer?

Versatile – I enjoy dancing both classical ballet and contemporary and feel at ease to switch between the two.

Determined – I believe in hard work. Even the most talented dancer will not make it if they do not work for it. So I really try to push myself everyday in class and rehearsal to try to perfect each step of the choreography. The beautiful thing about ballet is that it can never be perfect, so it keeps me working hard to try to achieve that.

Perseverance – During my time in NZSD, I suffered a few injuries and had to stop dancing for a while. During that time, I had to remain determined and driven in my artistic pursuits, and not give in to giving up just because I felt like I was behind everyone else.

To you, what is the difference between contemporary and classical works?

To me, contemporary has a more organic energy as compared to classical ballet which is more refined and controlled. Both are as unique and captivating, I personally really love both styles of dancing.

What do you want to do after dancing?

I feel like I’ve just begun my journey as a professional dancer, so I have not actually given it much thought, but I would definitely want to do something that is related to dance in some way. I do enjoy Pilates, and am quite interested in teaching ballet. These are some of my options at the moment.

Favourite movie and past-time?

My favourite movie would be the trilogy of Lord of the Rings. My favourite past time is playing with my puppy! His name is Finn and he is a mix between a poodle and Maltese. He is 7 months old and really mischeivious, but so much fun.

Quote or motto to live by?

“Challenge accepted!” For every challenge that I face which I find daunting, I try to keep an open mind and approach it with an unwavering perseverance.