life of a young ballet dancer

Inside The Life Of A Storytime Ballet Dancer

When your dream comes true, what does it look like? David James knows, as he dances the roles of Prince Charming and The Wolf in The Sleeping Beauty: Storytime Ballet upon his return to his home town of Penrith in NSW.

How did you get involved in dance? Was there a moment when you realised you wanted to be a dancer?
I started dancing at around six years old and only started because of my three brothers who were involved in dance and/or drama. Basically I was tagging along with them and I started. They’ve stopped now, but I continued. I can’t pin point the moment when I decided I wanted to dance, but I think it was just a gradual realisation where I just started enjoying it more and more until it actually became my career.

Why did you choose ballet over other styles of dance?
I felt as though my body really took to the ballet technique and style. I preferred the discipline required to achieve near perfection in the movements. I always enjoyed striving for something and ballet challenged me in ways the other styles didn’t. You could say I chose ballet for the challenge. Inside The Life Of A Storytime Ballet Dancer Was dancing encouraged when you were growing up?
Dancing was always encouraged. My family supported me my entire life and I’m so grateful for the countless hours of waiting and driving my parents had to do so I could dance. Dancing become a family event – when I had a concert on, the entire family would come and support me.

Can you tell us about what a normal day looks like for you right now? I start off with about an hour at the gym in the morning, preparing and aligning my body for the day ahead. I then have a ballet class where we work on the steps we could potentially perform on stage. Then, I go into numerous rehearsals, piecing together this new magical ballet.

yellow-tutu-ballerina

What inspires your work? What keeps you motivated?
Many things inspire me. The music, my family, my friends. Basically, I try not to take anything for granted. I’ve been given this opportunity to be able to perform a beautiful art form on stage. The fact I was given this opportunity motivates me.

What do you love most about being a dancer?
I get to wake up every morning feeling healthy and happy. I get to be in an environment where I can freely move my body around, expressing the emotion of the music. I get to perform on a stage, sharing stories by movement to thousands of people. Not many people can say they do that as their job.

Which dancers, artists or people inspire you in your life and dancing?
Daniel Gaudiello (Principle with The Australian Ballet) and Steve Jobs.

little-red-riding-hood

What has been your favourite project to work on? I’d have to say this one. Only because I’m a part of the creative process of piecing the ballet together. It’s exciting to be in the studio and to see how it’ll all come together.

Can you tell us about the roles you are dancing? I’ve been cast to perform the roles of Prince Charming (from Cinderella) and The Wolf. Both of these characters are invited to Princess Aurora’s Wedding.

How do you feel about being a part of this new production? 
It’s really exciting. Being able to see and be a part of the creative process is an incredible opportunity. Being a part of this amazing company is just a dream come true and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I haven’t performed in my home town in very long time, so I’m coming home and it’s a great feeling to be back where it began so long ago in my little school dance group at Clairgate Public School.

Inside The Life Of A Storytime Ballet Dancer

What aspirations do you have for the future and what would be your dream ballet or role to dance in?
Right now, I’m just waiting for what might be around the corner. I’m living in the moment. I have plans to go to uni and study a Bachelor of Exercise Science, so I can be behind the scenes of the ballet world and help keep all of our incredible dancers in tip top shape, but I also plan on continuing with my life long passion of dance. Every day is a new day and I have no idea what door could open next.

Get your tickets to The Sleeping Beauty: Storytime Ballet being performed in 10 locations throughout the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria on The Australian Ballet website.

Interview: Bron Bates / Photographs: Lynette Willis and The Australian Ballet

This post is sponsored by The Australian Ballet. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make child mags blog possible.