GET­TING TO KNOW

Ever won­dered what it takes to be­come a pro­fes­sional bal­le­rina?

Dolly - - Contents -

Baben’ bal­le­rina Benedicte Bemet.

TALK US THROUGH AN AV­ER­AGE DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BAL­LE­RINA.

Pi­lates in the morn­ing, fol­lowed by a daily ballet class and then, if we are in a per­for­mance sched­ule, we break at 3pm for lunch and start get­ting ready again at 5pm with hair and makeup. Warm-up barre is at 6.30pm, with the show start­ing at 7.30pm and fin­ish­ing at 10.30pm. After a show, I ice-bucket my legs and then head home for some din­ner and a good sleep.

WHEN DID YOU RE­ALISE THIS WAS SOME­THING YOU WANTED TO DO PRO­FES­SION­ALLY?

When I was eight, I started to be­come aware of fa­mous bal­leri­nas and I wanted to be like them when I grew up. When I was 12, I de­cided to take the next step and au­di­tion for The Aus­tralian Ballet School.

HOW DO YOU PRE­PARE FOR PER­FOR­MANCES?

I start with my makeup and hair, then I do some of my own pi­lates ex­er­cises to pre­pare me for warm-up barre. Some­times I will prac­tise cer­tain steps by my­self or with my part­ner be­fore go­ing on stage. If I’m danc­ing a more promi­nent fea­ture role that might make me more ner­vous, I get a lit­tle su­per­sti­tious ‘knock’ on my back from Jas­min [Durham] and Jill [Ogai] – it’s some­thing we’ve done since we started at the school.

YOU STARTED NUM­BER­ING YOUR POINTE SHOES WHEN YOU BE­CAME PART OF THE AUS­TRALIAN BALLET. WHAT NUM­BER ARE YOU UP TO NOW?

Since join­ing, I’ve gone through 380 shoes.

WOW – THAT’S QUITE AN ACHIEVE­MENT! WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUD­EST PRO­FES­SIONAL MO­MENT SO FAR?

That would be my per­for­mances of Aurora in David Mcal­lis­ter’s The Sleep­ing Beauty.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL YOUNG GIRLS WHO AS­PIRE TO BE­COME BAL­LERI­NAS?

It is a very phys­i­cally gru­elling ca­reer that takes a lot of hard work and ef­fort. It is not as glam­orous as it’s made out to be, but if you truly love it, none of that mat­ters.

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