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Next Steps and Nerves

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the radio silence recently – my life has been a little crazy recently and I’m only just starting to get back to something resembling normality. I’ve only got a week or two until it all goes hectic again, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

I was a little happy after submitting my thesis...

I was a little happy after submitting my thesis…

Although not ballet related, I’m very pleased to say that a couple of weeks ago I submitted my PhD thesis! It’s taken three years of hard work and I can’t quite believe I’ve handed it in! The last three months have been pretty hellish – long days/nights at the office, and no time for ballet, whilst writing up has been tough but somehow it all worked out. Next up is my oral ‘viva voce’ exam in a month or two and if I pass (I’m keeping my fifth positions tightly crossed!) I’ll have a few months to do any corrections the examiners want. Although at times difficult, my studies have been one of the most rewarding and satisfying endeavours of my life and I’m hugely grateful to have had the opportunity to do this work. Continue reading

Quick Update

Just a really short update to apologise for the lack of posts on my blog recently and explain why I’ve been quiet. I’m in the midst of writing up my PhD thesis (58,000 words and counting…!) and everything outside of my research is having to grind to a halt. I’m working around the clock and so haven’t had any time to write anything for the blog. Don’t worry though, I’ve got loads of ideas for future posts that I’ll start once I’m done with my PhD! Continue reading

Review – The Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker on Digital Theatre

It’s a little strange to be watching the Nutcracker in the middle of March. But there’s a reason to feel Christmassy – Digital Theatre has just released two more Royal Ballet productions (and two Royal Opera productions) to accompany its current roster of Sylvia (with Darcey Bussell/Roberto Bolle) and Swan Lake (Marianela Nunez/Thiago Soares). I’ll be reviewing both of the new productions, the first of which is Sir Peter Wright’s magical production of The Nutcracker from 2010. Continue reading

Where to Start? Beginning Ballet as an Adult

Recently I’ve been getting lots of emails from people wanting to start (or come back to) ballet, often in their twenties. I’ve been more than happy to reply to people and help them prepare for their first class, and it has made me think about what advice I would give myself, if I could go back 3 and a half years to when I first started ballet.

I thought I would share some of the advice I have been giving out in the hope that it might answer some questions people have, and calm some fears. I also asked for some help from my twitter followers and got some great questions and tips that I’ve tried to include. These tips are in semi-chronological order and I’ve tried to cover most of the big topics – let me know if I missed anything off! Continue reading

Review: Ballet Hero Fantasy (feat Steven McRae)

I think one of the biggest issues in encouraging young boys to get involved with ballet is convincing them that it is ‘cool’. It can be tough for boys starting ballet whilst still at school: they might experience bullying and name calling, or they may feel they have to hide what they do in their spare time. There is also (as always) simply a lack of boys dancing, which is such a shame. I think anything that can help make boys think it’s cool to dance therefore deserves a huge amount of support. Even if only the dancers themselves find it cool, it can be a great way to encourage them to be proud of being a dancer. Continue reading

Cinderella – performance time!

I still can’t quite believe it. Last weekend, I danced in the Bristol Russian Youth Ballet Company’s production of Cinderella at Stockport Plaza. Not only did I get the chance to perform in front of hundreds of people to raise money for a fantastic charity, but I also got to share the stage with two of the country’s greatest dancers: Elena Glurdjidze and Arionel Vargas. Continue reading

Cinderella – three days to go!

This is going to be a quick blog post – written in a coffee break between PhD work (I’m “writing up” my thesis at the moment – lots of work!).

I can’t believe it, but I’ll be performing in Cinderella on Sunday! It’s suddenly appeared out of nowhere – it seems like yesterday we were just learning which roles we’d be playing (for me: Dance Teacher in Act I and King in Act II). Continue reading

A week of ups and downs…

This week has been a little bit of a rollercoaster for me.

Firstly, I was very humbled to see that my blog has reached 1,000,000 hits! (A hit is a unique visit per 24 hours) I’m pretty sure most are probably spam, but I’m grateful for all you ‘real’ people who have checked out my articles. I hope that over the last three or so years I’ve helped inspire people to give ballet a shot – if I can do it then I guarantee that anyone can! It also seems a good time to remind you that if you ever have any questions then you can always get in touch: either by posting a comment here, shooting me an email, tweeting me, or posting on Facebook. Continue reading

Goals for 2014

Sorry for the lack of posts recently – I’ve been completely swamped with work and job stuff…

To start, I’ve begun writing my PhD thesis. As in actually putting words on paper (well, typing them into the computer) that will eventually make their way into a thesis that will (hopefully) earn me a PhD. I can’t explain how freakily scary that is! The aim is to submit my thesis around July 2014 so I’m hoping to have a first draft done over the next few months; then I can start thinking of entering the Dance Your PhD competition… This is alongside a couple of paper submissions in my research group and covering for a couple of lectures (for 300+ undergraduates!). I’ve also gone from not having any post-PhD plans to having a whole load of job applications on the go. I’m not quite sure what my future holds: what my job will entail or what city/country/continent I’ll be in. Continue reading