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Dance International
Written by: Chloé Grové

1. Name, Surname, Age
Chloe Grove, 30

2. Where are you originally from and what is your Current location / Dance company?
I am originally from Pretoria, currently living in Sandton. I am a Senior Soloist with The South African Ballet Theatre

3. When and where did you start dancing?
I started ballet lessons at the age of 4 with Janet Watson.

4. How did it happen that you started dance classes?
I fell in love with ballet from the first moment I watched one. This was La Fille Mal Gardee with Dawn Weller dancing Lise.

5. What good memories do you have as a child regarding your dance classes?
I always looked forward to my ballet classes as a child, it was the highlight of my day!

6. In how many dance forms did you receive formal training and what are they?
I received training in Ballet, Contemporary, Classical Greek, Spanish and Jazz. I attended Pro Arte Alphen Park High School where I studied these dance forms.

7. What do you love most about being a member of a Dance Company?
I love the fact that I am living my dream! In today’s fast paced world, it is not always possible for a person to make a career out of their childhood dreams. Only a small percentage of the population ever have the opportunity to do what they love in their everyday life. I am one of those extremely fortunate people!

8. What have you learned from other dancers during your career so far?
As with life, dancing continues to evolve throughout the years. In the profession, dancers tend to pick up and learn from other performers in the discipline. This continual mutual learning that takes place ensures that not only do we grow as ballet dancers, but also that the art form as a whole continues to thrive globally.

9. Dancers train really hard. What does your typical schedule look like. How many hours do you normally practice per day / week?
A typical day will start at 10:00 with our daily warm up class. We have a 15 minute tea break and then rehearse until 13:30. After an hour lunch break we will rehearse again till 17:30, sometimes 18:00, depending on how close we are to performances. This is from Monday to Friday, and on a Saturday we will work from 10:00 till 13:00. When we are performing, we will usually have the morning free and work from lunch time, have a supper break and then the show. During the supper break we will prepare for the show, doing hair and make-up.

10. How do you prepare mentally before each performance?
I visualize and go through all the steps I have to perform. I also try and remember all my corrections before I go on.

11. How do you feel just before you go on stage?
Excited! I fortunately don’t suffer from nerves!

12. What is your message to youngsters who are serious about dancing?
Persevere, persevere, persevere! Do what you love, for yourself!

13. What is your message to parents of dancing kids?
Be supportive and appreciative as striving for perfection in ballet can often push you beyond your breaking point

14. In today's world, people expect instant results. Even though some dancers have only had a few years' training and are very successful, is it possible to experience overnight success as a dancer?
No, as it requires hours of dedication and training.

15. How do you feel about a dress code for a dance class? For example: If you were to go horse riding, you would need to wear specific clothing and protective wear, created especially for horse riding.
I feel that a dress code is required. For girls, a leotard and tights and boys, a tight fitting t-shirt and tights. This allows one to see the technique and allows for non-restrictive movement.

16. Is it beneficial for dancers and teachers if students dress neatly for class?
Yes. This is one of the methods used to instill discipline.

17. If you did not become a professional dancer, what other career would you have chosen?
Fortunately I have never had to think of that!

18. If you could stay anywhere in the world... but South Africa, where would that be and why?
New York or Paris…the vibe, the culture and the atmosphere are unbelievable. And they both have such beautiful ballet companies.

Image Credits: John Hogg


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