Our columnist, Julius, catches up with ballet star Isaac Lee-Baker to find out how he is getting on and for some insights into the world of dance and ballet.
To learn more about Dance and Ballet in Leeds and Yorkshire visit: http://northernballet.com/
Q: How has 2014 been so far?
A: It didn’t start that well as I had an injury which stopped me from performing the role of ‘The Prince’ in Cinderella. But after some great treatment and help from our wonderful physiotherapist here, Craig Schofield, I was getting back on track. In January, I went on my first international tour as a professional performing Lysander in David Nixon’s A Midsummer Nights Dream. I was also back in March to perform ‘The Prince’ too, so a good year so far.
Q: How long was your training before you became a professional ballet dancer?
A: I started taking ballet lessons at the age of seven and joined Northern Ballet when I was 19, so roughly 12 years
Q: Do you have any tips for those wanting to try ballet?
A: Be open to all advice given and lessons taught, aim to work correctly from the beginning of your training and know that you’ll never dance exactly like someone else and aiming to do so could be counterproductive.
Q : What is the best thing in ballet or dance for you?
A: Having the opportunity to dance to an audience who have purposefully turned up to see us perform, to hear what you have to say or to take in the story you’re helping to tell. That’s definitely the best part, even if only perhaps inspiring or moving one person in an audience.
Q : What is your usual day at work?
A: This depends on whether we’re on tour or at base for rehearsals. When we’re at Quarry Hill in Leeds, we usually start the day at 10 am with full company class, after this we take a break before the the first rehearsals of the day up until 2:30; when we have lunch break and then onto the post lunch rehearsals from 3:30 until 6:30. When we’re out on tour an average day would begin at 11:30 with usual company class. After this we go into rehearsals of the ballet we’re currently performing or other upcoming pieces in the season before the evening performance at 7:30. If it’s a double show day the rehearsal time would be the first performance of the day.
Q : What is your favourite Leeds hangout?
A: I don’t really have a favourite place yet, I like the Belgrave Music Hall and Café 164 does some great sandwiches
Q : What excites you?
A : Good music, travelling
Q : What is your favourite part of dancing?
A: Don’t really have a favourite part? I enjoy dancing in a powerful group piece, sometimes moving in unison or together with others has a real good feel to it or a pas de deux
Q : If you hadn’t chosen ballet what will your career be?
A: A career somehow involving music, dance or bikes, though I did want to be a firefighter when I was younger.
Thanks Isaac for taking time out. Your Leeds Fans are right behind you.