Student Interview: Chloe Puddy
his week, we interview Chloe Puddy, a full-time ballet student in the Pre-Professional Program. This is Chloe’s third year at Ballet Theatre Australia.
Chloe, who or what inspired you to pursue a future in ballet?
Honestly, it sounds a little bit cheesy, but it was, in fact, my sister who inspired me to start dancing from a young age. We both were enrolled in a more theatrical school when my sister decided she wanted to do more ballet and less jazz. My mum moved the both of us to a more classical based school. My mum was very worried that I wouldn’t like it as my sister was the ballerina, and I was more of the jazz kid of the family. But once I got there and watched the full-timers working so hard. I knew that was going to be me in future. And from then on I watched all the full-timers go through first year, second year and off to professional jobs. Seeing that hard work does pay off really inspired me. I knew if worked hard like they did I could eventually do the same.
What are the greatest challenges that you face as a full-time ballet student?
In my opinion, the greatest challenges I have faced as a full-time ballet student would have to be doing the same thing day-in, day-out six days a week. The workload of a full-time ballet student is tough I won’t lie. There are some days where you are both physically and mentally tired and all you want to do is stay in bed. But you still get up and go in and work hard like you do every day, just to go home for dinner and to go back to sleep … just to wake up and do it all again the next day. It’s tough, but I do it because this is what I want to be doing. One of my other biggest challenges is when I’m having a bad day and nothing is going right; no matter how much in my head I am yelling at my body to do something, my body just won’t do it. This is really when I have to remind myself that it’s mind over matter. If you are in the right mindset when you walk into the class you will work well.
Who are your favourite ballet dancers?
My three favourite ballet dancers would have to be Maximova, Cynthia Harvey and Natalia Osipova. Maximova, because of how ridiculously quick she can move with so much style and make everything look so effortless when, in reality, what she is doing is very technical and requires a lot of work to execute it with as much ease as she does. Cynthia Harvey, because when I watch videos of her dancing, she has so much style in what she is doing whether it be Don Quixote or something like Sleeping Beauty. She doesn’t pretend to be the character, it’s almost as if she becomes the character. Natalia Osipova, because of how incredible her allegro is. When you watch her dance, she literally looks like she is flying through the air. It’s incredible how she can get so much height and stay up there for so long.
Chloe, do you think it’s important to maintain interests outside ballet or do you consider that a distraction to the commitment required? And why?
In my opinion, it is extremely important to maintain interests outside of ballet. At the end of the day, we are all just a bunch of teenagers, and sometimes you need to be a normal kid. I have seen some people get so caught up with ballet this, ballet that, that in the end, they lose the love for it because it was all they did. I like to believe that we should have a balance of ballet and a normal life. That’s what Sundays and holidays are for, they are for us to rest because of how jam-packed our schedules are, but they are also there for us to get out and do some normal things that kids our age would do. Catch up with old school friends, go to the beach, see a movie. Anything! Whether you’re a dancer or you work in an office, you always need your downtime where you don’t have to think about it even for a day. So when you do go back on Monday or the start of term, you are refreshed and ready to focus. You don’t have to be a bun head every waking moment of your life.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in ballet? If so, consider auditioning for either our full-time Junior or Pre-Professional program at Ballet Theatre Australia.