Best memory: Amber Mitchell-Knight

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Student at the National Theatre Ballet School, Melbourne.

What is your best memory of your full-time dance studies?

Amber Mitchell-Knight; photo by Jacinta Christos.
Amber Mitchell-Knight; photo by Jacinta Christos.

If I were to choose a memory that would last with me forever it would have to be performing my variations on the National Theatre’s home stage at the end of 2020 post-COVID lockdowns in Melbourne. Nothing can beat the appreciation I have for performing and dancing on a stage with the lights, hair and make up done, and wearing a gorgeous costume, most of which are made by my mother and her small business, Tutu Tout Le Monde, who puts so much love into making her tutus, even with a limited audience.
I felt like myself again, a dancer, after spending the majority of the year training online for my Diploma in Dance alone in a small studio apartment where movement and freedom was limited.

I love that this year I have been able to complete my Advanced Diploma in Dance, the majority of which has been in the studio with my wonderful teachers including Artistic Director Damian Smith, former Principal of the San Francisco Ballet.

What were the main life-lessons you learnt through your full-time studies?

Discipline. Training as a full-time dancer takes discipline and hard work.
I know the life as a professional ballet dancer is not easy. The days are long and strenuous both mentally and physically as well as quite repetitive at times. Class is a daily activity. But I love it and I have been training on average six days a week for a number of years now and I know this is the life I want. Discipline is an important behavioural tool. There are multiple times in all aspects of life when you need to be strong and resilient and self-discipline is there to help you during these times.

 The Full-Time Studies Guide is published in the July/August/September issue of Dance Australia. Buy from your favourite dance retail outlet or go here and never miss an issue!

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