Mia Thompson reflects
Sydney Dance Company's MIA THOMPSON reflects on her time at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.
When Mia Thompson joined the WA Academy of Performing Arts, she was sure her career “would be with a ballet company and only that”. The Queensland-born dancer had graduated from the Queensland Dance School of Excellence with a Diploma in Dance and had completed a year with the Queensland Ballet’s Professional Year. At WAAPA, however, she was introduced to such a wide variety of subjects that she had a change of heart.
“My eyes were opened to different styles of art that included ballet, contemporary, improvisation, music, acting, aerial and much more. Every subject has crafted me into the dancer I am today,” she says.
“I was introduced to so many new ways of moving and understanding my body. Accessing these new abilities within myself opened my eyes to new opportunities. I gained so much strength and knowledge while at WAAPA and it has helped me achieve my career goals and more.”
Aside from her career goals, what else did she learn?
“I learnt that what you put in is what you get out,” she replies. “This art form asks a lot of you; you have to be determined and love what you do. You can’t always control what is going to happen in your career, but you can control what you put in.”
Some of her best memories of her time at WAAPA involve “meeting and working with some incredibly talented dancers, choreographers and teachers from all over the world”.
She joined Sydney Dance Company in January 2019, after three years the Scottish Ballet. “Moving back to Sydney has been one of the greatest moves to date,” she declares. “My time with SDC has brought me so much joy and discovery. I haven’t made this much progress and discovery about myself as a dancer since my time at WAAPA.”
If she could go back to her student days now, she would “listen to her body more”. Dancers have to know when they have reached their physical limits. “In my first few years as a professional, I would often push through injuries and not allow my body time to heal properly. In the end our body is our tool and we need to cherish it.”
Read more inspiring personal accounts of student life in our annual pullout Full-Time Studies Guide in Spring (September/October/November) issue - OUT NOW! Buy your copy from your favourite dance shop or online here.