Student days: Jemima Scott

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Jemima Scott; photo: Ron Fung
Jemima Scott; photo: Ron Fung

Jemima Scott is a guest dancer with Royal New Zealand ballet.

Where are you from?

Wellington, New Zealand  

Where did you undertake your full-time training?

National Theatre Ballet School, St Kilda.

 What level of education you attained before beginning your full-time training?

I have level 1 NCEA and have credits towards level 2. 

Did you make any unexpected discoveries while undertaking your full-time studies?

I had to really work on adage in pointe shoes. I find adage the most hardest thing in ballet and adding a pointe shoe was very hard! I took a lot of time just standing on one leg balancing in a pointe shoe just to get a feel for it and then I eventually did more complicated things. 

Did you change your mind or have a change of attitude about your career goals while you were studying?

I had a huge change towards healthy eating. I used to eat pretty unhealthy and not really take notice of health. While I was training I kept finding myself tired and lacking in energy and then I started focussing on fueling my body correctly and it made a huge impact on my strength –  which made me a much better and more intelligent dancer. 

 What was one of the main life lessons you gained from full-time studies?

That only you can do it for yourself -- no one else can. At the end of the day you can have amazing teachers but if you don’t put in 100% you won’t see any change.

 What is your best memory of your studies?

Probably performing in our end-of-year concert of Swan Lake. I was lucky enough to dance Odette and it was an amazing experience I will never forget!

How quickly did you gain a professional position after graduation?

After I graduated from NTBS I went to Munich to train for a few months but due to COVID I had to come home to NZ. While I was back I contacted the Royal New Zealand Ballet and was lucky enough to receive a position as a guest dancer there. I will be involved in Venus Rising which will tour through New Zealand. It is great doing class with a company as it is so different to a school and quick – meaning you need to be on your game 100% of the time and no slacking!

 What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you were a student?

That it’s not all about how high your legs are or how many pirouettes you can do it’s all about how you do it. Also focus on bettering yourself and not competing with other people. 

 Since this article was published, the Venus Rising season, which included works by Twyla Tharp, Alice Topp, Andrea Schermoly and Sarah Foster-Sproull, had to be cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Read more inspiring personal accounts of student life in our annual pullout Full-Time Studies Guide in Spring Issue - OUT NOW! Find out more here and buy your copy from your favourite dance shop or online here.

 cover spring 2020


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