Meet Charles Slater
Charles Slater is a company artist at the Queensland Ballet.
It took Charles a while to realise that ballet was something he wanted to to. He first saw himself as more of a hip-hop dancer, and even had dreams of becoming a police officer. However, on beginning full-time training at the McDonald College in Sydney, he discovered “what ballet was really about”. He performed as Franz in Coppelia with the College’s company, the Premier State Ballet, and also worked with the Australian Ballet as an extra. He fell in love with “the thrill of being on stage and performing a story”.
“There is nothing quite like it” he explains. “I discovered dance, which sounds weird but there is so much more to it than just steps, which was my initial thought. I found my inner self. I could express myself through an artform and delve deeper into the creativity of ballet and other forms of dance. At first, I didn’t see it being a job for me but the more I explored ballet and contemporary I knew I had to improve and pursue.” He threw himself into his studies while also completing his HSC Year 12 and ATAR.
In 2018 he joined the pre-professional program with the Queensland Ballet. In 2019 he was promoted to join the Jette Young Artist Program, “which is the first step into the Queensland Ballet”. In 2020 he was promoted to company artist.
“It's amazing being a part of the Queensland Ballet,” he says. “Everyone is super friendly and there is no hierarchy. You can ask anyone for help and the support we receive from the staff is phenomenal. I love to perform (even though at the moment we aren't able). As soon as we get on stage we are one big family and also in the studio.”
What was one of the main life lessons you gained from full-time studies?
“Finish school,” he replies. "It actually matters and you do actually learn valuable lessons. Always try your very best in ballet studies and in all studies. I learnt that putting myself down was only going to lead me to a spiral downwards. Always stay positive.”
What does he wish he had known when he was a student?
“Not everything is about your physique or your natural abilities. It's about your creativity , your work ethic and your ability to handle tasks and pick them up efficiently. Of course, having pointy feet and long legs help but that is something I don’t have.”
Charles Slater was profiled in our annual pullout Full-Time Studies Guide in Spring (September/October/November) issue. See our special 40% off Christmas offer: one year (four issues) print + digital for only $31!