In Conversation with Shaun Curtis —
Pre-Professional Program student with Queensland Ballet
Queensland Ballet holds auditions annually for our Company and Academy.
Shaun Curtis has been a student with Queensland Ballet since he was 14 years old. His progression as a dancer has seen him move through both our Junior and Seniors Programs to now be part of the Pre-Professional Program. Shaun is the 2016 recipient of the Charles Lisner Scholarship.
What has surprised you about the transition to full time training?
For me the biggest surprise has been the ability to just purely focus on dancing. Transitioning from completing Grade 12 to full time training has taken a huge amount of stress away. Without the pressure of study, I’m now able to solely concentrate on ballet technique, as well as pilates, strengthening and overall wellbeing.
What has the rehearsal process for Strictly Gershwin been like for you?
This production is the first time I have ever performed with the Company and it has been an extremely intriguing and exciting experience. Just sitting and watching the Company rehearse is enjoyable enough, but to get the opportunity to perform is even more amazing. I am part of the tap numbers and after not tapping for so many years, to now being able to do it in such a huge scale show as Strictly Gershwin is truly scary, but so much fun!
Who inspires you?
I think everyone inspires me in their own way. All dancers have that special little something that you admire, whether it is a virtuosic trick, artistic presence, or even the natural gifts they were born with. The quiet appreciation of those qualities is what makes dancing everyday so inspiring.
Is there a particular role you’d love to perform one day?
In all honesty, I don’t have a specific role I would like to perform. Each and every role has a different story and challenge to it. Those challenges are what I look forward to because the hard work and dedication to overcome them will make me a stronger dancer mentally and physically.
Believe in yourself. As clichéd as it sounds - you have to. If you do, it will make your dancing appear much more confident and appealing to the artistic staff watching you.