Liam Geck started dancing at 4 years old, but ballet initially was not on his radar.
“My Mum thought dancing would be a good outlet for all the energy I had as a child, so she enrolled me in tap, jazz and Irish dancing at my local dance studio,” Liam explains. “I didn’t enjoy ballet as much as my other classes in the beginning, but my teacher told me I’d need to take it more seriously because choreographers always ask you to take a ballet class in commercial auditions.”
After taking this advice, Liam started ballet aged 8, before becoming more serious about his dancing, and making the decision to audition for Queensland Dance School of Excellence’s Ballet Stream, a program supervised by Queensland Ballet at the time.
“Once I began dancing for five hours per day under my amazing teachers at the Academy, I began to find love for the pure technical aspect of ballet,” Liam reflects. “Dance started to become more than what I was doing when I was younger – it became a way of telling stories, and I really found joy in learning more classical ballets and excepts.”
Finishing school while training at the Academy was an intense experience for Liam, who became motivated by reaching his goal of one day joining a Company. He decided to audition for several ballet finishing schools, accepting a place in Queensland Ballet Academy’s Pre-Professional Program (PPP) in 2014. From there, he progressed into the Jette Parker Young Artist Program, and then as a Company Artist at Queensland Ballet.
“Those years were so exciting for me, but they came with their own set of challenges. When you’re in PPP, you’re taking on principal roles for performances and you’re at the top of your training in the Academy. Then I went into my first year as an apprentice and was at the bottom again,” Liam explains. “However, being a part of the Company was so magical, and to this day it’s still so lovely to be part of a community on stage. To see everyone at the peak of their career has given me a lot to aspire towards.”
Liam now performs at Queensland Ballet as a First Company Artist. His highlights include performing various solos as well as the Snow Pas de Deux in The Nutcracker.
“For two or three months before a season we rehearse, put in all the hours and work very hard. The reward of the audience’s applause and knowing you have done your very best on stage is what I train for,” Liam says. “It’s the moment you’ve been able to deliver something you have dreamt of for so long.”
In the future, Liam hopes to dance more principal roles and eventually work his way through the ranks. For students looking to follow in his footsteps, he offers some advice:
“Enjoy every moment – every barre, every class. When you enjoy what you do, you put out your best work. Take on all corrections and trust in the people who are teaching you.”
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Images: David Kelly & Eduardo Vieira.