EARLY YEARS

I was born in Italy in 1997 and I began dancing when I was four. By the age of ten I realised ballet was something I wanted to do more than just as a hobby. In 2007 I was successful in auditions for both the Scuola di Danza del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the Ecole Superieure de Danse R.H. in Cannes, France. I chose the latter because it offered a more extensive and diverse programme as well as the opportunity to learn a third language.

Within weeks of starting at the ESDC, my teachers suggested auditioning for The Royal Ballet School in London, which was how I found myself training there from September 2008 to July 2015. These were very educational years, which carved me into a strong person and an acquainted dancer.

Bonjour Bordeaux is when a page turns. Entering the professional world was exciting and opened my eyes to new horizons. You’ll find details on what I’ve been up to since then below.

STUDENT TO ADULT

I graduated in 2016 with a Level 6 Trinity College Diploma, a BTEC in Performing Arts and a Royal Acady of Dance Level 4 Diploma in Vocational Dance. These qualifications are valuable towards an university degree which I intend to complete. I’m also glad to have an Advanced-Level in French seeming I moved to France in 2017.

The past few years have been beneficial in acquiring professional experience on and off the stage and have shaped me into a more versatile person. I’ve adapted to the turmoil of becoming an independant adult and have learnt some important life lessons. Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to since 2016.

June 2016: ENB’s Swan Lake, London

The highlight of my dance career, performing at London’s Royal Albert Hall in English National Ballet‘s production of Swan Lake. It was a huge privilege to be a part of such a dynamic company and I enjoyed the rehearsal process as much as the shows. The sensation of dancing on the iconic stage is still incredibily vivid and I always felt the performances were over too quickly, especially as it would take up to an hour alone just for the swan-like make-up to be good enough for an audience who is exceptionally close to the stage (because of how the Albert Hall is layed out). I don’t think I’ll ever forget the steps and counts of the choreography, as well as the challenge of remaining VERY still during parts of the lake scene.

2016: Opéra de Nice, Don Quichotte tour

Back to France, nearby to where I attended my first year of vocational training in 2007. When I was a student at ESDC I saw a performance (Giselle if I remember correctly) at the nearby Opera House in Nice. Many of graduates from the school ended up working at Ballet de Nice Méditerranée and little did I think that one day I would be dancing in that company too. This was an enriching work experience as after rehearsing in Nice we then went on tour in north of Italy, dancing on the raked (sloped) stages of Brescia and Piacenza. I’m grateful to have the a chance to dance as a professional in my own country and to have added these two beautiful theatres to my list of places where I have performed.

2017: Fitness Instructing Course, London

Ballet at professional level is sport, and throughout my training I was aware of the fact that dancers are fine tuning their body daily just as any athlete would do. I decided to deepen my knowledge in fitness and muscle building by undertaking a two month intensive course at Premier Global NASM, to qualify as a Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor, and Nutritional Advisor. The course had a perfect balance of practical and technical classes and also awarded a useful Level 2 Diploma in Sales and Business Skills.

2017: Dancing with Opéra de Bordeaux

The Bordeaux ballet company rarely offers permanent contracts to new dancers, but after my first work experience with them in 2015 I was welcomed to join daily class with the company. This led to an opportunity to dance in Minus 16 by Ohad Naharin. I was delighted as it’s a style of choreography that I had never experienced and is a great piece to add to my repertoire. Part of the dance is performed using a chair which is surprisingly challenging when you’re having to keep up with swift movements and complicated counts. The piece has elements of unpredictability making each performance of Minus 16 fun and versatile.

2018/2019: Trainee Coach at Spinbreak Studio

As well as obtaining self-employed status to run my private coaching sessions and dance classes, I was invited do small group training at Spinbreak Studio as a trainee. Putting into practice all that I had learnt at the course in London I was able to create efficient workout methods, mixing up my fitness knowledge with my advanced ballet training principles.

2020: Front of House at Groupe Bernard

With the closing of gyms, studios and theatres I needed an alternative to keep active and earning during the pandemic. Following inital work experience in hospitality at the Intercontinental Grand Hotel of Bordeaux (Summer 2017) I was fortunate to land a secure work contract in a domain which hasn’t been too affected by Covid. Groupe Bernard is a firm known worldwide for the fine wines & spirits it produces and exports. I feel honoured to be the first visual (and vocal) point of contact of their headquarters, a very stylish building which reminds me of a modern theatre.

13 Comments

  1. Hi Prisca,
    I really love reading your blog but I am having a question for a very long time now… What marks did you have on your RAD Advanced 1 exams? I know that you’ve got distinction since you were allowed in the Phyllis Bedells Bursary but how many pts did you exactly have? And how were the others in your class (did they all have distinction? I just wanted to know since I am also studying RAD and I’m going to audition this year … (:
    Thank you xx

  2. Hi there!

    I tried to answer your question regarding my comment to your Grishko post but he comments are closed so I will comment here:

    This is the website for Chacott: http://www.chacott-jp.com/e/category/ballet_01.html

    All I can really tell you about Chacott is that they are Japanese, are very light weight and are designed to break in fast (too fast if you ask me). My first and only pair failed within months and keep in mind, I only dance 1 day per week for 1 1/2 hours! So that should tell you something about the shoe.

    Next weekend I am going with my teacher to be fitted for new shoes and I think I am going to try Freed.

    Sorry I do not have any more information than that. 🙂

  3. Hi Prisca

    Nice to meet you – Love the photos of you and your Grandpa Jim. His sister June was my Nan, and I remember spending a lot of time at their house in Whangamata. I guess that makes us second or third cousins. Congratulations upon getting in the Royal School of Ballet.

  4. Hello Prisca, I loved your story about getting those Grishko shoes from Natalia Osipova. How lucky you were! Now that you have graduated from White Lodge, and have more freedom in your choice of shoes, have you ever tried Grishko yourself? If you are interested in a specialist fitting, do let me know and I would be glad to help!

  5. So wonderful to see your story in your own words Prisca. My earliest memory of you was dancing around our living room to the tune of American Pie and you wanted more, more, more. I guess you were about 15 months old at the time – born to dance. x Jane

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