Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Cupcakes & Conversation with Amy Coughlan, Professional Dancer, Ballet Theatre UK
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
I awake each morning to my alarm playing ‘Hey There Delilah’ by the Plain White T’s. It is one of my favourite tunes and calms me for my day ahead; also you can't beat a good breakfast and listening to a bit of music.
What are you looking forward to about joining Ballet Theatre UK ?
I am looking forward to the challenge of learning a variety of roles and putting in practice what I have been working towards for the past three years. It will be fun working with other Company members and travelling to many different venues around the UK and Wales – I am sure we will have a few tales to tell between us! I must admit being paid to dance is an added bonus.
Who would you most like to dance with ?
I would love to have the chance to dance with either Edward Watson or Eric Underwood.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
After the ritual of sewing the ribbons and elastics, I bend the back of my pointe shoes with my hands and carefully stand on the block to soften and slightly flatten the block. Finally, I walk around on demi-pointe followed by slow rises and relevés.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
At the moment I work for a temping Agency and my assignments so far have been working at Harrods. I try and attend ballet classes at Pineapple as often as I can.
You can ask six famous people to dinner - who would you invite ?
I’d invite Jamie Oliver for his culinary skills
Lee Evans to bring hilarity to the table
Moira Shearer and Sarah Lamb who are my inspirations of the past and present
Kate Hudson, she’s beautiful
Johnny Depp, well what can I say…….!
Photo : Bill Cooper
What would surprise people about you ?
My culinary skills, as I really enjoy a good cooking session to see what I can create and my enjoyment of mathematics; except if it involves a spreadsheet.
Who inspired you to dance ?
Moira Shearer inspired me to dance after watching her in ‘The Red Shoes’ at the age of 4. From then onwards I was determined to become a ballet dancer and own a pair of red pointe shoes; I finally received the red pointe shoes for my 21st.
How would someone else describe you ?
Just recently have been described as approachable, friendly and that I always have a smile on my face.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Believe in yourself and don’t let others knock you down.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Paquita, Paquita, Paquita!!!!
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
Before joining Central (School of Ballet) I performed the ‘Scottish Reel’ from ‘Les Sylphides’. We practised and practised and then one time for a performance we all came out on stage, the lights came up and everyone was there on stage with their partners but me, I looked to the side of the stage and there he was looking at me and waving!! At the time it wasn’t funny but when I joined Central I had to laugh as the first dance we learnt in our Dance Studies sessions was………'Scottish Reel'!!!!! I’m also very well known for my blonde moments!
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I’d like to design the costume Darcey Bussell wears for Elite Syncopations but in a shade of purple with purple pointe shoes! It's such a sophisticated and stylised costume and I am obsessed with the colour purple!
What are you most proud of ?
Being accepted into Central School of Ballet and graduating into a professional Company - Ballet Theatre UK.
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
It would have to be Kate Hudson.
What is your favourite quote ?
‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gunna get’ – Forrest Gump
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ?
I suppose my arabesque. I am told I have a lovely clear, good, classical line.
A phrase I use far too often is ... ?
‘If you think about it…..’
‘Purely based on the fact that…….’
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
Performing Titania’s solo from George Balanchine’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for my graduation solo.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
I do but it’s a secret!!