Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Amy Coughlan interviewed for "Cupcakes & Conversation ..."

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!!


  1. Hi Elise...
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for commenting on it. You just never really know who "really" follows it. But I love writing. Especially about things that inspire me and things I love!!! :) Glad you commented, cause now I found yours. thanks

    Carla McDaniel (just an average girl livin' her best life blog)

  2. Elise, what a wonderful interview. I have always admired the way dancers live their lives with such discipline and dedication. Amy is adorable, xv.

  3. 21 sounds old to get her first pair of pointe shoes - good for her to have got where she is.

  4. You left such beautiful comments on my blog site I had to have a look at what you do. I love it! I haven't done Ballet for years & was thinking of doing some evening classes to jazz up those long winder evenings, this is the push I needed. xxx Claire

  5. you lost me at the answer where this lovely young woman said she enjoys spreadsheets! As someone avoiding doing her end of year accounts and phobic about anything Excel I need a cuppa to recover! Thanks for popping by. Lovely here much elegance! t.x

  6. Hello Elise.
    Thanks for visiting my blog today and for your lovely comments :)
    I love ballet!!!
    Hugs from Argentina


  7. Elise,
    Thanks for visiting me on my blog. I am so glad to meet you! I have always been fascinated by ballet but never knew anything much about it. This is a beautiful site and a great way to learn more about the artists behind the performances. I will be back soon.


  8. I love your blog. What a wonderful source of inspiration! I am going to share it with our 8 year olds and 6 year old! In fact, our 6 year old has ballet today! It teaches such grace and discipline.

  9. Thanks for your visit!!! I love ballet. I´ll visit you again.
    Have a nice day!!

  10. thanks for being a fan on my blog...

  11. thanks for being a fan on my blog. thanks for reading

  12. Such a great blog!
    I can't wait until my little A is old enough to attend ballet classes.

    Lisa Renata

  13. Another fabulous interview, Elise!

    Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  14. Hi Elise,
    Your blog and interviews are wonderful. It is very interesting to know a dancer's life and mind. My sister has been enjoying ballet as her hobby for 30 years. She is not a professional but she loves ballet. Also all the pictures in your blog are beautiful.

  15. What a Lovely blog you have.
    So wonderful to read all the fun facts about these beautiful,disciplined & talented ballerina's.
    This would be a great source of info. & inspiration to share with your young "nspiring to be" ~ Ballerina's.
    Thank You so much for your wonderful words on my blog!
    Best Wishes ~
    Joelle XOXO

  16. We know this young lady very well and yes she is truely adorable.

  17. i love ur blog
    I've always appreciated dance and the hard work put into it
    your blog isreally originala nd unique aswell which i love ^^

    thanks for visiting mine aswell ^^

  18. Thank you for your visit. You have a lovely blog.
    My dauther loves ballet and we´ll see you.
    Sorry for my english.

  19. She is a darling - great interview! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog :)

  20. Hi Elise! Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Beautiful Ballet!My 12 ye old is a dancer...Jazz and hip hop. She has taken dance since pre-school. We just love all forms of dance!

  21. well hello there. thanks so much for the comment! and i really like your blog too!! =] its great. i wish i could do ballet =]

  22. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Hope you continue to read. Love what you've done as well. I always wanted to be a ballerina!

  23. Hola Elise! muchas gracias por visitar mi blog.
    Me parece muy interesante el tuyo, siempre me han llamado mucho la atención las imagenes de bailarines. Te felicito !!
    Un abrazo desde Argentina

  24. Hi there! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and saying "hi"!

    Gosh, I haven't been to a ballet in years. Reading through your blog though makes me remember all the things I loved about it. You do such a beautiful job! I loved all the gorgeous dance photos and it was so interesting to read the interviews.

    Have a beautiful day!

  25. Elise thanks for wishing me better on my blog, great piece today enjoyed reading it.

    peggy lee

  26. Hi Elise,

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog today and nice to meet you!



  27. COOL BLOG :-) Thanks for visiting mine! I love your posts and i love dance! I miss dancing!! I grew up every weekend in a school of dance.

  28. Thanks so much for your sweet comment and for stopping by my blog! Yours is lovely :)

    And a dinner with Johnny and Jamie? How can I get an invitation!?

  29. These interviews are great, although they make me want to get back in to my adult ballet lessons (8 months pregnant is not the best time to be dancing!) My daughter really wants red pointe shoes too!
    Clare x

  30. Hello there and many thanks for stopping by my blog today :) x

  31. Those are gorgeous pictures and a great article. I love reading about the arts. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I hope to hear from you more!

  32. wow! you have such fabulous blog, I just found you!

    Amy is beautiful, I used to think that ballerinas are not fun and approachable given their perfect posture and grace is quite intimidating, but thanks to this interview I now know that they are like everybody else, dreams are reached with hard work and if you fail, the day will come when you can just laugh about it!!!^^
    great post!

  33. Hi Elise! Thanks for visiting my blog and leave me a sweet comment! Wow..your blog is awesome!!! I love your post though I know nothing about ballet :)

  34. Perhaps Amy needs a trip to Brympton we never know who will appear next her wish list sounds like our wish!
    Thank you for generously leaving a lovely message for my return

  35. Elise,
    Thank you for coming to my blog! I appreciate your comments.
    Your blog is fantastic! I will read more!!
    Btw..... love your name!!

  36. Thanks for coming to say hello on my blog, yours is lovely! my niece just recently started ballet and I wish I could go with her...I used to teach hiphop...quite a bit different, always wanted to take an adult class, Im just too afraid haha!

  37. great blog it,s nice to see bellah captured in action

  38. A beautiful blog & a beautiful dancer!!

    lol I'd invite Jamie Oliver for dinner too!!:)

    I admire all dancers for their discipline and dedication, and of course the beauty and grace..

    There was a time when I wanted to be a ballerina too, that time is loong ago though! :) It's good to read about other's experiences though!! might inspire me to go dancing again, on a smaller scale of course!!

  39. dinner with johnny dep...yes please!!! haha. my kind of gal.

    thanks for stopping my bloggy. you're so sweet!!!

  40. Thank you for coming by for a visit. I adore yours!! Will be back again soon.

    Warm Wishes,
    Karen Eileen

  41. Thank you so much for your kind comments on my post Elise. And what a beautiful blog you have here.

  42. Hi Elise,
    Thank you fot the comment on my post!
    Nice interview with Amy Coughlan!
    Elise, are you from the UK or from the US?
    Have you ever been in Belgium to write something of Belgian ballet dansers?


  43. Hello from Canada!! Thanks you so much for this interesting post and for your lovely comment,all the best,Chrissy

  44. Just Breathe - great aren'y they ?

    vicki archer - thank you so much for your lovely compliment.

    Flowerpot - I think Amy meant that she got her first RED pointe shoes at 21 - not her first ever pointe shoes. It was the red ones she especially wanted and they are not routine - they are usually pink.

    Butterfly - I hope you do go - I'd like to follow someone who does adult ballet classes. Please keep me posted !

    Kitschen Pink - Well there you go - dancers do all kinds of things !

    Marcela - great to hear from you - thank you

    Jenn - I hope you will continue to enjoy - please let me know if there is anything in particular you'd like to read about

    Henley on the Horn - thank you so much. The dancers are inspirational aren't they ?

    lancelonie - thankyou !

    daisychain - too kind - and I love being called "doll" !

    Akuka - good to hear, welcome !

    $ - you are welcome

    Lisa Renata - thank you for the compliment. I hope you keep us posted !

    Ela - thank you, too kind !

    Mausi - Thank you so much. You don't have to do ballet vocationally to get anything out of it - as a hobby it is extremely rewarding as well

    Joelle Dolce Bebe - thank you so much

    Anon - good to hear from you, and thank you

    Naka - thakn you so much - it's always great to be unique

    A. Morgan - Please don't apologise - your English is fine. Welcome !

    Bug - thank you ! I'm sure Amy will appreciate your compliment

    Tiedupmemories - lovely to hear from you and thank you

    obsessionperfection - thank you and welcome

    Emily - thank you

    Alejandra Dorado - Muchas gracias to you ! Very grateful for your lovely compliment

    Bejeweled - I hope you get to see a ballet again soon - and thank you

    peggylee - thank you !

    Gera - thank you

    outdoor mom - how lovely, thank you

    Anne - I'll see what I can do !!

    mondo cherry - I hope you get back to it soon - thank you

    Lucy Pursglove-Jones - thank you

    Miss Mustard Seed - what an apt name you have there ! thank you and welcome !

    Sassy Scribbles - thank you for your comments - that's exactly why I do the interviews so it's great to hear that they are working for you !

    Cindy Lee - thnka you so much. Hope you continue to enjoy and soon you'll be hooked !

    susan - thank you !

    Manon Doyle - thank you, and welcome. You have a very apt name for the ballet !

    Jana - I really hope you do find an adult class - I don't think you should be afraid - they are really popular now and quite hard to find actually, but everyone is lovely and you'll make loads more friends and have a whale of a time. Please keep me posted !

    robinthebruce - thank you

    Layla - You are in good company here - thank you !

    bananas - thankyou

    KaReN - thankyou and welcome

    Cal - thank you

    Greet - thank you. No I've never covered the Belgian dancers. Why do you ask ?

    Chrissy - thank you


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