Tuesday, 22 September 2009

From Student to Star : Freya Thomas

I am delighted to show another specially commissioned drawing by Sarah, a naturally gifted artist, to introduce this latest interview series. Sarah’s brief was to depict the dancers’ progression from student to professional, and the resulting sketch perfectly represents that transition.

From Student to Star is a series of interviews featuring Graduates as they begin their professional careers, and will be following them regularly.

Freya Thomas graduated from The Royal Ballet School this summer.

What were you most looking forward to about joining Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich ?

I was most looking forward to achieving my ambition of becoming a professional dancer in a top class company. I was excited by the opportunity to learn new roles and dance in ballets by choreographers who have created work especially for the Bavarian State Ballet and by being able to live and work with dancers from all around the world and experience a different country’s culture.

I was also very much looking forward to wearing my own dance clothes in class! It may be easy to get up and put on your school uniform leotards but it gives you a bit more personality to wear your own things.

How is Company life different from your student days ?

Life as a student was very regimented with a fixed timetable for each day of the week. In a company the days are much more varied with classes and rehearsals and performances arranged as needed. Some days I will be working from first thing in the morning to late at night and other days I may have a couple of hours off in the middle of the day and then have to come back in for the evening. Today for example I had class at ten followed by rehearsals until two, then nothing until a stage call from six to ten tonight. Weekends are also working days if needed! Being in a company also means you have to be more independent and take responsibility for your own development.

What are your best achievements as a student ?

Completing 8 years of training at The Royal Ballet School, both at White Lodge and The Upper School, was a huge achievement and in fact I was the only girl in my year group to join in year 7 and graduate last July. Whilst at school I was a finalist in the Young British Dancer of the Year competition for 3 years running and won the Sibley/Dowell Award for the most promising student in 2007. I also had the opportunity to dance in numerous productions with the Royal Ballet Company at The Royal Opera House, including Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadère and The Sleeping Beauty and I was lucky enough to go on tour with them to China, Japan and Hong Kong, which was a phenomenal experience.

Which professional dancer/s do you most admire and why ?

I admire so many dancers, it’s difficult to know where to begin, however Lauren Cuthbertson has always been an inspiration to me. To watch her perform you can see just how much she has thought about every single gesture; no movement or expression is unimportant. She makes her dancing look so natural and effortless it is incredible to watch. I also admire her humility and wicked sense of humour; qualities all good dancers should have.

What do you think you will bring to Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich ?

I hope to bring all of the exceptional knowledge that my teachers at the Royal Ballet School have instilled in me over the last 8 years together with my dedication and determination to succeed in all I do. I would like to think that I will be a happy and pleasant dancer to work with and also as the only English dancer in the company I shall introduce them to the joys of eating Marmite!

How have you found your first days there ?

I have been in the company for two weeks now and have really enjoyed myself. The very first day I was a little nervous about meeting everyone but they were very friendly and welcoming. I enjoyed company class but then I had to do a rehearsal for a contemporary work which threw me completely out of my comfort zone. Although I enjoy dancing contemporary pieces I find them more challenging to pick up at speed than traditional classical vocabulary. I survived however and now we are rehearsing for Raymonda which opens on Wednesday and I am really enjoying the work and looking forward to taking my first steps on the stage of the beautiful National Theatre.

Which role would you most like to dance ?

I love to jump (my nickname at school was Tigger!) so I would enjoy dancing roles such as Gamzatti in La Bayadère or Myrtha in Giselle. It is every tall girl’s dream to dance the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and I am no exception. Ever since I first saw it I have also always wanted to dance in D.G.V. by Christopher Wheeldon (Danse à grande vitesse).

What would you say to those students entering their Graduate year now ?

Take each day as it comes, there is no point worrying over things you can’t do anything about. Keep smiling and audition for everything you can. Even if you don’t end up with a contract, it’s good experience.

Where would you like to be this time next year ?

I would like to be well established in the corps de ballet, and hopefully understanding a lot more German than I do now!


  1. wow here we go again . This freya person is a talented artist. i love the sketch . I so enjoy your blog and learn something everyday about dancing and the talented artist that are involved . thanks for sharing and posting this blog .

  2. Thank you for the lovely comment. Sarah's drawing is perfect.

  3. I hope Freya will become a big star! I feel she is such a nice person.


  4. The drawing is beautiful as is Freya in her costume! Oh the beauty of ballet!

  5. So amazing - I can't believe I didn't know about your blog before. Freya's jumping is perfect and how nice to be called Tigger because of it.

  6. Both Sarah's drawing, and ballerina Freya are truly beautiful! Paulette ;)

  7. Hello, Elise,
    I enjoyed reading your interview with the beautiful Freya. I also enjoyed the drawing by Sarah. She showed the progression of the dancer beautifully. Thank you so much for stopping by Bunny Cottage. Sending autumn blessings your way. Vicki

  8. Hi, beautiful drawing!
    Thank you for your lovely comments! :0)

    Love Lou xxx

  9. Thanks for your comment at my blog:) Have you heard of Charles Billich. He has some great artwork depicting dancers.
    As a young man he as a dancer.Anyway I quite like his work. Enjoying reading your blog

  10. Hi Elise! Looks like you stopped by my blog a few days back inquiring about yoga vs Pilates. Hmmmm, good question. I understand your search as well as the time and energy to bring one of these disciplines into your life. First, they are very different yet they seem to mirror each other. I believe they are both effective. I wouldn't suggest using dvds to learn either. I would suggest taking at least a couple of private sessions with a qualified instructor, then a good dvd might work for you in the privacy of your home. I like to begin by teaching the principles of alignment along with principles of Pilates. Learn these and you'll be ahead of the game. One difference between these two disciplines is Pilates uses equipment. However, Pilates mat work is sufficient. When I go into the homes of clients, I take props and show them how to mimic the equipment with the props. Yoga is about stretching and balance. Pilates teaches that as well, but it brings much more to the equation, in my opinion! But I'm certain I'm prejuidiced. Again, there are movements that they look and feel the same, but in reality they aren't. Even the breathing is different. A qualified Pilates coach looks at the client's individual body type and the issues therein and designs a specific plan. If you ever want to chat more, email me from my blogsite. I think the bottom line is you have to find out what system fits your personality! Some people hate one and love the other. I like them both, but Pilates is my focus as I feel it offers me more for everyday life. Pilates is indeed "intelligent exercise with lifetime results!" Keep me posted on your progress.

  11. Hi there-this is such a lovely post and what an accomplished young lady, she has done so well already, good luck to her in the future!

  12. Great review! Love the drawing, Have a sweet day! x

  13. Congrats on your graduating and the costume is just lovely.

  14. Oh what a beautiful post for a stunning dancer.
    I love this, it makes me remember my ballet days.
    Oh, how I miss those days.

  15. lovely interview!! OMG she is a talented one!!

  16. Freya comes across as a lovely girl! I hope she has a wonderful time in the Bayerisches Staatsballett.

    Saskia x

  17. What an incredible interview, I wish her all the best!

  18. great site u have here! :) absolutely gorgeous!

  19. Elise, Awhile back came to visit your blog and leave a comment to thank you for visiting my lil blog and leaving me such a lovely comment, but to be honest after visiting your blog and seeing the beauty and how wonderful you write and how talented you are...I was actually intimidated and promised myself I would come back later...and now a few weeks later here I am...still in awe of your work, but I still wanted to let you know that your lovely comment was much, much appreciated :) Be well..be happy..be loved :) Rose

  20. i really like that drawing!

    thanks so much for coming by blog and leaving such a nice comment!

  21. Freya is such a beautiful person inside and out!! Enjoyed the interview so much!
    Thank you so much for leaving your lovely comment on my blog! It is so nice to meet you!
    I’m so glad you stopped by and entered in my giveaway, Good Luck!
    Hugs, Carol Anne

  22. I love your blog! SO happy I found it - I was a dancer for many years and dreamed about becoming a ballerina... I'm still sad I never made it. :(

    Really looking forward to start following your posts!

  23. Elsie,I love her dress! She looks like a peacock princess,just to let you know tagged your blog.Sharon xx http://mypassporttostyle.blogspot.com

  24. Your blog is really lovely.
    I've always loved ballet, and now wish I'd gone to lessons. I love Degas's ballet paintings are drawings, and I adore the photos on your blog. Ballerinas are just so graceful and elegant.

    Florrie x

  25. i love ballet and i love ballerina... =)

  26. You have such a fantastic blog! Thanks for dropping by :) Looking forward to your posts ;))

  27. What a gorgeous girl, and love too the fantastic illustrations to the interview.

    Love her ambition and attitude....something any of us (or all) can take from her feature.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  28. Beautiful drawing. Thank You for your comment. Have a great day. Blessings,

  29. Even though I am not into ballet it was interesting to read these recent interviews.
    I think I have only ever seen The Pirates of Penzance.

  30. oh she is gorgeous, exactly as i imagine what a ballerina should look like. : )

  31. What a beautiful girl! You just got to love that smile he he he! What a fantastic drawing as well. I love the line work. It's amazing. Thanks so for you comments. I really appreciate you coming by. thanks again.

  32. In a recent tag on my blog, I had to answer to a question about something about myself that had not been revealed previously and my answer was that I wanted to be a ballerina. True, this was my dream. Your blog is an eye candy for me.

    Love & Hugs

  33. Hey
    Thanx a lot for visiting my blog!!
    you have a treasure here for me to read and njoy!!!

  34. phonelady - you are too kind and I'm sure Freya will appreciate your compliment !

    UK lass in US - thankyou

    Greet - thank you - me too ! We will be following her progress here

    Catherine - I know what you mean !

    Couture Carrie - agree !

    Make Do Style - thank you and welcome !

    beedeebabee - thankyou

    Vicki - thankyou

    lou - thank you

    Michelle - I hadn't, but will investigate. Thank you !

    Pilates - thank you

    Sharon Rose - thank you; I am sure Freya will appreciate your kind words of encouragement

    Torie Jayne - thank you, you too

    Gourmet Candles Distributor - thankyou, I am sure Freya will appreciate your comments

    pve design - you are in good company !

    Wana - thank you

    Saskia - thank you, I'm sure Freya appreciates your kind words

    daisychain - thank you

    Summer - thankyou, you are too kind !

    BellaRosa - well, I am delighted that you've said hello. Welcome - you are in good company here so please don't be nervous. I'm very grateful for your kind compliments. Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment

    lisa s - thank you

    Carol Anne's Boutique - Lovely to meet you too. I'm sure Freya will appreciate your comments.

    Couture cookie - thankyou and welcome !

    My passport to Style - thank you, much appreciated

    Intrinsically Florrie - thank you. It's never too late to start...

    Velo - thank you, you're in the right place then !

    Aima Kessy - thank you & welcome

    Anika - I agree with you

    Country Mom - thank you

    Barbara - thank you

    Savvy Gal - thank you; I am sure Freya will appreciate your comments

    Vanessa Brantley Newton - thankyou

    Duchess of Tea - what a lovely dream Duchess ! Quite a lot of people here are the same....

    Sarah - thankyou, hope you continue to enjoy !

    Carol Anne's Boutique -

  35. Sarah's artwork is fantastic, I really love that picture!
    Freya is stunning! so elegant! I'd love to have been a dancer, unfortunately I'm clumsy instead :)

    Lots of Love

    Kelly xxx

  36. wow thank im going to faint
    that second picture of her jumping
    is incredible
    what is the name of that ballet step she's doing???


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