Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Cupcakes & conversation with Natalie Cawte, Professional Dancer
Natalie is about to start work with the UK’s newest classical ballet company, Ballet Theatre UK.
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
I'm quite a cheerful and happy person so Monday mornings are no different to any other morning. I always look forward to my week ahead and the challenges that it may bring.
What are you looking forward to about joining Ballet Theatre UK ?
Joining Ballet Theatre UK will bring me lots of different opportunities. I am looking forward to working with a new director and new artists. As we will be touring - I love the experience of performing at new venues and visiting different places. Most of all I am excited about furthering my career and getting the buzz of performing on stage again.
Who would you most like to dance with ?
Purely for the fun of it - Dick Van Dyke. When I watched him dance in Mary Poppins, he always seemed to have so much fun and was very entertaining to watch.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
After trying various methods, I now try to do very little to my pointe shoes, as I find they last a bit longer. I start off by sewing the ribbons and elastics in place, I then burn the ends of the ribbons to stop them from fraying. Before I wear them for the first time I soften the block by either lightly standing on them or shutting them in a door jam. I then bend the backs of the shoe gently with my hands.
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
As I am currently in between contracts, I try to travel to London as much as I can during the week to take class. So my day would begin with an early start, followed by a 2 hour train journey. Once in London I take an advanced/professional class which lasts for 1 hour and a half. Sometimes afterwards I try to catch up with friends and the latest gossip!!
You can ask six famous people to dinner - who would you invite ?
I would invite - David Beckham, Julie Andrews, Simon Cowell, Robert Lindsay, Judy Garland and Anton Du Beke.
What would surprise people about you ?
That I am actually not as quiet as I seem and I worry about everything. Also I have to admit that I know all the dialogue and lyrics to the Sound of Music off by heart!!
Who inspired you to dance ?
My first serious local dance teacher Mel, who identified my talent and helped me to develop my technique and focus on a career in dance. I was very lucky as she was very encouraging and supportive.
How would someone else describe you ?
I asked someone this question and they come back with - fun loving, kind and caring.
What is your best piece of advice ?
Never give up on your dreams and always give 100% at all times.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Whilst working with Ballet Central, a jazz piece was choreographed on 3 other dancers and I, called 'Let Yourself Go' by Phillip Aiden. This role was definitely a tester. It was a very demanding piece which went on for about 6 minutes - so it was pretty hard going on the stamina. It included lots of difficult lifts and fancy footwork. Obviously being trained in classical ballet made it a challenge for all of us.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
I was once in a posh restaurant in London, the waitress came to take our orders but I had a fit of the giggles, which set everyone else of laughing and unfortunately nobody could give the waitress their order. It took about 10 minutes before everybody stopped laughing. It was very embarrassing for us and the waitress.
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
Traditional tutus are my favourite, so I would have to say it would be a tutu based design, as I think these are very elegant and flattering.
What are you most proud of ?
I am proud of all my achievements in life so far, but most recently I'm proud of passing my driving test at the first attempt.
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
Sandra Bullock - for no other reason than she is one of my favourite actresses.
What is your favourite quote ?
"Success is felt in the heart, not measured by money and power. So be true to yourself and achieve the goals you set."
Do you have a "signature step" - one that comes more easily to you ?
I’m not sure if it’s a signature step, but a favourite move of mine and one that I feel is my best would be a Grand Jeté.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
My dad has always said to me that I am a natural comedian and a good mimic..... But I'm not so sure about that!!