Friday, 2 October 2009

Olivia Cowley interviewed for "Cupcakes & conversation ..."

Cupcakes & conversation with Olivia Cowley, First Artist, The Royal Ballet

Olivia Cowley has recently been promoted and you can see her dancing at the Royal Opera House when the Autumn season begins from October 8th

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
Going into a job most girls dream of!

Who would you most like to dance with ?
Jonathan Cope or Carlos Acosta. They both have such charisma and passion on stage. It would be wonderful to work alongside them.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I've recently changed my pointe shoes to a brand that are considered to be the 'Nike air' of pointe shoes, which makes preparation and sewing almost effortless.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?
When I start back at work, I don't stop until next July. We start at 10.30am and pretty much don't stop until 10.30 at night, but that’s if we've got a show - if it’s a 'free night' then we don't finish until around 6.30pm.

You can ask six famous people to dinner - who would you invite ?
Margot Fonteyn, Lee Evans, Elizabeth 1, Stephen King, Stephen Hawking and Barack Obama! We would have a Mexican and drink Earl Grey!

What would surprise people about you ?
That I can't stand Musical theatre! Which is strange as I love all types of dance and I'm a big fan of popular music.

Who inspired you to dance ?
No question about it Margot Fonteyn.

How would someone else describe you ?
Well according to my friends my laugh could wake the dead! So I would say loud!

What is your best piece of advice ?
To not laugh too loudly because it annoys your friends!

Which role has tested you the most & how ?
There have been many recently but I'd have to say it was probably my first taste of Principal work when, as a member of the corps who had never danced a solo on the main stage before, I was asked to perform a pas-de-deux with Rupert Pennefather. It was nerve-wracking but exhilarating and it received great reviews.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
I have far too many to mention. I happen to have the funniest family, they crack me up!

If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
A classic black leotard with pink tights ( á la Balanchine). It’s very simple but I find it so stylish on stage. It also shows off my body and movement; some costumes can drown the artist.

What are you most proud of ?
The day I was invited to join the Royal Ballet Company.

Who would play you in the film of your life ?
Lee Evans in a dark wig!

What is your favourite quote ?
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
I can whistle through my nose. But it’s not a secret - all the dancers can hear me breathe and whistle on stage while I'm dancing!


  1. I like her quote; it's so true, in every walk of life: 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail'

  2. Hi Elise,

    Another beautiful interview along with the photos. It makes me want to be a ballerina!

    Michelle :)

  3. Thank you so much for coming over and leaving a comment on Hannah ballerina. I should certainly come and visit your blog for ballerina poses.
    Awesome photo's.
    Great to hear from you.

  4. Nice body art

  5. she is adorable! I just read a very fun article on Royal Ballet dancers in Jamie Magazine, they certainly are inspirational people.

    thanks for dropping by and your sweet comment!


  6. wonderful interview, stunning ballerina. Sandi

  7. love your blog too, great subject matter!

  8. Very nice interview! Indeed, she should feel very proud working with the Royal Ballet... I wish her success!!

    Question: are there at the moment any Argentine ballet dancers at the RB?


  9. nice interview.

    love ballet dancing


  10. Aledys Ver : Answer - oh Yes ! Have you heard of Marianela Nunez ? She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is a Principal dancer with the company. Hope that helps.

    Promise I will reply to everyone else shortly !

  11. I love interviews! She is just lovely!

  12. I just noticed you left a comment on my sigma brushes post. Thanks for stopping by. I think my cousin is gonna like your blog. Her daughters does ballet here in Los Angeles at Marat Daukayev school of ballet.

    They do The coolest Nut Crackers once a year ^_^

    Have a great one.

  13. your interviews are just incredible

  14. Thanks, Elise! I haven't heard of Marianela, I'll look up for her bio. I remember that Iñaki Urlezaga was a guest dancer with the Royal Ballet for about 10 years, I think? Then he came to Het Nationale Ballet here in the Netherlands...

  15. Aledys - you are very welcome. Actually Marianela has her own website :

    You are right about Iñaki Urlezaga being with the Company as well

  16. DUTA - I agree with you (and Olivia) !

    Style Bird - thank you so much - very kind of you to say so

    Michelle - thank you - I know what you mean.

    Julie-ann Bowden - thank you and welcome

    Easy 2 Me - thank you

    Ania - thank you and welcome

    CelticWoman - thank you ! I'm sure Olivia will appreciate your compliment

    Pink Bow - thank you so much and welcome

    Nic - thank you

    Jen R - thank you, and for your kind words to Olivia

    Becky - thank you !

    daisychain - I'm honoured, thank you so much for your kind words.


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