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 Ballet 4 Lifer of the month- July! A month filled with golden shimmery rich Summer days, blossoms, outdoor events, and enjoyment. 

We welcome Lara Morley-White this month and although Lara is a relative newcomer to Ballet4life ( been attending for about one year) her natural joy of dancing is readily apparent and is also infectious.

Lara as a young Dancer

Chassé  it away Lara!  The Lilac Fairy Variation awaits you in the future!


Lara ( far right)  with fellow dancers in rehearsal for the 29 May Showcase Fundraiser.


In performance 

When did you start dancing?

Officially when I was 4 or 5 but I’m sure plenty of home videos would corroborate me flitting about from a very early age - I’ve always loved to put on a bit of a performance!

 


Lara as a young Dancer

What makes dancing so special to you?

Where to even begin? Dancing, and in particular ballet, has been such a constant in my life. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to fling myself about out of pure joy and a way to release the happy energy I feel bubbling under my skin. Other times it’s a quiet focus to calm anxious thoughts and embrace the familiar warm hug of peaceful music and French terms that ‘effortlessly’ transform into movement.

 

When did you start with Ballet4Life?

Had to look this up but apparently June 2021 so it’s just been my 1st year anniversary! Wow. In lots of ways Ballet4Life still holds that ‘new and exciting’ feeling for me but equally I very much also feel part of a family. I think the recent showcase has really strengthened that. Truly nothing compares to that feeling of being on stage and dancing with such a talented group who share the same love of dance.

 

Backstage with her Ballet4Life buddies and trusted Teacher Jo

What makes Ballet4Life so special for you?

The other dancers in my classes can make me laugh and feel relaxed even after the vilest of work days. We share in each other’s victories (from the rare, clean double pirouette to an unexpected perfectly calm balance) whilst creating a safe space to make mistakes and reassure each other that some days are just bad dance days! I also can’t fail to mention how much I appreciate Jo, whose classes I go to week in, week out. She’s all the encouragement and push without the pressure and I truly feel she brings out my best ballet side.

 





Lara in class

Do you get to see dance performances regularly? If yes, any favourite companies, dancers, performances you have seen recently?

My uncle works at The Royal Ballet School (though as an academic, rather than ballet teacher) so after growing up being invited by him to visit on open days, including seeing the dorms and pretending in my head I’m a student there I’d be fibbing if I said The Royal Ballet doesn’t hold a special place in my heart. There was a Royal Ballet School book series which included a book entitled ‘Lara’s Perfect Performance’ and so naturally thrilled me to bits. It almost made me forgive them for rejecting me for their Junior Associates programme…

Less well known is perhaps Ballet Theatre UK who are a touring company based in the Midlands (where I’m from). I’ve seen many of their productions with my Mum, Granny and Sister which range from the classics to entirely new creations such as The Little Mermaid.

 

Do you have a favourite Ballet4Life class?

I’d never really done Repertory work before so my ballet love is currently growing through Tuesday’s Barre and Repertory class. As a child, I vividly remember having a video tape which taught simplified, tiny aspiring ballerina friendly versions of the Sleeping Beauty fairy variations. The Lilac Fairy was always my favourite, potentially just because I liked the colour and thought she had the prettiest tutu, but I can’t wait till we reach covering that in class. It’s going to feel like a beautiful full circle moment.

 


Lara with the esteemed Dancer/Teacher/ Yosvani Ramos at our recent Master Class


What do/did you do for your “day job?” and/or what were you educated/trained to do as a profession?

I wish I could say ballerina but unfortunately that’s just in my dream world and I’m actually an accountant. Somewhat more creatively limited but I assure you I make very pretty, colour coded spreadsheets!

 

Do you have a favourite part of class/ ballet step you love?

Perhaps controversial, but definitely allegro. It never fails to make me smile. In my opinion it’s way too short a section at the end of class that’s sometimes tragically cut short if other parts have taken longer than expected. I would happily do a full class of fast ballet and energetic leaping about (though I’m sure there’s some argument for the safety aspect of warming up and building up to that part of the class…).

 

If you do our Pointe Work classes, do you have anything to share about your experience?

After struggling through a couple of levels of vocational exams which required pointe work back in the after school dance class days I swore I’d never go en pointe again. I thought once I was an adult purely returning to ballet for light relief there’d be no way I’d willing put myself through that torture, yet here I am and dare I say I’m loving it. On reflection, I don’t think my teenage legs, ankles and feet had the strength I’ve seemed to grow into and I couldn’t see any beauty in my precariously slanted feet failing to get properly onto the tip of my pointe shoes, just pain. If that was you I implore you to try pointe again. I’ve definitely changed my tune (and also learnt getting properly fitted pointe shoes makes a world of difference… who knew!)

With her Pointe Work class Ballet4Life Buddies


Many thanks again, to Lara!!

Happy Days of dancing in July.


Images copyright Ballet4Life and Lara. Not to be reproduced without prior permission.


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