When did you start dancing?
Age 7 in Sydney, Australia.
Why did you start dancing?
My sister inspired me; she was a brilliant gymnast who also danced.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
I didn’t watch much dancing as a child, but a Drag Racing motor sport champion in the USA called John Force has been a constant inspiration. He started with nothing but a passion and desire to race, he is now a 16-time world champion!
Which dancer do you most admire?
I admire intelligent dancers! A dancer with a strong work ethic combined with talent is truly inspiring.
What’s your favourite role?
I love performing Romeo; MacMillan’s Romeo was my first principal role in a full length ballet!
What role have you never played but would like to?
A role that is yet to be created for me… 🙂
Who is your favourite choreographer?
That is like asking a parent to choose who their favourite child is!
Who is your favourite actor?
Ralph Fiennes is brilliant and he usually chooses interesting films to be involved with. I have a thing for Nicole Kidman too!
Who is your favourite singer?
This answer has quite an extreme range. I listen to Frank Sinatra often but I also love The Killers… perhaps The Killers need to cover some of Sinatra’s songs!
What is your favourite book?
I like books that challenge or question the way we look at everything in life; books like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers is the kind of thing I like.
What is your favourite film?
This is almost impossible to answer, but again it’s quite an extreme range… American Psycho through to Senna, the documentary film about F1 legend Ayrton Senna.
Which is your favourite city?
I always love working in Tokyo; the city is alive and it makes you feel alive. However, there is no place like home, standing in Sydney harbour with the Opera House on one side and the Harbour Bridge on the other is something I’ll never get tired of.
What do you like most about yourself?
I always try to find a solution to everything. You can’t ‘fix’ everything but you can at least try to find a way to improve a situation.
What do you dislike about yourself?
I have a tendency to set myself very high expectations… you run the risk of never feeling good about anything. Luckily I have the best wife in the world who always makes me acknowledge each stage of life.
What was your proudest moment?
Completing my University Degree in Business Management and Leadership whilst working full time and performing around the world has to be one of my proudest achievements. I think when my wife and I put the keys in the door of our first apartment that we bought was also something I am extremely proud of.
When and where were you happiest?
Sometimes you step on stage and it just feels right. When you have that moment and you feel free is when I am happy. Away from work I’d say I was extremely happy relaxing in the Maldives on my honeymoon… who wouldn’t be!
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife, my family, my friends, performing, dreaming, good food, Drag Racing.
What is your greatest fear?
Great White Sharks… I guess I should stop watching Jaws!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve… We are who we are, you just have to make the most of what you have and work on the things you want to improve.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Ask me in 60 years time!
What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring!
If you hadn’t been a dancer what would you have liked to be?
An architect, a NHRA drag racer or an astronaut!
What is your most marked characteristic?
Speed… or my hair!
What quality do you most value in a friend?
The ability to listen to you when you need someone to open up to. True friends are there when you need them most, not just to celebrate the good times with.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
That they are hardworking.
Which living person do you most admire?
Anyone who chases their dreams.
What do you most dislike?
When things in life are made more difficult or complicated than they need to be.
What talent would you most like to have?
The ability to fly so that I can visit my niece and nephew in Australia whenever I want.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
I’d love to have children one day: doing the simple things in life yet inspiring them to grow and develop as people would make me very happy!
Perfection doesn’t exist though…
How would you like to die?
I have no idea, but you can cross a ‘shark attack’ off the list!
What is your motto?
‘Get on with it!’
Steven McRae – a biography
McRae was born and raised in Sydney. His father was a drag racer and McRae retains a strong interest in motor racing. He began dancing at the age of seven after becoming interested in his older sister’s dance classes. McRae studied tap alongside ballet, and this training has often been used by choreographers creating new works on him, such as the role of the Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Prizes include the 2002 Adeline Genée Gold Medal, the 2003 Prix de Lausanne, the 2007 Emerging Male Artist (Classical) and the 2012 Best Male Dancer Awards at the Critics’ Circle Dance Awards, and in 2014 he was named Young Australian Achiever in the UK by the Australia Day Foundation. He has performed as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world, including the American Ballet Theater (as part of a dance exchange programme), National Ballet of Canada, the Australian Ballet, Tokyo Ballet and numerous international galas. He is currently studying for a degree in Business Management and Leadership at the Open University. He is married to Royal Ballet Soloist Elizabeth Harrod.
(biography by the Royal Opera House)