When did you start dancing?
I started dancing around the age of 4 and I instantly fell in love with ballet. As a young child I would put performances on for my family using the fireplace hearth as my improv stage.
Why did you start dancing?
I started because of my love of performing! The joy of dance hooked me and I always hold onto that when I perform… Remember why you began.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
Darcey Bussell. Her athleticism and purity of line were powerful! It was inspiring to see a British ballerina who had gone through the same training system that I was in at the time. Now Darcey coaches me and it's so special to be in the studio learning from her.
The other day I had an Odette rehearsal and Darcey passed down a quote that Dame Margot Fonteyn had once told her: “She is a woman first and then a swan.”
Which dancer do you most admire?
Steven McRae. His undeniable strength and resilience in returning to the stage after a potentially career-ending injury have been so incredible to witness. Along the way showing humility and support for those around him!
What's your favourite role?
My favourite role so far would have to be Juliet. It's a character that allows me to truly pour my heart into my dancing and there is meaning behind every movement that's been crafted by Sir Kenneth Macmillan.
What role have you never played but would like to?
I would love to perform Manon and unpack her as a character.
What's your favourite ballet to watch?
Who is your favourite choreographer?
My favourite choreographer is Sir Kenneth Macmillan. His ballets are full of drama where technique and artistry are equally important. I enjoy delving into a character – a human being who is telling a story from the heart.
Who is your favourite writer?
William Shakespeare – without his stories we wouldn't have some of my favourite ballets!
Who is your favourite theatre or cinema director?
Mike Newell. He directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' (my favourite film of the series) and another of my go-to ‘90s classics: Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Who is your favourite actor?
My favourite actor is Meryl Streep. She has the ability to make you feel exactly how she is feeling in her acting and is so versatile!
Who is your favourite singer?
Cynthia Erivo. Effortlessly powerful soulful voice!
What is your favourite book?
Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson. Thrillers are my favourite genre of book.
What is your favourite film?
Notting Hill or any Harry Potter, because they make me feel cosy and nostalgic.
Which is your favourite city?
London! There is no place like home… wherever I have been in the world, when I land in London I smile.
What do you like most about yourself?
I think I am a positive person and I like to value the important things in life.
What do you dislike about yourself?
That I need to snooze my alarm in the morning a few times, but I guess that's why we have coffee!
What was your proudest moment?
I think it is when I go to the stage door and see the large groups of people who have travelled to see the show. I'm always incredibly touched by that.
When and where were you happiest?
Happiest when I'm with my family and friends. Always great food and plenty of laughter involved!
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My family. They keep me grounded and always support me, so I feel strong and happy to take on the world.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is anyone I love being hurt.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would take my own advice more often.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is becoming a Principal at The Royal Ballet.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Dyson Airwrap – it's changed my hair styling life!
What is your greatest extravagance?
Shoes. You can't have too many!
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Trying to please everyone. It's impossible!
On what occasion do you lie?
I can't – just be honest. It's less stressful and you can't go wrong with telling the truth.
If you hadn't been a dancer, what would you have liked to be?
I think I would have been an actress.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I asked my friends and family and they said: Joy.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
Loyalty and fun! Plus, someone who can tell me the honest truth. I think it's important to surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you!
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
A shared sense of collaboration and sense of humour! Take your work seriously but not yourself!
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Princess Diana because she used her platform to help others and wore her beauty inside and out.
Which living person do you most admire?
My mum because she is incredible! She is the beautiful matriarch of our family and shows love for everyone around her!
What do you most dislike?
I don't like Covid. It needs to go away and never rear its ugly head again so we can go on and live life fully!
What talent would you most like to have?
I'd love to be able to speak more languages. It's something I'd like to try to learn how to do!
What's your idea of perfect happiness?
I think would just be to enjoy all that I have in that present moment. If you look too far ahead, you'll not enjoy what's happening now.
How would you like to die?
In my sleep peacefully after a long happy ride!
What is your motto?
Take it in.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.