The Life of a Teenage Ballerina: Part One

24898982_2042249566008111_733687210_nBY Joy Ong

At fourteen years old, Fleur Robinson left school to chase her dreams. Nowadays, she spends her time balancing ballet practises and international performances, all whilst trying to be a regular seventeen-year-old. Teensoul sat down with Fleur to discuss her journey and transition from an ordinary childhood to an ambitious, up-and-coming career in ballet.

To the average teenager your life can seem quite extraordinary. Would you say you had a conventional childhood?

I would say I had a pretty ordinary childhood. I enjoyed all the normal things and did the things everybody else did, like, hang out with friends, go to birthday parties and go shopping. I was allowed the space and time I needed to just grow up. I still had ballet every single day, but it was probably up until I went into full time ballet that it really changed.

With every childhood success story, there is always someone supporting and guiding the child. Did you have that sort of mentor or role model growing up?

My parents definitely supported me the whole way through and they still do. They’ve always encouraged me to do what I wanted to do, and they’ve never forced me to do anything. It’s always been my decision.

What is the everyday routine like for a teenage ballerina?

Well, I typically wake up at 6:30 and I get ready, just like everybody else does. And then I get to ballet, I try to do a quick warm up before floor bar, just to get myself ready. Then we take the floor bar class and we continue to warm up as a class. Then take classical class and do our exercises. Then we go on to our rehearsal and rehearse till the end of the day. I get home and try do a couple hours of school work before I go to bed.

Transitioning from childhood to becoming a teenager is a difficult task for everyone. At fourteen, you left school to chase your dreams, can you talk me through that decision?

I was in school and enjoying it a lot. It was my mum who suggested I went full time. I had been thinking about it for a long time, but I had never really, fully committed. Then, mum decided that if this was what I wanted to do in the future, then I would have to start to fully commit myself. It was her who pushed me at first, but then I agreed that if I wanted to do this, I had to start now.

Since then you have established an extremely successful and rising ballet career. Recently you took part in the 2017 European Ballet Tour, can you tell me a bit about that experience?

It was an incredible experience. It was really interesting to see what the standards were like over there, and how things were different and how things were the same. It was just interesting to see what level they were at there, and I could bring some of that practise back home.

What has been the most defining moment in your ballet career so far?

The tour was probably a defining moment. When I took classes in a junior company in Munich, I just really enjoyed it. That was the first time I really had a goal that I wanted to achieve in that aspect. I would say that’s where I fully decided that I did want to pursue this.

What is the best part of what you do?

I think the best part is just that I get to do what I love every day. It’s a creative outlet and it’s nice to just fully immerse yourself in it. You’re just in the moment, enjoying what you’re doing. I’ve made so many great friends along the way who all share the same passion as me. We’re all working to achieve a similar goal, working our hardest every single day. I’ve had so many inspiring teachers, who have encouraged me to do what I love and are helping us to achieve our goals.

Stay tuned for Part Two, where we talk with Fleur about how she deals with physical and mental pressure, and what she’s had to sacrifice to pursue her performance dreams.


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