Junior Ambassador Series ♥
Getting to know our Junior Ambassador, Amber Alston.
How old are you and where do you train?
I am 15 years old and I’ve been training at Joanne Grace School of Dance, Wollongong but am about to start in Melbourne at the ABS as of January, 2019.
When did you start ballet?
I started ballet at the age of 3, when I went along with my older cousin Summer to see if I liked it – I haven’t stopped loving it since!
What do you love about ballet?
It’s something I just can’t explain, I couldn’t imagine life without it - it’s always been a part of me. I’m always happiest when I’m dancing. I don’t think people outside of ballet realise just how technical and precise you must be – I love that about ballet. You are always learning, even if you are a Principal dancer!
What is your proudest dancing moment to date?
This past year has been just incredible for me. My teacher Miss Joanne worked really hard for me to believe in myself as much as she believed in me. I was fortunate enough this year to have some fantastic results, for example I was awarded 2nd Runner Up at the Australian Ballet School Awards and Runner Up in the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Junior Classical Ballet Scholarship at Sydney Eisteddfod. I am so grateful to both of these events and their sponsors for providing these opportunities for aspiring dancers like me.
But the icing on the cake was when I received my offer to join the Australian Ballet School full-time program. This was something I had been working toward and wanting for many years.
Tell us more about the ABS audition process.
I've been a part of the ABS Interstate Training Program (ITP) for a number of years. As part of this we attend a week long intensive training program in Melbourne where our progress is assessed year to year. After my Intensive week in April this year I was invited to 'Finals Week' which is essentially a week-long audition for the full-time program.
At finals week we take class each day in classical, pointe and contemporary, we also get more information on life at the ABS and we can tour Marilyn Rowe House (the boarding facility where I will be living) and Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS), which is where we complete our schooling.
During this week we are assessed by all the ballet school teachers and then we wait nervously for the results, which came a few weeks later!
What is your dance dream?
Of course, my dream is to one day dance with the Australian Ballet Company, but to be accepted into any company would be a dream come true.
Do you have a favourite dancer, what is it about her that inspires you?
When I was 9 years old I watched the Australian Ballet perform for the very first time – Don Quixote at Sydney Opera House. I couldn’t take my eyes off Brooke Lockett, she had the most beautiful smile. The next day I did a class which was to be taught by a company dancer, imagine how excited I was to find it was Brooke. I was just thrilled to meet her and told her she was my favourite ballerina. She took a photo of us together and posted it on her Social Media accounts – I couldn’t believe my luck.
Brooke sent me some of her pointe shoes and has kept in touch with me ever since. She would always meet me when I would go to watch the ballet and on my visits to the Australian Ballet School. I was lucky enough to be cast as in child role last year in her final Sydney season before she retired, so we got to perform together, which was really special.
Brooke is an inspiration as she has always worked hard and given back. She is so kind and generous to me and many others – even after a tiring performance she would always meet me with her beautiful big smile.
Some of my other favourites are Marianela Nunez, Stanislava Postinova, Ako Kondo and of course, MDM muse Juliet Doherty.
What are your goals for this year?
It’s going to be a big year for me, moving away from my friends and family and settling in to the ABS full-time program. So my goal is to find my feet, settle in quickly and learn as much as I possibly can. I plan to take things one term at a time as I’m fortunate that I can go home in each school holiday break and spend time with my friends and family as I think it’s important to have balance and interests outside of ballet too.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My teacher, Miss Joanne, repeatedly tells me ‘your mind is a powerful tool’. This helps me to understand that my thoughts can block me from reaching my full potential so if I tell myself I can’t do something I will never be able to! Once I learnt to tell myself I could, it opened up so many more opportunities than before.
What do you love to do outside of dance?
When I'm not at dance I normally catch up on school work, relax and watch Netflix or read a book. I live on the coast, so I like to catch up with friends at the beach, go shopping or to the movies.
I’ve been reading the Jenny Han trilogies starting with ‘To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ and I also love ‘Let it Snow’ by John Green.
Do you have a secret talent?!?
Not that I know of! But something a lot of people don’t realise about me is that I am actually a triplet. I have two brothers and we were each born one minute apart (with me in the middle).
‘Expect Nothing, Appreciate Everything’
I love this quote because it reminds us to always be grateful, not to feel we are entitled to everything and appreciate even the littlest of things.
Thank you Amber, we look forward to supporting and following your dance journey