Junior Ambassador Series ♥


Getting to know our Junior Ambassador, Maddie Gibson

How old are you and where do you train?

I am 16 years old and until very recently, I trained at Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy in Sydney, I am now training at the John Cranko Schule, Germany.

When did you start ballet?

When I was 8, I was interested in starting jazz with my sister at the local dance school. After a year, my dance teacher recommended I start ballet classes; I was so excited! My first lesson was so much fun, I immediately fell in love with classical ballet and haven’t looked back since.

maddie at her first eisteddfod

maddie at her first eisteddfod

What do you love about ballet? 

One of my favourite things about ballet is the feeling you get when you accomplish something. I love to work hard and see the improvement in my technique. I also love that I can make others happy by doing what makes me happy. 

What is your proudest dancing moment to date?

For me, the moment I am most proud of, would be at YAGP when I was offered a place to train full-time at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany. Coming from a small town in central NSW, this is definitely one of my biggest achievements!

Tell us how that came about.

The John Cranko Schule is one of the leading ballet schools in the world and after learning more about the school from my teachers and friends, I decided that it was where I wanted to go to further my dance training. Whilst attending YAGP masterclasses in Melbourne I was very lucky to be offered a position - I still couldn’t be more thrilled to have received this offer. 

What was it like to move to the other side of the world?

Europe is so far away from Australia but I was very lucky to have my whole family travel with me. They stayed for two weeks to help me settle in. I am so thankful for everything they did and will miss them so much! I am living in an apartment not very far from the school with another lovely student from TPCCA.

There have certainly been some challenges here and there but with the help of a lot of people it’s been much easier than I expected! The language barrier definitely does make shopping, travelling etc a lot harder but I’m currently attending German classes as part of the JCS full time program and they are very helpful.

As for the weather, it’s definitely colder than Australia !! But I do love waking up in the morning and seeing snow out my window! :)

What are your goals for this year?

To take in every opportunity I am given here and to work hard so that I can continue to improve everyday. 

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What is your dance dream?                                       

My dream is to be accepted into a ballet company and to become a Principal Artist. My goal is to inspire people as much as those who have inspired me. 

Do you have a favourite dancer, what is it about her that inspires you?

My favourite dancer would have to be Marianela Nunez {“a very popular choice amongst our JA’s!!” - MDM.}

Marianela is a Principal artist with the Royal Ballet, London and although I’ve never had the privilege to watch her live on stage, I sure have watched her many times on YouTube and social media! Her powerful mixture of strength and beauty makes all of her performances so captivating and inspiring.

marianela nunez, la bayadere. photo - bill cooper

marianela nunez, la bayadere. photo - bill cooper


What has been your favourite time on stage?

My favourite time on stage would have to be during Tanya Pearson Academy’s season of ‘Together Live’ in September 2018. I had the opportunity to perform a soloist role in Act 2 of the ballet, ‘Giselle’ and was lucky enough to be coached by the incredible Maina Gielgud (former Australian Ballet director, now worldwide freelance coach) as well as our Director, Lucinda Dunn.

I love this ballet and it was so much more special dancing it alongside my friends. 😊

maddie rehearsing her role in giselle with maina gielgud and lucinda dunn

maddie rehearsing her role in giselle with maina gielgud and lucinda dunn

Have you ever had a really funny moment on stage?

Definitely! Haha!

A few years ago at a local eisteddfod I was competing in a contemporary improvisation solo section and in the middle of if fell flat on my face ! I was about to do a grand jete but lost coordination and fell over my own feet ! Fortunately I didn’t hurt myself but definitely had a laugh about it later !

It’s true, things don’t always go smoothly! Speaking of which, have you ever had an injury, how was your rehabilitation process and what did you learn from it?

Unfortunately I did deal with an ankle injury for over 6 months last year. I saw the physio in March after about a week of constant pain and found out I had posterior impingement in my ankle. This really held me back for a while from my dance classes. I couldn’t go on pointe for around 3 months and all of my ballet classes had to be altered so that I wouldn’t further injure my ankle. After many weeks off and a lot rehabilitation I was finally coming back to dance and pointework slowly. I have to say after a long time off pointe, it was quite daunting starting back as I was scared I’d get injured again but knowing how much ballet means to me, I regained the confidence quite quickly. Although this injury set me back, I have learnt how important it is to take care of your body and always listen to what it’s saying to you.

What do you love to do outside of dance?  

Some of my hobbies outside of dance include; cooking, reading and shopping! I also enjoy spending time with friends and family.  

Favourite book? 

My favourite book would have to be ‘The fault in our stars’ by John Green. It’s such a classic that I would read over and over again. I actually love any of John Green’s books but ‘The fault in our stars’ is definitely a favourite. 

Do you have a secret talent?!? 

Unfortunately, no ! Haha!!

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

My mum has always been one of my biggest supporters and always reminds me of this:

“Be strong, be kind and never stop believing in yourself.”




Thank you Maddie, we look forward to supporting and following your dance journey