Studied at Elmhurst Ballet School from 1987 – 1991. Danced at the Vienna State Opera Ballet from 1993 – 2005. Danced at the Berlin State Opera Ballet from 2005 – 2011. Ballet Mistress at the Berlin State Opera Ballet from 2011 – 2014.
Since 2014 Guest Teacher at The Royal Ballet, Elmhurst Ballet School, Zürich Ballett, Stuttgarter Ballett, Hungarian National Ballet, Greek National Ballet, Aterballetto, Gärtnerplatz Munich, Hessisches Staatsballett. Also Ballet Mistress at Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin.
The Genée Award was the first and only competition I ever took part in! I was very shy, insecure and unexperienced then and remember feeling like I didn´t really belong.
All the pupils seemed to have come with their teachers and had personal coaching every possible moment. I had come with my non-balletic mother, who seemed just as lost as I felt! I remember one of the things that impressed me was seeing a tutu bag for the first time: flat, round and very professional! Not having one myself (nor a proper tutu) it left a big impression on me.
What did you learn from the Genée?
It taught me that not everything that shines is gold.
What is your fondest memory from the competition?
Actually laughing with some of the pupils in the cafeteria – although we didn´t know each other, we were all in the same boat! The ballet world unites without words.
Do you have any advice for future candidates?
Don´t let anything around you put you off. I was told many times I would never be a dancer and it became my life. I danced for 25 years in big ballet companies and am now honoured to coach the best dancers in Europe. You can learn from everything, even the bad and painful experiences. Never stop persevering and at the same time don´t forget your sense of humour!
Would you recommend the competition to others?
Absolutely! I think competitions are very important for young students. In this profession you have to develop thick skin and a healthy fighter-instinct/sense of competition to prepare yourself for all the things to come!
How did the Genée benefit you personally or professionally?
It helped me personally to get a taste of the professional ballet world and meet a lot of people.