Q&A With New Zealand Ballerina Amelia Chandulal-Mackay

I recently had the joy of asking Amelia Chandulal-Mackay some questions about her journey as a ballerina. Amelia is an outstanding dancer, she graces the stage with phenomenal poise and grace, her passion and dedication to ballet is unparalleled. Below are her responses.

Q1: When did you start ballet?

I started ballet when I was 5, but not seriously until I was about 12. My Mum (who’s a ballet teacher but didn’t have her own studio at that point) started teaching me- at home actually!

Q2: Where do you currently dance?

I spent the last year in the scholarship program at Ailey in New York City, and will be joining Oklahoma City Ballet Studio Company in September!

Q3: How long have you been en pointe for?

I started pointe work when I was 11 or 12 so about 10 years

Q4: What pointe shoes do you currently wear?

I wear Gaynor Minden custom shoes

Q5: How did you first get involved in ballet?

My Mum put my Brother and I into classes when we were little because she was a ballet teacher herself 🙂

Q6: What is your favourite variation?

My favourite variation is anything from Giselle- I love that ballet! Especially the music ❤

Q7: What company would you love to work for?

I loved my time in Oklahoma so a full contract eventually would be amazing! But I am open to anything really, I just want to dance, and getting a job anywhere is getting harder and harder..

Q8: Do you have a favourite memory/moment in ballet?

I don’t really have one specific moment or memory- there are so many things I love about what I do. It’s the little things that mean a lot to me. Doing combinations that I am proud of. A performance that goes really well, making a teacher or my family happy & proud..things like that 🙂

Q9: Who are your ballet roles models? Dancers that inspire you.

If you know me well you’d know that I am obsessed with Natalia Osipova! I think she is one of the most fearless and artistic dancers and my biggest inspiration. In class or performance I often try and imagine I’m her, and ask myself how she would approach the step, and usually it makes me dance so much better! Her jump is also incredible. I love jumping and she inspires me to keep pushing myself for more elevation and use of space

Q10: Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Best advice I’ve ever received is such a hard question as I’ve received so much amazing advice over the years! But I’ve been told to approach your work methodically, that technique is physics, and when something isn’t working there’s no point repeating it over and over. You need to stop and figure out why it’s not working, make an adjustment and then keep trying until you fix it. Also that there needs to be intention behind every little thing  you do, as that’s how your movement has quality and texture

Q11: Classical or romantic tutu?

Romantic tutu as I don’t have long, hyper extended legs!

Q12: What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I love to write, especially about mental health. I also like to go to the gym, watch Netflix and spend time with my friends 🙂

Categories: Ballet

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