Hello my beautiful balanced ballerinas! I know I say this almost every week, but I have a very special episode for you today.
Firstly a huge thank you to friend of the pod (who became a real-life friend Dr Andrea Robertson from episode number 11!) who introduced me to her dear friend and Principal dancer with The Australian Ballet, Amber Scott.
Little did Andrea know, I actually used to watch Amber through the studio windows when I was a young student at The Australian Ballet School. So this made the introduction and interview extra special for me. I even brought to the interview a journal from when I was twelve years old with Amber’s signature. She had a giggle and noted how young her handwriting was. But oh my gosh, I’m such a goofball. I can’t believe I did that!
Anyway, this is how amazing Amber is…
I was meeting her at the Sydney Opera House as they were in the midst of Nutcracker Season. She wasn’t supposed to be performing that evening so we decided an interview in the afternoon would work perfectly. When I arrived, one of the company members was sick and couldn’t perform so not only did Amber have to prepare to fill her spot, but she also had to rearrange babysitters and all sorts for her daughter.
I told her that it was totally fine if we needed to cancel the interview and do it another time, but she was insistent that we have a conversation for the podcast because she loves the idea of sharing and passing knowledge down to the next generation of ballerinas. So with that we locked ourselves in her beautiful dressing room overlooking Sydney Harbour and had this conversation whilst she prepared her pointe shoes for the evenings performance. What a star.
A little about Amber in case you didn’t already know…
Amber Scott joined The Australian Ballet School at age eleven. After graduating as dux, she joined The Australian Ballet in 2001 where Amber was promoted to principal artist in 2011 after performing the Second Movement from Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto.
Amber has received a Helpmann Award nomination for Stephen Baynes’ Swan Lake in 2013, a Telstra Ballet Dancer Award and Telstra People’s Choice Award in 2004, a First Place at the Junior Asian Pacific Competition in Tokyo 1999 and a bronze medal at the Adeline Genée Awards in 1998.
But more recently Amber has been awarded the title of mother. Giving birth to little Bonnie just over a year ago now. Fun Fact! Bonnie’s father (and Amber’s husband) is fellow Australian Ballet Principal Artist Ty King-Wall. I remember Ty from my Australian Ballet days – he was always so boundless and impressive with his movement and was accepted into the company when I was in Level 6 at the school. I can only imagine what amazing ballet blood is within Bonnie already with a Mum and Dad like hers!
Not only do Amber and I discuss her career, but we also discuss motherhood and the intricacies of having a partner who has the same difficult working hours as you. It’s a fascinating situation and Amber gives insight into the life of a classical ballerina trying to balance pirouettes and prams.
And because I know so many of you are David Hallberg fans, I had to ask Amber what it’s like partnering one of the worlds most famous classical ballet dancers (which she has done many times). I love her answer, so you’ll have to keep listening to find out.
As Amber sat across from me I couldn’t help but notice her refined and effortless elegance. Sans makeup, dewy skin from rehearsal, wearing a simple singlet and shorts, she was absolutely glowing. The kind of glow that comes from a kind soul.
It was truly an honour to interview this gorgeous ballerina, human and now mother. So thank you Amber for sharing your precious time (especially as you’re now a working mother!) and I’m sure the listeners are going to love this one…
Grit & Grace,