From the home of Stylist




We may not be dancing Giselle, but if Black Swan taught us anything, it’s that being a ballerina is mentally tiring, physically gruelling and one of the most demanding jobs going. Northern Ballet’s first solo artist Hannah Bateman (pictured) has learned a few pointers that apply to any career


“Dancing is hard, both physically and mentally. Because it’s something that you’re passionate about, some days it’s not even an issue, but when you’re tired it is. You have to remember why you do it. I think about someone sat in the audience; they’ve paid a lot of money and deserve your best even if you don’t feel like you can produce it. It’s just about motivation and finding different ways to motivate yourself, whatever it may be.”


“I definitely allow myself treats. At the weekends, I look forward to it and nearly always have a Domino’s pizza and I’ll open a bottle of wine on the Saturday night. Kenny (Tindall, Hannah’s fiancé and fellow dancer) doesn’t drink so I drink on my own. I think the only way to stay as strict as we do through the week is to make sure that you have that treat at the end of it.”


“I don’t get jealous seeing Kenny kiss somebody else, because I’ve had to be in that situation and had to kiss other men on stage. It’s so de-sexualised, it’s so disgusting because it’s normally at the end of a pas de deux (a duet) and you’re really out of breath and it’s so unglamorous and unromantic that you know at that point it’s just another step, they’re not actually really kissing with that emotion.”


“To excel in dance you have to be really comfortable with who you are and completely inhabit it. As soon as you can do that you can achieve so much more on stage. I do think sometimes it takes women a bit longer to find that in themselves. The roles we get are the discretion of David (Nixon, Northern Ballet artistic director). The older I get, the more I realise it is just luck, because everybody here is here because they are a good dancer and they deserve to be on stage. As dancers, we don’t do this for very long and you have to make the most of every day. It’s about being uninhibited and just getting on with the job without being nervous.”


“You have to go on stage almost prepared that you will make a mistake. If you feel ready that something like that will happen, you’re mentally much better prepared. The worst is if you make a mistake in a lift and you end up falling or being dropped, that’s really scary. It’s only happened to me once but it’s a real mental game: as soon as you allow yourself to be psyched out, that’s it, you’ve had it. The important thing is the recovery; the quicker you recover, the better it is – you have to snap out of it and get over it. No matter what happens, the show always goes on.”

Hannah Bateman is on tour with Northern Ballet this spring


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