Cupcakes & Conversation with Adrienne Schulte, First Artist, English National Ballet


Cupcakes & conversation with Adrienne Schulte, First Artist, English National Ballet

Adrienne is currently on maternity leave.

Adrienne Schulte headshot

Adrienne Schulte

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
It’s tough when I’m tired…. but each new day is another chance to get it right. And some sunshine helps too!

Who would you most like to dance with ?
Marcelo Gomes. We’ve been friends since we were students and I have always looked up to him as an artist.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I used to wear my shoes really hard, so I basically just sewed on ribbons and elastic, put some superglue in the tips, made them a bit malleable in my hands for a minute or so, and then put them on for class or straight on for a performance. Now I enjoy wearing my shoes a bit softer which means I need to bend them a lot more in my hands and wear them down pretty well in class and rehearsals before making it to the stage.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Well, I have a 9 week old baby so there really is no routine at the moment besides lots of feeding, cuddling, napping and spending time with my husband and our dog, Thor.

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Alive? Christopher Walken, Carla Bruni, Anthony Bourdain, The Stig, Sofia Coppola and Katie Holmes (she has some explaining to do).

What would surprise people about you ?
When I was 19 I had my tongue pierced and got a bartending license.

Who inspired you to dance ?
My mother enrolled me into dance classes as a child because I used to dance around the house nonstop to Michael Jackson; a fact made all the more touching by his recent passing.

How would someone else describe you ?
Chilled out, good sense of humour and well-balanced.

What is your best piece of advice ?
There are things in life you can control and things you can’t. It’s not worth getting upset over those things you can’t change.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?
While dancing for American Ballet Theatre, I was given a leading role in Anthony Tudor’s Dark Elegies. The ballet is about a community that is mourning the loss of their children. The choreography is challenging on its own, and each step holds so much meaning and mature emotion. I had to search far within me to find that sadness and portray it without focusing solely on technique, as I tend to do.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
When I was a ballet student in New York City, my friend and I were stopped on the street and asked to dance the Macarena for a morning talk show. My mother was back home in Pennsylvania watching the show, and was of course shocked to see her daughter “dancing” on TV.

If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I am torn between loving a simple clean Balanchine-style costume that really shows off a dancer’s body, and a magnificent tutu that fits well and looks stunning on stage.

Adrienne and son

Adrienne and son

What are you most proud of ?
The birth of my son, Logan.

Who would play you in the film of your life ?
My husband was quick to answer this question with a couple of gorgeous A-list celebrities. Maybe I would ask Katie Holmes at my dinner party.

What is your favourite quote?
I always knew I would look back at the times I’d cried and laugh, but I never knew that I’d look back at the times I’d laughed and cry.
– Shaun Prowdzik –

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about?
Well, it used to be backward walk-overs, but my secret got out when I was asked to do them onstage. Everyone was quite impressed!

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3 Responses to “Cupcakes & Conversation with Adrienne Schulte, First Artist, English National Ballet”

  1. Sarah Says:

    This series of interviews is such a treat!I have tried to get my sketches brighter and have reposted them on S.G.You are absolutely right about their gloominess – its my photography skills or lack of…Hope they are ok.S

  2. Sarah Says:

    Hi.I do have an "anonymous" e-mail address I could let you have if that would work? I am a bit cautious about giving info about myself over the internet.Please don't feel offended, by my caution – I am sure you feel the same.I don't know why I can't get the colouring right on these sketches – its such a shame.S

  3. Elise Says:

    Couldn't agree with you more Sarah and I hesitated to ask. Don't worry – I'm sure we'll get there with the sketches which look great anyway.