Cupcakes & Conversation with Gina Scott, Corps de Ballet, Semperoper Ballett
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
I love knowing that the start of the week is only around the corner as I have another week of new challenges and different expectations, depending on the rep we are rehearsing.
Why ballet ?
My parents took me to dance classes in my home town of Corby. They thought it would be nice for me to do an activity at the weekend and it was also a nice place for me to meet new friends. I started off with ballet, tap and jazz, and from a very early age |I knew that ballet was for me. All I thought about was being a ballerina; I loved the lessons and performing.
You recently danced a Principal role in La Bayadere, as s Corps de Ballet member; how did that come about and what sort of experience was is ?
At the end of last season the casting went up and my name was down to learn Nikiya. I felt very excited, this was a wonderful opportunity to learn such an amazing role. When I came back this season, within a fews days one of the Principals was unfortunately having some trouble with an injury so I was then asked to start rehearsals. The day before the show I did the stage rehearsal after I’d been told that I was to do the show. I then had more rehearsals after the stage call to learn all the acting as I had never done it before. The night before I wasn’t really sure how to feel; excitement, nerves all rolled into one. On the morning of the show I had so much energy, I really couldn’t wait to perform, but my nerves were really kicking in. As soon as I did my first entrance, I was totally fine. It was like I was in my own world. It was a breath taking experience which Ii will never forget.
What are you looking forward to dancing during 2012/13 & what are the big challenges likely to be for you ?
Well, what I know of so far is in January I will be dancing my debut as Tersichore in Apollo. I am so looking forward to this, I have been extremely fortunate to have had coaching from Judith Fugate. It is incredible to work with her and getting all her in depth information. In June I believe I will be dancing again Nikiya in La Bayadere. I have so many things to look forward to.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
I have already had the most amazing experiences, with the opportunity to dance with Jiří Bubeníček in my premiere for Nikiya. I will also dance with Guy Albouy in Apollo and István Simon when I dance La Bayadere again. It really is an honour to dance with such amazing partners who have so much experience.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
At the minute I feel honoured to be dancing at the SemperOper. It is a beautiful theatre with so much history. At the moment I don’t have a place in mind. I have also danced in many other places – Covert Garden, Saddlers Wells & the Peacock Theatre. When I was at The Royal Ballet School we went on tour to America, where I danced in Virginia, New York. I’ve also danced in a gala in Venice, Italy where I performed outside.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I sew my ribbons on and I do my elastics crossed. I darn around the edge on the tip of my shoe, as I find it makes it more stable. I also make them 3/4 shank as I find it makes them stronger to support my foot and they last longer. Just before I wear them I stand on the box and bang them so they don’t make any noise.
What do you eat during the course of a typical working day ?
Each day changes, but usually for breakfast I will have a nice bowl of cereal which gives me plenty of energy throughout the morning. Lunch is a sandwich or pasta, followed by some fruit and a yogurt. An example of my evening dinner is chicken, vegetables and potatoes. Throughout the day I will snack on biscuits, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate or sweets.
What would surprise people about you ?
People always think I am reserved especially when I first meet them, which I am, but actually I am also adventurous. I have done many thrilling things, one of them being a Sky Dive.
Who inspired you to dance ?
I always wanted to be a ballerina and my parents supported me all the way. I always watch videos for inspiration but as a child Darcey Bussell was who I wanted to be like.
What is your best piece of advice ?
To dance for yourself. Always show others what you can do. Always go for it, as you have nothing to lose.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
Depending on what time the show is I like to have something good to eat and relax so I can get focused. I always aim to get to the theatre early so I can organise myself and all my things. At the SemperOper Ballett we are all very lucky, as we get our hair and makeup done for us so I try to get an earlier appointment so that I can have more time to stretch and take warm up class. I also like to make sure I give myself time to get prepared and go through everything.
How do you deal with the stress of performing ?
I don’t usually feel stressed, but I do get an excited feeling but it depends on what I am dancing as it changes. When did Nikiya I liked to keep my feelings to myself as for some reason that helped me to control my nerves.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Everything I do tests me, as I always want to make it better each time I dance it. The thing that I would say has been the most challenging would be when I danced La Corsaire – the Orderlies Trois – at the beginning of my first season. I got this opportunity as a result of someone having an injury. This was my chance to prove that I was capable of taking on this role. Also when I danced a new contemporary pas de deux called WITH (IN) for a gala, as I hadn’t done as much contemporary and the moves were very different to what I am used to. I really had to open my mind to this new challenge. And of course Nikiya, with this role I knew it could be performed in many ways, but I didn’t have much time to find my character. I trusted the people who gave me advice, and trusted my own instincts.
If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create ?
I love wearing tutu’s and I really like lace, so I would create something that was a perfect fit, it would be stretchy so that it is comfortable and easy to dance in. The design, I would make it so it is well suited for me.
What is your favourite quote ?
“Just go for it.”
A phrase I use far too often is … ?
My friend tells me that I always say “It’s going to be fine.”
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?
It has to be my first principal role, as it is what I have always been dreaming about. However, every moment being on stage is special for me as I believe I can grow and build confidence for the next thing.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?
I am very happy being with the SemperOper Ballett so I will continue to keep working hard and to make more progress as I am very keen to continue with all the wonderful opportunities I have been given.