Cupcakes & Conversation with Lucy Green, Royal New Zealand Ballet

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Cupcakes & Conversation with Lucy Green, Royal New Zealand Ballet


dancer headshot
Lucy Green


Lucy Green featured in the recent television series on TV3 called The Secret Lives of Dancers, where the Royal New Zealand Ballet lifted the lid on what happens off-stage. The series followed Green as she auditioned for the company, gaining a full contract last year. The Royal New Zealand Ballet will be in the UK this July – stay tuned for the latest news.

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning?

A cup of coffee and some loud music gets me going in the morning. Once I get my body moving and feeling warm, motivation usually flows pretty fast.

Why ballet?

For me it’s a combination of the aesthetics and beauty of the movements as well as the physical challenges they present.

What are you looking forward to dancing this year?

This year I’m looking forward to dancing in The Sleeping Beauty – one of the most pure classical ballets with a beautiful Tchaikovsky score. I’m also looking forward to touring to the UK with the company in July.

Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance?

I would love to dance with Baryshnikov in something with lots of fire – like Don Quixote.

If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?

There has always been something very appealing about the idea of dancing on or overlooking a beach; either that or at one of the big opera houses in Europe. 


three dancers in pink tutus balanced on one leg in arabesque
Waltz of the Flowers. Catherine Eddy, Katherine Grange and Lucy Green


How do you prepare your pointe shoes?

I’m a huge fan of hard shoes and don’t need to manipulate mine too much. I bend the soles a bit using my hands, give the blocks a whack on concrete to ensure they don’t make too much noise and the rest I like to do with them on my feet.

What is your daily routine at the moment?

Pilates, class, rehearsals, lunch, more rehearsals, then after work I like to stretch out before going home to cook something yummy for dinner and relax with a book.

What do you eat during the course of a typical working day?

For breakfast I love my Weetabix with yoghurt and a big cup of coffee. Lunch is sushi or a big sandwich. Dinner is always a bit different; I like expanding my cooking repertoire and trying different recipes. I also snack on fruit, nuts, muesli bars and chocolate throughout the day.

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite?

Jane Austen, Meryl Streep, Bob Dylan, Dorothee Gilbert, Salvador Dali and Rory Fairweather-Neylan.

What would surprise people about you?

I did my end of high school English exam in a Beijing hotel room at 4 in the morning.

Who inspired you to dance?

A teacher at my primary school in Sydney.

What is your best piece of advice?

“You can’t please everybody”.

How do you prepare in the hours before a show?

I like to eat a small meal, listen to good music and do a barre routine to warm-up. Once I have my costume and make-up on I think through what I have to do onstage.

Which role has tested you the most & how?

Every role I have ever done has had its challenges. At the moment we are working on a new modern piece which is incredibly challenging as it’s on pointe and it’s very hard to fully articulate every part of your body whilst controlling the movements on pointe. 


ballet dancer on pointe
Lucy Green as Columbina in Pinocchio Photograph : Evan Li


If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create?

Something Dali-esque.

What do you look for in a dance partner?

Someone trustworthy who is willing to work hard and co-operate.

What is your favourite quote?

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea” – E.E. Cummings. It’s not really a quote but a line from a poem. I’ve always loved the sound of it and the imagery Cummings creates.

Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you?

Pirouettes. I’m lucky enough to have quite a natural turn.

A phrase I use far too often is …?

“Totes defo”.

What’s been your best on-stage moment so far?

Performing the Giselle solo at the Sydney Opera House for a competition when I was a student.

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about?


In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now?

In a year from now I’d like to still be happily employed, progressing as much as possible as a dancer and artist, and dancing as much as possible.

If you could dance in front of anyone, who would it be and what makes them special to you?

My first ballet teacher because it’s thanks to her that I’m here today doing what I love and being paid to do it!


Fred had Ginger

Fonteyn had Nureyev

Our dancers need you

Each member of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s elite ensemble of 32 dancers has been handpicked for their highly-trained talent, artistic pedigree, versatility and athleticism.

Partner a Dancer and help nurture this country’s top talent. Even if you were born with two left feet, you can still take a leading role with this unique sponsorship opportunity from the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Investment sought: $10,000 * per dancer, per annum

Investment returns:

  • Complimentary tickets and programmes
  • Prestigious brand association
  • Behind the scenes access
  • Acknowledgement in programme pages
  • Bespoke experiences for your clients and staff
  • Networking and hosting opportunities
  • Invitations to special events
  • Professional sponsorship liaison


  • Partner a Dancer and you will receive tickets to follow them on stage, enjoy regular personal updates on their career and have the opportunity to meet them in person.
  • RNZB dancers come from an extraordinarily diverse range of backgrounds. Limbering up next to Invercargill, Tauranga, Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington natives, are French, Australian, South African, British and Chinese dancers. When they step out on stage together they all speak the same passionate language.
  • The Partner a Dancer programme benefits the company as a whole. 100% of your contribution is used to fund initiatives that benefit all the dancers, rather than the individual dancer.
  • Step into the limelight as a Partner a Dancer and enjoy a personal association with a member of New Zealand’s globally acclaimed dance company.

 For more information please take a look at the Partner a Dancer flyer.