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The Nutcracker and Kingdom of The Suites

Christmas Spirit is coming early with Leisa’s School of Dancing and the Duprada Dance Company performing The Nutcracker and Kingdom of The Suites.

Off The Leash had a chat with principal dancer Tiffanie Hughes, 22, about her love of classical ballet.

When did you start dancing? 
I started when I was six years old. I was one of those kids who followed their friends – and two of my closest friends did ballet. Now I’m the only who is still dancing.

What do you love about classical ballet? 
What I really like is being able to become a character and really portray that person on stage, and the freedom of movement you can get out of ballet.

You’re travelling from Alice Springs to perform in The Nutcracker, tell us a bit about this iconic Christmas show and how different it is performing in two locations. 
The Nutcracker is a really big ballet around the world. In Europe they do it every single year and each company has their own style and take on the story.

Darwin’s air is thicker, it’s more humid, so it takes a bit for us to be able to breathe properly, but it’s not too bad because we’re usually inside.

What advice do you have for other young dancers? 
Stay focused and never compare yourself to other dancers, just  compare yourself to an ‘older self’.

How do you prepare for a show like The Nutcracker? 
I do a lot of research and watch a lot of other companies and dancers. I don’t really look at the technical stuff, I look at how they characterise. Another element is maintaining physical strength. We do class every day except Sunday, sometimes twice a day.

We do pilates and really focus on strengthening the minor mus-cles, not so much the major ones.

What’s something people may not know about ballet? 
Even though we make it look easy, it’s not. When you go to a classical ballet hopefully you’re able to see the mix of strength and elegance within each dancer.

Kingdom of The Suites SAT 10 NOV | 1.30PM | DARWIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE | $35 | $30 CONC | $20 CHILD | yourcentre.com.au

The Nutcracker SAT 10 NOV | 6.30PM | DARWIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE | $35 | $30 CONC | $20 CHILD | yourcentre.com.au

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