Cupcakes & Conversation with Bethany Kingsely-Garner, Soloist, Scottish Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning?
Coffee, sunshine, and knowing that I get to do a job that I love.
If ballet chose you, as many dancers say it did, what is it that has made you stick with it?
It constantly challenges you, so you always feel driven to push yourself. The more you do, the more you want to do.
What are you looking forward to dancing & what are the big challenges likely to be for you?
I’m looking forward to the variety of works and the wide range of choreographers I’m working with at the Edinburgh International Festival. Many different styles are challenging, but it keeps your thirst for dance going. Also, being a part of the brand new production of Hansel & Gretel. Always fun being part of the creation process because you feel a personal touch with the work.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance?
The Minack Theatre in Cornwall. It’s an open air theatre carved into the edge of a cliff with the backdrop of the sea. It’s beautiful and extremely peaceful.
How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I always shellac them first and then sew elastics and ribbons. I hammer them to get the sound out and then start wearing them in class to break them in for rehearsals.
What is your daily routine at the moment?
We have class every morning, and then onto rehearsals. We have lots to rehearse at the moment so every studio is taken throughout the day. We have a hour lunch and then we finish at 6.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Bill Bailey, Agatha Christie, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Sir David Attenborough, Coco Channel and Roger Deakin.
What would surprise people about you ?
If I wasn’t a dancer I wanted to be a vicar!
Who inspired you to dance?
I actually remember the exact moment : I was 5 years old and The Planets by Holst came on the radio, it pulled at my heart strings!
What is your best piece of advice?
Stay true to yourself.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
I eat first to give myself time to digest and then take my time doing hair and makeup. I like to have a warm up on stage, it gets me comfortable with the space and gives me time to focus.
How do you deal with the stress of performing ?
I listen to music and always say a few prayers.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
I couldn’t say one as each role has tested me, but recently it was the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker. It was my first lead in a full length ballet, and one that every little girl dreams of doing. I was on stage for the length of the ballet, so stamina and learning where to save energy was hard, but the experience was incredible and I learnt a lot from it.
What is your favourite quote?
“Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground” Teddy Roosevelt
Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you?
I’ve always been a natural jumper, and normally join in with the guys jumps!
A phrase I use far too often is … ?
“we can do it” and “gin”
What’s been your best on-stage moment so far?
There have been too many, but I loved getting to die on stage in Highland Fling. It was one of those moments where you felt the audience with you.
Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
That I’m a keen surfer.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?
Happy, still growing and exploring new work and of course injury free.
Who would you like to have a conversation with ?
Roger Deakin. He is a writer and environmentalist. He did a free swim through the British Isles, something I would love to do.