Cupcakes & Conversation with Charlie Anderson, Corps de ballet, Royal Danish Ballet

ballet cupcakes

Illustration by Noemi Manalang

Cupcakes & Conversation with Charlie Anderson, Corps de ballet, Royal Danish Ballet

ballet dancer poses

Charlie Andersen

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?

I think for me I am motivated on a Monday morning by just wanting to be better at what I do. When I see my colleagues or anyone dance I can get so inspired and want to be better myself. It is like watching the Olympics, seeing athletes run faster every year and push the human body to the extreme is inspiring. The same in ballet : seeing someone do 7 pirouettes is inspiring.

Why ballet ?

I started in musicals in California. I auditioned for The Nutcracker because my mom said it was close to where we were living. It took me a few rehearsals to realize we were not going to be singing at all just dancing. I realized later it was maybe best I didn’t sing too much 🙂

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

I would love to dance with Alina Cojocaru. I think dancing anything with her would be amazing. We actually danced at the Christmas ball at the Danish Royal Theater. We danced a waltz and the music was so fast I was afraid to keep up with the music and hurt her so I was terribly off the music. She was very kind and never mentioned it 🙂

ballet dancer

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

I just got back from dancing at the Paris Opera and that was amazing. I think to dance at the Bolshoi could as well be amazing. I enjoy dancing outside but feel sometimes the intimacy of the ballet is lost outside.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?

Every morning I go to the theater and meet with 3 of my friends and we do a 45 min floor barre. Then into ballet class and rehearsals until around 4. I like to go shopping and make dinner and relax the rest of the night.

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

In the mornings I eat oatmeal and have a coffee. Usually an apple or something sweet after class. A hot lunch then a little snack before I go to the market, otherwise I just buy candy and ice cream when I am there.

How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?

Before shows I like to relax, I usually take an hour nap and have a good dinner.

What are you looking forward to dancing in 2012 ?

We have not heard our season for 2012 yet but as long as I am dancing I am happy doing almost any ballet.

ballet dancer jetes on stage

How do you deal with the stresses of performing ?

Performing can be stressful but as long as I stick to what I know is best for my body and I have prepared myself fully then I can always enjoy being onstage and sharing my gift with anyone who wants to watch!

Who inspired you to dance ?

I think my friends and colleagues inspire me to dance. Seeing them dance makes me want to get up and join in. As well I know that my parents sacrificed a lot of family time and vacations to help me dance when I was younger so I made sure to work hard to make their sacrifices well worth it.

How would someone else describe you ?

I hope others would describe me as hard working and always looking for a good laugh.

What is your best piece of advice ?

My best piece of advice is to try and dance as if every step matters and if every time you dance it is the last time you will dance and the last time that the people in the audience will ever see you dance.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?

By far Pas de Trois in Peter Martins’ Swan Lake was the hardest role I have ever danced. Every time when it was over I wanted to just lie down and not even wait for the applause to be over.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?

The funniest thing that has ever happened is hard. I laugh a lot and try to make every day funnier than yesterday. Recently filming Sh*t ballerinas Say was really funny. Walking around Paris and Paris Opera in wigs was pretty priceless!

A phrase I use far too often is …

A phrase I use to often would be almost half of the things in Sh*t ballerinas say! especially “do you know my schedule?”

What’s on your iPod ?

Some Lady Gaga, some Beyonce, some Michael Buble, some Bette Midler and the occasional bit of ballet music.

ballet dancer on stage

What makes you a good dance partner ?

I think I make a good partner because I really like to connect with the other person and have fun with them and I hope that connection shows through on stage.

What is your exit strategy, for the time when you stop dancing, and how did you plan it ?

After dancing I have thought about teaching, making clothes (ballet or normal) or photography.

Watch Sh*t Ballerinas Say by Charlie Andersen and Carling Talcott. The film has notched up over 162,000 views at the time of publication.


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