Cupcakes & Conversation with Pippa Moore, Premier Dancer, Northern Ballet

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Cupcakes & Conversation with Pippa Moore, Premier Dancer, Northern Ballet

Pippa Moore  Photo by Simon Lawson

Pippa Moore Photo by Simon Lawson

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?

I must be hard wired after all these years of discipline and dedication; by 8am I’ve been up a while organising what needs to be done!

If ballet chose you, as many dancers say it did, what is it that has made you stick with it ?

Setting realistic goals for myself, then taking encouragement from achieving them. Also a desire to prove to myself and the people who
supported me that I could become a successful ballet dancer.

What are you looking forward to dancing during 2013 & what are the big challenges likely to be for you ?

I am looking forward to Northern Ballet’s new production of Cinderella this December. We will also be reviving A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the role of Helena was created for me in 2003, so the challenge will be to bring her back 10 years later with all the original choreography and details.

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

With John Travolta circa 1978 in the film Grease.

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


Pippa Moore as Giselle, photograph Bill Cooper

Pippa Moore as Giselle, photograph Bill Cooper

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?

I sew on ribbons and elastic and cut across through the back at the ¾ mark. We often wear flesh-coloured pointe shoes which means having to colour them with a water based make up to match my own skin tone.

What is your daily routine at the moment ?

When the company is at base rehearsing, I arrive at work at 9am to prepare. Monday to Saturday class is 10-11.15am, morning rehearsals are 11.30-2.30pm, afternoon rehearsals 3.30-6.30pm. If it’s a performance day, we start at 11 or 12 and finish rehearsing at 5.30pm.

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

Breakfast is a must – I prefer cereal or porridge with soya milk and dried fruit. Lunch is a wholemeal sandwich – peanut butter and banana is a favourite. Late afternoon I’ll snack on a cereal bar, nuts/seeds, apple or biscuits. Dinner will be either pasta rice or quinoa with tofu or pulses and vegetables in various combinations of sauces followed by a soya yoghurt.

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

David Attenborough, Dean Martin, Audrey Hepburn, Stephen Fry, Julie Walters and Craig Busch (The Lion Man).

What would surprise people about you ?

I have been a vegan for over 15 years ……… however, what tends to surprise people is that I haven’t been ill once in all that time – not even a proper cold!

Who inspired you to dance ?

The cast of the 1980’s series Fame.

What is your best piece of advice ?

Eat your greens!

How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?

There’s really only ever enough time for me to get ready – two hours can go by quickly. I have some food at the theatre, do my hair or wig, apply makeup, choose shoes, warm up then put on my costume. With any spare time I sew and prepare pointe shoes for the next day.  

How do you deal with the stress of performing ?

I power nap, stay calm and quiet and keep things in perspective.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?

Probably the role of Giselle. Act 2 requires superhuman control and nerves of steel.

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

A unique haute couture creation, using organic materials, ethically sourced and cruelty free, so no leather or exploitation involved whatsoever.

Pippa Moore as Butterfly in Madame Butterfly  Photo by Merlin Hendy

Pippa Moore as Butterfly in Madame Butterfly Photo by Merlin Hendy

What do you look for in a dance partner ?

Someone who is capable and reliable ……. however, having a good sense of humour and smelling nice also helps.

What is your favourite quote ?

“What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” Richard Bach.

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

Petit Allegro in general is my favourite.

A phrase I use far too often is … ?

“At the end of the day…..”

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

How do you choose one moment from 20 years on stage? Maybe in terms of unique experience I would choose ‘flying’ as Wendy in Peter Pan – I thought I would be frightened but it was fantastic.

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

Flat pack furniture assembly.

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 inspired and learning, still fit and strong and still able to bring pleasure to audiences everywhere through my performances.

Who would you like to have a conversation with ?

HH Dalai Lama.

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

When I stop dancing I will travel and ultimately I would like to be given the chance to ‘give back’ using what I have learnt through my career in order to benefit others. How did I plan it? ……. I just followed my heart.

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