Cupcakes & Conversation with Melissa Hamilton, First Artist, The Royal Ballet

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Cupcakes & conversation with Melissa Hamilton, First Artist, The Royal Ballet

Melissa Hamilton

Melissa Hamilton has recently been promoted and you can see her dance the role of Mary Vetsera in Mayerling on Tuesday, October 27 at 7.30pm. (Please note that casting is subject to change). The Autumn season begins from 8th October at the Royal Opera House.

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
That it’s the start of a new week, anything could happen and there’s still so much I want to do.

What are you looking forward to dancing next season ?
I start off my season with dancing the role of Mary Vetsera in MacMillan’s Mayerling which I am dying to get working on. Last season all my big roles were in contemporary works in Triple Bills so I am looking forward to dancing a lead role in a three-act ballet and people seeing a different side to me. Though, The Royal Ballet has such an expansive repertoire that the thought of what lies ahead at the beginning of the season is in itself something to look forward to.

Who would you most like to dance with ?
Someone who I respect and feel inspired by, however, the role would greatly affect my choice because the ideal partner for one ballet may not suit another.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?
I sew ribbons and one set of elastic to sit across the arch of the foot and cut the satin off the platform. I wear Grishko’s which tend to be made very hard so I like to hammer, bend and manipulate the shoes until I break the block down in certain places so they fit to the shape of my foot. I also “bash” them to minimize the noise they create. I never shellac a new pair of pointe shoes.

Melissa Hamilton

Photo : Andrej Uspenski

What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Generally throughout the season I wake about 8am, have breakfast and walk to the Opera House, as my apartment is close. I like to warm up for at least 45 minutes before the 1hr15 morning class at 10.30am. Rehearsals begin at 12pm and run throughout the day until 6.30pm and 5.30pm when we have an evening performance. No two days are ever the same and I much prefer when my schedule is busy!

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Derren Brown; Lee Evans; Marco Pierre White; Jack Nicholson; Christian Louboutin; Penelope Cruz.

What would surprise people about you ?
How incredibly superstitious I am and that I write lists for just about everything.

Who inspired you to dance ?
When I first started ballet it was purely as an after school hobby. In Northern Ireland there is little to no exposure to classical ballet so I never had enough insight to be inspired. Therefore it was purely my Mum’s desire to keep me occupied that started me dancing.

How would someone else describe you ?
It would probably differ a lot depending on who you were to ask though most people would be likely to agree with stubborn, determined and strong minded.

What is your best piece of advice ?
Become self reliant as early in your life as you can.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?
Probably the principal role I danced last season in Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV (Danse à grande vitesse). I was originally covering the role but due to injuries I ended up dancing it with both Rupert Pennefather and Gary Avis. With both there wasn’t as much time as I would have liked to rehearse, especially with Gary as we had one rehearsal the afternoon before the first performance we did together. The role had been created on Darcey Bussell towards the end of her career, so to step into her shoes when I was just starting out on mine was in itself a test for me.

Melissa Hamilton

Photo : Andrej Uspenski

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

It didn’t happen to me but was a situation I was involved in a few years ago when I was going up an escalator with a friend. We both had two suitcases but she couldn’t quite manage hers on the steps and both toppled down. However, in her panic she didn’t let go so fell with them. Once she reached the bottom she couldn’t quite orientate herself enough to grab hold of something to stand up, so was rolling as the steps kept coming out and rising up. No-one else was on the escalator at the time. I’m sure myself trying to run down an upward moving escalator, whilst laughing hysterically with my friend rolling around at the bottom really must have been a comical sight.

If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
I adore tutus, so would love to create a flattering, comfortable bodice with a skirt that had a long enough diameter to compliment my proportions. It would also have sleeves which I always find look very feminine.

What are you most proud of ?
More than anything my family but also that I am doing something in my life that I was told by so many people that I would never be able to achieve.

Who would play you in the film of your life ?
That would be a difficult one to call as I don’t know of very many well known actresses that can pull off the Northern Irish accent too convincingly. I just hope that once I’ve lived my life it will be worthy enough of being put on screen!

What is your favourite quote ?
What will be, will be.

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?
Unfortunately not one that I even know of.

Melissa Hamilton Autograph

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74 Responses to Cupcakes & Conversation with Melissa Hamilton, First Artist, The Royal Ballet

  1. lesmondj September 1, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    After your comment on the Flannelgraph site I thought i would take a look at your Blog. Very impressed. It always amazes me how very skilled and disciplined ballet dancers are. Reading through a few of your interviews was fun and enlightening. Keep up the good work. Les.

  2. Denise September 1, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    thanks so much for stopping by my blog. You have a beautiful blog and so fun to read the interview with Melissa Hamilton….thanks again!

  3. phonelady September 1, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    wow I learn so much about dancing from your blog and find it so interesting . You just keep writing on the dancing world because it is just awesome .

  4. Running, kind of. September 1, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Thank you for stopping by my blog! Yours is equally lovely! I love Ballet, unfortunately I never got to try it! Running is my gig!

  5. Laura September 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Thank you for your kind words….I appreciate the encouragement especially from a professional…I have always enjoyed the ballet…even had season passes at one time…your blog is impressive and I will be back to read more of your interviews.

  6. clouds of tulle September 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    Hello,Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! It always nice to know SOMEONE is reading it!Melissa Hamilton is beautiful!

  7. Danielle September 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Thanks so much for the lovely comment on my blog! I have been lacking my motivation lately, and it's comments like yours that get me inspired to get back in the kitchen again!! I love your blog! It takes me back to my childhood dreams of growing up to be a ballerina!

  8. AlyGatr September 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    Beautiful artist! I never knew so much went into preparing toe shoes 🙂

  9. Taylor Sterling September 1, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Yours is lovely too!! xoxo!

  10. Suzanne September 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Elise, Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words. I am so happy to find your blog. I learned so much just in this post alone so I am subscribing to every one. My 14 year old daughter is a ballet dancer and I knew very little when she started so I like to read as much as I can as she is very serious. Thanks!

  11. SherryRoseBella September 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog, Elise. Your blog is beautiful & so are you. I am really enjoying reading the Cupcakes & Conversation interview. You are such an interesting person. What little girl hasn't dreamed of becoming a ballerina & your dream came true!Hugs,Sherry

  12. JINX September 1, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    thanx for the comment…your blog is also lovelyfashionjinxfashionjinxfashionjinxfashionjinxfashionjinxfashionjinx

  13. Mademoiselle Frou-Frou September 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    i am a ballet fanatic, so it was such a joy to see this post. so beautiful and inspiring…great interview!xox

  14. Tracey September 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi Elise! She is just beautiful, I can only imgaine how wonderful it would be to see her dance! Have a lovely week!!!!!!:) T

  15. OceanDreams September 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    What a lovely ballerina, I love her poise and beauty! I love tutus as well, they are just so pretty!

  16. EmFabulousFunshine September 1, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    thx for the comment and for stopping by my blog!!! i hear classical music in my head when i read yours 🙂

  17. Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space September 1, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Won't this be a delight to read?!! Great blog! Thanks for the gorgeous sentiments about my blog dear! I hope you feel welcome always! The ballet is one of those glorious experiences. To dance and to watch is divine. This lady you interviewed is like a faery, so strong and yet, sweet. Great interview! Blessings Elise!

  18. The sewing room September 1, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    Thank you for visiting and your lovely comment,it was a bit of a culture shock reading your blog its usualy crafting family or cooking ,it,s been very refreshing to read about these very talented ladies and yourself included have a great week hugs Pat

  19. nookie September 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    thank you dear!love your blog,great interview!

  20. A Thousand Clapping Hands September 1, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    Dear Elise,I am just delighted with your blog. I wish there had been something such as this when I was a young ballet dancer. (But, of course, home computers weren't even invented then!) I would have waited impatiently for each interview. Thank you so very much for your genorous comment. Comments such as yours are what keep me blogging. All the best,Catherine

  21. Gingeyginge September 1, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Thank you for your comment

  22. Kelly September 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    Thank you for visiting my blog, I just had to come visit you back and what a lovely blog I was greeted with!I'll be looking forward to reading more!Lots of LoveKelly xx

  23. Pinkie Denise September 1, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    Hello Elise,Thank you so much for the kind words and comment about my blog…I enjoyed your interview with a ballerina, I love the ballet when I can go…Please visit again Pinkie Denise

  24. Joanna (JamaGenie) September 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    I can't imagine how I missed such a wonderful blog about the Royal Ballet. This clumsy duckling never turned into a swan, but I do love to watch those that did!

  25. Joanna (JamaGenie) September 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Elise, I'm guessing you aren't aware that your present Comments box configuration doesn't save comments from readers using the FireFox browser (and possibly others). It's a glitch in Blogspot blogs and the fix is in this post at Saturday's Child: normally email such asides, but it wasn't possible here, I do apologize for leaving it as a comment. You have such a lovely blog that it seems a shame to deny a good portion of your readers the opportunity to say so!

  26. Bonjour Madame September 1, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am enchanted by ballerinas and the talent they have. I will definitely be checking in regularly!Stephanie

  27. Starry Night Design Studio September 2, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    Dear EliseWhat a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing!

  28. Sang September 2, 2009 at 6:16 am #

    it's been such a long time since i saw a ballet i really wanna go.

  29. Flowerpot September 2, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    another great interview – would love to see her dance.

  30. Tracy September 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Hello, Elise! Many thanks for stopping by my place–glad to meet you and find your wonderful blog! I love the ballet, and really enjoy ther "behind the scenes" with ballet stars you feature here. Very great interviews and I've been having fun reading your archives. I look forward to visiting again. Happy Days :o)

  31. The Pink Tutu September 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Great interview! I love reading about these ballerinas.

  32. Laura [What I Like] September 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    What a wonderful interview! She sounds like a lovely woman, disciplined and soulful and clearly she puts together wonderful dinner parties.

  33. Andrea - Faded Plains September 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    What a wonderful post…and beautiful blog.

  34. koralee September 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    Oh my…you really don't know how much I adore your blog…it is a little gem…thank you so so much for finding me so I could find you! My daughter is going to love you as well because she is a dancer…she just turned 14 and started dancing at the age of 6. She adores ballet but does other styles as well….tap..jazz..lyrical..muscial theater..stage..etc. I am on my way to work right now but when I get home I am going to visit some of your past posts. Thank you …Thank you for the lovely comments you left on my blog!

  35. Simply Colette September 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Thank you for the lovely comments! So glad you stopped by, so I could find you! I majored in journalism too. And so wishing I could have been a professional ballet dancer. I can't wait to read these interviews in depth.Have a lovely day! xoxo

  36. Reese September 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    Lovely interview and wonderful blog. The photos are stunning

  37. jan September 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    How refreshing to visit your blog and world! Thank you for your kind comments on mine. Lovely interview!

  38. Ange September 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    That's a fabulous interview with Melissa Hamilton! I've always been interested in ballet but haven't had the chance to pursue it.

  39. Susan Terese September 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Thanks for the post of my blog 🙂 I really appreciate it!Can't wait to go through yours, it looks great!!!

  40. MelMel September 2, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Thank you so much for the very lovely comments!I have just popped in and I'm blown away by a wonderful blog about Ballet…….I just adore Ballet….as were many little girls, I really one day thought I'd be a Prima Ballerina….I loved Margot…..such a beautiful dancer…..I took Ballet lessons and proved to be very good at it, till my parents ran out of money….who knows maybe I could have been a dancer….:>)I'd love a pair of pink pointe shoes……something so magical about them…..Thank you for popping by… call in again soon!I'll be following this lovely blog!xxx

  41. Yelena R. September 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    Thank you for stopping by my blog! You blog is so beautiful! I think you have the most interesting job I've ever heard of…

  42. ♥Maria Medeiros♥ September 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    Thank you for your visit! Your blog is so lovely!I love dancing and I have always wanted to dance! 🙂 I should take lessons. Thank you so much and I am now watching you so i can read more of your lovely blog posts! 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  43. Dream Sequins September 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    I'm a big fan of the ballet! Thanks so much for visiting my wee blog. I'll keep yours on follow 🙂

  44. VexInTheCity September 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog. It really brightened up my evening after a stressful day at work xxx

  45. a cat of impossible colour September 2, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for your lovely comment! I really appreciate it. Andrea xx

  46. Children of the 90s September 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! Great interview and beautiful photos.

  47. Porchlight Interiors September 2, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi Elise, what a beautiful blog you have – very interesting interviews! Thank you for your very kind comments on our blog! Tracey & Hayley xx

  48. Lemonade Makin' Mama September 2, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    I just have to thank you for the adorably sweet comment you left me! It just made my day and the sun came out from behind the clouds for me as soon as I read it. 🙂 Thank you so much. Speaking of delightful blogs… yours is fantastic, and I laughed out loud because I had just finished my post for tomorrow (about my daughter deciding ballet was not for her, and how it just DEVASTATED me.) I found you, and I felt all better again… This is becoming a pattern!

  49. yystudio September 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    great reviews! Impresive and really beautiful blog!

  50. yystudio September 2, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    lovely and impressive blog! And very beautiful pictures 🙂

  51. Heavenly Housewife September 2, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and your lovely comment. It brightened my day :D. I'm just browsing around your blog too, its beautiful.

  52. bikim September 2, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    Great blog!! My son is 10 years old and does ballett since he was 5.Just love it and so does he! He does the royal school, which i find very good. I'll come here often, for sure! Take care,Rosa from Portugal

  53. Thumbelina Fashionista September 2, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving that sweet comment! I don't know much about ballet to be honest, but I have always admired how disciplined ballerinas are! Such a beautiful art form. I hope to learn more about ballet here! 🙂

  54. Carrin September 2, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    Hello!Thanks for stopping by my blog! Comments are always appreciated.I adore your blog! Ballet has always been intriguing to me. I'm definitely going to become a follower. Thanks again,Carrin

  55. beedeebabee♥ September 2, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    Hi Elise! Thank you again for your visit and sweet, sweet words! This was a lovely interview. All of the dancers you show are so beautiful, inside and out!I really like what Melissa said about being self reliant. What a wise girl she is!Hugs, Paulette :o)

  56. Blonde and Red September 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Hello! Thank you so much for your kind words and comment about my blog. Your blog is just lovely and so original as well. I love Ballet and your interviews are very interesting! Thank you again for stopping by.Best,Rosanna

  57. PLURIBALL September 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    Your comment was so lovely, you are so nice. your blog is without any doubt really amusing in its content and the pictures are so beautiful..I would love to keep in touch!thank you so much!*

  58. cate September 2, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

    Hi Elise, I love to dance but at 5'9 & only with a small amount of rhythum, any ideas of being a ballerina are long gone. I can appreciate all the hard work & dedication needed to dance at this level. The comment you left on my blog was so GENEROUS, your wonderful words have made my week…THANK YOU SO MUCH…:) Cate

  59. m. heart September 2, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

    What a fascinating blog! You're wonderful at these interviews, which I feel I struggle with the rare times I actually do them. So glad you stopped by Secret Notebooks, and thank you so much for your kind words.

  60. Maria Killam September 3, 2009 at 12:23 am #

    I love her answer to 'what motivates you at 8 am on Monday morning" Great interview!!

  61. mb.mclees September 3, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Thanks so much for the encouraging comment on my blog! I was trained in classical ballet for many years so I was really excited to see your blog =)Hope you have a nice Labor Day weekend!

  62. Heather September 3, 2009 at 2:15 am #

    Great interview! And great pictures! I love that she's proud that she's able to do what she loves. So many people take things for granted and don't appreciate what they've achieved! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a wonderful day!

  63. gleenn September 3, 2009 at 2:32 am #

    Wow! all about ballet. I really love seeing ballet dancers dance they look like dancing dolls. Ironically though, I never dreamed to be one. It simply because I love my legs so much I don't want them to look like masculine as a result of tip toing, yay!. Nah, kidding. Really, nice articles you got on here. And, thanks for your very wonderful comment. They're very inspiring ;)All the best for great site. 🙂 And see yah around.

  64. Sher September 3, 2009 at 3:29 am #

    Elise, you are such a sweetheart! Thank you so much for the kind words, they really made my day:) Am following your lovely blog!Have a beautiful day darling:)xx

  65. vitaMinn style September 3, 2009 at 3:52 am #

    Hi Elise, Wow, nice blog! Such an interesting read. Unbelievable the dedication and hard work of these artists, I cannot imagine doing their daily routines daily! =) Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog!

  66. ♥Aubrey September 3, 2009 at 4:18 am #

    Thanks for visiting my blog. When i was younger i would pretend to be a ballerina!!!

  67. LENORENEVERMORE September 3, 2009 at 4:45 am #

    Great interview,I'm fascinated by the life of artists…Lovely week darling!xo*

  68. Beach Vintage September 3, 2009 at 5:40 am #

    Hi Elise. This interview sparked memories for me. I used to study classical ballet as a young child until I was 16 yrs old. I always secretly dreamed of becoming a professional. Also thanks so much for dropping in to Beach Vintage and leaving a lovely comment. I appreciate it.

  69. kristina September 3, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    what a great blog! i studied ballet for 15 years before i moved over here; what a lovely way to stay connected to the dancing world.and thanks for your comment on my blog. always great to have a new reader 🙂

  70. Peonies and Polaroids September 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    Ballet dancers eat cupcakes?? Who knew!Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog,I've so enjoyed reading through yours this afternoon. It's been extremely compelling getting an insight into the lives of these strange and elegant creatures!

  71. Life of Cattoo September 4, 2009 at 7:20 am #

    loving your blog, especilly the 'Cupcakes & Conversation' posts. I will be posting on your wonderful blog to a friend who is a freelance dance teacher.

  72. Anne June 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Interesting interview with many human insights. I loved seeing 'Mayerling' in 1980 and wish her well.

  73. Ellen Rose July 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Melissa is my idol and i think she'll go really far!!