Have you seen young dancer Audrey Freeman? No, but really. Have you seen her?? If not, check her out now. With legs up to her ears, feet that curve like bananas, 180-degree turnout and smooth pirouettes, it’s no wonder she’s been called a “ballet prodigy”. And the rising Australian star (she’s 14 years old and calls Sydney home) has the accolades to back it up. Last year, Freeman was awarded First Place in both the Classical and Contemporary Woman’s Junior Division of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Paris. She made it to the YAGP Finals in New York in 2015 and 2016, and she represented Australia in this year’s Prix de Lausanne.
We can’t wait to see what she does next, or where she’ll be in 10 years. Here, get to know a little more about this amazing young dancer.
When did you start dancing?
“I started dancing at three years old at Annette Roselli Dance Academy.”
Where do you currently train, and what styles do you study?
“I currently dance at Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy, and I study ballet full time and do contemporary classes as well almost every day. I also take Xtend Barre classes outside of full time ballet.”
What’s your favorite dance style, and why?
“My favourite dance style is ballet. I love it so much because you can never perfect it. It’s always a challenge, and I always have things to work toward.”
You’ve had your fair share of awards and wins at major competitions! Can you tell us about some of your favorite competitions?
“Yes, I have! I recently won two Gold medals in Youth America Grand Prix Paris for Classical and Contemporary, which was an amazing achievement, and I would definitely say it’s one of the best competitions I have been to, as not only do you compete for a prize, but you can also receive scholarships to the best ballet schools in the world.”
What do you like most about competing?
“I love competing so much. It makes all of the endless hours in the studio worth it, and I love the feeling of walking on stage knowing you’re ready and seeing all the people watching you.”
What do you think makes you successful at a competition? Is it lots of rehearsal time, a certain mindset on the day, a good warm-up, a ritual?
“I would definitely say all of those things. For me, I like to run my dances every single day in lead up to a competition, so by the time I get on to the stage, it’s all in my muscle memory, and I can just perform with my body without having to think about the steps. I also like to have a big warm-up before and an easy ballet class to turn my muscles on.”
What have been some of your favourite roles or pieces to perform? And what are some of your dream roles?
“My favourite role so far is probably young Clara in The Nutcracker or Kitri from Don Quixote. And I would love to perform those roles with a company.”
What do you think is your greatest strength or asset as a dancer?
“I would say I have a very great personality, and I really connect with the audience and show them me. I also have great flexibility, which helps with so much, such as my jumps, leg extensions and contemporary dance.”
What’s your dream dance job? Any companies, shows or choreographers you’d like to work with?
“My dream company would either be The Royal Ballet or American Ballet Theatre, as I see myself dancing in either company.”
What do you like to do when not dancing?
“I love to go to Pilates classes, cook, go shopping, watch movies and have a massage!”
How would you describe yourself in three words?
“Ambitious, confident and hard-working.”
What’s your advice for aspiring dancers?
“One of my favourite quotes that everyone should do is ‘Own who you are.’ Don’t try and be someone who you’re not. Be better, be you, and always give 150 percent.”
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.