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Q&A with Clare Peterson
February 2, 2021

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What have you been doing in your spare time since the pandemic hit?

Baking, walking and training my puppy Winston, taking some courses through Ryerson and FaceTiming with family and friends. 

What would you have done as a career if you hadn’t pursued ballet?  

This is such a hard question! I have many interests outside of ballet but it’s hard to know which one would be a career for me. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of Architectural Digest and have been really interested in the interior designs of the homes. I especially love the homes they cover in California. Maybe this could be a future career for me, who knows!

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage? 

Yes, I’ve fallen a few times in The Nutcracker. Once I was running out to do a grand jeté with my partner in Chocolate (Spanish) but when I got to centre stage to do my big jump I slipped and fell right to the floor! Thankfully my partner pulled me right back up and we kept going but I was pretty embarrassed that I missed our big entrance.   

What is your work philosophy?

Work hard, don’t compare yourself to others and stay present.  

How do you handle criticism? 

It can be hard to hear criticism but if it’s coming from someone you trust and who only wants the best for you, then you need to listen.  

What's your definition of a successful ballet dancer?  

I think a successful ballet dancer is someone who can take the audience on a journey with them through their dancing. This could be through a story or just by the way they choose to execute the steps.  

What’s the best thing about being a dancer?

Performing onstage and really being present.  

What’s the worst?

Going through an injury. 

What's your guilty pleasure song that'll make you rock out no matter where you are? 

Sorry by Justin Bieber... its just so catchy.  

What are three random things most people don't know about you? 

  • I just got a Dachshund named Winston!
  • I think puns are really cheesy.
  • I can nap almost anywhere.

What was the last thing you changed your mind about?

Spin classes used to intimidate me, but I recently got a stationary bike and have been having the best time taking spin classes online!

What cheers you up on an off day?

Hugs, a good meal and time with my pets.

Do you have any bad habits that you're working on breaking?

I am a night owl, so I am trying to go to bed earlier.

What is your favourite onstage memory?

Dancing Black Swans in James Kudelka’s Swan Lake. His version of Swan Lake was the first ballet I saw The National Ballet of Canada perform when I was ten in Vancouver. I got to perform Swan Lake in my first year with the Corps de Ballet so it really felt like a full circle moment for me. Also, it was incredible to dance as strong and powerful Black Swans with the women of the company.

What is your favourite ballet?

Swan Lake.

What's the biggest risk you've taken, either personally or in your career?

Leaving home at 13 to dance at Canada’s National Ballet School was a big risk. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive family who let me go to pursue my passion.

When are you most proud of yourself?

I am most proud of myself when I accomplish something I have worked hard for, whether it’s in the studio or in my life.

Tell us about an awe-inspiring thing you've seen or experienced.

Seeing my colleagues create and express themselves in the studio and onstage. It’s inspirational and something I really miss.

Do you have a favourite quote?

I’m not a quote person.

What’s the top item on your bucket list?

I really want to travel to Greece and Italy! The food, art and history are incredible.

Learn More About Clare >


Clare Peterson is sponsored through Dancers First by an anonymous donor.

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