20 Questions with Corps de Ballet Member Ross Allen
September 8, 2022
The National Ballet of Canada has added 15 new Corps de Ballet members to the dancer roster this season as the company returns to its pre-pandemic size. You can get to know some of the new faces through our 20 Questions series, starting with Ross Allen, who joined the National Ballet as an RBC Apprentice in 2020 and is now a full member of the Corps. Congratulations Ross!
What inspired you to come to The National Ballet of Canada?
Looking through the profiles of the dancers and seeing how beautiful and talented they are made me want to be a part of The National Ballet of Canada.
What would you have done as a career if you hadn’t pursued ballet?
If I hadn’t pursued ballet I would either be a physical therapist or tried to be an actor.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?
When I did musical theatre I did a random skit. In the middle of it I forgot my lines and accidentally stole another person’s line, then stood there awkwardly while everyone tried to figure out what to do.
What is your work philosophy?
I follow a saying from one of my favorite teachers, Peter Frame: “When in doubt, give.”
How do you handle criticism?
I try never to take criticism personally. If it is helpful, I take whatever was said and apply it. If it is not helpful or even hurtful, I leave it behind me.
What's your definition of a successful ballet dancer?
A dancer who captures the audience’s attention and influences how they feel.
What’s the best thing about being a dancer?
Seeing the emotion in people’s faces while they process the movement and hearing how the performance affected them.
What’s the worst?
Getting out of bed when your whole body is sore.
What music are you listening to right now?
I’ve had Beyoncé’s Renaissance album on repeat for weeks.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Watch random food and anatomy videos on YouTube.
What are three things most people don't know about you?
- I’m a pretty good tap dancer.
- I used to take singing lessons and I still love to sing.
- I can wiggle my ears and the top of my head.
What cheers you up on an off day?
Knowing I can sleep in as long as I want.
Do you have any bad habits that you're working on breaking?
I’m trying to stop beating myself up about the little things.
What is your favourite ballet?
Fearful Symmetries by Peter Martins.
Could you name someone who has mentored or inspired you?
First Soloist Donald Thom has always inspired me. He’s one of my favorite dancers in the company and he’s a great person inside and outside of the studios.
Where would you like to travel, but haven’t yet?
Since I was a kid I have wanted to travel to Venice.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derek Bell.
What’s the top item on your bucket list?
I really want to travel somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere. I’ve only travelled in North America.
Do you have any performance rituals or superstitions?
Before every matinee I go to Tim Hortons and get a sausage farmer’s wrap and a Caramel Iced Capp. I don’t know why it’s just become a habit.
Adage or Allegro?
Definitely allegro. I do like adage but I love jumping much more.
Learn more about Ross