Dancer Q&A: Aidan Tully
By Caroline Dickie
August 08, 2023
Aidan Tully. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
Several new dancers are starting their careers with The National Ballet of Canada this season, including Corps de Ballet member Aidan Tully, an exciting young dancer who trained at the New Zealand School of Dance before moving to Canada this year. We’re excited to introduce Aidan through our 20 Questions series!
What inspired you to come to The National Ballet of Canada?
The fact that I was given the opportunity to audition here in person, the kindness of the people, the amount and quality of facilities and the world class repertoire definitely drew me in. And Toronto is such a beautiful city!
What would you have done as a career if you hadn’t pursued ballet?
I would love to have studied either linguistics or classics in university, as both interest me greatly.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?
Not for a while, but in my junior days of performing at competitions I had many a mind-blank occur on stage.
What is your work philosophy?
The harder I work now, the easier it will be for me later.
How do you manage criticism?
Criticism, if given constructively, is absolutely essential in our line of work. Even the best dancers in the world have room for improvement, and I think improvement, not perfection, is something to strive for.
What's your definition of a successful ballet dancer?
I define success as happiness in oneself, so any dancer who loves what they do and is passionate about it is successful in my eyes.
What’s the best thing about being a dancer?
Getting to meet so many beautiful people from all around the world and hear their wonderful stories, all brought together by ballet!
What’s the worst?
The stress can get quite high sometimes and the toll on the body isn't very fun, but I do find the aches and pains satisfying sometimes, as proof that I've been working hard. Only sometimes though…
What music are you listening to right now?
I don't like to tie myself down to a specific genre; hitting shuffle play on Spotify will get me anything from Prokofiev to Post Malone. I love a bit of variety.
If you could bring back any fashion trend, what would it be?
I think the Romans nailed it with togas. I find them exceedingly practical in warm weather.
What cheers you up on a bad day?
Good company and humour always lift my spirits when I'm down.
Aidan Tully. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
Do you have any habits that you're working on breaking?
My sleep schedule for sure requires a bit more discipline.
What is your favorite onstage memory?
Getting to perform at The Beaulieu Theatre in Switzerland for the Prix de Lausanne earlier this year. Though I was very sick with food poisoning at the time, the sheer prestige of the stage and the event will forever be in my mind and heart.
What is your favourite ballet?
I love the range of emotions in Romeo in Juliet; there's enough comedy and tragedy over the course of the ballet to really take me on a journey.
Adage or Allegro?
I really enjoy moving a lot in ballet, so allegro for sure (grand allegro in particular). But I do enjoy knowing that I can always find something to work on in adagio.
Where would you like to travel, but haven’t yet?
I am looking forward to seeing more of beautiful Canada during my time here; I’m definitely planning to visit as much of it as I can!
What are you reading right now?
I am currently making my way through Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, as it was recommended to me by a friend, and I’m finding some good insights within!
What is your perfect meal?
I'm a simple man – put a good plate of nachos in front of me and we're best friends for life.
What sport would you compete in if you could go to the Olympics?
I've always enjoyed swimming; I don't think I'm anywhere near Olympic level though. The Bobsleigh also looks like a terrifying amount of fun.
What’s the top item on your bucket list?
At the moment, skydiving!
Learn More About Aidan