Katherine Skelton: Celebrating 10 Years at the RNZB

Last week, Katherine Skelton (née Grange), celebrated 10 years dancing with the Royal New Zealand Ballet having joined in 2010 from the New Zealand School of Dance, as the Todd Scholar.

We caught up with Kat to find out more about the last 10 years:

10 years with the Royal New Zealand Ballet – that is a remarkable achievement! Can you sum up those 10 years in 10 words?

A wondrous whirlwind of performances, rehearsals, challenges, travel and friends!

10 years must mean a lot of tutus, arabesques and blisters. Do you have a favourite moment that stands out, on the stage or in the studio?

My favourite moment is quite a recent one; in Hansel and Gretel (as Gretel) when the curtain came up for the Witch’s Kitchen scene… a lot of fun!

You’re about to embark on your 6th Tutus on Tour, how do you think Tutus on Tour has changed in your time performing?

Tutus on Tour has changed in format a little since my first one. Things like who goes where and the number of groups the company is split into. We also do Tutus every year now as opposed to every second year.

With 10 years under your belt at the Royal New Zealand Ballet, what advice would you give to budding dancers?

Work hard in class and don’t cheat anything. Solidify your good technique while you are young and it will make everything easier (and better) when you’re older. Eat well, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.. these things might sound clichéd but it will ensure that you can do your best and are able to reach your potential. Also STRETCH!

Do you have anything special planned to celebrate 10 years with the Royal New Zealand Ballet?

Patricia acknowledged my 10 years by inviting the company to a celebration after work where she presented me with a beautiful necklace to symbolize and recognize the achievement. And I felt very special!

Now for a test, can you name ten roles you have performed in in under a minute?

  • Gretel, Hansel and Gretel
  • Queen of the Dryads, Don Quixote
  • Prayer (Ima), Coppélia
  • Blue Fairy, The Sleeping Beauty
  • Wedding Couple, Giselle
  • Juliet’s Friend, Romeo and Juliet
  • Cygnets, Swan Lake
  • Little Step Sister, Cinderella
  • Cobweb, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • French Pastilles, The Nutcracker

If you had to do 10 repetitions of a ballet step to save your life, what would you choose?

Probably developé a la seconde with my left leg.

Where would we find you if you weren’t in the studio or on the stage?

Either with friends or at home with my husband, Joseph!

In another life, if you weren’t a dancer, what would you be?

In another life I would be in musicals!

I’m sure you have more than 10 people who inspire you, can you tell us just 1 person and why?

Marianela Nuñez really inspires me with her quality of technique and performance.

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