Interview Ballerina Erina Takahashi
In June, she will be taking on the title role in Christopher Wheeldon’s magical production of Cinderella in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall. The classic fairy tale has been adapted for the iconic space with over 90 dancers, a live orchestra and impressive sets and projections.
Before opening night on June 15, you can read more about Takahashi’s preparations and inspirations here…
THE WICK: Tell us about your typical Monday.
Erina Takahashi: I start my day taking my son to school before heading to the Mulryan Centre for Dance, English National Ballet’s home in East London. I always try to arrive around 9:30am, which gives me at least 45 minutes to get ready for morning class. Then the day is in the studios taking class and rehearsing. I use my breaks to workout, depending on when I finish, I then leave earlier to pick up Archie from school. After that, I become a mother until he goes to bed. And when he’s asleep, I use the evenings to prepare for the next day of work, for example sewing my shoes, or washing etc.
TW: What helps you to stay at the top of your game as the English National Ballet’s longest-serving principal dancer?
ET: I love my job. So training is such a huge part of my life. On top of the daily ballet classes, you can always find me doing pilates or in the gym during breaks. I don’t really like to repeat the same exercises all the time, so I adapt my routine depending on what my body needs or feels, or to the ballets and performances we are doing.
TW: How do you stay mentally strong as well as physically?
Work-life balance is really important. I try not to think about work too much when I’m home with my family. When I was younger, if something went wrong in a rehearsal, I was upset the whole day. But experience has taught me that it’s important to separate work from personal life. Having a husband who is also a dancer helps a lot, as he fully understands me and stops my overthinking in those moments.
But work is still a big part of myself – my life inspires my dance, and my dance inspires my life. They feed each other, through experiences and appreciation and it’s important to know you can enjoy both worlds!
TW: What advice do you wish you were told when starting out as a dancer?
ET: To never forget the love and joy I always have had for dance. Remember where that passion came from and dance from that special place.