ILUKA dancer Jessica Cruse is on the road to becoming a professional ballerina.
The 20-year-old WA Academy of Performing Arts graduate has moved to the east coast to take part in Melbourne City Ballet’s pre-professional program.
Cruse said she had mixed feelings leading up to the audition.
“I am always nervous for auditions but you have to act super-confident in those situations to make yourself noticed,” she said.
“I knew I had worked hard enough and had performed my best on the day and that’s all I could have done; the rest was up to the company.”
Cruse said it was a big decision to leave Perth.
“I was leaving my family and friends behind and was going to a new place not knowing if everything would work out the way I had hoped,” she said.
“I had never lived out of home before, so it was a big decision to move to a completely different state by myself.”
As part of the program, Cruse takes company classes each morning followed by company rehearsals for upcoming performances.
“Mainly we are understudying for the company members, so we are expected to know all the material in case we are suddenly needed to replace a dancer,” she said.
After lunch, she has technical classes as part of her training, then more rehearsals for shows the pre-professional dancers put on.
“I love the constant challenge dance gives me,” Cruse said.
“You are never bored with dance if you are always wanting to improve and as a dancer we are never satisfied.
“I love the feeling of finally achieving a step and knowing after a performance that you’ve done the hard work to get there.
“The physicality of it and the aesthetics of it is what intrigues me.”
Cruse said she hoped to get a contract with the company.