My Ballet Journey - Part 1

How It Started

dance photographer dartmoor devon

When I look at these beautiful images that Annie took of me on Dartmoor before Christmas, I can’t believe that only a couple of years ago I was training with local football youth teams, skateboarding and doing just an hour or so of ballet a week…

How things change – and there is nothing like a photograph to remind you what you’ve become, who you really are, and how far you’ve travelled in a short amount of time. Here’s a little bit about my ballet journey…

fine art ballet photographer devon on location

I sometimes wonder how something that is my absolute passion and whole life now, could have been just a little hobby up until so recently. I think, looking back on it, that even though I always loved the physical activity itself and the challenge (ballet is hard!) I never really liked the ‘girliness’ - I never dreamt of being a princess, hated pink and bows, and hardly ever even wore a dress! 

Even in my first balIet exam though, I remember this lovely feeling of standing so tall and straight. As the ballet got harder, the more I enjoyed it. My mum took me to see Duchy Ballet’s production of The Mousehole Cat, and I loved it – and how the choreography was so clever to make the main character dance ballet just like a cat. 

B&W ballet portrait devon dancer

Then a couple of years ago, my dance school Ballaré School of Performing Arts in Saltash, created their show of Beauty & The Beast, and I was lucky enough to play Lumiérre. I loved every minute of the rehearsals, working so hard all together to create something beautiful – and the feeling of performing all that hard work on stage at the House Theatre in Plymouth was the best feeling ever. I was so inspired by the older ballet dancers at my school, and seeing them do fouettés and arabesques and so many other exciting moves made me want to be just like them. I remember sneaking on to the stage before one of the shows, and pretending I was Belle doing all these fouettés (badly, in my case!) and just feeling so excited. 

Dartmoor dancer nuns cross farm romantic tutu

Being part of such an amazing show made me want to do more, a lot more! I said to my mum I wanted to do all kinds of dance as well as much more ballet, every day as often as I could – so I dropped football, and Brownies, sold my flute – and dance became my life. 

Thanks for reading, and in my second blog post I’ll tell you about the next part of my journey… 

Hazel Xx

Instagram: @hazelmaya_dancer