My name is Kirsty and I am 17 years old in my 7th year of training at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, England. Our school day is pretty busy as we try to balance 3 different courses- dance training, 2 academic a-levels and our dance diploma course, so on a typical day I will arrive at school at 7 am so I can have my breakfast and get ready for my technique class at 8:30. This class lasts for 2 hours and is usually followed by a pointe technique/variations class and repertoire/pas deux. After lunch we then have 2 hours of academics followed by another 2 hours of dance. This final two hours usually consists of contemporary, jazz, national dance, tap or a workshop as the school believes that it is important to be a versatile and well-rounded dancer. Our school day finishes at 18:00 but we are expected to either stay and practice in the studios or go to the gym in the evening after school, so I usually leave at around 19:30 after having dinner. As you can see our school day is pretty chaotic, however work doesn’t stop when we leave the school building as we have to spend most of our evenings and weekends studying for our a-levels as an a-level student is expected to do 5-10 hours home-study per week per subject on top of set homework if you want to achieve a good grade. This can become very difficult living in a boarding environment as everybody works differently and it can be hard to find motivation to study when you are tired and surrounded by your friends.
We are often given opportunities to perform with Birmingham Royal Ballet Company and guest choreographers visit the school annually to work with us and produce new choreography for our summer show. One of the main focuses of the school is to give students the chance to perform and gain an insight into the world of professional dance and it was through training for the Youth America Grand Prix that I discovered Ballet Rocks®. Since then the 4-6 hours of pointe work I do daily has become unbelievably comfortable with Ballet Rocks® Toe Candy providing the perfect protection for my bunions and blisters whilst keeping my shoes smelling sweet. A big perk for me is that the silky feel of the alpaca fibre means that just a thin layer of Toe Candy provides the same benefits as a thick toe pad, allowing me to feel the floor and be much more grounded in my dancing.
Having left home aged 11 to pursue ballet as a professional career I have been faced with many challenges, yet each one has made me stronger and I am thankful for all the support my friends, family and teachers have given me. I feel privileged to become an ambassador for Ballet Rocks® and am excited to bring these products over to the UK.