Backstage with Jack

May I welcome you to our second interview with Jack Cussans!

1.How is Ballet Central going?
Really well. We have started learning most pieces for the tour. It’s a massive change from 1st and 2nd year but really fun.

2.What pieces are you learning?
I am in Kenny Tindell’s and Dane Hurst’s pieces. Both are equally challenging but really enjoyable nonetheless.

3.What is your favourite piece and why?
I love Kenny’s piece – the movement, expression and intention is wonderful to learn. I particularly enjoy bucking the trend of conventions and doing pas de deux with the guys in the piece – in all honesty it is much easier to lift a guy than a girl!

4.What is it like working with different choreographers?
Kenny and Dane are both very different to work with. Dane expects us to work very hard for the entire rehearsal. If he is working on a particular part with someone else, the people not used have to work at the side either listening to what is going on or working on bits and pieces that we have just been taught. I find this approach challenging, but on the plus side it is really good to learn new ways of processing information and helps with sustaining concentration.
Kenny works with groups in intensive bursts, getting the best out of us on an individual basis. Last week I was able to work with him for private coaching with my pas de deux partner, Victoria, which was really helpful and a fantastic experience.

5.When did you start dancing?
I started dancing at 4 years old. I lived in Newcastle and was training in football at the Newcastle Academy but for convenience and to keep fit when I wasn’t doing football, I joined my sister at her dancing classes. We then moved to York and I carried on dancing and eventually my teacher recommended going to The Hammond School, which teaches performing arts to 11 year olds and upwards.

6.Who inspires you to dance?
Watching other dancers and new choreography is my biggest inspiration – watching Steven McRae is always a pleasure but I love watching pieces by Akram Khan – they really push the boundaries of what dance means.

7.What’s the best advice you have been given?
I know this sounds like a cliché but the phrase ‘never give up even when you have setbacks’ really resonates with me. At the end of 2nd year I was given the news that I may have to repeat the year due to having a growth spurt. Obviously I was really disappointed but I sat down with one of the teachers and just talked it all through and realised that it wasn’t a setback but rather an opportunity to keep learning and training. I have to say that extra year helped me enormously grow.

8.What are you most looking forward at Ballet Central?
Going on tour – being on the road is something I am really looking forward to and to experience all the different theatres and audiences…I can’t wait!

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