UNWAVERING in her focus, Alexandra McMaster has been chasing her dream across the world. Now her dream is becoming a reality.
Alexandra is about to be a professional ballerina in France with a Bordeaux-based ballet company.
The 22-year-old left Ballarat on Friday night, bound for Stuttgart in Germany where she has been studying for almost two years at the John Cranko Schule. She has one month’s studies to complete before moving to France.
In the competitive ballet world, auditions were fiercely contested but Alexandra kept her poise.
“It’s been a very long, gruelling journey but I just had to hang in there and believe,” Alexandra said.
“When I was signed, it was an unbelievable feeling, like a weight lifting off my shoulders. It’s not a dream I’m chasing anymore, it’s my actual reality.”
Alexandra started dance at the Carole Oliver School of Ballarat as a junior and transferred to the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne for full-time studies, from Loreto College, aged 14.
She then moved into the pre-professional program with Queensland Ballet before an ankle injury left her sidelined for more than a year. It was a chance for Alexandra to move home and get her driver’s licence while trying to re-condition and strengthen her body back into training – learning to move for ballet again.
Alexandra spent two years under the tutelage of Janine McGrath in Brisbane before moving into intense training in Stuttgart.
Now, Alexandra feels ready for the challenge to put into place all she has trained to be.
“I’ve done a little work with companies in Australia and Stuttgart so I know a little of what to expect, but it will still be so different,” Alexandra said.
“You’re very much on your own – no-one telling you to point your toes anymore. I’ll be independent, and it will be nice to have that freedom.”
Alexandra is already an established food blogger, @ballerina_bites, for leading Australian dancewear website Energetiks and on Instagram.
Once she feels she is an established dancer, Alexandra would love to write a cookbook for young dancers.
“I like helping younger dancers eat right, making sure we have the right carbs, protein and healthy fats to be strong, fit and healthy,” Alexandra said.
“People have this perception about dancers that’s not quite right. We actually eat a lot...When you’re working 8am to 8pm, you want lots of good, healthy whole foods.”
Alexandra’s new dream is to play the role of Tatiana in Onegin, a role so artistic, technical and powerful – exactly the kind of dancer she would like to be.