Amy Ronnfeldt arrived back in Australia after a whirlwind trip to Switzerland competing in the Prix de Lausanne, an international competition that showcases the best of the best from around the world. We chatted about the role Sydney Eisteddfod played in her development as well as all the things that go into an award winning performance.
Congratulations on your incredible achievement at the Prix de Lausanne! What was it like performing at such a prestigious competition?
Performing in the Prix De Lausanne was definitely one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had! I surprisingly felt way less nervous and stressed than I had originally expected. It did not feel nearly as daunting or scary as I was building it up to be, with the daily classes feeling like a summer school and the final performances feeling more like a gala than a contest.
There was a really strong sense of support and excitement backstage this year, as all the candidates, including me, were feeling so grateful and blessed that it was even made possible, during these unprecedented times. I simply just loved every second of my time, learning from internationally renowned teachers with different styles and perspectives, standing next to some of the world’s most talented emerging artists and admiring the gorgeous European architecture and breathtaking views of Montreux!
For me, the Prix was somewhat about dancing outside of my comfort zone, in front of so many critical eyes and in such a foreign environment, but my confidence and sense of calm absolutely increased throughout the week, so I feel like I have developed more trust in myself overall, as a dancer and person.
AMY RONNFELDT in the midst of her Prix de Lausanne performance
How did competing in Sydney Eisteddfod shape your journey as a performer?
Competing in Sydney Eisteddfod played a significant part in my journey as a performer, because I had never done any competitions with so many other contestants and never interstate before. It was by far the biggest eisteddfod I had exposed myself to, and was a great way to test how I would cope with major performances in the future, boosting my courage and comfortability as a dancer. It was also a fantastic bonding opportunity, as I met some really special people there that I am still friends with to this day, including Hyo Shimizu, a fellow 2022 Prix De Lausanne candidate who I had the joy of sharing the stage with on finals night!
"Competing in Sydney Eisteddfod played a significant part in my journey as a performer... a great way to test how I would cope with major performances in the future"
Sydney Eisteddfod 2022 is back on stage, will we be seeing you competing?
It is very exciting to hear eisteddfods, competitions and productions making a comeback, however you will not be seeing me participate at Sydney Eisteddfod this year. The Prix was the biggest, but also the last competition I think I will ever participate in, as I venture on into the next stage of my ballet journey, which would be looking for employment at a company!
How does competing overseas compare to competing at events in Australia? Was there anything that surprised you during the experience?
One major difference of competing overseas compared to competing at events in Australia is that the staff and teachers speak different languages of course. Other than that, there are not many other differences, as the dance vocabulary is the same wherever you go, as well as the variation options, the feeling of performing onstage, and the preparation and practice involved. What is unique about the Prix, is that it is live-streamed throughout the whole week, and they offer incredible networking opportunities.
What drew you towards performance? Have you always known you wanted to be a dancer?
Performing has always been something I deeply enjoy, as it is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences, taking all the hard work from the studio and sharing it on the stage. It is a rare chance for us artists to share our love and passion, and ultimately connect with and impact audiences, which I find so beautiful and important, especially in an increasingly digital society.
What is your favourite thing about dance? What keeps you motivated?
One of my favourite things about dance has got to be the music. I am quite an emotional person, so there is nothing quite like the freeing and vulnerable feeling of losing myself to a piece of music I love.
What is the most important thing a young performer should do/remember if they want to follow in your footsteps and compete at this level?
Work hard, but remember that dance is not everything. Do not let it take over your life completely. Find balance and break up your time with other things too. If you want to commit to a long-term career path as a dancer, you need to learn that rest and play are just as important as discipline and focus. Your mind and body are equal and need equal attention and care. Look after yourself. If no one has told you recently, well done, you are right where you need to be!
"there is nothing quite like the freeing and vulnerable feeling of losing myself to a piece of music I love"
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Live and dance more simply. Take situations lightly and do not lose your sense of self when in times of stress. It will all work out in the end, so enjoy the now and try not to think into the future too far or dwell on the past too far either. Remember that dance started out with a small movement and is meant for joy and fun, so if something gets in that way of that, simplify everything, think less and JUST DANCE!