Jemima Scott. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Jemima Scott, Finalist in the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship, spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod about the meaning and inspiration for her free variation. She also shares her dreams and the value in learning from other dancers.
What inspired your passion for ballet?
Watching prima ballerinas inspired my passion for ballet. The way they make it look so effortless and perfect is so breathtaking. I remember thinking to myself when I was younger, "one day I want to be just like that" and I still think that to this day.
who inspired you to start ballet?
My mum took me to my first ballet class when I was 4 years old and has inspired me to keep going ever since. She has picked me up when I have had tough times and celebrated with me when I have had successes. She has inspired me to keep going and pursue what I love.
What motivates you as a ballet dancer?
I love to work hard and achieve things. I feel very motivated when I have something to work towards. I also love the feeling of knowing I am striving for success. In ballet, there is always something that can be improved and I love seeing how I can improve more and more and the feeling of knowing you have done all of the hard work for it. To get better and better is an amazing feeling. It takes time and I feel very motivated and satisfied when I achieve something. It really feels great when it all comes together.
Tell us a little bit about the Free variation you performed in the final.
My contemporary piece was called 'Ashes.' It was self-choreographed. I picked the music because it has a very meaningful story behind it. The music is the theme song from the movie 'Schindler's List,' which is about the Holocaust. I choreographed it two years ago after watching the movie. I portrayed the Ash that comes from the smoke at the concentration camps. I wanted to display the hurt, tragedy and loss that people experienced through that time within the dance. My wish was for the dance to move people.
Which other performers do you most like to watch, and why?
I love to watch Marianela Núñez because of how easy she makes everything look. She has so much strength and her dancing is so pure. You can tell it comes from her heart.
What is the best piece of performance advice you’ve ever heard?
My mum gave me the best piece of advice. "As long as you dance your best that's all that matters."
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
Not to be afraid of taking a risk. Sydney Eisteddfod has helped me learn that when I go out on stage I should give everything I have and dance to move people because I love it so much.
What would you say to a younger dancer who was thinking about entering Sydney Eisteddfod?
It is an amazing experience dancing alongside talented people. I learnt so much from watching others and seeing how other people do things. You should definitely do it and don't be scared or worried about the competition, as it's another opportunity to dance.
What do you hope to achieve next?
I hope to one day dance in the Royal New Zealand Ballet, as it would be a dream come true.