Kayla Van den Bogert. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Kayla Van den Bogert, Finalist in the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship, shares why she chose to perform 'the Black Swan,' the secret to getting an audience interested in her performance and what is most important to her as a ballet dancer.
What inspired your passion for ballet?
When I was younger and watched the older girls at my studio dancing and thought of how good they were, I always imagined that I wanted to be just like them and dance on a big stage just like a ballerina. Seeing amazing ballet productions has also inspired me to keep training hard, so I can reach my goals. It is my wonderful teachers though that have kept the dream alive, with encouragement and hard work.
who inspired you to start ballet?
My mum enrolled me in dance classes when I was 3 and I have just loved it ever since, but there have been a lot of professional ballerinas who have inspired me to keep going.
What motivates you as a ballet dancer?
My teachers and my peers motivate me. I have been with Karen Ireland Dance Centre since I was 3 years old, so it is like a second home to me. Being around hardworking peers, and encouraging and nurturing teachers, whilst continuing to live at home in our regional town is of great advantage.
Tell us a little bit about your classical and free variation that you performed in the final.
My classical variation is the Black Swan. I like performing this solo because I can really get into the character and play someone that is manipulative and guile. I love getting to play a character who is really different to who I am.
My contemporary is titled ‘the curse’, which is a powerful piece. When I perform it I feel that I am a crow that has become cursed, however even though I try and remove the curse, it is stuck to me and it only gets stronger. My teacher Rhiannon Beardow choreographed this. I love the intensity of it and can really get into character.
Which other performers do you most like to watch. And why?
Marianela Nunez!! I think that she is amazing and every character she plays is always spot on. Everything she does just look effortless and you can see through her dancing that she absolutely loves what she’s doing.
What is the best piece of performance advice you’ve ever heard?
“Don’t just dance for the competition, dance for yourself”.
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
I have learnt to not doubt myself and my dancing. Staying confident and believing in myself is something that Sydney Eisteddfod has really shown me because I did not think that I would make it this far and here I am.
What would you say to a younger dancer who was thinking about entering Sydney Eisteddfod?
Just go for it, it’s a great experience and you never know what's going to happen. You will make new friends and maybe see some old ones, plus performing onstage is always fun and for everyone to see your hard work is an amazing feeling.
What do you hope to achieve next?
I hope to finish my training overseas and then pursue a career in a ballet company.