Tyla Steinbach on stage in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Tyla Steinbach, finalist in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship, impressed audiences last year with her performances of Black Swan and Eclecticism in the Final. Since then she has had an incredibly busy 12 months which has seen her compete in the Alana Haines Awards in New Zealand where she was one of seven semi-finalists in the Supreme B Division, and the Prix de Lausanne where she was offered a Scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School.
Sydney Eisteddfod recently spoke to Tyla about how she is finding the San Francisco Ballet School and about what initially inspired her love of ballet.
Tell us about your experience studying at the San Francisco Ballet School
I am currently attending the San Francisco Ballet School Summer Intensive Program which has been very exciting, we are only half way through the program but so far I have loved every minute of it. It has been very exciting to be taught by Patrick Armard, the schools Director, and many other inspiring teachers. I always love learning new styles and being challenged by what different teachers want, also just being in a different environment has added to that.
My month in San Francisco for the summer school has been very helpful, as it has given me a little taste of what the year will be like when I start in September. I guess this will help me settle in quicker when I return in September as I now know what to expect and the city and people will be familiar.
What has it been like moving away from home?
Moving away from home at a young age can be a difficult time but my move to America hasn’t been too difficult as I moved away from my home in Perth in 2016 to train at Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy and lived away from my family for nearly 2 years. This really made a huge difference in my move to America as I am used to being away from my family. However, the 15 hour time difference to Perth makes it a little difficult to phone home but I still find a time call or FaceTime the family regularly.
There are many things that I miss about home especially friends and family. I really miss my second home Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy, there was always such a special and welcoming feeling about the studio and the people there, I truly miss this. The other things that I miss are very small, like just being used to my surroundings and the beautiful city of Sydney. However, this will always be the case when moving to a new place and I’m excited to explore the city of San Francisco and make it my new home.
What inspired your passion for ballet?
I’ve had a love for dance ever since I was a young girl. I remember my first time being on stage and the excitement that I felt and the happiness it brought me. My real passion for ballet only developed when I was about 11 years old and I realised that this was something that was very important to me and I knew that I wanted to make a career out of it. I knew I had a real passion for ballet when I was excited to attend classes each day and I couldn’t think of anything better to do than go to ballet.
what inspired you to start dancing?
I started dancing at the age of three because my older sister attended ballet classes, so I wanted to do what she did. I also use to constantly make up dances and shows for my family, so my parents decided that I should start dancing to further this passion.
Which other performers do you most like to watch, and why?
There are so many amazing ballerinas who I like to watch and each one of them has such exquisite features and artistry. One of the dancers that I enjoy watching and following is Juliet Burnett as I had the privilege to meet her and be on stage with her while she danced the Swan Lake Act 2 pas de deux with Daniel Gaudiello. It was incredible to watch her not just on a screen or from the audience but to watch her whilst sharing a stage was a life experience that I won’t forget. I was so moved by the way she connected with the character and the story and put all her heart into the performance.
Another dancer that I love watching is Maria Kochetkova as she shows such honesty and heart in the way she performs and she shows that it doesn’t matter if you aren’t perfect in every way, it is the way you perform and connect with the role you are performing that counts.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
One of the best performance advices I’ve received is, “don’t be nervous, there are surgeons who are trying to save peoples lives. We aren’t saving lives, we are just dancing. So have fun and enjoy yourself.” Another piece of performance advice I’ve heard is to take what you do in the studio to the stage and don’t try to do anything differently just because you are on stage.