PRESENTER (REPORTER): You have probably seen our guest on ITV’s new show “Dance” or maybe you have been to the theater where she is now performing ‘Aladdin’.
After dancing with the ballet company for five years, she is starting to break into principal roles and discover what it means to be at the top of their profession.
Otherwise the chances are that you follow her on Instagram… after all, she boasts over 100,000 followers. In today’s program, I’m going to interview Claire Petty.
REPORTER: Hi, Anne. Welcome to our programme.
CLAIRE: My pleasure.
REPORTER: To start, tell us a little about yourself.
CLAIRE: I started dancing at the age of four, doing ballet, because I had a lot of energy and my mum needed to channel it into something productive! I was very lucky
that at the age of 12 I had a teacher that guided me more towards the classical route, and I joined the School of American Ballet in New York when I was 14. I
worked with the New York City Ballet my last year at school, and we performed ‘Nutcracker’ that year, which was an amazing experience. I went back to school
that January and on the first day back my head teacher told me I had a job at the Boston Ballet and that I started work the next day—I literally re-packed all
my things and hopped on the plane straightaway!
REPORTER: What advice do you wish someone had given you at 15?
CLAIRE: I wish someone had told me not to let people tell me that I can’t do something. At school most of my teachers told me dance was a waste of time
and that I couldn’t make a career out of it. That really upset me because I had put so much into it and my family made a lot of sacrifices. But as I got older, I
realised that those people motivated me to prove them wrong and I guess they will always motivate me, because now when people tell me I can’t do
something, I make sure I DO do it.
REPORTER: Ballet is a pretty demanding profession: there are long hours, it’s very physical, you have to travel a lot. What motivates you?
CLAIRE: It’s just those times on stage where you’re either doing a role you love, or you’re in a really beautiful theatre, and sometimes you just realise how lucky
you are to be doing a job where you absolutely love it, and you’re doing your hobby as a career. Those moments push you through. You’ve done all that hard
work in the studio, you’ve tried to get your technique to the highest standard it can be, and then you just need to enjoy that moment on stage.
REPORTER: There must be a fine balance between relaxing after a long day of rehearsals and thinking over the work you’ve done that day. How do you manage that?
CLAIRE: Immediately after rehearsal, I like to reflect a little bit on the positive things. There’s always going to be something that’s gone wrong—I don’t think you ever
walk away thinking ‘well, that was perfect’—but that’s the beauty of performing a character role because every day can be different. The way we perform ‘Aladdin’ in our first show will be different from the way we play it in our second show. That’s what’s exciting – the growth, and the change, and responding to each other.
REPORTER: You’re super busy! What do you do to relax and chill out?
CLAIRE: Ha ha. I have very little free time, which is how I like it—I hate being bored. I go to the movies, hang out with my dance friends, watch TV, listen to music, do
all those normal things. It’s good to chill out and remind yourself that, as brilliant as ballet is, there’s a big world out there.
REPORTER: You’ve already danced with Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez. What has been your career highlight so far?
CLAIRE: Dancing for Justin Bieber and definitely Jennifer Lopez have been major highlights but I’m excited about working with Lady Gaga on her dancing videos
for her new album. That’s been really cool, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what she’s been working on!
REPORTER: Which musical icons do you dream about working or dancing with one day?
CLAIRE: I’ve always wanted to dance for Beyoncé. She’s a very talented dancer herself, with so much energy. It’s definitely something I would love to do. Being
involved with Lady Gaga’s music clips and seeing what is involved in the process has opened my eyes to professional dancing outside ballet and I’ve
loved it, so I hope dancing for other musical icons is just as fun. It’s lot of hard work but rewarding for sure.
REPORTER: I was following you on Instagram earlier and there’s a fan page for you! What’s it like going from living a normal life to dealing with the fame that comes
with your profile now?
CLAIRE: Ha ha. It’s no different, to be honest! Most of the fans are from overseas, so my life here hasn’t changed all that much in the past five years. When I go out,
a few people recognize me and it’s nice, but I’m not that famous.
REPORTER: What’s next for you?
CLAIRE: I’m going to the Dominican Republic in August for the World Latin Dance Championship to perform in Jennifer Lopez’s show there – I’m very excited
about that! We also have stuff happening in Australia after and possibly Switzerland. Then I’m filming the rest of the episodes for “Dance”, which I’m
looking forward to.
REPORTER: Finally, if you weren’t a dancer, what would you be doing?
CLAIRE: I’d quite like to learn something about architecture and interior design because I’ve always liked drawing, but I’ve never had time to work on it
properly. I’ve always loved walking into a stylish home. It’s my dream to build my own house and decorate it with things from all around the world .
REPORTER: Well, Claire, it’s been a pleasure having you here tonight.
CLAIRE: Thank you for inviting me.