2019 is our 50th anniversary and we are championing some of the people who help make Scottish Ballet a great place to work. Each week we will introduce you to a different career at Scottish Ballet and the person behind it.
Kerry Livingstone describes her journey from Scottish Ballet Junior Associate as a 10 year old, to Head of the Associate Programme and Head of Modern Ballet at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
What first inspired your interest in dance?
I’m sure the TV show Fame! had something to do with it! I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love dancing. I started majorette lessons in the local church hall at the age of 5 and after a couple of years, I asked my parents if I could go to ballet classes. I immediately enjoyed the structure and challenge of ballet. At 10, I auditioned for Junior Associates and attended weekly classes. When I got the opportunity to perform in Peter Darrell’s The Nutcracker, I was hooked!
Can you briefly describe your journey to your current role?
I knew I wanted to specialise in ballet teaching, so trained at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and after graduating, taught in several vocational dance schools in England and then at the Dance School of Scotland. In 2008, I was thrilled to take up the post of Head of the Associate Programme and through this, was involved in setting up the BA Modern Ballet programme at the RCS. I feel like I’ve come full circle and know from my own experience the impact that the Associate Programme can have on our young dancers. I’ve also got a degree in Economics but am very glad I chose ballet!
How does it feel to see your dancers grow from RCS into Scottish Ballet, and beyond?
Amazing! It’s quite emotional to sit in the theatre and watch dancers you’ve taught since Junior Associates, although I still want to give them corrections! It is also incredibly inspiring for our current Associates to see what they might achieve. There is now a continuous training pathway from primary school to professional level, and it feels very special to be involved in this.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
That’s easy… I love ballet, so to do something that I would do anyway as my job, is wonderful. Every day, I work with talented young dancers and inspiring teachers and musicians, which is a powerful combination.
What advice would you give to any aspiring ballet dancers?
Learn to work hard (it’s a skill!), trust your teachers and be a positive member of the class. Your teachers are there to guide and support you but the motivation has to come from within.
What’s your ‘get up and go’ song?
Madonna's Vogue. I spent many an hour as a teenager in front of the TV learning the dance moves!