Genevieve Eveleigh is 16 years old and currently trains at English National Ballet School in London alongside 400 other candidates. Before ENBS, Genevieve attended a non-vocational school, but was allowed time away to pursue additional ballet training during Year 10. This resulted in spending time with Autrand Ballet in St. Raphael in the south of France alongside regular schooling in the UK.
Genevieve has studied the Royal Academy of Dance syllabi up to and including Advanced 1. She was a pupil at Milton Academy of Dance and also attended the Associate Programme at The Royal Ballet School in London and The Tring Classical Ballet Academy at The Tring School for Performing Arts.
In 2014, Genevieve was the winner of the Genée Dance Challenge Level 3 semi-final but, unfortunately, couldn’t attend the final due to injury. She was also a finalist for the Molly Lake Award. Having just watched the Prix de Lausanne, Genevieve has aspirations to compete in 2017, and her ultimate goal is to secure a contract with a classical ballet company.
How did you become involved in dance?
My Mum signed me up for ballet when I was probably three, thinking that it would be good for discipline – I think that I was quite strong willed. As I got older, I used to dread my once-a-week class and my Mum used to drag me along to my local dance school, telling me that “I would thank her one day.” I have to admit that she was right – as always!
Now I love the challenge; the ability to push myself through self-imposed boundaries, working with my body to master what it is I have been trying to achieve – it’s incredibly fulfilling when that moment arrives.
What do you like least about class?
My least favourite thing is choreography, which is where I am really out of my comfort zone. I find it really challenging.
What is the hardest part about dance for you?
Confidence and patience. Lots of people think that ballet is all about sparkles and glamour. The truth is that it is tough and brutal. I think that if art is your passion, it’s one of the many reasons that you fall in love with ballet. You do get knocks but you still have to hold your head up high and carry on with confidence.
Patience for me is a work in progress and I struggle with it. If I can’t achieve something I have a tendency to get frustrated and beat myself up. Things don’t get mastered with a click of your fingers… blood, sweat and tears is no lie. If you want it you have to work for it, but give yourself time and notice your improvements as well as recognising what you need to improve on.
What advice would you give to other dancers?
The dance world is competitive. Don’t be fazed by the girl next door on the barre or the one doing triple pirouettes – focus on you and compare yourself to the dancer you were yesterday.
How has dance changed your life?
Dance has made me stronger as a person – more focused, more disciplined, and more mature. Through ballet I have learned to express myself far more eloquently than with words and I have found a world of people to connect with. I love my life and, yes, I’m so grateful to my Mum for not allowing me to give up all those years ago.