Calliope teacher becomes a Queensland Ballet ambassador
IT'S not every week you get to meet Mao's Last Dancer himself, Li Cunxin, but for Calliope teacher Helena Little, it was just one of several highlights of her time at the Queensland Ballet.
Ms Little was one of eight ambassadors selected across the country to be a part of the Queensland Ballet Ambassador program completing the first week earlier this month.
The Year One teacher was inspired by another staff member who was an ambassador in 2017. Ms Little said she was mesmerised by the culture of the Queensland Ballet.
"Everyone is so supportive and there's such massive mutual respect and that was embedded through everybody,” Ms Little said.
"One thing that (Li Cunxin) said that really stuck with me was he doesn't choose dancers on talent alone, he looks at that mindset and whether they can work together in a team.
"He said 'there can only be one swan in Swan Lake, they need to respect those other roles are important otherwise there can be no show'.”
During her time at the Queensland Ballet she was involved in working collaboratively with the other ambassadors to generate resources for Queensland Ballet to provide workshops.
She was exposed to behind-the-scenes insights on ballet production, seeing set designs, lighting practice, costumes and even witnessing some classes.
The workshop she was involved in creating, "little green road to fairy land”, is one that will be brought to Gladstone in May this year.
Although Ms Little had danced in her earlier years, it wasn't until recently she fell in love with it again.
" I joined Dance Kix as part of the adult class and it just reignited the love of dance I'd always had,” she said.
"Because I'm early childhood trained, (Dance Kix) had me running her preschool program.”
Ms Little will return to Queensland Ballet in September this year to complete week two of the program.