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Graduate Interview: Luca Freudenberg

Luca Freudenberg is a distinguished member of our alumni community. Luca is a remarkable individual who, after honing his skills at LVBS, has ventured into the world of a professional ballet company. Currently, he graces the stage with his talent at Ballet West in the vibrant city of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Throughout his journey, Luca has not only showcased his exceptional talent but has also embodied the values and ethos that our school stands for. His dedication, passion, and commitment to his craft serve as an inspiration to aspiring dancers and students alike. Today, we have the opportunity to delve into Luca's experiences, gain insights into his journey, and celebrate his achievements...

How was your time at LVBS, Luca?

I look at my time at LVBS as an introduction to just how hard dance is! I joined the school when I was 14 and prior to attending the school, I had been at a normal state school, only dancing at the end of each day. I remember being so nervous starting at LVBS because I joined relatively late and everybody in my year already knew each other and they were already so accomplished! I was able to improve my technique so much during those two years of training but most importantly my confidence and passion grew. I know I owe this to Anna (the founding Artistic Director) and all of her staff, both artistic and academic, for creating such a welcoming environment. 

Tell us your favourite memory of being at LVBS?

I’ve given it some thought and my favourite memory at LVBS somewhat surprises me!

What comes to mind for me is Ms. Blakeburn’s English and History classes! Sitting next to one of my best friends, Ossie, being pretty competitive with him and seeing who would get the best grades in each test. We had a lot of fun in those classes, possibly too much… A big thank you and a little apology to Ms. Blakeburn for dealing with us so well!

Tell us a bit about your training after you were with us.

After leaving LVBS, I went on to train at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham which is something I really doubt I would have been good enough to do without the training I had received at LV. I learnt a lot while studying at Elmhurst and it opened my eyes to a world of strength and conditioning of a standard I did not know existed in the dance world. Lessons I learnt from Elmhurst’s head of Research and Performance Nico Kolokythas are still with me today. I then spent a year at the Joffrey Ballet Academy in Chicago where I really grew as a dancer and got to perform a variety of repertoire that I enjoyed so very much whilst also getting to explore an amazing new city.

What was your training highlight?

I would say my highlight from my training post-LVBS was performing the Pas de Deux from Kenneth MacMillan’s Winter Dreams while in Chicago. The choreography is beautiful and unlike any Pas de Deux I had learnt before. 

What is your favourite ballet to either watch or perform?

My favourite ballet to watch is John Cranko’s Onegin. It was the first ballet I performed with Ballet West and watching the amazing Pas de Deux while listening to the incredible score, whether or not it was side stage during a show or in the studio during rehearsals, was an experience that without a doubt made Onegin my favourite ballet that I have seen to date!

My favourite performance was probably dancing in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes as part of the rifle regiment! It was part of a triple bill at the beginning of this season and it was an incredible experience. I felt so lucky to dance such an iconic piece of American repertoire to an American audience. Balanchine referred to the piece as an ‘applause machine’ and that proved to be very much accurate! It’s a very technical piece for the guys, super hard and lots of jumps with 13 men on stage dancing together. It was so rewarding.

What advice would you give for our current students?

The advice I would give to current students would simply be the same advice that was given to me by Anna Du Boisson the day I auditioned for LVBS. ‘Don’t do it if you don’t love it. Ballet is too hard’ - very very wise words! If you want to be a professional ballet dancer you really have to give it everything in order to stand a chance of making it, it is so competitive and there are so few ballet jobs out there that you really have to love it for it to be worthwhile. Passion is the most important thing there is and Anna taught me that. If there is no passion, there is no point!

Where are you currently dancing? Are you enjoying life as a professional?

I am currently dancing at Ballet West in Salt Lake City Utah and I am enjoying life as a professional. I want to extend a huge thank you to LVBS for playing a big role in shaping who I am today!



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