Aaron Robison graduated from The Royal Ballet School in 2004 and joined Birmingham Royal Ballet where he was promoted to first artist. In 2010 he joined Corella Ballet as a soloist and was soon promoted to principal dancer. He then joined Houston Ballet as a soloist in 2012 and is now a principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet.
How did you start dancing and why?
My mother used to take my older sister to dance classes when we were young and I would usually end up waiting for her at the dance studios with my Mum for the class to finish. Over time I became totally bored with this routine! I assume my mother then thought it would be better if I were to join in the classes too!
What would be one of the most unforgettable performances of your career till now?
It’s difficult to narrow this down to just one performance. I recently performed Oberon/Theseus in John Neumier's A Midsummer's Night Dream with Houston Ballet and this would defiantly be up on the list.
What gets you out of bed in the mornings?
A hot shower, some great music and a nice strong coffee!
Who is your role model and why?
I would have to say my parents. They have taught me a so much about certain values in life, i.e. hard work, determination and making the most of what you can. I would not have achieved anything without them!
Do you have a specific way of warming up before a performance?
I usually have a similar routine when performing a principal role. Once rehearsals have finished for the day I will get something to eat and have a twenty minute nap. Then I will take a shower, do some exercises, put on my makeup and go to the stage for last minute preparations!
Which vocational ballet school did you train at?
As a young boy (10 - 15yrs old) my family moved from England, to Barcelona, Spain. I started my extensive training at the Institut del Teatre and with Compañia Juvenil de Catalunya. I then joined The Royal Ballet Upper School in London for the later years of my training.
Which is your favourite theatre in the world to dance in?
This is a difficult question. I have been very privileged to have danced in many great theatres around the world. I love dancing at the Wortham Theater in Houston, because of the great size and there is a particular positive dynamic in this theatre I like! The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London is one I have to mention. Those who have danced on this particular stage know there is no other place like it! Finally, The Liceu theatre in Barcelona - Spain. It is a beautiful old opera house, and as I was raised in Spain for several years it will always have a special place in my heart and remind me of my childhood.
How has ballet made you the person you are today?
As a dancer, you spend many years focusing on perfecting your art, your technical ability, and sculpting your physique. On reflection over the years I have realized you also do the same on the inside as a person. I have learned to try and do my up most best from all angles in life.
What is your favourite ballet trick/step?
I have a few favourites but I particularly enjoy double cabrioles derríerre and consecutive double tours!
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can bend it like Beckham and move like Jagger! (Laughing)
Do you get nervous before a performance?
I don’t get too nervous, I would say I get more of an adrenaline rush prior a performance.
What is your escape from the ballet world?
I enjoy socialising with friends and having a few drinks. Swimming is something I like to do in my spare time too. Going to the movies is always fun and most of all, watching the football!!
Any advice for young aspiring ballet dancers?
I have always found you can learn so much by watching as many great dancers as you can!
Hard work is crucial too. Ballet is a very unforgiving art form and if you don't work hard every day it can show very easily. You have to sacrifice a lot of things that most people wouldn’t as it is a very demanding profession taking a lot of hours spent daily perfecting and achieving the highest standard possible. If you really are passionate about dancing then I say GO FOR IT. This is the most important thing and it will help guide you through the physical and emotional challenges! Ultimately, it's a very rewarding career!