From basketball and football to professional dancer, new Company dancer Riley Fitzgerald tells us what inspires him and what he’s most looking forward to this year.
Q. How old were you when you started dancing?
I started dancing at the age of 10 through serendipity. I happened to notice an advertisement for hip hop classes in a local newspaper and the rest is history. After only a short time I was taking ballet classes and quickly became completely immersed in the discipline of dance. It was a bold decision to stop playing basketball and Aussie rules football for a young kid living in rural Victoria. Looking back I am so pleased that I had the courage to follow my heart and dreams. The decision I made to step outside of my comfort zone has brought so much joy and fulfilment to my life. The sacrifices that I’ve had to make have been absolutely worth it!
Q. What inspires you?
People with a strong sense of their own personal vision who contribute positively and constructively to this wonderful life we have been blessed with inspire me. Continuous learning, acquiring knowledge and seeking opportunities to learn from others both personally and professionally motivates me. I am influenced by people doing great things in their local community or individuals who have been change agents or leaders in their chosen career paths. Learning and listening to their stories and experiences inspires me to transform my own life.
Q. What are you most looking forward to at Sydney Dance Company in 2019?
This year marks such a special time in Sydney Dance Company’s history. It’s a privilege to be able to continue the legacy of so many wonderful dancers over a five decade history. I am looking forward to performing alongside incredibly talented dancers. Everyday at Sydney Dance Company there is an opportunity to learn from people who have been in the professional industry for years. This alone is so rewarding. Not to mention, being lucky enough to travel around Australia and overseas whilst doing what I love.
Q. What attracted you to Sydney Dance Company?
The thing that attracted me to Sydney Dance Company was the calibre of the dancers in the Company and the quality of work they are producing. After seeing the Company’s performance of Lux Tenebris and Cacti in 2016 at a schools show in Melbourne I knew that I wanted to be a part of such a special Company. I left feeling so inspired and driven.
Q. What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell my younger self and myself today to trust in the gift and path that has been given to you. To have an open mind and to be confident in your approach to dance and life.
See Riley Fitzgerald perform in Sydney Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary triple bill, Bonachela / Nankivell / Lane from 26 March in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne & on National Tour across Australia.