Natascha Mair (Currently the Principal Dancer of Vienna State Opera) started ballet in a small school in Vienna when she was just 5 years old. At the age of 7 she started at the Vienna State Opera Ballet School, where she got her Diploma by the age of 17. She Immediately then joined the company and got promoted to half soloist two years after that, and another 2 years later she became soloist and another 2 years after that a principal dancer.
Natascha and I first met last December 2018, I was lucky enough to catch her on the day she was promoted to Principal Dancer of Vienna State Opera Ballet, it was such a coincidence having bought the tickets 3 months before the show not knowing that she would be the one performing. 2 days after we were having coffee at the Opera house and going backstage into the Vienna State Opera and Ballet. I didn’t tell her this but I had a fever that evening, but I didn’t care, this was my first time meeting her and I would have done anything to be there. I just didn’t want to seem like a crazed fan that day so I kept my cool (** If you’re reading this Natascha, thank you haha) I took it as a sign to be closer to her, that day because she was so kind.
It was such a surreal experience, she took me backstage to watch the Nutcracker frombackstage. In between us talking, and me taking videos, my I phone ran out of memory and I had to start deleting some old videos from my phone. But every moment of that day I cherished, I went home feeling like I was floating, and smiling ear to ear almost in tears. I almost forgot that it had been -3 degrees outside and I still had a bad fever, It was all worth the trip to beautiful Vienna.
I was first of so happy to have met another person who was really open to spreading more into the ballet community, as well as, such a human and kind person. Natascha and I talked about her coming into the country, eventually she did and now I feel I have found a person I can call a friend and someone I can in the future collaborate a lot with. This is one of the reasons why I chose her to be one of our dancers of the month this October. While she is not just an good dancer, she is also a person with a good heart, and I value character over many things.
So to begin my interview, here is a little treat for all of you, from a short intervew with our dancer of the month Natascha:
- How do you feel being a principal dancer at such a young age?
I really don’t think much about it. Our career is so short, I sometimes almost feel old already. I really want to get as far asI can and try my best everyday. Hard work is the most essential about this job!
- Did you struggle in any way growing up and dancing? Are there moments you wanted to stop? and how did you deal with those moments.
Of course. It is a very though profession. There was many moments I wanted to quit. But I am happy I stayed strong. There are always up and downs. But the ups are make all downs worth it! I love being on stage, it makes me forget all the struggles and I just enjoy. When the show is over I always remember that this is the feeling why I love this job!
- Are there other things and hobbies you like or do? and what do you enjoy doing in your free time when you’re not dancing.
Mainly hanging out with my best friends or family. I like to do additional work outs such as pilates. But other than that, I enjoy going shopping and most of all traveling.
- Do you still plan on studying or going to college? or other things not dance related?
For now I fully focus on my career. But I was thinking about studying something physio related. But I will see how my plans change in the next years.
- Do you have a favourite ballet teacher and do you still keep in touch with them?
I had great teachers in school. Now I have the privilege working with great artists such as Manuel Legris or other teachers across the world. When I need extra help I recently started working with a past principal and partner of Rudolf Nurejew. Her name is Brigitte Stadler and she is truly amazing. But I have many great teachers around me, which really is a blessing!
- Are there dancers you look up to, and why?
Marianela. Not just because she is an incredible dancer and artist. Mainly because even though she reached the top, she is the one of the most humble, kind and nicest person I’ve met. Just like my best friend Nikisha, who inspires me every day.
- What advice can you give girls and boys in around the world, who want to pursue dancing as a serious passion?
Don’t give up. Stay strong. Work hard and reach for the stars! But whatever happens, treat everyone around you, the way you want to be treated!
- What is your favourite Dance by Lina item and why
My blue warm up trash pants. They keep me warm, look fabulous and most of all are so thin and comfy that I barely feel them. They are also perfect to take on travels, since the don’t weight anything but keep me warm for every morning class.
Thank you for reading everyone!
I do hope that you are enjoying my dancer of the month series every month, featuring some of my favorite dancers and people every beginning of the month. Christmas is just around the corner and the Anniversary Month has been so busy, I hope you’re enjoying our updates as much as I am.