Kanika Carr

Kanika Carr is a Professional Ballet Dancer.

Photo credits: Nicholas Rose

"As a young girl aspiring to be a professional ballet dancer, I was lucky enough to be a part of the DanceEast County Scholarship Scheme for 4 years (back when DanceEast was still based at Northgate Arts Centre), where a variety of inspirational teachers taught weekly ballet classes for our benefit. We were offered extra dance workshops, theatre trips, a chance to perform at Sir Fredrick Ashton's home in Eye and I also remember dancing at a DanceEast fundraiser for the new building. All these things gave me an invaluable insight into the professional world of dance, which helped me greatly in pursuing my dream career as a dancer. After completing my BA (Hons) Degree at Central School of Ballet, I danced with Ballet Black for 6 years and Dance Theatre of Harlem for a season. I'm currently dancing in The Lion King on the West End and in the future once I’ve retired from professional dancing I hope to return to Suffolk to set up my own dance school and help to encourage the future generation of Suffolk dancers.”

Q&A with Kanika

Why did you choose Central?

I chose Central School of Ballet because the course was highly focused on ballet, which was what I wanted to pursue, but they still offered other forms of dance and performance too, such as different strands of Contemporary, Jazz, Spanish, Singing and Musical Theatre. This gave me and other students a rounded education and the versatility needed in the professional dance world. I attended a summer course the year before I joined the school and loved the atmosphere of the building. The fact that the school is in central London, a stone’s throw away from the Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells, was very exciting and being able to easily go and watch amazing companies perform was very inspiring. I very much looked forward to Ballet Central in the third year. We became a touring company, working with different choreographers and learning repertoire, then practising essential skills in stage set-up, lighting, wardrobe and FOH and, most importantly, giving us the experience of performing to audiences around the UK.

How was it moving away at 16 to train at Central?

At 16, I was beyond excited to be moving to London and dancing all day, every day! It really was a dream come true. I missed my mum, sister and dog and the Suffolk countryside but I was kept very occupied at Central with all the new things I was learning, as well as juggling 2 A-levels in the evening. It was a huge change from my life in Suffolk, but it set me on the right course to becoming a professional dancer.

What is your fondest memory of being at Central?

My fondest memory of Central was my graduation day in July 2010. We each performed a graduation solo in front of our whole school and families, and each of us finished to tumultuous applause and support, which was so touching. It was an emotional day because we had all become so close and gone through so much together over the last 3 years that it felt like the end of an era, but also the start of our exciting careers outside the school.

Tell us 3 Fun Facts about yourself

1. My favourite animal is an orca whale, and when I was younger I wanted to be an orca whale saver in the summer and a ballerina in the winter…it’s on my bucket list to see orcas out in the wild one day.

2. Right now I have an obsession with propagating succulents…my window sill is full of them! it amazes me how new plants can just grow from leaves on the soil. I love checking up on them and seeing the progress!!! Wow nature

3. When I’m not dancing, I either like to get into crafts (from sewing and knitting to painting), or I like to just walk and find new things I’ve never seen before. I hope to explore parts of the UK in the future.

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